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February 2022

How long can you keep meat in the freezer?

By Mike  Thayer

Frozen SteakA lot of people are stocking up on freezer items these days, with a focus on meats.  Some folks are doing so to fight inflation, prices of all meats are way up and will continue to do nothing but climb.  Other folks are buying up meats as a result of world events and supply chain concerns, out of fear some items will become scarce or unavailable.

Having some ground beef and boneless/skinless chicken breasts stashed in the freezer is pretty standard for a lot of us.  But how long can you keep meat in the freezer before it goes bad? 

According to FoodSafety.gov, frozen meat that's kept at a temperature of zero degrees Fahrenheit or lower will actually be safe to eat indefinitely.  But there are tangibles, like how the meat is wrapped and even how your freezer is packed that can make a difference in the meat quality down the road.  So the question isn't really if the meat is safe to eat or not (given your freezer never quit at any point), the real question is, "Will the meat be good to eat?"

Freezer burn is the #1 culprit in making meat from the freezer not so good, as in tasty, to eat.  Freezer burn is when air circulating in the freezer to keep things cold hits the meat, drying out a spot and making it leathery.  A rip in the packaging and/or poor wrapping will result in freezer burn and you can't pan sear, roast or grill freezer burn out of a piece of meat.  You can cut the freezer burn out of that burger patty or steak, but who wants to do that and eat 3/4 of a burger?  Nonsense.  Freezer burn is totally preventable.

Below is a list of meats and the recommended maximum time it should stay in your freezer.   Going beyond the recommended time doesn't mean the meat will go bad, it just means the flavor and tenderness is in decline.  Included with the recommended freezer times below are some tips and other guidelines so you won't have to ask yourself whether that steak you pulled out of the freezer is good to eat or not...  Keep in mind that with most meats, the flavor factor hits its peak at the four month mark.  Sure, you can freeze it longer than that, but that four month mark is key, when the flavor profile starts the decline. 

Beef - Roasts, Steaks:  Up to six months

Chicken - Whole:  Up to one year

Chicken - Parts, skin on, bone in:  Up to nine months

Chicken - Boneless/skinless breasts or thighs:  Up to six months

Pork- Shoulder:  Up to one year

Pork - Steaks, Ribs, Chops:  Up to six months

Bacon:  Up to six months...  Um, I've NEVER had bacon stay in my freezer that long, it's TOO TASTY!

Sausages, raw - Brats, Breakfast Links/Patties/Chubs, Italian Sausage, Mexican Chorizo and the like:  Up to four months

Sausages, pre-cooked, smoked - Andouille, Kielbasa, Hot Links and the like:  Up to eight months

Hot Dogs:  Up to eight months

Ground Meats - all types:  Up to four months

Lamb - Rack, Shanks, Chops:  Up to six months

Fish - Fatty types like Tuna and Salmon:  Up to three months

Fish - Leaner types like Cod or Tilapia:  Up to six months

*Vacuum sealing meats will extend freezer life another three to six months, but that is a story for another day.

Freezing chicken
Don't just throw it in the freezer like this...

Tip #1:  Make sure your freezer is free of frost, clean and the temperature set at zero degrees Fahrenheit or lower.   And did you know an empty freezer is not a very efficient one?  The only thing that keeps an empty or nearly empty freezer at the proper temperature is the electricity needed to run it.  When stocked properly, a freezer does not need to run as often to maintain the proper temperature, the frozen food inside is helping it do that.  But an overstuffed freezer isn't so efficient either.  Without proper air circulation a freezer has to work harder to maintain temperature and overstuffing can lead to blocking vents and sensors.  Ideally, your freezer should be 75 - 80% full for optimum performance.

Tip #2:  You can leave that steak you just bought in the Styrofoam bottom and plastic wrapped top if you want to, but doing so is the leading cause of freezer burn.  Don't get lazy in thinking, "I'll be eating this next week, it'll be fine," and just toss it in.  That packaging is designed for a fresh presentation, marketing you to buy it.  It's not made for the freezer.  Thin plastic wrap is also easy to tear when it gets placed in the freezer and bumps up against other products.  Perhaps you didn't get around to having that steak the next week and you finally pull it out to grill three months later.  Guess what?  Freezer burn!  If you don't have a vacuum sealer, invest in one.  In lieu of that, always have freezer bags on hand when stocking the freezer.  Foil and freezer paper are fine too but if none of that is possible, heck, repurpose the plastic grocery store bags if you have to and double wrap your meats.

Tip #3:  Always label and date the meat your are freezing, i.e., Pork Chop, 02/26/2022 and keep a copy of this blog post in your kitchen or by the freezer somewhere.  Properly labeling and dating your meats takes any guesswork out of the picture.  Some people will just throw something in a bag and toss it in the freezer, then four months later pull it out and the bag is all frosty/icey and they ask themselves, "What the "F" is this?"  Kind of makes meal prep a little harder, don't you think?

Tip #4:  Organize your freezer and rotate your meats.  Try to arrange your freezer by meat type and then date, with your oldest meats towards the front or top of your freezer.  A beef section by date, a chicken section by date, a sausage section by date and so on...  Don't just toss items in the freezer, that too, leads to freezer burn.  It may sound time consuming to organize and rotate, but it actually saves you a lot of time in the long run.  Look at all the bonuses:  Bonus #1 - an organized freezer that is 75 - 80% full is a happy, efficient, air circulating right freezer, running at proper temperature.  Bonus #2 - Items are much easier to find, no rummaging, no digging and pulling the older cuts of meat for a meal aides in the rotating process.  I've read countless Facebook posts where a guy asks if the twice frosted over steak he found at the bottom of his freezer dated two years ago under a bag of chicken wings is OK to eat.  Bonus #3 -   When making a list for the grocery store or butcher shop, take a quick peak in your organized and properly product rotated freezer, it makes shopping easier and you won't spend as much.

Now that you know how to keep frozen meats at their optimum flavor profile, go stock up!  You'll save money over future higher prices, you won't waste money by becoming a victim of freezer burn and you'll spend money more efficiently at the grocery store.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Related: Bachelor on the Cheap: Essential must haves for stocking your pantry and fridge

Related:Grilling Tips & Essential Tools


Chip Review: Lay's Kettle Cooked Buffalo Chicken Dip Flavored Chips

Lay's Kettle Cooked Buffalo Chicken Dip Flavored Chips
These are SO good!

By Mike Thayer

I'm a sucker for kettle chips, any flavor.  If I'm grabbing a bag of chips, it's probably going to be something kettle cooked.  You get a superior chip crunch and a deeper flavor with kettle chips and it's good to see more flavor varieties hitting the grocery store shelves.

So at a Subway back in January, I ordered a Baja Steak & Cheese Sandwich and as part of the combo meal deal, I got a bag of the Lay's Kettle Cooked Buffalo Chicken Dip flavored chips.  I'd never seen them before, never tried them, so as a Buffalo wings fan, I HAD to try them! 

These chips ROCK!

Truth be told, I think I liked these chips better than I did the Subway sandwich!  What a great chip bite full of robust flavor!  I got that great kettle cooked crunch and then was immediately hit with Buffalo dip flavor followed by a cheesy cheddar finish.  A good Buffalo dip has first off, some heat and you get that with cayenne pepper notes.  It also includes the presence of vinegar and garlic, both notably present.  Adding to the mix are the flavors of paprika and onion complimented by yes, buttery notes.  The flavors are all well balanced and I like that it's not an in-your-face Buffalo hot that ruins your palate.  This is a nice heat, allowing you to enjoy chip after chip.   Hmmm, it's like Lay's knew what they were doing huh?

The bad part about these chips is that they're almost exclusive to Subway on an everyday basis and it's only in the 1.375 ounce snack bag size.  Apparently you can't get them anywhere unless it's one of those "limited time" deals like at Walmart but they sell out of an 8 ounce bag inventory at $2.68 each lickity split.  As soon as you find out they have them, they sell out and are out of stock with no future orders coming in.

Lay's Kettle Cooked Buffalo Chicken Dip Chips
A repeat buy, but pretty much only if you want to go back to Subway

I'm giving Lay's Kettle Cooked Buffalo Chicken Dip Flavored Chips 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  They are without question my favorite kettle cooked chip, unseating Miss Vickie's Jalapeno.  Hopefully Lay's decides to quit teasing the chip consuming public with limited time and exclusive offers of these chips, because they most definitely are worthy of a repeat buy.

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Related: Food Review: Subway's Baja Steak & Cheese Sandwich

Buy Me a Coffee

 


Is GrubHub, DoorDash or UberEats worth it?

By Mike Thayer

DeliveryThese restaurant delivery services are convenient and have their place.  It is nice these days to have delivery options aside from pizza and Chinese food.  But remember that these services were for the most part fledgling and a bit limited in options pre-pandemic but became popular and almost necessary as a result of the pandemic and in fact, literally helped a lot of restaurants nationwide survive during the various state lock downs despite a cut into per meal profits for those restaurants.  But which service is the best?

I've looked at cost, reliability, time to delivery and an overall convenience factor, even the little things like whoever picks up my order makes sure there are napkins, condiments and plastic ware as appropriate.

Each service provides an ability to track your order, whether online and/or text updates.  That's a good thing.  This is almost an expectation anymore, you can track everything these days.

For my test order, I ordered the same meal from all three outfits, a Fish & Chicken meal from Long John Silvers.  It's interesting to note, that the prices for the very same meal can vary from service to service.  It's tied to how each service pays their drivers,  what kind of promotion they're running, all things affecting their bottom line.  And about those promotions, if you haven't used a particular delivery service before, you'll probably get your first delivery, if not more - delivered free to get you hooked, the hope being you'll use them exclusively for delivery.  With that in mind, the delivery fees vary from service to service and even food category to category as does the tip amount.  It's NOT percentage based.  You do get the flexibility to adjust the tip amount.  To note, all the respective websites are very similar in navigation and are user friendly.

Here's the breakdown

UberEats:  This is the first third party delivery service I ever tried.  In writing this article, I already had a bias against UberEats, I used them on a business trip, ordered some Chinese, a no contact order but never got my meal.  As soon as I got the "Your order has been delivered" text, I opened my hotel room door but there was no meal there, it was nowhere in sight.  There was no knock on the door as instructed.  The person delivering the order apparently delivered it to the wrong hotel room and I'm thinking perhaps not even the right floor, so I concluded they must have had a dislexia moment.  I put the right room number on the order, looked at the room key cover it as I typed it in online, but maybe that didn't get transferred properly to the delivery ticket, I don't know.  I confirmed the delivery person came in the hotel with the front desk, but no meal and no, I didn't get a refund.  Funny how you get all kinds of communication when your order is being prepped and is on its way, but after the driver sends that "delivered" text back to the service provider....  You get NOTHING in response.   UberEats SUCKS!  That a delivery wasn't confirmed to be at the right hotel room was frustrating, but I digress.   The cost of the Long John Silver's Fish & Chicken meal was $10.29 (viewed online through to check out).  There was a $0.49 delivery fee (I can guarantee it won't be just 49 cents next time) and a suggested tip of $2.78. 

DoorDash:  After my bad experience with UberEats, I decided to give DoorDash a shot on my next business trip.  The first couple delivery fees were free (see below), but now that I've got a few DoorDash deliveries in their history, lately it's been a $9.95 delivery fee, plus what amount in tip I wish to give.  For the Long John Silver's Fish & Chicken meal the base cost was $12.59 (see the difference from UberEats?) and a $0 delivery fee with a suggested tip of $4.  I haven't had any issues with DoorDash, they've been timely, I get condiments, napkins, plastic ware as needed, but the delivery fee has become a bit cost prohibitive. 

Grubhub:  The base cost for the meal is $12.59, just like DoorDash, but a $4.99 delivery fee and a suggested tip amount of $4.59.  This drives an eat-in or carry-out meal of $10.29 to $22.17.  Pricey, and a bit slow in delivery time not weather related, how much are you will to pay for convenience?

Like I said, these services have their place, especially if you're on the road, flat out don't have time to cook or go get a meal or if temps are sub-zero outside. They are indeed convenient.  The downside to that is they do manipulate the meal price, play with delivery fees and tinker with suggested tips based on what you're ordering.  It's a business, they have to make their money to stay in business. 

To be fair, if you don't like the varying/escalating delivery fees from repeated use, there's a cheat you can use to get around the varying delivery fees.  Sign in by creating a new account and using a different email.  I'm not a fan of that because I like to keep things simple, but it is a work around if you're looking to save a few bucks for a particular meal or two.  But then, why not just get in your vehicle and go somewhere?

To sum, if I'm at home and I don't feel like cooking, I get in my truck and go get my meal.  When on the road, depending on my workload, I may or may not use one of these services.  It truly depends on how much I want to shell out for convenience.  Of the three services reviewed, DoorDash has been the best, but they have also become pricey with their delivery fee for a repeat customer.

Overall, I'm giving these third party delivery services 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.   I need to give UberEats another shot because that initial delivery was hopefully an isolated incident.  DoorDash has become cost prohibitive with their delivery fee hikes resulting from repeated use and GrubHub is the most expensive on a per meal basis.  Another service needs to enter the mix, a Walmart if you will, no manipulations in meal prices, delivery fees or tip amount.  Just one consistent price to deliver a meal to your home, business or hotel room.

3 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...


Chip Review: Tom's Bacon Cheddar Fries

By Mike Thayer

Tom's Bacon Cheddar Fries
Bacon & Cheddar, an enticing combo

On another road trip and grabbing a snack after refueling my truck, I picked up a bag of Tom's Bacon Cheddar Fries to munch on for the last leg of my trip.  That's one thing I like about road trips, driving down the Interstate, it's a great time to think about things and reflect while listening to some great classic rock tunes and enjoying a savory treat.

I've never had Tom's Bacon Cheddar Fries before, I like their BBQ Flavored Pork Skins.  So based on that experience and the enticing thought of bacon and cheddar flavors on a crispy 'fry' chip...  I pulled the trigger on these. 

Always looking for another chip variety to crack my Top 5 list (Nacho Cheese Doritos being my #1 all time favorite), I had high hopes for this chip, but it fell short in the flavor department.  You get a nice crunch, the cheddar flavor is there and you get the hint of bacon, but neither flavor is robust.  It's subtle rather than in-your-face and for me, if you're going to hype up bacon and cheddar flavors, such a fantastic combo, then those flavors have to be robust.  What Tom's offers here is a bit of a let down, kind of like that movie with all the funny one-liners in the teaser that entices you to go, but when you see the movie you find out, ALL the funny one-liners were in the teaser...

Tom's Bacon Cheddar Fries
They look good, right?

Costing me $1.99 for the snack bag size at a truck stop (a typical price for that kind of shopping environment), I'm giving Tom's Bacon Cheddar Fries 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  They are a borderline repeat buy.  I'll look for something else before I buy these again.  In fact, I prefer Andy Capp's Cheddar Fries, they have a more robust cheesy flavor.  Too bad they don't offer a bacon/cheddar variety.

3 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Related: Food Review: Tom's Fried Pork Skins BBQ Chicharrones


Find Your ‘Pot O’ Gold’ with New Menu at Scooter’s Coffee

OMAHA, Neb., It’s your lucky day with Scooter’s Coffee new menu offerings. From the cool mint in Lucky Leprechaun to the savory butterscotch flavor in the Pot O’ Gold Latte, these new drinks will put a spring in your step.

Lucky Leprechaun® – Smoothly sweet white chocolate and cool mint are paired with world-class espresso and rich, steamed milk. The Lucky Leprechaun® is finished with signature whipped cream and sprinkled with chips of Andes famous chocolatey mints. Customers can order it with or without espresso, having it both ways!

Pot O’ Gold Latte® – One of our customer favorites infuses freshly pulled espresso with smooth, frothy milk and a mixture of luscious caramel and butterscotch. This golden, buttery goodness is then topped with fresh whipped cream and drizzled with caramel.

Butterscotch Cold Foam – Top any iced or blended drink with handcrafted Butterscotch Cold Foam, made-to-order with nonfat freshly frothed milk. Rich in flavor, it’s a buttery, velvety sweet cloud that floats atop and gently melds with your drink.

Chocolate Mint Chip Cookie – The cool taste of mint accompanies rich chocolate in every bite of this amazing cookie. Speckled with refreshing mint green chips, the oh-so-chocolatey cookie dough is baked to soft, chewy perfection.

Red Velvet Cake Bites – When it comes to the incredibly rich, dense deliciousness of Red Velvet Cake Bites, baked-from-scratch at Scooter’s Coffee bakery, this palm-sized treat is just right. Super moist cake is mixed with real cream cheese frosting and cocoa-infused decadence to create an amazing bite of sprinkle-covered bliss.

Melt-in-your mouth treats from Scooter’s Coffee also include the ooey-gooey Cinnamon Roll, a soft and moist Blueberry Muffin and much more – all prepared fast, fresh and with love.

Scooter’s Coffee will put a smile on your face and some spring in your step at a location near you and online at www.scooterscoffee.com/menu.

About Scooter’s Coffee

Founded in 1998 by Don and Linda Eckles in Bellevue, Nebraska, Scooter’s Coffee roasts only the finest coffee beans in the world at its headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. In more than two decades of business, Scooter’s Coffee’s success is simple: stay committed to the original business principles and company’s four core values, which are Integrity, Love, Humility and Courage. The Scooter’s Coffee Brand Promise, often recited to franchisees, customers and employees is: “Amazing People, Amazing Drinks… Amazingly Fast!®” It represents the company’s business origins from 1998 and reflects a steady commitment to providing an unforgettable experience to loyal and new customers.

Scooter’s Coffee is at the dawn of a strategic growth phase nationwide. Approaching 450 stores in 23 states, the company continues to grow rapidly. The U.S. coffee market is an estimated $48 billion a year recession-resistant industry, and Scooter’s Coffee is striving to become the #1 drive-thru coffee franchise in the nation. Visit ownascooters.com to learn more about the benefits of owning a franchise of a well-established company.


For more information, visit, scooterscoffee.com, facebook.com/scooterscoffee,

ownascooters.com or call 877-494-7004.


Drink Review: Ole Smoky Butter Pecan Moonshine

By Mike Thayer

Ole Smoky Butter Pecan Moonshine
Dangerously Smooth, it's like dessert...

It's 5 O'Clock somewhere...

Looking for something a little different than a chilled, flavored whiskey shot, I recently picked up a bottle of Ole Smoky Butter Pecan Moonshine and decided to crack it open today with temps forecast at -20 with windchill tonight.

Below is the description from the bottle, er, jar, which you HAVE to appreciate, moonshine appropriate and can you say, "repurpose?"  Yes, yes you can.

We blended our moonshine with the delicious flavors of butter, cream, toasted pecans and caramel.  Liquid Heaven.

This is indeed liquid heaven, it's so VERY smooth, there's no moonshine kick at all to this that's how smooth it is.   Granted, it's only 35 proof, nonetheless, it's a toasted pecan and caramel dessert dance in the mouth is what it is and too many of these would be dangerous!

Costing me $19.99 this is an excellent after dinner drink, and OK, a 5 o'clock somewhere drink...  It's a repeat buy without question.  I'm giving Ole Smoky Butter Pecan Moonshine 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It deserves a spot in your liquor cabinet and would be an excellent serving choice for just about any after dinner drink situation.

And Kudos to my friends Remington and Kayla, who gifted me the PERFECT shot glass made for a chilled shot.  Check it out in the drink pic, an ice cube sphere and a shot of your favorite beverage makes for a perfect presentation.

Cheers, Dilly Dilly, A toast!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

 


Chip Review: Lay's Layers Sour Cream & Onion Chips

By Mike Thayer

Lay's Layers Sour Cream & Onion Chips
Kind of like Funyons, but made with potato instead of corn

I recently reviewed a new chip offering from Lay's called "Layers."

Lay's has introduced these as "A multi-dimensional, one-of-a-kind potato bite with layers of delicious crispiness." 

Coming in two flavors, Three Cheese and Sour Cream & Onion, I picked up a bag of the three cheese flavored chips to try out on Super Bowl Sunday.  They were pretty good, worthy of a repeat buy.  So with that in mind, today I'm trying the other flavor of "Layers," the Sour Cream & Onion.

Just as the three cheese variety reminded me of Cheetos Cheese Puffs, but made with potato instead of corn, the Sour Cream variety reminds me of another chip...  Funyons.  The Layers Sour Cream & Onion Chips have a very similar crunch to Funyons but they're made from potato instead of corn.  And also like the three cheese Layers which has a more robust cheese profile than Cheetos Cheese Puffs, the Sour Cream & Onion Layers has a more robust flavor than Funyons so if I had to choose between the two, I'm going with Layers.  It's  a better sour cream & onion bite. 

Sidebar:  You know how Hollywood is going through TV show and movie remakes and reboots because they are lacking original ideas?  In a weird way, that's kind of like what this seems to be with chips...  Lay's (the Hollywood of the chip world) has done a reboot with Cheetos and Funyons flavors, putting them on potatoes. 

Costing me $1.99 for a 1.75 ounce bag at QuikTrip, I'm giving the Lay's Layers Sour Cream & Onion chips 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  They're a nice change of pace chip snack and worthy of a repeat buy, but I like the Three Cheese flavor better.  To note, both Lay's Layers varieties are better than their corn based counter-parts.  Most times the reboot isn't as good as the classic, but then again we're talking about chips, not a movie or TV show. 

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...


Food Review: Kroger Kettle Cooked Jalapeno Flavored Potato Chips

Kroger Kettle Cooked Jalapena Flavored Potato Chips
I love kettle chips, but are these as good as Miss Vickie's?

By Mike Thayer

I'm a sucker for kettle chips, any flavor.  If I'm grabbing a bag of chips, it's going to be something kettle cooked.  You get a superior chip crunch and a deeper flavor with kettle chips and it's good to see more flavor varieties hitting the grocery store shelves.

Today however I reached for a kettle chip go-to, jalapeno flavored!  I usually go for a bag of Miss Vickie's when in the mood for a chip with a little kick, but the local grocery store I was shopping at doesn't carry the Miss Vickie's brand so I went with the store brand instead.

Here's the description of the Kroger chip from the bag:  Robust flavor is packed in every delicious, crunchy bite of our Jalapeno Kettle Chips.  Made with simple ingredients, our fresh cut potatoes are kettle cooked to a crispy perfection and finished with jalapeno flavoring.

Kroger makes a good kettle chip and I've tried a few of their offerings be it the Kroger or 'Private Selection' brand so I was confident I was getting a good snack chip in the jalapeno flavor.    These chips do give you a good kettle crunch, but they come up a bit short in the jalapeno department.  I was looking forward to a little heat, these chips however are a bit weak compared to Miss Vickie's.  Kroger claims the flavor is "Robust," I say it's not.  Miss Vickie's packs a better jalapeno punch.

Costing me just $1.69 for an 8 ounce bag, these chips are good but not Miss Vickie's good so I'm giving them 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  Reasonably priced, they are worthy of a repeat buy, but in a plan B kind of way.  Eating these, I was wishing I had a bag of Miss Vickie's...

Next up, I'll reach for the Lay's Jalapeno to review.

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Related: Food Review: Miss Vickie's Jalapeno Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Related: Chip Review: Private Selection Chicken Tikka Masala Ripple-Cut Kettle Chips

Related: Chip Review: Kroger Kettle Cooked Reuben Sandwich Potato Chips

Related: Chip Review: Kroger Cuban Style Sandwich Flavored Potato Chips

Related: Food Review: Specially Selected Lattice Cut Kettle Chips

Related: Food Review: Kirkland Signature Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Himalayan Salt Potato Chips

 

 

 


Hotel Review: Days Inn - Olathe - A highly unsatisfactory stay

Days Inn - Olathe
The fridge & microwave setup at Days Inn

By Mike Thayer

The Days Inn in Olathe, Kansas does not give a rat's rear end about its customers.

I could write a number of paragraphs about how bad, how run down and how poor the customer service at this hotel is, but I think in this case, bullet points and the pics tell the story just fine.

  • Terrible customer service, front desk not always staffed - "ring the bell" for service.  Customer needs not met
  • Website lists a free breakfast as one of the amenities.  There is none to speak of, the only thing available in their 'breakfast' area was coffee. 
  • The indoor pool is closed, won't open until May 2022
  • Stayed during a snow storm of 5" with strong winds and 3' snow drifts, hotel did not plow parking lot, leaving vehicles trapped, couldn't leave hotel
  • Rooms outdated, run down
  • Broken ice machine
Days Inn - Olathe
Want coffee? You have to unplug something to plug in the coffee pot... and they only give you one package of regular coffee

I selected this hotel for a recent business trip because it was close to my work site and a recent stay at the neighboring La Quinta was less-than-stellar so I figured the Days Inn couldn't be any worse.  Wow as I wrong!  This Days Inn made the La Quinta look pretty good!

I paid $161.10 to include taxes for a two night stay at this hotel and I would have left on the second day if not for the snow storm and getting trapped at the hotel.  Truth be told, I should have found a different hotel right after walking in to check in at 4:30pm and having to ring the bell for service at the front desk.

DO NOT STAY AT THIS HOTEL!  There is nothing good at all to say about it.

Days Inn - Olathe
A cubicle shower

I'm giving the Days Inn of Olathe, Kansas just 1 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  It is NOT worthy of a reservation, the website looks FAR better than the reality and you could even say it's false advertising.

1 star

$pend Wisely My Friends...  I certainly didn't on this occasion.  After two unsatisfying stays in Olathe, Kansas (La Quinta and now the Days Inn, both under the Wyndham Hotels/Resorts umbrella by the way), and with more trips to Olathe on the agenda, it's time to start driving out of my way to stay at a Hampton Inn, my normal go-to.

Days Inn Olathe
Not only outdated, but too cheap to have a bedside clock

 


Food Review: Wendy's Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich

By Mike Thayer

Wendy's Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich
Good meat to bun ratio

In the on-going Chicken Sandwich War, Wendy's has put another weapon on the battlefield, introducing its Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich on February 2.

The new sandwich is available in three menu options, grilled, classic, or spicy.  All three feature a habanero hot honey sauce to kick things up a notch and is served on a brioche bun.

Here's the description of the classic version from the Wendy's website: A juicy, lightly breaded crispy chicken breast topped with pepper jack cheese, Applewood smoked bacon, crunchy dill chips, and a drizzle of habanero hot honey sauce all on a toasted bun. Sweet, sweet burn.

This sandwich has received a lot of hype, so for dinner on another recent road trip, I decided to see what all the hype was about.

Wendy's Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich
The Crunchy Dill Chips are a nice element

I ordered the classic version and I enjoyed this sandwich.  The chicken was prepared nicely, I got a nice crunch in the seasoned breading, the meat was juicy and tender.  Providing a little heat was the pepper jack cheese, I got the slight smoke from the bacon and that habanero hot honey sauce was well balanced, excellent sweet heat.  But what put this sandwich into the YUM category for me was the crunchy dill chips.   This is a great add to this sandwich and I want it on others.  You get the twang from the pickle flavor and a bit of crunch as well, a bonus texture element you wouldn't get from just a traditional pickle.

Costing me $12.27 for a large combo meal to include fries and a drink, I'm giving Wendy's Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's a worthy of a repeat buy, a sandwich that deserves a spot on the Chicken Sandwich War battlefield, but it's not good enough to take down Popeyes.

Four stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...