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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How many calories are in a Carl's Jr. Turkey Burger?

Carl's Jr./Hardee's released a new line of Turkey Burgers today. The question I keep hearing everyone ask is, "So how many calories do they have?" Well, the turkey burgers that were developed with the help of Men's Health Magazine and "Eat This, Not That" clock in at less than 500 calories each. The turkey burger currently comes in three different varieties, Classic, Guacamole and Teriyaki and range from 470-490 calories.

I was so excited to hear that one of my favorite fast food chains was offering a new healthier food option that I went down on it's release date to try it. I noticed that I was not the only one there ordering a turkey burger. In fact, the person before me and a few people after me also ordered turkey burgers. The idea of a new healthy fast food item seems to be exciting a lot of people.

I decided to order the Guacamole Turkey Burger ($3.69). I ordered it with red onion as well, but they forgot to put it on. The guacamole on the burger was the same familiar onion guacamole that comes on their other guacamole burgers. The burger was served on a wheat bun with iceberg lettuce and one slice of tomato.

The turkey patty itself wasn't bad. It was a little dry though and could have used a little more flavor. It reminded me of the frozen turkey patties that you can get at Costco. The burger was decent for a "healthy" burger. It still had 21 grams of fat though. This is definitely a good option for someone looking for a healthier dining alternative at a fast-food restaurant, but it is nowhere near as good as their beef burgers. Since I am trying to be a little more conscious of what I eat, I will most likely be getting one of these again. Perhaps I'll try the teriyaki version next time to cut out some of the fat.

Carl's Jr./Hardee's Turkey Burger Nutritional Info:

Classic Turkey Burger
Serving Size (g) 268
Total Calories 490
Calories From Fat 200
Fat (g) 23
Saturated Fat (g) 4.5
Cholesterol (mg) 80
Sodium (mg) 1010
Carbohydrates (g) 45
Dietary Fiber (g) 3
Sugars (g) 10
Protein (g) 29

Guacamole Turkey Burger

Serving Size (g) 281
Total Calories 490
Calories From Fat 190
Fat (g) 21
Saturated Fat (g) 6
Cholesterol (mg) 85
Sodium (mg) 1120
Carbohydrates (g) 43
Dietary Fiber (g) 3
Sugars (g) 9
Protein (g) 33

Teriyaki Turkey Burger
Serving Size (g) 320
Total Calories 470
Calories From Fat 120
Fat (g) 14
Saturated Fat (g) 5
Cholesterol (mg) 80
Sodium (mg) 1120
Carbohydrates (g) 55
Dietary Fiber (g) 3
Sugars (g) 19
Protein (g) 32

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pablo's Cantina - Tustin

2601 Park Ave.
Tustin, CA 92782

Pablo's Cantina in Tustin is the latest eatery to open in The District at Tustin Legacy. This is the second location of a restaurant that started in Honolulu, Hawaii. Pablo's occupies the space that once housed Bistro West.

I dined at Pablo's Cantina this past Sunday evening. The wait was too long at Lucille's so we decided to check out Pablo's. Pablo's has only been open for about a week. There was no wait for a table at 6:30 PM.

After being seated, I took a look at the menu. I was very impressed with the variety of food that they offered, or at least that I thought they offered. The prices are also a bit high. There was a special section on the menu that bragged about how they served authentic, unusual meats that you can't find at your average Mexican restaurant. The menu section listed lengua (beef tongue) and chicharron (fried pork skin) as an option in a taco, burrito, sope or torta. There were no prices in this section, so I asked the waiter for details. He told me he would have to check. He came back a while later and told me that these meats were no longer available. In fact, they were removed from the menu before their grand opening. I was surprised that the restaurant would remove these items without even giving them a chance, especially after bragging about them so much on their menu. I was very disappointed because these unique meats were what was setting them apart from the average Americanized Mexican restaurant.

The chips and salsa here come with a green salsa verde instead of the standard red salsa. The salsa is very sour and not very good. J decided to order Queso Fundido con Chorizo ($9.00) as an appetizer for the table. This is basically cheese melted over some ground chorizo. It wasn't bad but you have to eat it really quickly. A few minutes after arriving at your table, the cheese will cool and harden into one solid lump.

For dinner I had fully intended to order lengua. Since that turned out not to be an option, I decided to just order two tacos because I wanted to try their dessert. I ordered one mahi mahi fish taco ($4.00) and one mushroom taco ($2.00). I asked about getting a side of rice and beans with my tacos but was told that it would be $6.00 so I passed. Both tacos were served on a small 3-inch corn tortilla. The fish taco had a teeny-tiny piece of fish on it with some shredded cabbage. The fish had a slightly fishy flavor to it, but no flavor other than that. The taco was nowhere near as good as a fish taco you would get at Wahoo's. The mushroom taco wasn't bad. It had a little bit of a spicy kick to it. Overall though, I believe that both of these 2-bite tacos were overpriced for what they were.

V ordered an Al Pastor (marinated pork) torta ($9.00). She hated it. She thought that it just tasted like two pieces of bread with bland, tasteless mush in between.

S ordered an Al Pastor Burrito ($13.00). S did not like her burrito at all. She agreed that the Al Pastor was flavorless and really didn't care for the sauce that they doused the burrito with.

J ordered the Barbacoa de Res (barbecued beef-$15.00). Like V and S, she though that her food had no flavor. She was very disappointed in her meal.

R decided to get the Chile Verde (pork in green sauce-$17.00). R thought that his food had flavor, but unfortunately for him, not a flavor he enjoyed. He thought that the dish was too spicy and wasn't able to eat very much of it.

When we were nearly done with our meals, the waiter came by and asked us to be honest about what we thought of the food. He said that he wanted feedback to give the kitchen since they were new. We all told him how disappointed we were in our food and detailed what was wrong with each dish. He apologized and said he would pass the feedback along to the kitchen.

Since I had planned from the beginning to order dessert, I decided to get the Tres Leches cake ($7.50). After about a 25 minute wait, it finally arrived at the table. The cake was SO dense and hard that I was barely able to cut through it. It sort of had the consistency of a super-dense pound cake that someone had compressed to make even denser. The waiter came by and asked how I liked the cake and I told him how horrible it was. He apologized again and said he would pass the feedback to the kitchen staff.

After the waiter brought the bill, he told us that he had passed our comments along to the chef and had asked the chef to come out and talk to us. Unfortunately, the chef declined because he said that he was too busy to talk to customers (The restaurant was over half empty). I guess it is understandable that the chef did not want to talk to us but I was surprised that at no time during our visit were we visited by the manager. Even though none of us liked our food, the server did not offer to take anything off the bill nor replace any food item. Not only that, but we noticed after we left that we were actually charged $2.00 for a side of tortillas that no one ever ordered.

Overall, the food was bad and the service was friendly but extremely slow. The food is also very overpriced for what it is. I would not mind paying their prices if the food was actually good. I strongly believe that you will get a better meal for half the price at Don Jose or El Torito. If you really want to go to a high-end Mexican restaurant, I would suggest you go to Gabbi's. I do not see myself returning to Pablo's Cantina anytime soon. Since this place is brand new, I will consider visiting again if I hear a lot of stellar reviews after they have worked out all their kinks. If they don't fix things soon though, they might disappear as quickly as Bistro West did.

Pablo's Cantina on Urbanspoon