Tag Archives: cheap food

King Kong Fast Food (Lincoln, NE) (Hungry’s Food Reviews)

I have to talk a little about this place and even though we have pages of other and much better blog ideas, I can’t help myself. While we were doing our second thirteen hour drive of the weekend, from Iowa back to Colorado, we naturally got hungry and needed to refill our car’s gas tank. When we checked out what was nearby on Yelp (hungryandfit.yelp.com) we saw that there was a Mediterranean Restaurant named King Kong in Lincoln, NE. This sounds like a Guy Fieri intro to his places on DDD. We decided to go with this over Wendy’s and Subway despite mixed reviews and we are quite happy that we stopped by this interesting location.

The outside

The outside

The decor was all King Kong themed from a huge King Kong holding the main sign to a bunch of gorillas on the front yard to movie posters and stuffed gorillas hanging from the ceiling. It reminded me of a place down the shore on the boardwalk with all the cheap prizes and arcade games but the food was something else. I believe this is a one-of-a-kind location even though it looked like a chain. This place must be the offspring of a marriage between a Greek and a good old-fashioned American. It was all burgers, fries, gyros, “hammus” and everything related to those two. They also had Philly Cheesesteaks so maybe the Greek was from Philly.

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Alana is still in her challenge so she decided to have a little cheat meal and get a vegetarian wrap while I got a double Kong with bacon. They have all the way up to Super Kongs, which are four 1/2 pound patties with bacon and cheese. The meat was not greasy and was very well, maybe too well, seasoned. Alana ate her whole wrap and they accidentally gave us two HUGE orders of fries. I wasn’t very hungry but I couldn’t even finish everything. It came out to about 20 dollars because my burger was massive but it was well worth it and had a ton of flavor. We were worried that it would hurt our stomach in the car but seven hours later and no signs of any stomach issues.

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My burger

My burger

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So if you are traveling across the country on 80 in a hurry and need a quick bite, or if you are Furious Pete and can eat a lot of food at once, then you should stop at King Kong for one interesting dining experience. You know that King Kong had to have been hungry and fit!

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Fit’s Favorite Spot: Yogurtland (Los Angeles, CA)

For the past few years or so, frozen yogurt has started to trend and is now a craze. I am certainly not separate from this craze–I love it too! It’s refreshing, delicious, and cheap! If you go to the right place, of course… And that leads me to YogurtlandIt is alwaysmust-stop when I visit home in California (as there are none nearby in Boulder, CO). They call themselves “the land of endless yogurt possibilities,” and it is so true.

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You can find yogurt places everywhere, we even have a favorite here in Boulder. But for me, Yogurtland tops them all. Why? Many reasons. First, let’s start with the incredible flavor selection: there’s always something for everyone, whether you feel like chocolate, tart, fruit, or any of the crazy flavors they come up with. When we were there, they were doing some “travel the world” mission to get different flavors from all over the world. They always have the best. And ENDLESS toppings too.

Second, they put real ingredients in their yogurt. If you get pistachio yogurt, there’s pistachio in there. They do it with real milk and use seasonal fruit. It always leaves you feeling refreshed and happy, unlike other places that will make you feel bloated and a little off. Third, they make sure to stock your yogurt up with all the probiotics you need, leaving you with a healthy gut and a happy belly with their deliciousness. And another big one, the price. You go to a lot of these yogurt places (one near our college comes to mind) and they are crazy expensive. Sometimes it’s just not worth it. But not at Yogurtland! 35 cents per ounce. Guaranteed for a delicious, healthy (depending on toppings), cheap treat.

My latest cup

My latest cup

This is a raving review of this place. I have loved this franchise since I first had it and no other yogurt place could ever stand beside it. I used to be a Pinkberry person, but never again. My favorite combo is tart with some other fruit flavors (acai if they have it) and I put toppings like mochi, lots of fruit, and sometimes yogurt chips (redundant, I know) on as well. I’ve turned on lots of family and friends to this place and it’s always worth the trip to Little Little Tokyo (not in Downtown LA, but in Westwood). If you have one in your state, make the trip there and go to froyo heaven.

A California sunset

A California sunset

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The Best Fast-Food Burgers: In-N-Out

Do I really need to do a review on this? I don’t think so. Most people–even East Coasters–know that this is some of the best fast food you can get.  But who doesn’t like a good drool? It’s mostly just on the West Coast right now, though it is slowly expanding. There’s even one in Texas. The In-N-Out company is picky about meat standards which is why (according to a news source), they haven’t landed in Colorado just quite yet. No, this review comes from my sunny home state, California.

Family gathering at In-N-Out (from left to right, relations of Fit): Brother, Fit, Uncle, Hungry, Father

Family gathering (from left to right, relations of Fit): Brother, Fit, Uncle, Hungry, Father

In-N-Out beats most fast food places because they do one thing right: they make it fresh. They cut the fries right in front of you and there’s no freezing of the food either. The beef is free of any fillers or preservatives and the veggies are fresh. They know quality. It may take longer, or cost more (even though it’s not expensive), but they have loyal customers all-over who can’t wait to sink their teeth into another burger. They also have incredible milkshakes. We like the black and white (aka chocolate and vanilla). It’s the perfect thickness and creamy with real ice cream.

Alana, you’re a vegetarian, how can you be talking about In-N-Out burgers! Well, now I will lead you to their not-so-secret Secret MenuSo instead of a burger with meat, I will get the “Grilled Cheese,” “animal-style” and, of course, a batch of their delicious fries. I can never finish all the fries, but Hungry and my brother are always there to help. Hungry likes to get the biggest you can get 4×4–4 patties, 4 slices of cheese. Ridiculous, right? Somehow, my brother always fails to tell us the WHOLE secret menu and we end up missing something. But it’s okay, Kai, we still love you.

My Grilled Cheese

My Grilled Cheese

If you’re in ANY state that In-N-Out resides in (CA, UT, TX, AZ, NV), you better go get some of their delicious food. And you should probably do a workout before-hand so you can rev your appetite and stay hungry and fit!

The Japanese Taco Masters: Sunny Blue (Santa Monica, California)

During my time in school in South Korea, I found it very challenging to maintain my daily caloric intake of 10,000-12,000. One reason is the food is extremely healthy and calorically low. The second is that the servings are tiny compared to those in the United States. Finally, so much of the food is extremely spicy and very painful for me to eat because of my geographic tongue. The result was I first found out how to say, write, and read wrappers for food. The first words I learned were beef, chicken, tuna and spicy/hot.

I learned how to read the wrappers on a portable food called kimbap, or gimbap, or however you spell or say it. The g and k sound in Korean is one of the tricky ones to learn how to differentiate between when you learn the language. It’s pronounced kimbap, if you’re American. I lived on these… I mean I must have had at least 6-12 a day and they were not of the highest quality. They were typically from 7-11 or a local market similar to 7-11 depending on where I was. We had one of these markets in our residence hall on campus so I got all the ones I could from there. Typically, I would have the not spicy tuna with mayo. It gave me the protein I needed, wasn’t spicy, and had some extra calories from the mayo. It was good, it made me happy and it only led to me losing 30 pounds in Korea as opposed to maybe 40. That’s another story I’ll cover in the future when I talk about my fitness journey and goals. So why did I bother to tell you all this history… well this is why.

Tuna

Tuna

On Main Street in Santa Monica, you can find an amazing little food shop called Sunny Blue. Fit and I went there the first week they opened a few years ago and it was dead every day. The female owner, Keiko,  was nearly the only one working there but we frequented it every day during that week in Samo. Why? Because they served omusubi, or onigiri, or rice balls. These are the Japanese twin of my kimbaps and I was thrilled to find it. They are VERY similar and this location does not lack quality control and creating great flavor profiles. They make all of their omusubi fresh for you. The ingredients are prepared earlier but they are assembled to order, and freshly seasoned in the process.

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Over the past few years, they have gotten much more popular and now when we visit, the line is out the door. We are thrilled that they have seen such growth and success because they deserve it for their devotion to their craft. They also serve some traditional Japanese sodas, shrimp chips, and frozen yogurt. When we got the froyo when they first opened, it wasn’t quite the quality of YogurtLand nor did it match their level of omusubi, so we’ve never tried their froyo again. Nevertheless, Sunny Blue is a must stop-by food location in Los Angeles, and the brilliance is you can eat one whenever. I don’t care how full you are from lunch, each rice ball is a snack sized treat that can find its way to your stomach.

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From our most recent trip, yesterday, the menu has expanded to include daily specials and a long list of classic selections. Popular choices include: miso mushroom, hijike shitaki, tuna mayo, tokyo tori, curry chicken, miso beef, and more. Those are our favorites because of the lack of spice, but richness of other flavors. They are reasonably priced in the range of $2.50-$5.00 depending on what you get. I’ve actually never seen one for more than $4.50 so $3-4 is a more accurate range for the normal menu. PLUS, now they sell very cute t-shirts! Sunny Blue is a hungry and fit favorite. We even learned to make it ourselves so when we depart Santa Monica, we can somewhat resemble the deliciousness. It tastes delicious, is light on the wallet, and can definitely help you stay hungry and fit!

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Tuna

Tuna

Restaurant Rave: Mediterranean Market

This place is one of our most favorite places to go. It’s cheap, it’s filling, it’s delicious. Chris frequents it constantly during the work week and we usually hit it up every weekend or every other weekend. It’s just too good for just too cheap! And the guy who runs it is great. He knows us by now because we’re in there all the time. We’re still trying to figure out his nationality, we think Syrian. It is as its title suggests: a Mediterranean Market. It has everything you would need from out East, from Turkish Delights to Baklava to Pita to Middle Eastern Flour, they’ve got it all. Seriously, it ALL. And with the market comes a delicious eatery.

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It has a great relaxed atmosphere. You enter in with the market in front of you, four aisles or so of different Mediterranean goodies (I’ve wanted to buy this huge cheap thing of dates for a long time). Some regulars come in and get their groceries here. Others come for a special ingredient or treat. We usually always end up watching college basketball, because that’s what’s almost always on his television. There’s a pinball machine that captures the quarters of kids and enough treats, frozen dinners, and fresh ingredients to make anyone’s mouth water. All the money I spend there is absolutely worth it. 

I typically get the #4 for $7 which includes…a platter of baba ghanoush, hummus, pita, and a wonderful salad with olives, tomatoes, feta, cucumbers, and a delicious dressing. Oh and those are just the sides, the main dish is a huge falafel sandwich, stuffed to the brim with hot, fresh falafel, lettuce, tomato, hummus, and onions. Oops, I’m drooling (and we literally went there for dinner tonight, couldn’t resist). At least it’s healthy and full of great protein!

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Chris gets the same #4 for $7 but instead of baba ghanoush, he gets dolmas (and otherwise the same sides). And instead of a falafel sandwich, he gets a gyro sandwich. This sandwich, too, is stuffed to the brim with meat. And you can always sop anything up in the huge serving of hummus he gives us. We usually get a Xing tea to accompany our meals. And don’t forget dessert! We don’t always get it, but when we do, we either get baklava or kadaifi (or both). So delicious.

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It’s truly authentic, and we enjoy it thoroughly. For us, it really feels comfort food. I’m not sure why, we’re weird like that. We always have huge smiles on our faces and full bellies when we’re done. it’s truly a place to relax and enjoy the food. And it’s healthy! It’s always on the list of choices of where we want to eat a certain night of the week.

If you’re in Boulder, you have to hit up the Mediterranean Market, you will not regret it! It’s a wonderful meal that will fill you up without emptying your wallet. Truly excellent food.