Posted in Seasonal, The Nom Nom Diaries

The April Challenge/ McAlister’s Deli Review

Happy April, Valued Fools.

After checking my budget for March, I discovered that I spent a total of $371 on fast food. Currently, I am trying to save money for vacation and moving out so it seemed essential to make some cut backs. Add that to the fact that I’m trying to be healthier and it’s a no-brainer that fast food needs to be cut. Drastically.

So me and Mr. D have made it our goal this month to avoid fast food at all costs. Since we are weak, weak souls, we decided to give ourselves a cheat restaurant- okay, fine, TWO cheat restaurants, for our mental health’s sake. One is the Holy Grail itself: Skyline (Which I have reviewed before. Check it out here:

And another one of my favorite fast food places: McAlister’s Deli, which I will review here today.

  1. Summary

You know those restaurants/ fast food places that you go to just to get the same thing every time? This is NOT one of those places. This is one of those places that does everything and does everything well. All kinds of salads, soups, sandwiches, and potatoes in all kinds of combinations. You can get a full entree with a side (Mac and Cheese, chips, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, fruit, veggies, etc) OR you can choose the Choose 2 and get a half size of two of the following (Sandwich, spud, soup or salad.) On top of that, they have a variety of delicious flavored teas and lemonades. They also have a deal going on for tea-lovers like me where when you buy 9 teas you get the 10th free. You can fill out a survey on your receipt and get a free cookie on your next visit as well.

There are tons of locations in North America, mostly centralized in the southeast. You can choose to sit down, take it to go, or order ahead online or on the phone. Everyone who works here is really nice and polite and my order has never been wrong. It can be a a bit pricey but you totally get what you pay for. If you’re looking to eat healthy/vegan/vegetarian this is the place to go. You could go here everyday and never get bored.

    2. April 2nd Meal

My first visit this month was on April Second and I ordered one of their current featured item: The Black Cherry Chicken Salad. It consisted of Spinach, grilled chicken, bacon, balsamic red onions, dried cherries, candied pecans, Gorgonzola and black cherry vinaigrette, but I ordered it without the Gorgonzola cuz that shiz nasty (If you don’t like bleu cheese, you wont be a fan of this either.) This is my favorite out of all the meals I’ve tried so far (which is saying ALOT.) Usually I pick the Choose 2 but I got the full salad this time. It was about as big as my head!! I ate the whole thing. SO delicious. I combined it with the black cherry vinaigrette that was the perfect balance of sweet and tart. The candied pecans gave it a nice crunch which paired beautifully with the crisp spinach and onion and chewy dried cherries. I don’t typically like my chicken grilled but here, soaked in the vinaigrette and mixed with the greens, it was absolute perfection.

Mr. D had the French Dip, and substituted the Swiss cheese for pepper jack. For those of you who aren’t familiar a French dip is roast beef on a sub, that comes with a Au Jus sauce to dip it in. He loves McAlister’s french dip and orders it all the time- and he used to be the General Manager of Arby’s so he knows a good french dip when he sees one. (Side Note: I love Arby’s french dip but McAlister’s is far superior.) For his side, he got the mac and cheese which was not great. It looked good (comparable to Stouffer’s) but it was room temperature, and very bland.

 BOTTOM LINE: I will continue going back a lot, especially for the month of April.

I would recommend it to anyone in any walk of life, especially those looking to eat healthy/vegan/vegetarian.

General Restaurant Rating: 9/10 Would eat again.

Rae’s Meal Rating: 10/10 Would eat again

Mr. D’s Meal Rating: 10/10 Would eat again (French Dip) and 3/10 Pass (Mac and Cheese)


Like what you read? Leave a comment or suggestion below! What’s your favorite restaurant? What’s your favorite thing to eat here? What restaurant would you like me to review next?

Also, April is far from over and so is this challenge, so look forward to more updates!

Posted in The Nom Nom Diaries

Skyline Chili

Happy Spring Valued Reader!

Quick side note before we begin: If any of you are nearby the Cincinnati, OH area and enjoy chili dogs and root bear floats, make sure to check out the Rootbeer Stand in Sharonville. Yesterday they reopened for their 60th season! So Happy Anniversary to them! Support small businesses, people. It’s the most delicious way to stick it to Big Brother and his Corporate Kin.

Anyway, I got off on a bit of a Tuesday Tangent, so I’ll just post the link to their website and be done with it:

What we will actually be reviewing today, on our First Edition of The Nom Nom Diaries, will be another local favorite: Skyline Chili.

Not No Ordinary Chili.

For those of you who are not familiar with Cincinnati-Style chili, I will warn you right now this ain’t no Chili Con Carne. Originating from immigrants from the Macedonian region, Cincinnati Chili can be described as having a “soup-like” consistency. Ingredients include ground beef, stock, tomato paste, cinnamon, other Mediterranean spices and sometimes chocolate. This chili is typically serviced with spaghetti and cheese as a “Three-way” (Sometimes onion and/or beans for a “Four-Way” or “Five-Way”) or on a hotdog with cheese as a cheese coney (Sometimes mustard and onion, if you have any taste). Now out of these Cincinnati-Chili Style places there is a fierce rivalry between Skyline Chili and Goldstar Chili. Families have been destroyed  from this rivalry; children estranged; marriages ripped apart. But of these two, In my unbiased opinion, I can confidently say that Skyline reigns supreme, and anyone who prefers Gold Star is a big fat loser.

Skyline offers other treats like, the 3-way baked potato, chili cheese fries and chilitos (which is a version of a burrito.) The reason I chose this restaurant (besides the fact I’ve gone here about once a week for my entire life) for my St. Patrick’s Day review is because every year, it is a tradition to go to Skyline and get a Green-Way. If you can’t guess, a Green-Way is simply a 3-Way with the noodles dyed green.skyline.PNG

(Green-Way pictured.)

Picture this…

As soon as you walk into Skyline you feel a family vibe. An eatery that sits in that sweet-spot between upscale restaurant and fast-food. You seat yourself and a waitress promptly brings you a bowl of oyster crackers to start your meal. If you’re adventurous, you take a bottle of hot sauce and create “Fire bombs” by dripping it onto the crackers and tossing them down the hatch. You order the Green-Way. The waitress grimaces. Even some of the most  experienced Skyliners shy away from the once-a-year emerald special. But not you. You got spunk, kid. You take a bite. You cry. Can’t handle the deliciousness. The expertly-fluffed Wisconsin cheddar causes you to rethink your life. How much time have you spent not eating Skyline in the past? What a waste. You cry harder. The tears mingle with the chili. No matter, nothing can ruin this meal. As you consume the Skyline. The Skyline starts to consume you…

Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

Unfortunately for those not close-by, Skyline and other Cincinnati-Style Chili is hard to find outside Cincinnati, with one of the exceptions being a couple in Florida. It can be considered a bit pricey compared to fast-food but I personally believe Skyline is much more than a fast-food joint. It’s got high-quality ingredients, high-quality staff and high-quality principles.

BOTTOM LINE: Will continue going back, probably once a week for the rest of my life (It’s physically impossible to get sick of it)

Will recommend to everyone, near or far (Travel a million miles if you have to, your life is not complete without it.)

Skyline will forever be, to me and any other Cincinnatian who knows anything, a 10/10, would eat again.

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