Sunday, November 20, 2005


Culinary Detective

7-11, The Investigation!
Open 24 hrs

I know you have done it, we all have, admit it you have stood inside a 7-11 at one time or another and looked at the food thinking, that looks pretty good doesn’t it. Most of you just got your big gulp and left out the door, forever wondering about the neatly wrapped items in the refrigerated section, or the baked goods or god forbid the stuff on those metal rollers, you know you wanted it but you were just to chicken to try it. You wanted to wait till someone more daring with a “semi-iron stomach” told you it was ok and tasted good. I have done that so many times I have lost count, times when I am really hungry but don’t have the time to get food at a sit down or even a drive thru. Well I decided to throw caution to the wind and eat everything I can at 7-11 so I can tell you the real scoop on the food offerings at the largest 24 hr convenience store around.

It all started with the sandwiches! I brought a bunch of them to the wine tasting panel and didn’t tell people where they were from in order to get honest feedback. We cut the sandwiches up and plated them to be eaten by the panel. There were the “big eats” sandwiches which I have come to find are made everyday at a central kitchen facility and shipped to the stores about 2 am. The 2 wraps we tried were pretty darn tasty; there was a chipotle chicken wrap and a turkey wrap with herbs. They both had nice flavorful tortillas and were filled with cheese and meats with a flavorful sauce and crisp lettuce. They were not big portions by any means but a nice quick fresh meal for under $3.00. The next batch sandwiches were very, very good. The turkey and capicolla had fresh quality meats including a nice spicy capicolla, topped with some lettuce and cheese. The ham and cheese on wheatberry bread was delicious, in fact my wife Martha made me go out and get her one a few days later. I was skeptical of the chicken salad on wheatberry but since the others were so good I went for it. Boy was I wrong, it was actually quite good, the best sandwich of the bunch in my opinion. The roast beef and cheddar on an onion roll is fresh filling and tasty as well. There were a few more sandwich items I didn’t get to try but based on the great quality of the others I tasted, I would say they are worth a try.

Baked goods are not something I would seek out at 7-11, until now that is. The baked items at 7-11 are fresh, donut shop fresh (remember I am a cop and we know donuts and baked goods). I tried a chocolate muffin with a white creamy center that was so moist and rich it had me screaming for a cold glass of milk (which I didn’t have). The apple pasty was delicious with a delicate pastry that was not too flaky; the apples inside were fresh and crunchy, if I only had ice cream! 7-11 also has big brownies that were a hit with the panel. Take my advice, if you need a quick sweet tooth fix, grab a 7-11 pastry product and a carton of ice cream, you wont be sorry.

The “hot” items at 7-11 are another story altogether, you know what I am talking about, the stuff on the metal “rollers” next to the register. I along with everyone else I know, always wonder how long the stuff has actually been rolling around on those heated metal rods. The hot items are always a crapshoot, and like Forrest Gump said “you never know what you are going to get”. That hot dog could be amazing, bursting with flavor, or it could be the hot dog that is so bad, you turn vegan (little chance of me doing that). I have eaten a million 7-11 big bites, with the “chili” and “cheese” product over the 37 yrs of my life and about 3/4 of the time, it’s the best dog around and really hits the spot. I ventured off the traditional “menu” at the metal roller display case and tried the new chile- lime big bite ($1.99), it was a nice dog with some “snap” to it and the flavor was quite mild. 7-11 has these “flauta/taquito” things rolling back and forth on the rollers in the display case. I tried the beef and cheese which was really good and reminded my of my school cafeteria lunches at Madrona elementary school. The Buffalo chicken was miserable, an insult to the spices that make up “buffalo” sauce, it just did not work. The chicken and jack cheese was “ok”. The steak and cheese, forget it, yuck, I tried a southwest chicken with blackbeans and corn a few months ago, but couldn’t find it anymore, it was great, 7-11 should bring it back! Now, last but not least, the “cheeseburger bite” $1.79. The folks at 7-11 decided to try and make a cheeseburger in the shape of a hot dog, roll it around on the rollers and tell people it was good. It was not, not in the least, it was gross, which is an understatement. My “cheeseburger bite” felt and tasted like a rubber doggie chew toy. What were you people at 7-11 thinking when you came up with this? I have this final thing to say about it, you know what the cheeseburger bite looks like when its sitting on the rollers; well it tastes like it too!

The bottom line on 7-11 is they have some great fresh food items that I really enjoyed and the majority of the tasting panel was surprised when I told them that the stuff was from 7-11. Give the sandwiches and baked goods a try, they are great and will surprise you. If you want to venture into the “other” category of hot items, be my guest!


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoed your assessment of the 7 -11 food, but I totally dsagree with your opinion of the Cheesburger Big Bite. I agree with the comment from Forest Gump,and my experience with the Cheesburger Big bite is that it is great. It is very tasty especially with cheese, chilui and jallepeno's

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FFS man, Cheeseburger dog is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and sliced bread wasn't even that great!!!

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with the other person who posted about it, the cheeseburger big bites is the pinnacle of man. i think theyre geniuses for coming up with it.

i love 7-11 food even though everyone thinks im crazy. yesterday my girlfriend ate a pita sandwich thing and loved it. more people should give it a chance.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Dude you realllly must talk to your 7-11 workers on a regular basis, they'll tell you when the stuff is fresh or just out their for show - or worst when it's there because it didn't sell the last shift.

Never be afraid to ask for it out of the cooler, sure you will have to nuke it but it can't be any fresher.

However I have to agree with everyone else and disagree with you... The burger big bites are by far the best item on and off the rollers. The american owner of my local 7-11 even eats them, I get two and usually nuke my own - onions on the bottom, burgerdogs on top and nuke it til the onions are soft.

Try it sometime - you might find you like them better than your first time.

8:30 PM  
Blogger alanna said...

mmmmm i love go go taquitos!! how can you say they aren't delicious? actually, when they are cold/old they are kind of gross, and the jalepeno cream cheese one can have a little too much cheese sometimes, but i think they're just the best snack on a hungover drive to work!

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will say I worked at a place where we had the cheeseburger hot dogs and I cant speak for every place but where I worked every shift we had to throw out the last shifts and put fresh and yes if a customer asked for one uncooked we could do that but even working there I loved them.

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Blogger Mr. Wren said...

I really like the spicy big bite. I want to get some to grill at home. I used to love the Picante Dogs at Dodger Stadium, but they no longer have them. Any info on how to get some good spicy dogs for the house would be most appreciated.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it changed over the years, I haven't seen one of the cheesburger bites until a little over a year ago. They are not always in either, some locations never have them, others have them sometimes.

They are my favorite thing at 7-11, next to the Big Gulps but I tend to try and avoid large amounts of soda anyway.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous gracie said...

Hello, this is the only place I could find to comment about a recent experience with Big Bite hotdogs, even though this is an old post. I would love to know if anyone has had a similar experience. I have always thought Big Bite hotdogs were excellent. I am really picky about hotdogs--they have the potential to totally gross me out. In October of 2012, I got two regular Big Bites at a local 7-11. When I took the first bite, I gagged because it tasted like a half-smoke to me, which I hate. It also had the coarser texture of a sausage as opposed to a regular hot dog. I took a bite of the second dog and it tasted and looked the same. I took the hotdogs back into the store, thinking someone had mixed up the Big Bites with a smoked sausage, which has happened before. The unusual thing is that these were regular size (small) Big Bites and 7-11's sausage-type products are larger, ie 1/4 pound size. Anyway, the clerk insisted there was no mistake, these were regular Big Bites, and denied they were any different than usual. I of course couldn't say or do anything to convince her that something was different. Anybody notice a difference in how their Big Bite hotdogs taste or feel in their mouths? (Yuck) Thanks for giving me a place to post my experience, I would love to have an answer,ie find out if indeed 7-11 has changed its regular Big Bite hotdogs,or if anyone else has had an experience that contradicts or corroborates mine.

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