Friday, March 14, 2014

The Mystique of A&W Food Services of Canada, Part 2

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The Mystique of A&W Food Services of Canada, Part 2

By Kobeni Yonomori
The Daily Magi
October 21, 2065

Apart from the namesake brand of root beer, the A&W menu is focused on "The Burger Family", a lineup of hamburgers introduced by the U.S. A&W chain in the early 1960s, mostly discontinued in the 1980s in favour of a more standard menu, then reintroduced in Canada and expanded upon beginning in the late 1990s.

The original Burger Family lineup consists of the Baby, Mama, Teen and Papa burgers. They are still sold today along with other burgers named after other family members:
  • Baby Burger: small beef patty, ketchup, unseeded hamburger bun
  • Mama Burger: regular beef patty, onion slice, pickles, ketchup, mustard, Miracle Whip, sesame seed bun
  • Teen Burger: same as Mama, but with extra toppings (lettuce, tomato, bacon, processed cheddar cheese)
  • Papa Burger: same as Mama, but two beef patties instead of just one
  • Grandpa Burger: same as Mama, but three beef patties instead of just one
  • Uncle Burger: 5-oz. sirloin beef patty, ketchup, mustard mixed with Hellmann's Mayo, pickles, Hellmann's Mayo, lettuce, tomato, three red onion rings, sesame seed bun
  • Buddy Burger: one or two small beef patties, mustard, ketchup, Miracle Whip, grilled onions, unseeded hamburger bun; value burgers, available in "little" or regular versions

The only non-"Family" member of A&W's beef burger lineup is the Mozza Burger, consisting of a beef patty, lettuce, tomato, bacon, mozzarella cheese, and Mozza sauce on a sesame seed bun.

Another 1960s-era offering, Chubby Chicken, returned to the menu shortly after the reintroduction of the Burger Family. Chubby burgers are breaded all made with all white chicken breasts. There are three varieties offered;
  • The original Chubby burger which is made on sesame seed bun, and comes with Hellmann's Mayo, and lettuce
  • The Spicy Chipotle Chubby burger is made on a ciabatta bun, and comes with chipotle mayo, a slice of jalapeno cheese, lettuce and tomato.
  • BLT Chubby burger is made on a ciabatta bun, and comes with Hellmann's Mayo, two slices of bacon, lettuce, and tomato.
These can be order by themselves, or in combos. They also offer all white chicken strips which come in either 3 or 5, by themselves, or in combos. Some locations offer fried chicken bone-in pieces. A grilled chicken sandwich, the Chicken Grill, is also available.

Breakfast menu items include the Bacon N' Egger, Sausage N' Egger, and Ham N' Egger, each consisting of the respective meat, an egg and processed cheese on a sesame-seed hamburger bun (unlike most fast-food chains which serve breakfast sandwiches on English muffins or biscuits).

Other offerings include the Veggie Deluxe (veggie burger with mozzarella cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles), and traditional hot dogs as well as the Whistle Dog (topped with cheese and bacon). Available sides include french fries, poutine, and thick-cut onion rings. Recently, sweet potato fries have been added to the menu in some locations. The sweet potato fries are served with a small container of chipotle mayo. Drinks include A&W Root Beer and other Coca-Cola soft drinks, Allen & Wright coffee, milkshakes, and A&W Root Beer floats (made with pre-portioned scoops of frozen ice cream by Nestlé).

The Canadian menu has some similarities to the current offerings of the American chain, but (not surprisingly given their independent management) also diverges in many respects. The only Burger Family product available by name in U.S. locations is the Papa Burger, although it differs significantly (adding lettuce, tomato, and cheese slices which are not included by default on the Canadian product). However, the American "Original Bacon Cheeseburger" appears to be almost exactly equivalent to the Teen Burger available in Canada. Notable products on the U.S. menu not available in Canada include deep-fried cheese curds, cheese fries, and soft serve-based products such as sundaes.

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