Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 6:28 a.m.
On this week's episode of Dueling Dishes, we pit two fast-food teriyaki bowls chains against each other. In one corner, hailing from Japan at 110-years-old: Yoshinoya. In the other, originally from Fullerton and at 14-years-old is the young upstart called Flame Broiler.
The dish under contention: the chicken bowl.
First, Yoshinoya lands a wallop with a deal designed to beat other competitors senseless and seeing red: 2 chicken bowls for $5! Flame Broiler flounders with prices that hover around $5 for just one bowl of comparable size.
But what's this? Flame Broiler's bowl seems deeper and it dispenses with veggies in favor of green onions as garnish. Essentially the bowl is topped with nothing but chopped chunks of white meat chicken, though the meat is slightly dry.
Yoshinoya counters with a smaller amount of chicken thigh, but it's moist. Too bad that gloppy veggie side dish bogs it down. Still, it revels in the bowl's strongest attribute: the flavor of its crispy rendered skin.
In an expected move, Flame Broiler actually touts the fact that their chicken does not have skin -- a health attribute that endears it to half the audience.
So far a tie.
Next the saucing. Flame Broiler gives users the option to douse as little or as much of their "Magic Sauce" as they like. The sauce is dispensed via pump-activated spigot. Yoshinoya's sauce is pre-poured. Both are sticky sweet, delicious.
For spice and hotness, Yoshinoya pulls out the togarashi, Japanese pepper flakes provided in shakers. In response, Flame Broiler lets out a surprise punch of Sriracha bottles and a house-made hot sauce that tastes a lot like Frank's RedHot. The edge goes to Flame Broiler.
The winner this week? Flame Broiler. Knock out by Sriracha!