Thursday, November 20, 2008

Drive In-n-Out Part II

Kentucky Fried Chicken-When they introduced the Famous Bowl, I almost actually followed through with the heart attack Preachers keep insisting is right around the corner. Nothing new was introduced- same ingredients that compose every other product- and yet all of a sudden, everything was different. The only thing that changed was the container into which they placed everything. It really says a lot about the deliciousness of the food that KFC names its meals so sparsely that the boards reads like it's the Chinglish translation of a prison cafeteria menu- Breast & Wing Meal, Half Chicken Meal, Thigh Bucket--and yet it continues to build its fan base.

White Castle- I once stepped into a White Castle where a man was in the act of rifling through a woman's purse at the table in front of the door, and not for one second was I deterred. Something about White Castle attracts the morality and employment challenged, and if there's anyone I trust as connoisseurs of pure, baseless, hedonistic pleasure, it's criminals and hobos.

Arby's- Food's meh, works in a pinch when you're on the Mass Pike and need to stimulate an additional sense to preserve sanity. However, the fixin's bar is revelatory. The typical fast food patron is not usually one of means; for a chain to offer unlimited access to any edible solid that could possibly be abused, well, that kind of faith in fellow man should be rewarded.

Panda Express- Those who know me know that my love for Chinese food of all origins--Mexican Chinese is oddly appealing, in a Small World kind of way-- know no bounds. I can't say enough good things about Panda. First, they have the decency to treat me like a human being and trust me with an actual plate upon first meeting me- it took my mother around three years to gain that faith. Second, the way they refer to their combo meals, by the number of "items", makes me feel like I'm deeply entrenched in some Commodore 64 text-based game where I keep an inventory of shit I find along the way for possible later use, like I might later find myself in a locked room and somehow only chicken with cashews can get me out.

Chipotle- Not sure why people call this fast food- just because it's expedient? I mean, it's made, by hand, to your specifications, right in front of you. $7 literally buys you the use of another human being for several minutes, which is enough for me, and then as a bonus, you get a burrito larger than your spleen.

Arthur Treacher's- Whoever had the balls to name a fast food chain like it's a gay British schoolboy is all right by me.

In-N-Out- I once actually ate part of my thumb when I was absentmindedly making my way through a double-double with onions, and I didn't really mind.

Dunkin' Donuts- First you make a mint selling donuts. Then, you make another mint selling boxes of discarded donut parts. Whoever came up with this gambit, on his way up to heaven, there's just gonna be the creators of glue, dog food, and Slim Jims standing alongside the Pearly gates in a slow, exaggerated golf clap.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Drive In-n-Out Part I

So I like fast food. Not in theory, not out of convenience, not for price. I like it because it's delicious. I'm not a large girl; people usually look at me as if there's more to the story for why I'm such a booster for the fast food industry, a saturated fat deficiency or a life spent entirely on offramps. Nope. It's fucking tasty.

(All non-fast food eaters will be heretofore known as “Preachers”, because ain’t no one that holds some categorical gripe against such delectable victuals that doesn’t let off some sort of organic rant to let others know how nice the view is from their high horse, which you are most likely eating didjaknow.)

Taco Bell- People often hate Taco Bell; I often hate people. Look, is it a little gross that all components of your meal come from a caulking gun? Maybe. But just don’t think about it. I don’t necessarily like the vivid mental images of horse asshole that accompany my fortnightly drunken Slim Jim binge, but I get over it. To any Preacher for whom the Crunchwrap Supreme means are the real problem, and not the ends, that’s just plain stupidity. You don’t look in the mirror and picture your parents fucking, do you?

Also: they made a taco out of chocolate, people. That’s some Wonka-level shit right there.

Dairy Queen- Growing up in small-town Northern NY, Dairy Queen was the answer to everything. Birthdays, engagements, sustenance. Despite having one of the most cut-rate mascots I’ve ever seen—it’s hard to see Dennis as a true menace when the kid with the locker next to yours is banging a 6th grader—their revolutionary ice cream technology negated that little blond annoyance. To this day, I consider a Dilly Bar to be a greater architectural wonder than Stonehenge, and I made it through two of Feynman’s “Six Not-so-Easy Pieces” before switching back to celebrity documentation.


Pizza Hut- Three words- Stuffed Crust Pizza. How is it in the history of pizza making, it took until the late 90s to figure out there was a way to up the cheese/bread ratio? I’ll remain a Hut loyalist if only because I assume their scientists are working on a two-sided pie as we speak.

Little Caesar’s- Not much good to say about the taste, and I’m not a picky one. However, you got two pizzas at a time, and for me, quantity always rules over quality.

Papa John’s- Any establishment that provides me with spare butter for a meal that doesn’t even originally include butter has a special place in my partially clogged heart.

Domino’s- The pizza quality is all over the spectrum, but as a girl who likes my variety, I applaud them for their consistent efforts to invent more sides, even if kickers taste like cud.

That legendary pizza place in your college town run by the two old Italian men who remember your name- Yeah, it’s the best. Totally. Go away.


Wendy’s- If ever one was to try and convert a Preacher, this would be the one to do it. While some Preachers can be tempted into eating something that wasn’t prepared solely for them by the touchy-feely chain stores like Baja Fresh and California Pizza Kitchen, there is no denying the deliciousness of Wendy’s chili, which in turn can be a gateway to other Value Menu items. If ever one were to want to try such a thing—and want is the operative word here, cause I for one can’t be bothered—you gotta walk before you can run, so start with the chili when Preacher Friend is drunk/entering into anemic shock, and then maybe a few years down the road, you can baconate them. Not bloody likely, though.

Subway- Anything you can buy by the foot can’t taste bad, carpet included. Mark it as doctrine.

McDonald’s- An oldie but goodie, and my number one pick for any first date so as get the stomach padding out of the way as quickly as possible before getting down to the getting drunk part. Given the building blocks of bread, potatoes, flattened pre-proportioned meat, about three condiments, and one tool (“hot thing”), they’ve done pretty well on the innovation front. Secret sauce? The Big n’ Tasty? I mean, one day someone at HQ was just fucking around with the piles of meat I assume they keep on their desks as stress busters, and boom! The McRib. National obesity epidemic aside—watch what you eat on your own dime, fatty, and let me have mine—I don’t think anyone has ever come up with a more soniferous sounding slogan than “Supersize it”, and that’s coming from the girl who just came up with the phrase “soniferous sounding slogan than Supersize it” without even trying.

Also, as a child, I would have happily stabbed any single one of my acquaintances for more Happy Meal toys, so nice marketing to boot.

Burger King- Not as good as McDonald’s; still, offers Onion Rings and this new Cheesy Tots thing, for which they should be commended. As a kid, my parents preferred Burger King to McDonald’s because they “baked not fried” (this was pre-gastric bypass), while I preferred everything I consumed to have undergone the Midas Touch*; luckily, the two were across the street and neither required the leaving of one’s car or the breaking of one’s ten dollar bill, so harmony was achieved. Also, a superior fish sandwich, for Catholics still observing Lent but not willing to pay more than $2.50 to do it.

*Oil, not King.