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.

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At November 24, 2008 8:16 PM, Blogger Wade Garrett said...

In terms of the quality of food, Chipotle and Boston Market are a cut above the rest of the national fast-food chains. In-N-Out is delicious - how have they not opened one in the East Village or Park Slope yet? They seem like natural fits.

At November 25, 2008 10:28 AM, Blogger Brendan said...

I'd like to go nuts telling you about some of the other Boston options out there, but I would like to praise you for including Dunkin Donuts on your list. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting one up here, and they've since expanded their menu from "normal" (egg & cheese sandwiches, etc.) to "batshit crazy" (deluxe personal pizzas, in a coffee shop?)

What's great is that they actually ran a promotion where if you bought one of these little awful pizzas they'd give you a free large iced coffee. Really. It would be a race against time to find the nearest bathroom, but one that you just might find worth it.


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