Fast Food - I always wanted to be a gastronomer Blog at Allrecipes.com - 228437

I always wanted to be a gastronomer

Fast Food 
 
Mar. 22, 2011 9:20 am 
Updated: Apr. 4, 2011 5:03 pm
Ok, I know we all like to strut about and talk about how we eat the whole grain this and bean sprout that, all without the use of hydrogenated fat. However, I confess, that from time to to time, I like to dive head first into that most lurid of cuisines, fast food. I'm talkin Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys, A&W, Taco Bell etc...

When my kids were little, they were all suitably brainwashed by the giant red haired clown and a foray into the city was never quite complete without aquiring several little bags of food proclaiming happiness as a factor, which, oddly, made my wee ones, happy. Go figure.

One of the things we used to do was this. We'd go on what I called a Fast Food Run. In the next town over, where we'd go for those happiness things, there are a number of fast food places and that's where we'd head for an FFR. The signifigant thing about an FFR was that it tried to address the fact that all of us had different preferences. Fries from here, chicken from there, shakes from someplace else. The fun part, was that we'd strategize about how we'd go about getting the food so that all of us could eat our whole meals, at approximately the same time. We'd phone parts of the order in (chicken and pizza) and then drop someone at one place while we scooted over to the next to get the Frostys, then off to pick up the poutines and back around to scoop the dropped off ones, all of us ending up eating while parked... in the DQ parking lot of course. No argument from any of us that the DQ was the place to be from an FFR dessert capper. You could say that it wasn't very good for us, but then, maybe it was.

The bulk of my kids are all gone now so my visits to fast food places have gone from 60 to about 10. I still occasionally will stop at one if I'm out and about and get something. My wife and I will hit the odd food court while shopping and I'm usually all about the Edo there.

I'm not entirely certain as to whether its my more educated palate or is McDonalds now responsible for the foulest food on the planet? I've tried their premium coffee, and was pleasantly surprised, it's not bad. With that thought in mind, last week I stopped in and got a fish filet sandwhich. Wow, like everything else at McDonalds, even the fish filet has gone the way of the Beaks and Buttparts method of food preparation. Like the chicken nuggets, the filet used to be an actual filet of fish. No more, its a glued together amalgamate and it tastes like it. Does anyone remember when the chicken nuggets were made of solid pieces of chicken breast meat?

 If Ray Kroc was still alive and in charge of McDonalds, he would gather every executive working at head office and fire them enmasse. There was a time when I would explain that I didn't make hamburgers because I couldn't hope to compete with corporations perfecting and selling hamburgers. I'd hold McDonalds out as an example. No more. The coffee is good but their food is disgusting.

We have an A&W near where I work and I will stop in there twice a month for a lunch burger, or a hot dog and damned if I don't mind their stuff. The Subway is good every now and then. Pizza Hut scares me, the sheer amount of calories offered to you in the form of cheese and fat, its staggering. KFC ...I'm pretty sure they still sell tubs of chicken thats been pressure cooked while coated in their blend of 11 secret herbs and spices. I'm pretty sure. Problem is, in an effort to recover dwindling market share Pepsico... er, Tricon Global.. er Yum Brands ( all the same company ), have created 400 different varieties, types and flavours of chicken, all of which taste kinda awful. Whatever happened to that ONE type of chicken, well done?

Sigh.

I know 99% of this stuff is horrible but from time to time, I indulge the little happy meal infatuated boy in me. Got any faves, funny stories?
 
Comments
faye 
Mar. 22, 2011 10:26 am
Love the blog, since I live half hr out of the city,and don't go in too often, I do like to" sneak" to A&W..Teen burger and a strawberry milk shake.MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
 
Mar. 22, 2011 12:10 pm
You caught me on a guilt trip. I haven't had McD's fries in ages, so I stopped and got the supersize. Their fries are no longer the great fries that they were. Too much like salted vegetable oil. I am agreeing with everything you said and wish that I could argue one point- at least. I do find Popeye's chicken and sides to be consistantly good and I wonder when the bottom line will make the quality ( such as it is) succomb to cheap ingredients.
 
Mar. 22, 2011 1:07 pm
I wish I could say we NEVER eat fast food, but that would be a lie. We do stop from time to time. Maybe half a dozen times a year. My son participated in youth wrestling for 6 years, which meant we spent many a weekend eating out during that time. We had one rule - he got to pick the place we ate at, but no fast food! Lucky for us; just down the road from the high school he wrestled at every weekend there was a great little Italian place and he loved it. For about the same price as McD's we ate a nice pasta meal of some sort. If we do eat fast food it's usually Wendy's. We have an A&W in our town and I love their rootbeer, but it's been 2 years since I stopped there! Now I'm thinking about it and I want to go!
 
Mar. 22, 2011 1:52 pm
I will still stop for a Whopper with cheese or a Teenburger. The Uncle Burger with cheese was GREAT when if first came out. If we stop 6 times/year at a fast food place, that is pushing it. I will not try to eat rabbit food if I am craving that greasy burger.
 
Mar. 22, 2011 2:55 pm
I admit to liking fast food. The FFRs sound like fun. We never do that but we have been known to go one place for our son and another place for us since he has very limited tastes. We all agree on Subway and we all like Chik-fil-a. Whataburger is good. I've only been to A&W once but we weren't crazy about it.
 
Mar. 22, 2011 7:10 pm
When I cook, I don't fry food very often at all. So, when we stop for FF, which isn't very often, I find I end up in the bathroom. Everything tastes greasy and so salty! Exceptions for me: a hot dot at Costco!! Love them! A burger at Culvers. A whopper at BK. And I do love the onion rings at DQ. But do these things only about 5 or 6 times a year. Haven't had a Big Mac in over 2 years. I used to LOVE them. Maybe getting old(er) has something to do with it, too. :-D
 
Mar. 23, 2011 7:51 am
zaxbys is my guilty fast food pleasure .... i think their wings and kickin' chikin' sandwich are awesome. food should be fun; all things in moderation
 
Mar. 23, 2011 9:27 am
I don't eat much fast food anymore, just b/c my stomach can't take it at times! However, my family, like yours, used to do the fast food run! Especially when we went to see my grandparents, they lived in a small town, but it had the BEST fried chicken joint, and a DQ (which we didn't have), so we would pile in the car and drive through town picking up fried chicken from the chicken joint, fries from McD's and the occasional steak finger basket from DQ! All taking it back to my aunt's to eat around the crowded kitchen table! Memories!
 
Alex 
Mar. 23, 2011 11:35 am
My family eats way more fast food than I like - I know I don't have to eat it, but when I have no advanced notice that it's up to me to prepare myself something else, it's hard to pass on it, even though I really don't actually like most things. There are things at just about every place that I will eat and not complain about, but I figure if I'm going to be eating so much fat and calories, it should really be something I like a lot and will really enjoy eating. I do like a few things from places here and there, but my dad and my brother are big Wendy's eaters. There isn't much I actually like at Wendy's except the Frosty's and that's not really dinner. I will say though that their newer salads (Cobb, Apple Pecan, etc.) are actually not too bad! My real fast food guilty pleasure though, is McDonald's breakfast. So greasy but so good! (Well I don't like every item, pretty much just the mcmuffins and hash browns... I could eat like 12 hash browns if I let myself).
 
Mar. 23, 2011 12:08 pm
We had toomany children for FF to be feasible so we never really got in the habit. If it happened that DH or I had just 1 or 2 kids out we might have stopped as a special treat, but that was very unusual since it wasn't fair to those left at home. As I get older, I find I just can't handle the salt or grease and I pay too dearly for it to be worth it. Subway is edible, but around here the price for the bread and one or two slices of meat and sad looking lettuce and tomato is robbery, so I abstain. But, oh how I love Dunkin Donuts coffee!
 
Mar. 23, 2011 1:33 pm
Because of Ray Kroc, McDs switched from fresh peeled and sliced potato french fries to frozen fries. Kroc took a nice hamburger joint from the McDonald's Brothers and turned it into a minimal-labor, carbon-copy business. Kroc is the reason McDs partnered with giant corporations to streamline costs, which made the food not as fresh. He is also the drive behind McDs becoming a giant corporation itself.
 
Mar. 23, 2011 9:14 pm
Dont think that was Ray ma dear, that was the accounting department that took over after he died.
 
Mangel 
Mar. 24, 2011 8:40 am
We try to avoid fast food if possible but we each have guilty pleasures. Hubby loves the Bacon Angus Burger at McD's, and I must admit to stopping at the A&W/Long John Silver's. What is it about batter soaked, deep-fried, cod fillets that makes my mouth water? Then there are the hush puppies (deep fried, herbed dough that drip grease when you bite into them, uhggg)but, yes, I still eat them occasionally:) Moderation is the key.
 
Cheepy 
Mar. 26, 2011 5:54 pm
Popeye's Beans and Rice. It's a heart stopping blend of fat and starch. I love it. I wish I had some now. Seriously.
 
Mar. 29, 2011 10:27 am
'Twas Ray. I don't mean to argue or sound like a know-it-all, but I just did a research paper on how the food industry has changed over the 75 years. Ray told the McDonald brothers in the 50s that he wanted to take their restaurant business and franchise it nationwide. Things did get worse though after he died, correct, but he was the roots.
 
Mar. 29, 2011 1:54 pm
OK, I crash once in a while because I have to drive right by a DQ on the way home and I swear they use a big fan to blow that "charbroiled" scent right into MY car! It is usually when I am TOO hungry and my blood sugar is running on low and I know there is no way I can wait long enough to cook. When in Halifax (2.5 hrs away) I will often make a point to go to The Chickenburger located in Bedford, just outside the city of Halifax. They have been at the same location since the forties and make the BEST chickenburger I have ever eaten! (Even Tina Turner ate there when she played in Halifax many moons ago!) The buns are steamed, they use REAL chicken and will custom it up for you. Mostly I just add a little mayo and consume with gleeful giddiness! The fries are to die for and it is virtually the CLEANEST place I have ever eaten. They have a great jukebox and also make REAL hamburgers right in front of you! I hear the shakes are awesome but the lactose doesn't like me too much . . . . . In any event, we all have our weaknesses when it comes to FF and I am no exception. When in Bedford, Nova Scotia, please look up The Chickenburger!
 
Mar. 29, 2011 1:57 pm
PS: Google it! Seems it is the OLDEST drive-in restaurant in CANADA!
 
petey 
Apr. 4, 2011 5:03 pm
The only FF I really like is In N Out burger, but alas, alack, they DON'T have one here in Oregon! Now our FF run takes 18 hours one way and we only go once a year! :)
 
 
 
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Raedwulf

Living In
Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada

Member Since
Jul. 2007

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Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Southern, Nouvelle, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Low Carb, Healthy, Dessert, Gourmet

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About Me
Let's see, in keeping it to a subject, at age 22 I had a filet doused in Bernaise sauce aboard a train. That was it, I was hooked on fine food. Living in a small town necessitates learning to cook well to maintain that stellar menu.
My favorite things to cook
Oh man, only a thousand characters? My favorite things to cook are items that make YOU happy. I'll try anything and thus far it would be far easier to list those things I don't like than those I do. So far, I hate Cilantro and I'm allergic to green chiles. It's a short list.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas. I like everything about that meal and every single year I aim to improve.
My cooking triumphs
Every smile, every gasp of delight, every accolade, such sweet victory!
My cooking tragedies
A Cioppino recipe I found here. I served it as part of one of those Christmas dinners and the cod was a poor choice. It was terrible, ghastly fishy taste. I've since learned a thing or two about freshness in fish. Prior to that, hmm perhaps when I was 10, I made a spice cake that called for whole cloves....hey, that's what it said on the outside of the bottle, whole cloves....
 
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