I’ve got a fast food problem. The problem is that it’s so perfectly designed for me.
I like my food fast. There’s a certain time I like to sit down and eat a leisurely meal: when I’m in Europe. When I’m not in Europe, I like to eat quickly. When I’m cooking I frequently eat as I cook instead of sitting down afterwards. When I’m preparing food I usually eat it standing up. When I’m buying food I like to eat it while doing something else. While Columbus is deathly cold I’ve been taking the tunnels to and from work, which brings me right past the hospital’s Wendys. It’s very hard for me not to spend a couple dollars, grab a sandwich and be done with dinner before I reach my house.
I love exotic food, but in the end my palette isn’t very refined. I’m about equally happy with a couple items of the dollar menu as with a thirty dollar dinner. I’ve never had a fifty or hundred dollar dinner, but I suspect my enjoyment wouldn’t increase that much. Variety and exoticism are great, but frugality usually beats them out.
So I eat fast food, and certainly more often than I should. But I don’t order value meals. A value meal really just screws you for the rest of the day. It has too many calories, costs too much and makes me fuller than I want to be. And how often do I eat fast food with another person? Rarely. And following the rules of Chris, meals eaten alone should cost 2 dollars or less. Accordingly, here are my 5 favorite fast food lunch/dinners.
1. Wendy’s Junior Bacon Cheeseburger and Crispy Chicken Sandwich. This is the meal I get when that darn hospital Wendy’s pulls me in. These are definitely the 2 items to get. The Doublestack has an unfavorable grease to flavor ratio, and the chicken nuggets frequently cost more than a dollar. This is the best combo available.
2. Burger King Whopper Junior and Spicy Chicken Crisp. The quality isn’t quite as good as choice 1, but the whopper has more veggies and the chicken has more flavor. This combo is dangerous because I’m tempted to get the Hershey’s Chocolate Pie, which is delicious, but brings the meal up to a rarely acceptable 3.50.
3. McDonald’s 2 Apple Pies and 5 Piece Nugget (with Sweet and Sour sauce.) The important thing here is the apple pie, because they’re delicious. I did once order 8 apple pies, and proceeded to eat them over the next 3 days. I was studying for the Boards, sue me. This chicken nuggets aren’t nearly as good as Wendy’s version, but they have much more nostalgia.
4. Taco Bell Beef and Potato Burrito and Big Taste Taco. Sadly, my local Taco Bell no longer carries the Beef and Potato for 1.50, so this meal is defunct. I have yet to find a worthy replacement on the menu. The Big Taste taco is great and has replaced my old choice of Double Decker.
5. KFC Chicken Fried Steak Meal. This meal is a great deal for 2 dollars. However, I refuse to buy it when it’s 3 dollars. It’s exactly 2 dollars delicious.
I need to watch Supersize Me again, because it certainly didn’t do a good job deterring me the first time. Maybe I’ll watch it with some of my patient’s to try to pack on an extra layer of guilt. But really, now that I know a bunch of octogenarians, it doesn't really seem that great. Seems like 50 with apple pies is better than 80 without. But don't tell my patients that.