Fast Food Fancy

When I was a kid, it was a rare treat to go to a fast food restaurant for a meal. My parents, knowing how unhealthy the food was, only caved a couple times a month, so the thought of greasy french fries and chicken-like nuggets was a culinary delight comparable to pate or caviar in my young mind.

Going out for fast food was a different experience twenty years ago.  People used to be able to smoke inside the restaurant.  I don’t remember seeing any actual smokers, but I do remember having to pass through the “smoking section” to get to the bathroom in Burger King and McDonald’s, and seeing those flimsy tin foil ashtrays atop the tables.

Dipping sauces for nuggets have also changed.  These days there are all sorts of fancy varieties, mainly of the Buffalo kind.  I’ve seen Original Buffalo, Tangy Buffalo, Spicy Buffalo and Ranch Buffalo.  I figure that if one is going to have dipping sauce for a nugget or chicken strip, one might as well go all the way and have something fancy like champagne mustard or Green Goddess.

What I really miss, though, is honey dipping sauce.  Not honey mustard, but just plain honey.  Chicken McNuggets and honey went together like corn and mashed potatoes.  If I didn’t use up all the honey by dipping, I would scoop out the remainder with my finger, making a big sticky mess.  It was great.

Actually, if you think about it, honey is one of the healthier natural products available.  Now, I’m sure that McDonald’s managed to ruin plain honey by adding some sort of extra sweetener or preservative (which is silly, because honey never goes bad), but it was still delicious nonetheless.  Since more fast food places are on a healthy kick these days, I would think it would be a logical choice to bring back honey dipping sauce.  It would certainly be a healthier option than Spicy Ranch Buffalo.

Nowadays, I rarely eat out at fast food joints.  Maybe it was a result of seeing Supersize Me (which did have a profound, lasting effect on me and my tummy), but these days I can’t often bring myself to knowingly stomach handfuls of salty grease from a probably unsanitary kitchen.  (If you haven’t seen Supersize Me, I highly recommend it.)

Every once in a while, though, about twice a year, I find myself craving Taco Bell.  It’s not that I’m craving Mexican food in general (because Taco Bell can’t really be classified as Mexican), but I’m craving the taste of Taco Bell. And so, usually on the way home from teaching one dark, foreboding, stormy night, I will find myself pulling up to the Taco Bell drive-thru, ordering the same thing: two soft tacos, a double decker taco, a supreme gordita, a pintos and cheese with no red sauce, and a medium Pepsi.  (You see, it is a grand occasion when I eat Taco Bell, an occasion that must last throughout the evening.)  I return home, tacos in hand, and proceed to pig out, my taste buds a-tingle.

Then my tummy goes a-rumble, and I remember why I haven’t eaten Taco Bell in six months.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jonsquared
    Jan 22, 2009 @ 23:17:58

    Great. NOW I’m hungry for fast food… I agree with you, though, about the honey dipping sauce for the McNuggets. Those certainly were the days. I don’t generally do fast food either because of the obvious health reasons, but when I do, I definitely run for the border. There’s just something about that greasy beef o’ theirs that tastes oh so good as it sticks to the inner lining of your arteries…

    p.s. I have been meaning to watch Supersize Me for-freakin’-ever. Time to add it to my Netflix queue…

    Bwa ha ha! Actually, I made myself hungry for Taco Bell just typing this post. Let’s see how long I can resist…
    Definitely watch Supersize Me. I honestly felt a little sick watching it, but it was all for the greater good.


  2. maleesha
    Jan 22, 2009 @ 23:53:07

    I too miss the honey.

    I crave Taco Bell every now and then, and if I cave in and eat it I always feel sick. I feel like they put some kind of drug in their taco supremes. That is the only explanation as to why I go back.

    It’s strange how I seem to crave Taco Bell twice a year. After posting this, I started to get my biannual craving, and I realized that I haven’t eaten there since July…almost exactly six months ago. Creepy.


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