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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Fast Food on the Road

NY Times food critic Frank Bruni recently took an 8-day drive across the country eating only from drive-thrus and only in his car.
Until I hit an In-N-Out Burger in Torrance, Calif., on the eighth day of my trek, all of my fast food was consumed, as fast food often is, in the car, which smelled worse and worse as the trip went on and on. Like an obtuse houseguest or a Supreme Court justice, the scent of a White Castle slider lingers.

While he skipped the midwest instead opting for a tour through the southwest, probably just so he could get a Whattaburger, it's a pretty entertaining read. He did rate a burger he had at a Culver's in Dallas as one of the top ten meals on his trip. He also discovered what the real fried potato connoisseurs already know, the Sonic tater tot and McDonald's hash brown are the best in their respective meal categories..
The fries at Hardee's were better — crisper, more substantial in feel and taste — than the fries at McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and Jack in the Box.

But the tots at Sonic, a chain prevalent in the South, were the sultans of spuds. Since all of these potato variants are about exterior crackle, not interior vegetable, the tot configuration, with more crests and buttes and ridges, won the day.

The runner-up, for much the same reason: McDonald's hash browns, sculptured by unseen Michelangelos of fast food into what is essentially one mammoth, oblong, scrumptious tot.

It's an entertaining read and sounds like fun for a day or so.


Anonymous Gary said...

My gut hurts from reading the chronicle of his journey. Ugh!

8:17 AM  
Anonymous maggie Osterberg said...

Any overview of American fast food that skips over Runza is incomplete! Shame on him!!! (and he's missing the best fast food in the USA, too)

He's right about not being able to get rid of the White Castle stank, tho'. Hoooo-weeee, it's stinky.

10:58 AM  

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