Written by Ivane Lund-Soyombo
Photos by Mike Hendrickson
It’s Friday night (Thursday, if you’re like me) and you’re at the local watering hole clinging to the now room temperature drink you’ve been babysitting for the last hour. Surrounded on all sides, people are bumping and grinding, flirting, puking, invading your personal space and doing whatever else people do in bars.
You take another sip and the DJ pauses the music momentarily to announce that it’s last call and the bar will be shutting down drink service in fifteen minutes.
As the realization that you’re probably not getting laid tonight settles, you realize something far more menacing: you’re hungry.
But where do you go? Do you have pizza again? Do you try and make the sober person drive to an open taqueria? Do you sleep it off?
The truth is there probably isn’t a sober person among you and your friends, and sleeping off the insatiable “drunchies” is simply not an option. There’s no choice but to haul ass to the closest fast food place.
But, before you get the standard burger and fries your drunk self is used to, you should be clued into something: your favorite fast food eateries have quietly been rolling out some gnarly food items over the last couple months. Some of them are okay, but most of them are kind of disgusting. I tried a few so you don’t have to (but you probably should anyway).
Cheesy Exploding Chicken
I walked into Jack In The Box at eight o’clock to order the bastard child of a chicken sandwich and mozzarella sticks, partially hoping it would digest before I tucked myself in for the night and partially because I knew I wouldn’t see anyone I knew stumbling in searching for drunk food this early.
The menu information about the Cheesy Exploding Chicken clocks its calories at a whopping seven hundred and seventy per serving and lists its ingredients as a chicken patty, mozzarella sticks and “gooey white cheese sauce.”
When I finally summoned the courage to mutter, “one Cheesy Exploding Chicken, please,” I was politely informed by the cashier that I would not be able to order this sandwich until nine o’clock because it is part of an exclusive late-night menu.
The fact that Jack In The Box does not start serving this sandwich until most people have an hour or two at the bar under their belts, and the option of including the sandwich in something called a “Munchie Meal,” speaks volumes of the targeted consumer.
I left and came back around ten o’clock, placed my order, and waited.
The sandwich wasn’t that bad. I ate most of it. I even tried it with ketchup. I still don’t know if the mystery sauce dripping from all sides of the sandwich was ranch, mayo, or cheese, and I don’t think I want to find out.
Since my introduction to the world of fast food (by my father, against the explicit orders of my mother that no deep fried food was to touch the mouths of her children) I have always considered french fries and hamburgers to be things that were placed on the same tray but enjoyed separately.
And that is how I enjoyed the myriad of burgers and fries readily available to me in fast food restaurants throughout the state.
Until the Fry Burger.
Burger King really hit the nail on the head by producing a menu item which most people can make on their own, but never thought to do so.
This is also a hamburger for the budget-conscious. I thought I misheard the cashier when he asked for a dollar and change.
By adding fries to the hamburger, you have the joy of consuming both parts of the traditional fast food meal in just a couple of bites.
The future is here and it is the Fry Burger.
It’s important to consider that more than one-third of adults in the United States are obese, and the fact that much of this food is cheaper than fruits and vegetables creates a culture that encourages the consumption of inexpensive food devoid of any nutritional value.
But you only live once. And you should eat a French Fry Burger.
I back McDonald’s due to the fact that their culinary mediocrity is consistent. Their food never surprises me and I like it that way.
Due to McDonald’s penchant for following the same formula when it comes to their food, I was a little excited when I found out the golden arches would be producing their own version of the chicken wing starting in September and lasting throughout the end of football season.
“They will be edible, if not delicious,” I thought to myself.
The day to try the Mighty Wings arrived and as soon as I was done being mad that five wings cost me almost six dollars I realized the danger of assuming things.
A word of advice: you should never assume things. Not about people, not about the endings of TV shows, and not about your favorite fast food restaurant mass-producing their own version of your favorite snack.
I will categorize the wings as one of the greasiest food items I have ever consumed. They are also gargantuan, so big you can hardly fit them in the dipping sauce container as you attempt to mask the fact that they taste less like chicken and more like they were cooked in the same oil used for the Filet-O-Fish.