Our Fast Food Odyssey (Part Two: The Merciful End)
PREVIOUSLY ON Our Fast Food Odyssey:
Tim: 2233 Calories, $15.95 Spent
Jarrett: 2533 Calories, $16.09 Spent
Mike: 1793 Calories, $10.74 Spent
Group Total: 6559 Calories, $42.78 Spent
Last you read of us, we were reeling. Taco Bell and McDonald’s breakfast were fantastic, Chuck E Cheese was…uncomfortable, 7/11 was a bit lacking, and Taco John’s made us all question the point of life itself. So let’s jump back into where we left off!
Stop 6: Sonic Drive-In
Tim: Fuck. No. Skipping.
“Stop” 7: Bayshore Mall Food Court
Tim: Originally slated to be an actual stop, we WERE going to eat Auntie Anne’s or Panda Express or whatever generic mall food we wanted, but we have now converted it into essential stalling time.
Jarrett: Panda Express had multiple menu signs up backwards. So, that was an omen we shouldn’t be eating here anyway. On the plus side, I got to poop in a fancy mall restroom.
Tim: While Jarrett was pooping, I contemplated my own mortality. I’m struggling. If my body was a car, it would be like someone poured sugar in my fuel tank. Then peed in it. If my body was a body, it would be like someone poured sugar in it. Then peed in it.
Stop 7: KFC/Taco Bell
1 Corn (100 Calories), 2333 Total Calories, $2.01 ($17.96 Total)
3 Hot Wings (280 Calories), 2813 Total Calories, $2.11 ($18.48 Total)
1 Chicken Little (310 Calories), 2103 Total Calories, $1.37-Paid $1.35 ($12.09 Total)
7249 Calories, $48.53 Spent
Tim: That is a lot to pay for corn. Thanks Obama. Anyway, you guys laughed at me. Then all proceeded to order just as little. Then the workers laughed at you. Serves you right.
Mike: Even though the employees made fun of my order, they still gave me a 2 cent discount for being down to Earth. My sandwich is approximately 97% breading with something in the middle pretending to be chicken. It’s pretty delicious.
Jarrett: These guys are the most entertaining and friendly staff of the day. They even gave me an extra wing. Which are really good. They’re flavorful and tender with a perfect level of spice.
Tim: Nobody got Taco Bell with their order. Which is a tragedy on par with Lincoln’s assassination. KFC/Taco Bells are only fully appreciated when you get both. But, it doesn’t help that Jarrett and I went to a KFC/Long John Silvers just yesterday.
Jarrett: And we did go to Taco Bell for breakfast. So my conscience is clear.
Mike: The water here is outstandingly cold. There’s a sign for a pumpkin cake outside, and I’m extremely tempted to see the colonel try on an apron, but it’s too early for dessert.
Tim: We went to a KFC/Taco Bell, one of the most heavenly places on Earth and struggled to get 500 calories between the three of us. A feat each of us has eclipsed personally at least twice already. I’m not proud of myself, and especially not proud of you guys, but we still have a long road ahead.
Stop 8: Wendy’s
4pc Spicy Chicken Nuggets (170 Calories), 2503 Total Calories, $1.05 ($19.01 Total)
1 Small Chocolate Frosty (340 Calories), 3153 Total Calories, $1.05 ($19.53 total)
4pc Spicy Chicken Nuggets (170 Calories), 1 Small Vanilla Frosty (330 Calories), 2603 Total Calories, $2.10 ($14.19 total)
8259 Calories, $52.73 Spent
Tim: At this point we’re basically just picking off the value menus to stay alive.
Mike: I had to get a dessert here because I need something to compare my future dessert against. Wendy’s truly is the best dark horse performer of the fast food world. The Frosty is an American classic, and they do chicken as well as anybody.
Tim: I wrote a eulogy for Dave Thomas (founder of Wendy’s for all you ungrateful children) in 11th grade speech class. It was really good. People were crying. Maybe not crying, but definitely tearing up. Okay, nobody cried.
Jarrett: I really wanted to get the Bacon Portabella Melt on Brioche, but there was no way that was happening with multiple stops still left. Wendy’s has never been in my main fast food rotation, but I agree with Mike. I may have to work to add it in more. Everything looks so good.
Tim: Okay, I cried. RIP Dave <3 <3
One thing’s for sure. Wendy’s does spicy chicken right. And there’s really no better value and quality combination than the spicy nuggets. A dollar for four. Thankfully, I’m getting back to the point where food tastes good again and I don’t want to die. It’s the corn. The corn revived me. This just proves the rejuvenation properties of corn!*
*Now that’s how you win the GOP nomination at the Iowa caucuses.
You should all feel bad for making fun of me.
Mike: I don’t.
Jarrett: Go to Hell.
Tim: I made a huge mistake at Taco John’s and that slowed me down quite a bit from the items I wanted to get. A choice I’ll regret for a long time.
Jarrett: Somehow Mike’s Vanilla Frosty is 10 less calories than my chocolate one.
Mike: Things were going great until you had to bring race into it.
Tim: This is kind of like running a long distance race, except nothing about it is enjoyable, there’s no runner’s high or medal or redeeming value, and you’re in way worse shape when you’re done. There’s not even a sticker I can put on the back of my car to brag about it. Also, I have to shit, but I’m gonna save it for Burger King, where it belongs.
Stop 9: Burger King
1 Cheeseburger (260 Calories), 2763 Total Calories, $1.06 ($20.07 Total)
1 Spicy Crispy Chicken Jr. (400 Calories), 3553 Total Calories, $1.06 ($20.59 Total)
1 Rodeo Burger (354 Calories), 2957 Total Calories, $1.06 ($15.25 Total)
9273 Calories, $55.91 Spent
Tim: I have never had a good meal at Burger King. The only good thing about BK is that they sell pies and have a bathroom.
Jarrett: Why is the Yumbo a thing? There’s a reason it didn’t make it out of the 1970s.
Mike: Anyone who misses the 1980s can visit Burger King. There is nobody here, and the only time I ever hear about Burger King anymore is when one is burning down on the news. I ordered a Rodeo Burger because I want to be taken for a ride. Well actually, I wanted more chicken, but I needed some balance. If anything says wild creativity, it’s a sausage patty masquerading as a burger with three onion rings on top. This is why you fucking blow, Burger King. What kind of rodeo-themed food item is flavored with KETCHUP as the lead sauce? Ah yes, that southern cowboy taste of ketchup.
Tim: Can I just add in here that I think I’m one of the few people in America that doesn’t like ketchup? For whatever reason I wouldn’t eat it as a kid, and now I have a psychological block against it. I will always think it’s disgusting, and I don’t really know why.
Mike: I also hate ketchup. I only use it as a coolant. If I have a really hot corn dog or chicken nugget, I’ll dip it in to cool it off.
Jarrett: What do you put on your french fries then? Honey mustard, maybe? You animals. It’s the perfect complement to french fries. It keeps your mouth from burning on a hot fry and adds in flavor that oversalted, deep-fried potato sticks can’t provide on their own. They even have crazy flavors now like jalapeno, balsamic vinegar, and sriracha. I haven’t tried any of those, but they’ve gotta be good. Think of a world where Party in the USA was never made. Are you crying yet? You should be. That’s what the fast food world would be without ketchup.
Tim: Ketchup still sucks, and now you crossed the line bringing Party in the USA into this.
Mike: Thanks a lot Jarrett. We might as well go home now. Day’s ruined.
Tim: Life’s ruined.
Jarrett: You brought this on yourself.
Tim: This burger is not nearly as bad as I remembered. In fact, it’s pretty decent. I’m actually enjoying this. Actually again, this is the first food I’ve really enjoyed since Taco John’s. I can enjoy food again. This is fantastic. Let this be a lesson to everyone. If you open your mind, you can change. Sometimes you just need to give someone a second chance. And you maybe shouldn’t trust your opinions and beliefs from when you were 14. I think I stole most of that from Rocky IV.
Their fries still suck though.
Jarrett: Mine’s a good sandwich, nothing to complain about. Plus, 400 Calories for $1? That’s good value.
Mike: This Burger King has a conference room, which I can’t imagine anyone ever needing, or wanting.
Tim: Except for my birthday. Everyone will get gift bags, but only I get a crown.
Stop 10: Checkers
1 Small Fry (300 Calories – For a small?), 3063 Total Calories, $2.01 ($22.08 Total)
Sucks, Still 3553 Total Calories, ($20.59 Total)
1 Small Fry (300 Calories), 3257 Total Calories, $2.01 ($17.26 Total)
9873 Calories, $59.93 Spent
Tim: Checkers is great in general, especially when drunk, but more importantly, Checkers fries are fantastic.
Mike: I’ve never been here, but these are in the discussion for best fast food fries ever. Whenever you can fit 300 calories into a closed fist, you’re gonna have a good time. I only stopped here because I didn’t have fries today, and it was an excellent decision. The employees are behind glass so it feels like a ticket window. And your ticket takes you to fry heaven.
Jarrett: (I don’t care what Jarrett said, because he didn’t order here and he now sucks)
Tim: What are your top 5 fries at fast food restaurants?
1) McDonald’s: I’m not going to go against the grain for the sake of going against the grain. McDonald’s fries are awesome and that’s the end of the story.
2) Popeyes/Checkers (tie): They’re really the same. Both have fantastic seasonings and are that perfect match of crispy, yet fluffy insides that make those deep fried cotton balls so enticing.
3) Arby’s: Their curly fries are amazing. But I’m partial to a crispy outside.
4) Wendy’s: Actually pretty good. They’re kind of like a worse version of McDonald’s, but I mean that in a good way.
5) Steak N Shake: I actually don’t like their fries, but I had to find a way to plug my love for Steak N Shake somewhere. I love Steak N Shake and I will fight anyone who disagrees.
Second to Last) Literally eating a log of shit.
Last) Burger King
1) Five Guys: I’ve only had these a few times, but I remember eating them for the first time and immediately declaring that I have never had a better french fry. They’re thick-cut and super greasy, which is exactly how I want my fries. I think this is as close to perfection as a french fry can get.
2) McDonald’s: A classic and a decently-close second. Great saltiness/crispiness, but I don’t really agree with McDonald’s description of them. Can’t really go wrong here.
3) Philip J. Fry (Futurama):
Fry (trying to break up with Amy): Amy, you know how at first you like chocolate, but then you get tired of it because it always wants to hang out with you?
I suggest ordering a massive amount of fast food and binge-watching Futurama.
4) Arby’s: Curly and expertly seasoned. And you can dip them in Horsey Sauce.
5) Chick-fil-A: I’ve never had their fries, but they’re the waffle variety and I really liked their chicken sandwich, so they’re probably pretty good.
Honorable Mention) Frylock (Aqua Teen Hunger Force): He’s a box of french fries that floats and talks.
1) Hardee’s Curly Fries: Hardee’s was probably the most underrated fast food restaurant in history before they eliminated all but five locations.
2) Popeye’s: I had these once when I was 7, during a family road trip. I remember them tasting good, but it was my birthday and my mom said I didn’t have to share them, and that makes everything better.
3) Checkers: These were really good. I felt like I was buying a gun when I ordered them through three sheets of plexiglass, and I was further reminded of guns when they…EXPLODED WITH FLAVOR!
4) Arby’s: The only reason to ever step foot inside an Arby’s.
5) McDonald’s: The Cadillac of fast food fries.
11th Stop: Chick-fil-A
1 Spicy Chicken Sandwich (490 Calories), 3554 Total Calories, $3.45 ($26.53 Total)
1 Chicken Sandwich (440 Calories), 3993 Total Calories, $3.35 ($23.94 Total)
1 Spicy Chicken Sandwich (490 Calories), 3747 Total Calories, $3.63 ($20.89 Total)
11,294 Calories, $71.36 Spent
Tim: So, in Wisconsin, we never grew up with Chick-fil-A. But I always heard how amazing it was. And I thought, yeah right, how good could a chicken sandwich be? It’s just a chicken sandwich. Then I had one, and I understood.
Mike: There is really nothing funny about anything here. It’s all just amazing. I am a Chick-fil-A virgin, and this is meeting expectations so much better than my actual virginity did. The only similarity is the speed of my orgasm and the speed of service. After one bite, I looked at my sandwich and wondered what the hell KFC is actually serving. Everything inside is clean and modern. This is where the Jetsons would go for a chicken sandwich. I don’t care what their social positions are. You can’t deny this sandwich. Glad I saved room for this.
Jarrett: This is a wonderful chicken sandwich. The chicken is delicious and juicy. It makes sense why the stores always have tons of people there.
Tim: They actually hire police to direct traffic at some of the Chick-fil-A’s I’ve been to in Atlanta. Which I fully support.
Jarrett: Probably a better use of their time.
Tim: The Spicy Chicken is 50 more calories than the normal sandwich. Where does that come from?
Jarrett: I don’t know, but you can work it off in the playplace that also has a beauty shop for some reason.
12th and Mercifully Last Stop: Dairy Queen
1 Small “Royal” Oreo Shake (620 Calories- Wait, what?), 4174 TOTAL CALORIES, $2.93 ($29.46 TOTAL)
1 Chocolate Dilly Bar (220 Calories), 4213 TOTAL CALORIES, $1.46 ($25.40 TOTAL)
1 Medium Candy Cane Blizzard (800 Calories), 4547 TOTAL CALORIES, $3.77 ($24.66 TOTAL)
12,934 Calories, $79.52 Spent
Tim: We really need to have a national conversation about what constitutes a “small”.
Jarrett: It looks like our cashier got into a fight or something. He’s got a black eye and scrapes on his face. At first, I thought it was just ice cream and chocolate, so I looked away to avoid laughing while ordering.
Mike: Yeah, someone definitely beat the living shit out of the cashier within the past week. That’s confusing because ice cream makes people happy. I bet he got beat up at Taco John’s. I finished with peppermint because I don’t want to brush my teeth tonight.
Jarrett: I got a Dilly Bar in honor of Dilly Bar Dan.
Tim: Blizzards are absurdly full of calories. We should have come here twice.
Tim: 4174 TOTAL CALORIES, $29.46 SPENT
Jarrett: 4213 TOTAL CALORIES, $25.40 SPENT
Mike: 4547 TOTAL CALORIES, $24.66 SPENT
GROUP TOTAL: 12,934 CALORIES INHALED, $79.52 SPENT
Tim: To put this in context, roughly 3,500 calories equal one pound, so when you account for our metabolisms and mall walking, we basically lost weight today. More importantly, how did I spend so much more and get so many less calories?
Jarrett: It was the corn. Cost inefficient. Hear that kids? The nutritional choice is always the most expensive. Avoid it.
Tim: The beer list was much more enjoyable than this, Jarrett. Let’s never do this again.
Mike: My takeaway from this experience is that fast food is delicious. Before I went on a spending spree at a couple of places, I could have had a 3,000 calorie diet for like $6, so I don’t ever want to hear a person say that eating out is expensive again.
Jarrett: No wonder I felt like shit all day and didn’t even order at Checkers. I was in the calorie lead the whole time until Mike went all Sam Cassell on the last few stops. If I could do it again, I’d reign it in a little at the beginning, make sure I ordered a staple item at each place, and shoot for 5000+ calories. Then I could have puked in Burger King, and it would have been hilarious. The only thing lacking in this experience was someone pushing themselves well over their limit.
Tim: Who knew that eating like shit all the time makes you feel like shit? In the immediate aftermath of all this, I didn’t want to touch fast food for at least a month. I mean, I did. Like two days later. And it was great. What did I learn? Absolutely nothing. The way it should be.