Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Slow Journey Through Fast Food

The NY Times features an article today "Life in the Fast Food Lane", by its restaurant critic Frank Bruni. It details an 9-day coast-to-coast excursion in which he and his companions eat fast food morning, noon and night. Along the way they traveled 3640 miles and made 42 stops.

The ground rules - the restaurant must be a part of a chain and it must have a drive-through window.

The trip turns out to be not nearly as scary as Morgan Spurlock's Supersize me. Still, I wonder what it says about the fast-food America in which we live. Fast, cheap, calorie-laden food consumed in cars. Bruni keeps alluding to how awful his car smells and all the trash he accumulated during his cross-country trek.

Here are the author's 10 favorite meals from the trip:

1. Four-piece Original Recipe combo from KFC (Mechanicsburg, Pa.)

2. Chili from Wendy’s (Morgantown, W. Va.)

3. Tots from Sonic (Georgetown, Ky.)

4. Chili slaw dog from the Varsity (Atlanta, Ga.)

5. Onion rings from the Varsity.

6. Classic chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A (Birmingham, Ala.)

7. Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzard from Dairy Queen (Shreveport, La.)

8. Cheddar burger from Culver’s (Rockwall, Tex.)

9. Frozen vanilla custard, Culver’s.

10. Burrito Ultimo from Taco Cabana (Dallas)

I was in a Culver's once in Jackson Wisconsin with a couple locals who raved about it. I couldn't bring myself to taste their ice cream, not because I thought it was foul (it actually looked really good) but because I had just finished consuming four slices of pizza and about a gallon of beer, so I didn't have any room for it.

This article would have been alot more interesting if instead of chain, drive-in restaurants, Bruni had eaten in locally-owned restaurants serving authentic, non-massed produced food.

Now there's an idea.....


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