by Tracy Moore
If you're like me, then you probably have some degree of guilt over the Fast Food Question. It's not much different than the chain restaurant question: You shouldn't really patronize them if you're enlightened about what Good Food is, and yet there they are, open all the freaking time at an affordable cost and right off all the interstate exits, and sometimes there's actually food on the menu that tastes good. But you know not to admit that in mixed company.
I have a long, storied relationship with fast food. Or like most people, I was broke in college, and I ate fast food whenever I damn well needed to. I worked at Pizza Hut for a hot second, and discovered that a personal thin pizza (not pan!) with pepperoni, sausage, green olives and jalapenos was where it was at, officially. And well into post-college adulthood, nothing much soaks up a few beers like a big greasy cheeseburger. Sure, fast food restaurants are evil--the ingredients, the playgrounds and marketing to kids (and to douchey dudes--don't get me started on Hardee's!), the pay practices, and their unseemly presence in the poorest neighborhoods, links to diabetes and obesity, blah blah blah gag blah.
They go out of their way to concoct death-squad menus that seem to mock our weakest desires. Well, Brad Reed over at AlterNet has written a finger-wagging round-up of fast food's most egregious mad-scientist creations, and they are all guilty as charged: heart-slowing, sodium-injecting sodium bombs or heart-slowing, sugar-injecting sugar bombs that, as he puts it, make a Quarter Pounder look like a stick of celery.
Although the organic movement has certainly started to influence how Americans think about their food, it is still no match for the American fast food industry, which continuously finds creative new ways of piling sugar, salt and fat on a plate and charging customers $4.99 for the privilege of eating it.
McGriddles actually doesn't make the list, but I suspect it's because there are so many new offenders that McDonald's, with its salads and yogurt and fruit options, has become a kind of bastion of morally upright food choices, if that's a sentence our brains can actually process.
Now there's the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Sundae--bits of Snickers optional (which Carrington wrote about here), the Starbuck's Mocha Coconut Frappucino Blended Coffee with Whipped Cream (yawn), Cheeseburger Fries (I'm listening!), Hardee's Monster Thickburger (guess he didn't know about the French Dip Thickburger yet), and the KFC Famous Bowl, which combines corn, potatoes, gravy, fried chicken and cheese to give you 720 calories worth of rumble in the Bronx, if you get my meaning.
But the real whopper here was not his number one choice, the Domino's Oreo Cookie Pizza, although it's a fine example of horrifying...ly delicious? It's his number two--the KFC Double Down. Guess what it has instead of a bun? Two pieces of Fried Chicken! For a bun! With bacon and cheese in the middle! And yet, I'm intrigued!