Fast Food Reviews
A man of size weighs in.


Burger King -- In truth I don't really mind their food that much, but their restaurants have a seedy feel about them. I steer clear because I feel like it's only a matter of time before I find a big clump of dick hair in my Whopper, or get stabbed in the back during a drug deal gone bad in the next booth. (Ever notice that whenever one of those stories pop up in the news about employees spitting in food, it's usually at a Burger King?) If they were brighter, and didn't rely on various hues of brown as their color scheme, and if the employees and clientele didn't look like they need to kill something, I'd probably stop in every once in a while. At this point it's only a last resort. Nasty. C

McDonald's -- Conversely, their food is not fit for pigs, but their dining rooms are usually clean, and their employees don't look like they're wearing a house arrest ankle bracelet under their petroleum-based uniforms. Consequently, I find myself eating there more often than I should. (I always leave muttering, "Never again...") All the kids running around make it seem a little more wholesome than it really is, I suspect, and it is a pretty good place to expel urine during a long car trip -- I wonder if they've ever done any studies to find out how much of their sales are piss-driven? One step up from a last resort, but still McNasty. The "plus" is for their awesome fries... and their janitorial staff. C+

Wendy's -- Easily the best of the Big Three. Their burgers are fresh and made on the spot, and feature actual produce if you so desire. Also, they have kick-ass chili, taco salads, various garden salads, and interesting chicken sandwiches. Through my job I've had the opportunity to eat many a fancy-pants meal in stuffy restaurants, and expensive catered dinners at meetings and such. Very few could compare with the Wendy's #1 combo with cheese, no pickles, and a Coke. Call me low-class if you'd like, but that's a goddamn fact. A

Arby's -- I have a fast-food theory that no meals should ever cost more than a five-dollar bill. Yes, that's right, I have fast-food theories, what of it? I think it's a reasonable expectation, and Arby's breaks it. The food is pretty good, but it's too expensive. Whenever I see their sign my brain cancels it out, and it goes directly to the kill file. Years ago we used to get their five-for-five deal and that was pretty good, but I think they've discontinued it. Plus, have you ever seen that big shiny-ass beef ball they're constantly shaving in the back? Horrifying. B

Hardee's -- I haven't been to any of these joints in years, partly because I haven't seen one since I left Atlanta in '96. My general impression though, based on past experience, is that it's the worst place on Earth. Granted, my memory may be a little foggy, but that's what I remember. Frightening, sassy cashiers with an affinity for shiny gold teeth caps, parking lots with weeds growing up through the cracks, dirty tables and sticky floors, cardboard taped to the windows to cover up the bullet holes... it's a dream come true. And I also remember that they were constantly in search of an identity. One year they'd be a roast beef restaurant, the next they'd be selling fried chicken. I mean, what the hell?! I think they're somehow affiliated with Carl's Jr. now. Who knows, and who cares? As close as most of us will ever get to eating out of a dumpster. D

Taco Bell -- Good for a quick lunch, or after a night of bar-hopping, but it doesn't really cut it as a dinner spot. More a snack than a meal, really. The food is OK, except they like to load things down with those grotesque refried beans, that are nothing more than diarrhea fuel. Apparently that gray sludge is really cheap to produce, so they try to sneak it into everything they serve. I think I was once served a hunk of it over the lip of my iced tea, but I could be mistaken. When I bite into a vein of that crap, my gag reflexes kick in and my lower jaw retracts in an involuntary effort to stop my stomach from overflowing into my lap. But, to be fair, they have some good stuff -- especially when a manager is working the production line. A conscientiously prepared Burrito Supreme is one of the world's most perfect foods. B+

Chick-fil-A Also guilty of breaking the five dollar rule, but their restaurants are so rare, outside the South, you can't help but get a little excited when you happen upon one. Hands-down the best chicken sandwiches in all of fast food-dom. Mmmm... I wish I had one right now. Pretty much everything they serve, including their just-squeezed lemonade, is really fresh and good. It ain't cheap though. I complained to a manager in Atlanta about it once and he looked at me like I was wearing a hat of turds. I don't think he fully grasped the thrust of my argument; he seemed to say to me, with his eyes, "Dude, this is a Chick-fil-A. What are you getting so worked up about?" Whatever. Their food is good and apparently they breed their own race of workers, because they're all incredibly well-mannered, clean-cut, and look exactly alike. I like that. A-

Carl's Jr. A west coast chain that's a lot like Burger King, without the nastiness. Their burgers are grilled, and really good, but for some reason I was never able to eat there very often. I'd stop in on a whim and leave thinking I'd just had the best meal of my life, and the next time I could barely choke it down. I don't think it was an inconsistency in their food, I just think there's something about it that doesn't lend itself well to the fast-food long-haul. I haven't really figured it out yet, but rest assured you'll be the first to know when I do. A big thumbs up for their advertising campaign which consists mostly of big black letters that spell, simply, "EAT MEAT." I applaud their attitude. B

KFC If there's anything more disgusting than biting into a piece of "fried" chicken and having half a quart of hot water (or something) roll down your chin, I don't know what it is. KFC is fuckin' grotesque. Hard, deep-fried grease shells, "water," snapping veins, people sucking marrow out of shiny bones, great sheets of animal skin hanging from the corner of glistening mouths... it's like something out of a Dean Koontz novel. This is a place for people not fully evolved to exercise their basic animal instincts, and indulge in a bloody feeding frenzy. It gives me the creeps just thinking about it. Oh sure, I'm a proud carnivore and everything, but I'm not a fucking dingo! I just experienced a full-body shiver. Shit! D

Long John Silver's Another place that likes to conceal everything on their menu in a hard grease shell, but they're somehow able to pull it off. Despite the fact that every meal there will remove twelve hours from the back-end of your life, it's worth it. I like the way you can jump back and forth between the hot fish (or chicken) and the cold cole slaw. Hot, cold, hot, cold. Very satisfying, indeed. Plus, all the grease will keep you regular and make your coat shiny. The one near my house is a LJS/A&W hybrid, so you can wash everything down with a big frosty mug of self-serve root beer! Their fries are limp though, and those "crispies" are a little unsettling -- especially when I see people ordering extras. But overall, a good place to block your colon. B+

Krystal A Southern version of White Castle. I only ate there a couple of times, and I didn't like it. They sell those little square hamburgers that they cook right by the cash register, with the bun and everything on the grill, and loaded down with a ton of onions. People buy the things by the sack-full, but I could never build up much enthusiasm for them. For one thing I'm not completely sure the meat they use is beef. It's a little gray. I heard rumors of it being ground-up goose livers, but you hear a lot of bullshit down south. I think the main reason why I didn't like it is because you'd practically have to throw your clothes away after a brief visit to one of their restaurants. I can't go for that (no can do). You'd walk out smelling like grease, onions, and mustard, and that's simply unacceptable. When you find yourself seriously considering taking a bath in tomato juice after a meal, to get the funk out of your skin, there's a big problem. C-

Jack In The Box I never set foot in one of these places, because I remember the news reports about people dropping dead all up and down the West Coast after eating there. I like fast food, but I'm not prepared to die for it. I like their spokesman, Jack, though. He's pretty cool. He puts a comical face on food-borne illness. Unrated

In 'N' Out A legendary Southern California institution, they have a menu with something like four items on it. They sell a burger called a Double Double that has roughly 700 fat grams. Predictably, it's their most popular item. Their burgers are pretty awesome, and come wrapped in old-fashioned wax paper. Their fries though, leave a lot to be desired. My friend Bill said they taste like chalk sticks, and that pretty much sums it up. They cut up potatoes right before your eyes and cook them in some kind of pussified California health oil (I'm not sure why they bother, considering those heart-halting Double Doubles they push), and have no taste whatsoever. Also, the places are always packed and you sometimes have to wait fifteen or twenty minutes for your food. But the workers all look like extras from Beverly Hills 90210, so it's not so bad. I guess they know that if you're gonna have to stand around waiting, you're not going to want to look at any ugly fuckers. You've got to admire their wisdom. B+

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