Thursday, July 24, 2014

Consumer Reports' Worst Fast Food Restaurants: Yes, mostly terrible

I see the busybodies at Consumer Reports are back on the job telling us what fast food is OK and what isn't.  Leaving aside The Fast Food Golden Rule -  A N Y  F A S T  F O O D  I S  G R E A T  I F  Y O U ' R E  H U N G  O V E R  E N O U G H - let's see how they did!

According to this article in "The Week," Consumer Reports surveyed 32,000 non-hungover people and asked them to rank "food quality and freshness, value, politeness, speed of service, and cleanliness of the dining area."  I see your problem right there, since you should be ranking Fat and Carb Content, Whether You Can Fill Your Own Soda, Likelihood There Is a Hobo Sleeping in the Next Booth, How Big Are the Fries, and Is This a Wendys.  But anyway, here are the worst, from not-quite-the-worst to Basically Inedible.  Drum roll please, for 11 to 7:

Yeah, Panda Express is totally gross. Exhibit #1:

Sorry, I hope you didn't just eat.  Apart from ghastly combinations like this, most of their food is unrecognizable glop slopped on top of rice or spaghetti noodles.  But if you're not changing planes, when are you ever going to have to eat at a Panda Express? If you subject yourself to that, it's your own fucking fault.

Taco Bell is what it is.  If you want La Cumbre, go to La Cumbre.  If you want a chicken-type product in a tortilla for a dollar, go to the Bell.

I haven't eaten Little Caesars in maybe 25 years so I can't comment.

Domino's is horrible.  Good job Consumer Reports.  The only time you can ever reasonably eat Domino's is if you're in a hotel in Sioux Falls and nothing else is open or in some kind of terrorist-type scenario where a madman is going to blow up a puppy camp if you don't eat it.

I could have a Pizza Hut once in a while, just for their weird spongy crust.  I've never fucked with any of the shit they started doing to their crust like stuffing all that crap in it.


I have no idea what "CiCi's Pizza" is but usually nothing that comes from Texas is any good for anyone.

Burger King is OK.  Hey, do you have a Burger King vs. McDonald's preference?  Is it normal to have such a preference?  Is that something you should discuss with your doctor, like Abilify?

I have McDonald's like once or twice a year and I never regret it any more.  I like those flat cheeseburgers.  Did you ever see "Super Size Me" where that guy ate nothing but McDonald's for a month or whatever?  I saw it and it made me want McDonald's SO BAD that we left the movie theater after it and went straight to a McDonald's.  

I never had Church's Chicken in my life.

And finally SBARRO.  Yes, Sbarro is terrible.  I have no further comment on the issue.


Andrea said...

I've had Church's Fried Chicken once. I won a gift certificate in the 3rd grade from a costume contest at my school. Meh.

GG said...

1. McDonald's fries are actually some of my favorite fries. I'm sure that's because of the opium they are laced with or something but whatever.

2. It's not physically possible to be hung over enough to think Taco Bell is "great." That progression would go straight from "sorry, this is still disgusting" to "I can't have an opinion on this because I have died of alcohol poisoning."

3. I assumed the Panda Express "Orange Chicken with Bacon" was a joke, like from an Onion article making fun of how every restaurant thinks it's a great idea to add bacon to literally everything, but then I googled it and NOPE. If there's a god he should just send the 2nd Great Flood now and wipe us all off the face of the earth and start over with a new version of humanity.

Rachel said...

My coworker brought McNuggets last week and I've never seen our crew of organic/local/sustainable/whatever people descend and decimate food like that ever before. It was like a swarm of locusts. Totally crazy.

Panda Express makes me feel ill just thinking about it.

And finally, Sbarro's - late 1980's/early 1990's pre-movie dinner at the mall downtown. I remember eating this before seeing Curly Sue.

TK said...

AP - I fucking LOVE the idea that an elementary school was giving out fast food coupons as prizes. If you tried that shit today parents would FREAK THE FUCK OUT. Man, I kinda want to become a principal now just so I can do that.

GG - Man, first chocolate jerky and now this. You're having a rough week on the blog.

R - As far as I know, Sbarros only exists in malls and those combo gas station/rest area things on the New York Thruway. Do freestanding Sbarros exist anywhere?

Civic Center said...

The Taco Bell in Pacifica on the beach is one of my favorite dining establishments in the entire world. Plus, my mother didn't believe in McDonald's when I was a SoCal child (we were A&W and Foster Freeze burger people) but 19 cent beach tacos, which is how Taco Bell started, were considered health food.

Anonymous said...

I have fast food once or twice a year, usually because I'm stuck in the car for some reason. And while I think McDonald's has much better fries, I usually opt for Burger King, because I love Whoppers. There. I said it. Also, they have onion rings that they have a dipping sauce with horseradish that I love.

Random story: Earlier this year, the spawn fell asleep in the car. I went through a Burger King drive-thru and then parked in our driveway and ate lunch in the car, listening the Giants game while he slept. It was the best.

Todd Lappin/Telstar Logistics said...

Sorry I am late to this, but compelled to wade in.

The missing element to this analysis is context — with the exception of the Sioux Falls terrorist desperation example cited, which is actually on-point.

The point is that we often eat this stuff in context, and the context is one in which we are confronted with several fast food disasters all at one, and must then choose between them. eg. Airport food court or Fast Food Custer of the Damned on the side of some meth-strewn freeway.

And in THAT kind of a context, a few of these are vastly better than their alternatives. For example, Panda Distress is god-awful by Chinese standards, but it's not necessarily worse that some of the fried rice you might be served alongside a meth-strewn highway somewhere between Xian and Chengdu. Closer to home, that fried rice is certainly better than anything you'll get at the Jack in the Box or Carls Jr. next door.

Ditto Sbarros. It may suck, but I do crave crappy New Jersey style spaghetti in red sauce sometimes, and even a crappy version of that often beats the pants off the other alternatives in the food court.

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