Salon has a useful, funny and informative recession-coping series going called Pinched, and the latest entry, by Sarah Hepola, takes on that age old conundrum of fast food. And not that hoity-toity $5 combo fast food, the nasty, ratty stuff on the dollar menu.
On the one hand, it’s cheap, yet on the other it’s sort of revolting.
Hepola on her highs and lows at McDonald’s:
Odious as it might be, most fast food is not completely terrible. Can’t say that for the Chicken McNuggets, however; they were stale and lukewarm, and even gobs of barbecue sauce couldn’t drown their mediocrity. (As for the soda, the low-carbonation, high-syrup Diet Coke at McDonald’s has long been my favorite Diet Coke, even in my high-snob years. Yes, I have a whole taxonomy of Diet Coke, and no, I won’t mention it again.)
The duo of apple pies, meanwhile, were quite good. Baked now, rather than fried as they were when I was a kid, the pies make a tasty little hot pocket of a dessert, and at 50 cents a pop they practically feel like parting gifts, like they are almost literally giving them away. The hot fudge sundae, on the other hand, was a bust. It looked good. It sounded good. But the vanilla soft-serve was tasteless, the hot fudge congealed. The concoction tasted of cold nothing. It was like a dessert served on the Holodeck.
Hepola also takes on Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell and KFC with similar hilarity. Thankfully she’s managed to hold off the ensuing coronary long enough to crank out the article.