The Guide To Ordering Your Food At Cook Out

The Guide To Ordering Your Food At Cook Out

Have you ever been confused by Cook Out's menu? I'm here to help you.
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If you live in North Carolina, you know we are known for tons of different things. Some of the things this state is known for are our beaches, our UNC Chapel Hill-Duke rivalry, the love of Sunday football, the Carolina Panthers, barbecue, good sweet tea, and of course, good food. Something else that North Carolina is known for is Cook Out. Cook Out is a fast food privately owned restaurant chain that started in Greensboro, North Carolina. There are many different locations up and down the east coast in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Cook Out was created by Morris Reaves, and the first Cook Out opened in 1989 in Greensboro, NC. This fast food restaurant serves foods that are basically food that you would eat at one of your family's backyard cookout and then some. There's plenty to choose from, and if you can't choose something from the menu, I'm going to assume you're either just not hungry or picky. Cook Out serves hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue, and milkshakes.

Currently, I am an employee at Cook Out. One thing I've always known is how to order food at Cook Out and how it's not that hard. Yes, it can be difficult to pick a meal off of such a broad menu of food, but it's doable. I promise. With my expertise of the menu and since I am good with helping my customers pick out their meals if they need help, I am here to give you some guidance on how to order your food at your nearest Cook Out. That way, you can save time and money! Without further ado, here's some tips on how to order your food and do it correctly at Cook Out.

1. The Cook Out Tray is a savior.

One main entree, two side items, and a drink for $4.99. You can't beat that, but hold on. No, it's not going to be exactly $4.99. Come on now, you have to get taxed. Normally, if you don't add cheese, bacon, chili, cheese, or slaw to something, your tray should be about $5.33. This is cost friendly and great if you are super hungry.

2. You can only get ONE entree.

Okay y'all. There are many entrees to choose from: chicken sandwiches, burgers, barbecue sandwiches, quesadillas (at limited locations), chicken strips, etc. You can not get TWO entrees. If you want that, then you might as well just buy two sandwiches.

3. You cannot make a side the entree of a tray.

No dear friends, you cannot make a honey mustard wrap the entree of a tray. If you are not that hungry, just buy the wrap by itself. If you want fries, we have side orders of fries.

4. Cook Out does not have kid meals.

Sorry kiddies, Cook Out does not have kid meals or toys. Every time a parent asks me if we have kid meals, I just suggest that we have small burgers, small fries, 5 piece nuggets, chicken strips by themselves, and grilled cheese.

5. We have tons of shake flavors to choose from.

There are 40+ shakes on the menu, and there are tons of combinations that you can create. It's up to the customer to choose the shake, and you can combine up to four flavors in one shake. That's right, you could get an Oreo/Peanut Butter Fudge/Strawberry Cheesecake/Chocolate Chip Mint shake in one cup. Good luck with eating all of that.

6. Cheesecake is just like a shake.

If you're wondering, yes we also sell cheesecake slices. Anything you can get in a shake can be put on a slice of cheesecake. If you want Reeses, caramel drizzle, and bananas on your cheesecake slice, you can get it.

7. Nothing comes on our burgers, chicken sandwiches, or hot dogs.

This is my pet peeve when taking orders even though I know some people don't know this. Burgers, chicken sandwiches and hot dogs are plain, made to order. That means you add what you want to it. I can ask a customer "What would you like on that burger?", and they'll say "Whatever comes on it." Okay boo, so you want it plain? Make sure to tell the cashier what you would like on your burger unless you want a plain sandwich.

8. We no longer have the foot long hot dog.

Yes, I remember eating the foot long hot dog when I was younger. So so so so good! Sadly, we no longer have the foot long hot dog. Cook Out replaced the foot long with the two hot dog tray.

9. Styles will help you.

If you don't know what exactly you want on your food, don't worry. We got you covered! We have different styles for burgers, chicken, and hot dogs. You could get a cheddar style burger, a club style chicken sandwich, or a Cook Out style hot dog. The list goes on.

10. Treat the walk in Cook Out how you would a drive thru Cook Out.

Okay, you don't have to tell me that your order is to go or for here. Your food is packaged the same way. If you need a bag, I will definitely give you one, but nothing has changed just because you walk inside Cook Out.

11. Side orders and tray orders are different.

In an order of nuggets, you get 5 nuggets; on the tray you get 3. A side of onion rings is 8, and on the tray it's 4. Hushpuppies come in a dozen, but on a tray you get 6.

12. Quesadillas AKA the Hidden Jewel.

Yes, the location on Sapp Road has quesadillas. I'm pretty sure it's the only location in Greensboro with the quesadillas. They can be a side on a tray as well as the entree.

13. Drinks are serious.

Yes, you may want to be basic and just get a fountain drink with your tray, but there are many other options for a beverage. You could get a huge sweet tea, a fountain drink, a Coke float or Cheerwine float, or a shake for a dollar extra.

14. No, drinks are serious, especially the sizes.

LET'S GET SOMETHING STRAIGHT. A regular drink is 16 ounces. A large drink is 24 ounces. A huge drink (or what people think is a large) is 32 ounces. Note to self: if you ask for a LARGE drink, I'm not handing you the 32 ounce cup. I'm handing you that 24 ounce cup, so if you want an EXTRA LARGE cup, ask for a huge.

15. Shakes only come in one size.

They only come in 16 ounce cups.

16. You can ask for sauce, you won't be charged.

For the teenagers that come in and say "Can I get honey mustard from the back? Are those the magic words?" and laugh and crack jokes, quit it. Yes, the honey mustard and different sauces we keep in the front are different from the sauces that the people in the back use to put on sandwiches, burgers, and wraps. Just ask if you can get the sauce that you want from the back, there are no magic words.

I think that's pretty much it. Working at Cook Out can be fun, but it's even more fun when customers know what they want or can order the food the correct way. Cook Out is a blessing and a curse because it's extremely affordable, but everybody literally wants it everyday since it's cost friendly and so good. So there you have it! I dropped a few tips on how to order at your favorite Cook Out. I hope you use them and use them well!

Cover Image Credit: MyAJC.com

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​21 Things You Need To Do The Year You Turn 21

Cheers to twenty-fun!
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There’s a reason people call 21 "twenty-fun." This is one of those years that has the potential to beat all others. All you need are some great friends, a spirit hungry for adventure, and this list of 21 crucial things to fill your year with.

1. Get carded as often as possible.

There’s pretty much no better feeling than when you’re finally 21 and you can order drinks with no fear of being turned down.

2. Tell people what you want with #NoRagrets.

This year is no longer the year to hold in your thoughts out of fear that you don’t deserve what you want. Decide on your dreams (life, career, whatever) and shout them from the rooftops.

3. Find your “Go to Hell” outfit.

You know the one – that outfit you feel so good in that you could tell literally anyone to “go to hell” without blinking an eye. Yep. Buy it. Own it. Kill it.

4. Experience more than normal.

Look at life through someone else’s eyes, visit another country, practice empathy. There’s more to life than black and white. Just experience a little more than your normal. You’ll be a better person for it.

5. Kill the LinkedIn game.

It’s cool to be professional AF.

6. Go on a few dates.

With your significant other, mom, dad, best friends, that stranger you’ve been crushing on, yourself.

7. Learn how to be comfortable with uncomfortable.

Not everything is going to be your cup of tea and not everyone is going to be exactly like you. Learn to appreciate everyone’s differences and your days will get a little brighter.

8. Find a quality genre of music and stick with it.

Top 40 is cool and all, but there are so many genres out there so don’t be afraid to grow your musical palette.

9. Treat yo-damn-self.

To a nice meal out. To those new shoes. To that second Starbucks. To that big piece of cake. To that crazy concert. Self-love is important, too.

10. Strike up conversations with as many strangers as you can.

You never know who you could meet if you just take a second to talk to the person in line in front of you or walking the same way as you. This is the age to form good networking habits.

11. Explain why your license isn’t flipped the ‘right’ way.

Yes, you’re really 21. You just haven’t gotten your new flipped ID yet.

12. Make your forever friends.

What’s life without your forever friends?

13. Gym so hard.

Hit up the gym and eat some spinach every once in a while. It’s good for ya.

14. Buy your parents drinks.

Imagine how funny (or scaring) it’ll be hearing your dad tell the hot bartender some of his ‘high-quality’ dad jokes.

15. Splurge a little money.

Like I said before, treat yo-damn-self.

16. Save a little money.

But, treat yo-damn-self within reason. Your future self will thank you.

17. Always give a solid tip at restaurants.

A nice tip can go a long way… and I mean the monetary kind.

18. Perfect your Insta game.

Juno? Ludwig? Valencia? Choose your favorite filter and throw it over everything. Whether it be your #foodie lunch or your beach pics, find your ~aesthetic~ and stick with it.

19. Make sure your jerk radar is properly calibrated.

This will get you so far in life and save you so much wasted time.

20. Cross a few things off your bucket list.

If you don’t have a bucket list, now’s the time to make one and start checking things off one-by-one. You’ll never realize how much you’ve really done until you see a big list with a bunch of marks through it.

21. Live. A lot.

Okay, so maybe 9+10 is not 21 (#RIPVine), but this is a huge year for you. This might be your last big birthday before the big 5-0 so make sure you’re always living every moment to the fullest.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren LeBouef

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9 Ways To Adopt A Vegan Diet And Actually Stick With It This Time

What helped me transition into veganism so seamlessly was the fact that I cut out certain foods when I felt ready.

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Whether it be for ethical, health, or environmental reasons more and more people each day are converting to a vegan lifestyle. But, going in blind and expecting to become an expert overnight on how to maintain a proper vegan diet is completely unrealistic, which is why a lot of people end up falling off the wagon completely.

I know after watching slaughterhouse videos or reading about all of the carcinogens and antibiotics found in meat and dairy or watching documentaries about the environmental damage caused by animal agriculture that it's tempting to go vegan on the spot. For the record, veganism is a plant-based diet that eliminates the consumption of all animal products including meat, seafood, dairy, eggs, honey, and gelatin (essentially crushed up animal bones/ cartilage commonly found in marshmallows and gummy candies). So, yeah, going vegan cold-turkey (no pun intended) is not going to be easy. If you think you're up for the challenge, great, but I believe gradually eliminating certain foods from your diet and reading up about your new nutritional needs are much more effective strategies in order to stay vegan long term.

Going vegan was one of the best choices I've ever made, so hopefully, these next few tips and tricks are able to help out anyone looking to try a new diet that is both healthy AND delicious!

1. Gradually eliminate certain non-vegan foods

It's hard to give up some of your all-time favorite foods, trust me, I know. What helped me transition into veganism so seamlessly was the fact that I cut out certain foods when I felt ready. I went pescatarian (no meat except fish) before I went vegetarian and it took me two and a half years of vegetarianism before I felt ready to become fully vegan. Take your time and do things at your own pace. If you rush this process, it's tempting to just revert back to an omnivorous diet because you made too big of an adjustment too quickly.

2. Find vegan replacements

While I was vegetarian I ended up doing a lot of research and trying out a lot of vegan replacements for non-vegan foods, so that when I went fully vegan I already knew what to reach for. Turns out you don't have to give up your burgers, chicken nuggets, or scrambled eggs anytime soon. It's a process of trial and error and not every product you try from your supermarket's vegan section is going to be amazing, but there are some amazing brands and products out there that taste even better than their non-vegan counterparts. My personal favorites include the entire Gardein line, Quorn's vegan line (their spicy "chicken" patties are my all time favorite), Amy's vegan soups and burritos, Annie's fruit snacks, Kite Hill's yogurts, and any brand of non-dairy ice cream (really, I've never met a vegan ice cream I didn't absolutely love).

3. Go to local vegan restaurants

Besides having an entire delicious menu of foods you are able to choose from as a vegan, vegan restaurants (or restaurants with extensive vegan menus) also are great ways to get inspiration for vegan recipes you can make at home. Most vegan restaurants don't serve meals that are overly complicated to make and they are always coming up with creative new ways to prepare plant-based meals.

4. Read menus ahead of time

If you are planning to go out with your non-vegan friends for a bite to eat, check out the menu of the restaurant you are going to or call ahead of time to make sure there's something on the menu that you are able to eat. The vast majority of restaurants these days have at least a couple of vegan options, and if not, they are almost certainly willing to accommodate your needs to the best of their abilities, just be sure to check first. As a college student, this also includes checking out your dining halls for vegan options and getting in touch with a school nutritionist if you're not seeing any vegan options. If you're really in a bind, one of my favorite apps of all time is called Happy Cow and it essentially alerts you of restaurants that have vegan options within a 25-mile radius of your location so that everyone in your friend group is able to get food that satisfies them no matter where you are.

5. Don't get upset if you mess up

Every single vegan has accidentally eaten something containing animal products at some point or other. If you realize that you ate something non-vegan by mistake, don't beat yourself up over it. It happens to everyone and it doesn't make you somehow any less of a vegan.

6. Learn how to cook

Honestly, this is a tip that any young person should pick up. Sure, convenience meals and frozen dinners are necessary every once in a while (and, yes, plenty of great ready-made vegan meals do exist), but they're downright unhealthy and are high in fat and sodium. Frozen dinners are also ridiculously expensive. Look up recipes online or buy a vegan cookbook. You would be amazed at all the ways fruits, vegetables, grains, starches, legumes, and fungi can be combined to make meals and snacks that both taste good and are good for you.

7. Make sure you're eating enough

This is probably the number one biggest problem new vegans struggle with. Literally, in every single YouTube video where people try to go vegan, they complain about "being hungry" or "feeling lethargic," and that's simply because they aren't eating enough. Meat and dairy are far more calorically dense than fruits and veggies, so you need to eat more to make sure you're taking in enough calories. Incorporate more grains, starches, and beans into your diet so that you feel full after eating and stay satisfied until your next meal. Obviously, if you have any concerns, speak to a certified nutritionist about your diet to make sure you are eating enough and are getting enough nutrients out of the food you are eating.

8. Get enough vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is one of the most important vitamins for you to have in your body as it helps you absorb other vitamins and minerals, especially iron. B12 also prevents certain types of anemia which can leave your body feeling weak and tired. B12 is typically found in animal products as bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract of animals produce it. Because of modern farming practices, B12 is hard to come by produce, and thus is difficult to obtain through a vegan diet. Good sources of B12 for vegans include nutritional yeast (a great substitute for Parmesan cheese because of its cheesy flavor), some plant milks, some soy products, and some breakfast cereals. If you're still worried about your B12 intake, talk to your doctor about possibly taking B12 supplements or multivitamins containing B12.

9. Start reading food labels

Seriously, this is something everyone should do anyway because it's good to know what exactly you're fueling your body with. Reading nutrition facts ensures you know if you're getting enough calories and vitamins and reading ingredient lists ensures you know whether or not a product is vegan or not. Milk and eggs have to be listed in bold at the bottom of ingredient lists as they are common allergens, but if you suspect a product may contain traces of meat or gelatin, you may have to read through the ingredients a little closer. On the flip side, you would also be surprised at the number of snacks that are actually accidentally vegan as well, so don't rule out your favorite treats before reading the label!

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