The Ideal Fast Food Feast

The Ideal Fast Food Feast

Anyone else wondering why burger nuggets don't exist?

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Hi everybody. I'm back for this week's edition of "I have opinions on everything" (because what's the point of life if you don't?). Fast food has been on my mind; as a big eater who hates campus food but also hates spending 14$ on Chipotle, it's incredibly tempting to drive 2 miles to the nearest Chick-fil-a.

This all being said, deciding what fast food to pick is kinda a doozy. While McDonald's fries may sound like a BET at 2 am, I also don't always crave chicken paste in the form of vaguely shaped nuggies (I will be referring to nuggets as nuggies for the rest of this scholarly essay).

For those who know me, one of my favorite ice breaker questions is: "What is your ideal fast food meal?"-- a question requiring you to analyze each selection at your local fast food chains and choose your favorite from each. While I regularly ask this, and thus regularly judge everyone's answers, I haven't officially made my own ideal meal. Until now. I present to you, the ultimate fast food feast. And as you read this, you may be like, Alice why is this so detailed and specific? And to that I say -- read the title, baby. My Ideal Fast Food Feast, in a world where I can eat 4,000+ calories in one sitting.

French Fries:​​ ​​ ARBY’S.

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A hot take, oFF THE BAT! I love McDonald's so much, and they technically always win by taking my money, but if I really was conducting a mukbang then I'd drive my butt straight to Arby's. The curly fries are seriously unreal and so crispy and wondrous. In a fantasy world, Arby's fries would be on my plate. But like, try asking a group of girls to go to Arby's when McDonald's is right. there.

Fruit: Chick-fil-a

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Okay, guys, this is a FEAST and while fruit isn't a fast food iconic item, we're feasting. Not that I ever, EVER order fruit in a drive-thru, but I do trust Chick-fil-a. The fruit cups do actually always taste legit, so, thanks I guess.

General beverages: McDonald’s

https://500px.com/photo/209192487/img-by-abigail-stephens https://500px.com/photo/209192487/img-by-abigail-s...

You may be ready to close out of this article, because in what world do we need to compare soda fountains? In my world. McDonald's Diet Coke is legit spicy. Ask any enthusiast. My mother seriously made me into a Diet Coke fiend because she'd always stop there for a large one. It is so carbonated and delightful. Moving on.

Breakfast sandwich: Chick-fil-a

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Okay, boys, we've gotten through the appetizers, and now we are READY for breakie. Chick-fil-a really takes the cake. Their biscuit or English muffin, mixed with their yummy lil' nuggies or egg on top just TAKES ME THERE. I don't feel the need to explain this one.

Honorary mention to Starbucks, which some may see as not really a fast food place -- I get that, for sure. But idk man, their warmed up breakie sandwiches make me and my roommate both a little too happy.

Hash Browns: McDonald’s

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I won't take any debate on this, I do not want to hear any Hardee's enthusiasts, I just want to say that McDonald's reigns over hashbrowns.

Donuts: Dunkin Donuts

@dunkindonuts

While I'm thinking about breakfast, let's all be clear: if i wanted to eat warm mooshy sugar, I would take a splenda packet, mix it with hot water and call it a day. It isn't that I don't ever eat Krispy Kreme, but Dunkin's donuts are just more, like, easy to get down. A bit more savory, dareIsay? Krispy just tastes like calories. Not ideal. ALSO SHOUTOUT TO THEIR ICED COFFEE because THAT makes me see algorithms. I've done my best work on french iced coffee from there.

Burgers: Wendy’s

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They deserve a shoutout after blessing us with the 4for4. I don't love burgers, and when I have them, it's gonna be from a legit grill, but the rare times I go fast food or try a bite of my friend's -- Wendy's is legit. It actually tastes like meat, which is cool. Thanks, guys.

Chicken Sandwich: Chick-fil-a + Zaxby’s

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Another hot take is that I don't think Zaxby's is amazing. Fries and everything are meh -- but hey! The chicken is pretty neat. Chick-fil-a is a clear choice, no need to justify there. Zaxby's also has high-quality chicken and the flavoring is kinda legit. I realistically seek out CFA, but Zaxby's isn't one bit bad.

Chicken Nuggies: WENDY’S.

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BIIIIIIIIG HOT TAKE. I don't really seek out CFA nuggies. I think they're high quality, but what can I say? ~all good boys go to heaven, but bad boys bring heaven to you~ That lyric really just means that, yes, there are good options for me, but I'm gonna pick the dumb option. Eh quality nuggies. While McDonald's is my guilty pleasure, Wendy's does have enjoyable nuggies. Seasoned well, always a little crisp yet a little mooshy. Sorry haters.

Honorary mention for Burger King. The chicken fries are always confusing to me but I do always enjoy.

Milkshakes: Burger King

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Rich, smooth, substantial. CFA can move out of the way, because Burger King actually SERVES those shakes. But no, BKing, I do not want your fries with that shake.

I'm honestly out of breath after writing this.

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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12 Items That Prove Fast Food Is A Gift From The Heavens

Stop pretending like you're too good for McDonald's fries.

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It is no secret that fast food is a controversial topic. Many people have critiqued fast food for its high level in calories and lowness in nutritional value, and recent stories of how the food is prepared has not helped its cause. But let's be real. Fast food is always delicious, and hits the spot at any day and anytime. Stop lying to yourself and pretending like you don't like it, because we all know you do. Easy, convenient, and tasty...what could be better? Well, if you're not convinced, maybe I need to jog your memory a little bit...

1. Chick-fil-A's waffle fries

chick fil a

Lmk why I'm always craving them the most on Sundays.

2. In-N-Out Burger's double-double cheeseburger

in and out

If you don't get animal style, we can't be friends.

3. Chipotle's burrito bowl

chipotle

One day, I hope to live in a world where guac isn't extra.

4. McDonald's chicken nuggets

mcdonalds

These may be the greatest things to ever exist (along with pretty much every other menu item at McDonald's). Pair these nugs with some sweet and sour sauce and you're good to go.

5. Wendy's frosty

milkshake

If you don't dip your fries in milkshakes, can we even be friends?

6. Culver's cheese curds

The best is playing the game to guess whether you're going to get a yellow or orange cheese curd.

7. Auntie Anne's cinnamon sugar sticks

auntie annes

I still have flashbacks to forcing my mom to buy these for me each time I went to the mall...my childhood weakness.

8. Portillo's baked mostacholi

The most delicious cheesy goodness you've ever tasted. Chicago knows what's up.

9. Potbelly's sugar cookie

Pro tip: Never check how many calories these are.

10. Panda Express' orange chicken

orange chicken

UGH. Does this one even need an explanation?

11. Krispy Kreme's glazed donuts

krispy kreme

Literally the best donuts in the whole wide world, don't fight me on that.

12. Papa John's pizza

papa johns

The best of the worst.

Drooling yet? I will always admit that fast food is delicious and definitely the best bang for your buck. Those who say it's gross, greasy, and dirty are clearly mistaken. It's time to stop lying to yourself and go hit the drive-thru. Treat yourself! Your stomach and heart will be its happiest, and the diet can wait until tomorrow. But of course, everything in moderation.

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