The sheer quantity and variety of fast food in the South is a point of pride for any MSG lover. However, not all quick eats are created equal.
As a Northerner new to this world of you-name-it-we-fry-it, I do my best to make sense of this fast food paradise. I’ve seen a lot of great nuggets out there, and mozzarella sticks, too. There were some places, however, that just stole their way into my heart (and partially through my seriously clogged arteries).
You’ve been driving in the car for a while now. At this point, you’ve got to get out, stretch your legs, and grab a bite to eat faster than you can say “uptown funk gonna give it to ya.” You probably roll into a Hardee’s.
Once you figure out this is sort of the chain that has the super objectifying ads of half-naked females, you probably decide to get back in your car and raise your cholesterol elsewhere.
You’ve seen the commercials constantly, but you’ve never actually been to one in real life. What once seemed like a fairy tale to this Yankee is now a reality. Turns out, Sonic actually exists down South, and the concept here is great: your favorite all-American culinary delights brought directly to your car.
If you love these fries, hot dogs smothered in stuff, and abrasively loaded burgers, you’re going to need a baker’s dozen air fresheners and perhaps an ordained minster to exorcise the scents from your automobile.
This place is serving up biscuits saltier than the frat guy that stands at the door and asks — “who do you know here?” It’s delicious. At Bojangles’, they seem to work off the platform of serving up mom’s home cooking.
Unfortunately for me, back home, cooking was whatever mom found on sale at Market Basket on her way home from Curves earlier that afternoon. That, or seafood so fresh it makes your J’s look like socks and gladiator sandals. Northern home cooking is really just a pot of love with a little less sodium. Sorry Bojangles’… Next.
Currently tailgating at an SEC football school? Cool, you’re probably also eating Zaxby’s fried chicken or drinking something out of one of their guzzlers that will no doubt stay in your car’s center console for an inappropriate length of time.
All jokes aside, sometimes that large chicken finger plate speaks directly to my soul, and those crinkle fries do not disappoint. In addition, they also offer Zalads®, and for that I can’t knock the hustle — but come on Zaxby’s, you know why I’m here.
Listen closely, folks. The taste here is great, don’t get me wrong. But as a Northern native, the first experience with this saucy minx does a number on your digestion like you wouldn’t imagine. Some speculate it’s the way they fry their product. Frankly, it’s neither here nor there.
The reality is, within hours of consumption it’s like the running of the bulls is happening all through your GI tract. The only day of solace for your overworked digestive system is Sunday. Yet, I still find when I rest my head to the pillow, visions of Chick-n-Minis dance in my head. Try these at home.
When the pageantry is taken out of breakfast food, you find yourself at this golden paradise. Leave the bourgeois to IHOP. Here at the WH, you’re just trying to get some 24-hour no-fuss breakfast. When you’re done running through the six, nothing helps you bury your woes like a pile of hash browns.
This place has the hookup — and even though you end up here, crying with your shoes off at 3:30 am Friday night, it’s oddly kind of okay. And you bet you’re back there the next morning to boot, rally, and maybe collect your dignity… with a side of french fried potatoes.
Massachusetts gets taxed for everything short of breathing, so I’m always looking to save a dollar. With that in mind, this chain is a hungry and frugal fool’s dream come true. Somehow it becomes cheaper to order MORE food — defying both logic and the capacity of my stomach.
My waist band is furious, but I’m not. I’m sure if Marie Antoinette were here today, “let them eat cookout” would be the Instagram caption of the year. So hold up your Styrofoam cup and #TreatYoSelf.