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Roadside Confession Number One

July 8, 2010

I am not without sin.  There are plenty of things that I do concerning food of which I am not proud.

But for some odd reason, when I am ashamed about something, instead of keeping it hidden, I feel the need to scream it from the hilltops.  There is nothing quite as freeing as admitting one’s own shortcomings.

I have admitted to the positive feelings I have about Starbucks brewed coffee, despite knowing its many failings all too well.  And I confessed that despite my love for well-made classic cocktails using only the highest quality ingredients, I have a soft spot in my heart for Fat Tuesday’s phantasmagorical slushies.

Well, I have another jaw dropper for you today.

When I’m traveling with the kids, I look forward to stopping at McDonald’s.  Not for burgers, mind you.  I still greet their meat with great skepticism.  But I do enjoy their hot caramel sundaes (where available) and French fries.

Actually those items are pretty unimpeachable.

Yes, the fries were better when they were actually fried in beef tallow, but the McDonald’s French fries are still the benchmark for food lovers around the world.  Those who say otherwise are lying to themselves.

And while I would prefer their ice cream to have fewer ingredients, it’s mostly real food.  My mother in-law eats at least one McDonald’s ice cream cone a day.  And once when we were taking her wine tasting in Sonoma we stopped into the Healdsburg McDonald’s for her daily dose.  There I looked at all the ingredients for all the menu items and was shocked, literally shocked, to see that the hot caramel sauce actually contained butter.

Butter!  From that moment on I was on the hot caramel sauce bandwagon.

Sadly, French fries and ice cream sundaes do not make a meal.  I’ll let Young Master Fussy get the yogurt, fruit and nut “salad” despite apples’ high rank on the pesticide load chart.  As for me, I’ll get some kind of fried chicken strips, which could be the chicken selects or the crispy chicken snack wrap, depending on my tolerance for thick, gummy, and cold flour tortillas.

The chipotle barbecue sauce is nice and smoky.

I am keenly aware of the horrors that were visited upon the animal that died for my pleasure.  But at least it wasn’t a mammal.  Chickens can be very nasty creatures.  And if I’m going to eat something bad even though I know better, it’s going to be fried, dammit.

Plus on our nation’s highways, the great arched one has a virtual monopoly on the quick dining scene.  Even just running in to eat a sundae and a snack wrap and use the toilet took the better part of thirty minutes.  And that is just life with two small children.

Luckily, they are also learning good things about food when we are at home.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    July 8, 2010 9:01 am

    I love the new Angus burger, especially the mushroom swiss–at least I love it when I’m on the Thruway!

  2. Jenny on the Block permalink
    July 8, 2010 10:00 am

    I have long been a fan of the McD’s caramel sundae. It’s hard to find a caramel sauce that actually tastes of caramel, and not just glorified butterscotch.

  3. imajovigirl permalink
    July 8, 2010 10:27 am

    I held off as long as I could and finally broke down and tried the angus burger. I got the one with mayo and lettuce and tomato. It was so good I had to stop myself from eating it too fast. It is just that good.

    BTW-I took a road trip to FL last year and noticed the McDonald’s burgers in the South are different. They are much better, picture perfect, just like in the commercials. I wonder why?

  4. July 8, 2010 11:27 am

    I vote Wendy’s over McDonald’s. Their Single, no cheese, hits every craving I might have. Even the ‘veggies’ on it taste like veggies. Just sayin.

  5. July 8, 2010 1:16 pm

    I am absolutely with you on the McDonald’s fries. The only thing that beats it for me are those skinny bistro fries from Bouchon. High praise indeed.

  6. Cindy permalink
    July 8, 2010 1:20 pm

    Thank you for this post! Hearing this from you makes me feel MUCH better about myself :) and my own secret, shameful love of some fast food items.

    Don’t you find McD’s fries vary wildly from franchise to franchise, or even from day to day at the same place? They can be perfectly done and salted – but too many times I’ve had them cold, limp, soggy, over- or under-salted. Dare I say that Burger King fries are more consistent – and much tastier? (I admit I don’t know the chemical makeup of their fry oil.)

    I agree wholeheartedly on McD’s caramel sundaes – I’ve been a fan since high school, when fries and a sundae WERE a meal!

    I’m also partial to their chicken snack wraps. Simple ingredients and quite a bargain, compared to their other menu items. And like you, I feel far less guilty eating chicken (despite my awareness of horrendous poultry farm conditions) than any mammal.

  7. July 8, 2010 2:22 pm

    The McRib sir. There is the rub.

  8. July 8, 2010 5:17 pm

    I love McDonald’s. I try not to eat it often, but man. You are 110% right with the fries. omgthefries.

    I’m sort of meh on most everything else but sometimes I will get a big mac. It is so gooey and gross. I love it.

    I also, bizarrely enough, think their apple pies are actually quite good. I mean, it’s not apple pie I make, but I mean. I don’t know. I DON’T KNOW. I can’t help it.

  9. July 8, 2010 6:01 pm

    My personal McD’s favorite is the Hi-C Orange Drink. There’s no logical reason why.

  10. July 8, 2010 10:13 pm

    Ugh. I was overwhelmed with a McD’s french fry craving (ON MY WAY TO WORK OUT) today and caved for the first time in I don’t know how long. Maybe it was the long week or the rabbit food I ate all day, or maybe FLB is more powerful than you realize. Ok, so it was the first two, but still… and the fries were delicious!

  11. Kerosena permalink
    July 9, 2010 12:32 pm

    When I read Fast Food Nation, the picture of the McDonald’s fies on the front cover made me cave. Sort of the opposite of the intention of the book.

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