People who don’t know me very well are always surprised to see me in the drive-through line at Taco Bell.
They expect me to only dine at five-star restaurants or those hole-in-the-wall eateries that just knowing where to find them puts me in a league of hip eaters.
Oh, that’s so not me.
I’m always surprised that people consider me a foodie since I don’t see myself in the same ranks of local critics like Joan Namkoong, Kaui Philpotts or our own Mari Taketa. (Read Ed Morita’s post on the difference between a foodie and a food snob.) I just love to eat — and I like to tell people about it. Does that make me a foodie? Or does that just make me a very chatty eater?
I came across an essay on Salon.com last night by Francis Lam, who, on his way to a chefs conference on sustainable foods, found himself in the line at McDonald’s, succumbing to his craving for pasteurized processed chicken food product.
I have some excuses. I was hungry and waiting for a four-hour bus ride, and sometimes, when you are hungry and waiting for a four-hour bus ride, and you grew up with parents who fed you fast food as a treat, you have to ask yourself: Are you better than your upbringing? Are you better than your history? And my answer, yesterday, was, “McNuggets.” McNuggets I have loved.
I like what I like — and if you have a similar palette as mine, then chances are you’ll like what I like, too. But that doesn’t mean my palette is as refined — or as adventurous — as Anthony Bourdain’s. I’m more about the overall taste of brown gravy and perfectly cooked onions over a nice scoop of fluffy white rice.
And I’m no fast-food snob.
I go to McDonald’s so often I know the woman who works the early-morning shift at the drive-through — by first name — for my daily fix of Diet Coke. In fact, I just had a cheeseburger Happy Meal last night for dinner.
I love Chicken McNuggets, Mexican pizzas and cinnamon twists from Taco Bell, chicken sandwiches from Jack in the Box and anything from Arby’s. I realize these aren’t the healthiest — or foodie-est — options, especially with the growing obesity rates (and my waistline), but I can’t help myself. It’s fast, it’s food, I’m good to go.
And I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Any of you have a fast-food confession to make?