When I began this investigation a few short days ago, I didn’t know exactly what I was going to get out of it. Now, I admit that this whole thing has been more fun than I expected, and so far I think every joint that thinks I’m worth five bucks plus tax has its merits.
So, maybe if I was more familiar with Burger King’s current ad campaign, I wouldn’t have had high expectations. If someone were to literally poop in my cornflakes, I’d suppose it’d be fair to say that this would make me feel that way.
When I walk into the Ellensburg Burger King, I ask if they have a $5 lunch, and the cashier says, “No.” Taking her word for it, I leave the restaurant and head towards the Jack in the Box, thinking that MMDG was mistaken when he put BK on my to do list. A couple of quick messages to him assures me that BK has a $5 deal.
He tells me, “They have ‘we re-invented the $5 bill’ commercials.”
I don’t think these guys understand what’s out there.
Continue reading Fast Food Lunch Fight, Round Four: Burger King
I think it’s pretty easy to see that fast food places like advertising to stoners and students. You can tell that these restaurants are doing this when in one of their commercials a group of bros appear at a gathering with a box of tacos and then the party really gets started, or when some dude suddenly transforms into a puppet. However, I can’t tell who Dairy Queen’s target market is. Commercials for DQ straddle a line between friendly and stupid, so they attempt to appeal to everyone, but fail to establish a strong personality. These ads are few and far between and they’re probably more frequent than actual DQ storefronts. I can’t even remember the last time I went to Dairy Queen, but more than likely it was to get ice cream, not a lunch. With so few locations and a damn near invisible brand, I’m curious as to how Dairy Queen can compete in this fight for five bucks.
One of the wonderfully strange things about Ellensburg is that there are two Dairy Queens. One of everything else, two Dairy Queens. This place is as cold as Narnia and now twice as magical. If anyone is wondering where their local Dairy Queen is, Ellensburg probably took it. One DQ is located next to the university. My mom tells me this one is nasty. The $5 meal she ate there came with a cold hamburger with mealy meat, a small soda and fries, and no ice cream. This does not get me jazzed. Fortunately, there is another, and I venture to the Dairy Queen on the far side of town, near the freeway. Continue reading Fast Food Frenzy Day Three: Dairy Queen
To be honest, I knew how my Taco Bell experience was going to end. Though I’d say I’m a pretty healthy eater, I’m no stranger to fast food, particularly Taco Bell’s value-to-flavor ratio and the eventual digestive wringing that follows a meal. Knowing and accepting that eventuality makes it easier to enjoy the experience, but I did not approach my second outing with the same calm resignation.
I usually don’t mess with KFC. I admit I fell into the whole “KFC doesn’t use real chickens” hoax, and even though it’s been disproved, I think the very idea of a mutated chicken that’s mass produced in a lab to supply a fast food chain is too close to plausible for me to take the risk. Test tube chicken aside, KFC just looks unhealthy. All of the food from there comes in mostly shades of brown, which speaks to its nutritional value and I think is an indicator for the “T + 3″ effect. Continue reading Five-Buck Lunch Day Two: KFC
If the 20th century adage, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” is true, then the next best thing must be a cheap lunch. A recent fad in fast food marketing has several restaurants fighting over customers’ lunch money by trying to lure them in with a five dollar meal deal. A cousin to the dollar menu, these five dollar deals promise more for less; a hearty serving of tasty chow that leaves you with enough change to rent a Redbox, buy a lotto ticket, donate to charity, etc. MMDG brought this trend to my attention, and issued a challenge: to spend one work-week sampling the meal deals from the various institutions eager to win my wallet through my stomach. Normally, MMDG would handle this sort of business himself, but the idea of consistently eating fast food is something he can’t commit to in good conscience. “It’s a young man’s game,” he explained. Well, I’ll throw my hat into the ring on his behalf. I intend to eat one $5 lunch per day for one week in search of value, nourishment, and satisfaction. I’m skeptical as to whether I’ll find all three at one time, but I’ll take two out of three. I mean, technically whatever they serve me counts as nourishment, right?
My first stop: Taco Bell.
Continue reading Fast Food Lunchbox Blitz Day One: Taco Bell