It's no secret that Americans consume far too much fast food, and I'm no exception. I've cut back considerably since seeing Super Size Me, but at least two days a week I'm still having fast food. Fast food is nothing without the proper condiments though, and today I'll review some of my favorites, in no particular order.

1) Ketchup. What list of condiments wouldn't start with Ketchup? Interestingly enough I had both ketchup and spaghetti sauce for years before ever having my first actual tomato in my late teens. I may even have been in my early twenties. Or late twenties. Or last week. Ketchup is the All-Condiment, and goes with hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, chicken strips and more. Some people prefer mustard for hot dogs, but I've never cared for it personally.

2) Mayonnaise. Mayo is great on deli sandwiches, especially sliced turkey. It's also great on any number of fast food chicken sandwiches, and tuna fish becomes twenty times between when mixed with a healthy dollop of mayonnaise. It is not good by itself though and if it was all I had to eat on a desert island, I'm not sure I'd curl up with a jar the way Hurley has in the past.

3) Ketchup + Mayonnaise = French Dressing, or so that's what my mom taught me in Arby's when I was a boy. I've also combined these items at Wendy's and Roy Rogers. Roy's undoubtedly has the best results and this makeshift dressing is great for dipping their thick, piping hot french fries. Further research reveals that these two condiments do not combine to form French dressing, but are in fact closer to Russian Dressing. I'll have to let my mom know. It's nice to learn as a child my tastes were more international than I realized, combining French Fries with Russian Dressing.

4) Taco Bell Fire Sauce. The Mild is a joke, more water than anything, and the Hot is a bit of a misnomer, but Fire is where the flavor is at. Nachos aren't nachos without chapped lips.

5) Buffalo Sauce. I had my first real taste of spice with Buffalo Wings in a Friendly's. It was a lot like a cartoon. It didn't hit me right away and when it did, I felt like the ice in my water melted and evaporated before I poured any. The Blue Cheese dressing did little to quell the fire, but the entire experience was not unlike tasting food again for the first time, numb taste buds shocked into a state of heightened consciousness. I loved it, and from Applebee's to Chili's, I ordered it any chance I got. While not a big beer drinker, I will admit that no beverage goes better with truly hot wings. On the fast food side, both McDonald's and Burger King now offer Buffalo Sauce in small plastic containers. Mickey Dee's definitely offers a stronger sauce, but it's so unnaturally bright orange that I'm certain I'd glow in the dark if I had it more than once or twice a year. Burger King's probably isn't much healthier, yet I have that about once a week. The best kind to buy in a supermarket is Frank's Red Hot, which I believe Rey clued me in to, and which can also be found at The Green Cactus.

6) Barbecue Sauce. It's spicy and tangy without being hot like Buffalo sauce, yet it's something different from ketchup. It's definitely the best ketchup option when one doesn't want to go the burning tonsils route. Wendy's makes a particularly good one.

7) A1 Steak Sauce. I don't often go out for steak, less now that many of the Sizzlers in my area have gone out of business. But whenever I DID go to Sizzler and that A1 bottle was on the table, it was the first thing added to my steak. Sometimes I followed it with ketchup which I regret as an adult, because marring its pure form is blasphemous.

8) Honey Mustard. I don't like basic yellow mustard, but Honey Mustard, which my friends in college introduced to me during a camping trip, is definitely an exception to the rule. These days I'll most often have it on a sandwich at either Quizno's or Subway.

Honorable mention should go to Subway's Ranch Dressing as well, and this concludes my condiment review. So, what do you like on your food?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe I just wasted 2 minutes I'll never get back by reading your list of condiments. What was more tragic was your rhapsodical recollections of your childhood memories of condiments.

Do you realize there is a big, bright, beautiful world that lies somewhere between your computer screen and Arby's? And that bright burning orb in the sky....we call that the "sun".

Go get some fresh air...

5/02/2006 8:22 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

I personally LOVE McDonald's BBQ sauce above all others. I love it on my McD's fries and on my McD's Double Cheeseburgers.

When it comes to Subway I like the Southwest sauce.

My son doesn't like any condiments. He prefers his food plain.

5/02/2006 10:05 AM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Man, I can't believe I just wasted exactly eighteen seconds reading the first comment somebody left here, only to have to go back and waste another two whole minutes re-reading your post so I could try to figure out what that anonymous wanker was so worked up about... and then had to waste one minute and twelve seconds opening Outlook Express so I could use the spellchecker to spellcheck the word "anonymous" because it's a word that I always misspell... and boy did I ever feel stupid when I realized all I had to do was scroll down and re-read the aforementioned wanker's comment, which would have enabled me to check the spelling of "anonymous" without opening Outlook Express at all. Gosh. I guess what I'm trying to say is, GO OUTSIDE, MCF. Why waste time doing something you enjoy and are good at (writing) when you could be outside, staring into the sun, slowly going out of your %$#% MIND... which I understand is a leading cause of the specific insanity that causes wankers to leave hateful, gutless, spineless, soulless comments at blogs. Or words to that effect.

I like mustard.

5/02/2006 1:38 PM  
Blogger The Unseen One said...

Anonycoward reads your posts, is PO'ed that it wasted two minutes of their life, then sat there and wasted MORE TIME typing out a reply.


Anonycoward, get a life.

5/02/2006 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My comments were hateful? And gutless, spineless, soulless" are terms of endearment?

I guess you believe the blogs are for the free exchange of ideas....as long as you agree with the ideas.

And another thing...."wanker"? The 1980's called, they want their word back.

5/02/2006 3:35 PM  
Blogger Kev said...

Can't stand mustard (... see it, even has the word 'tard in it!).
And A-1 on steak!?! Are you crazy? Sizzlers steaks must not have been very tasty, because that is the only reason ever to use steak sauce - on a less than good steak. Steak should be enjoyed as prepared!

I don't do spicy hot, so I stay away from buffalo anything.
I only eat mayonaise as part of chicken salad, and that I prefer more chicken than salad, sort of a pasty chicken salad as opposed to the almost runny variety you get from delis.

BBQ sauce, I prefer a combination of smokey, sweet, and just a little hint of spicy. I like the KC Masterpiece sauce from Kraft - but the best is from a local BBQ joint called Shylers.
Another local BBQ joint, that's almost a sin not to like, is Wolf's. But I don't like their sauce - it's too watery and thin with not much taste.

5/02/2006 5:00 PM  
Blogger Kev said...

Apparently "anonymous" doesn't "get" this blog.
We, you're loving fans, however, do "get it".
Keep on writing MCF.

5/02/2006 5:01 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Anon: The 1980's called, they want their word back.

WHOOOOOOAAAA! Good one! No, really, that's really a super great rejoinder! Wow! How'd you EVER think of that?

I gotta get me one of them dictionaries that makes sure I know what words are associated with what decades. I feel SOOOO totally gnarly. I mean, as if! MCF, your blog is REALLY attracting some Oscar Wilde level quipsters!

Stupid wanker.

I guess you believe the blogs are for the free exchange of ideas....as long as you agree with the ideas.

Yep, that's right. By making fun of you, I've prevented you from freely exchanging your ideas. That's because I'm one of those terrible anti-free-speech guys. I'm a anti-free speech guy, you're a stupid wanker.

Gag me with a spoon, I'm SOOO sure!

5/02/2006 5:38 PM  
Blogger MCF said...

Stick around anonymous; I'm sure you'll find tomorrow's post more to your liking. I probably won't have any photos of Giant Eagle or anything, but there will definitely be fresh air. I'm sorry if the title of my post misled you to believe it would be anything more interesting than Wrestling with snack choices in my Youth. Kev and everyone who get MCF, I appreciate the love; you folks rock. Be the last thing I would do is not take or allow criticism though; this is a free forum. Both the negative and positive comments will stand.

Also, I think "wanker" is more of a British term, so if anyone was calling to get their word back...

5/02/2006 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But alas poor Kev, the great MCF is the one who "gets" it. I thought you might too, but for shame.

Darrell (and his other brother Darrell) was too busy joisting with windmills to see the man behind the curtain.

Allow us all to marvel at the passion sarcasm can evoke...

5/02/2006 10:00 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

That anon wanker was from Giant Eagle? Wow, bummer.

Cholula's hot sauce beats the pants off of Red Hot. Much spicier and oh so delicious.

I cannot believe you didn't eat a tomato until your teens. That is .... weird.

5/03/2006 7:45 AM  
Blogger TheWriteJerry said...

Whoa - looks like I came late to the party!

For the record, I like too many sauces and condiments to list here. But at the top would be spicy brown mustard.

And let us give some proper praise to relish, especially on hot dogs.

And Anon - MCF gets outside more than a park ranger.

5/03/2006 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anon Wanker said...

....and adding to the irony Kelly, is this feature from Giant Eagle about that teenage temptation the tomato...

5/03/2006 10:22 AM  
Blogger Scott Roche said...

No love for Heinz 57? I had some of that on my fries for the first time in a wanker's age and it's just as good as I recall. I will agree that that steak sauce has zero place on any steak worth eating but does well on ground beef in any form. Also on fries.

I like McD's bbq sauce.

My hot sauce of choice is Tabasco's Chipotle (although any of their sauces are excellent).

The only ketcup I will voluntarilly consume is Heinz.

The best chili sauce (of the variety that goes on a hot dog/nachos) is hands down Castleberry's.

5/03/2006 12:10 PM  
Blogger FawnDoo said...

Wanker is more of a British term, but not one that is limited to the 1980s! It's an excellent word, it really is...few words match it for sheer ability to express frustration and anger in two elegant syllables. For mouthing at dangerous drivers, for muttering under your breath, for shouting at the TV, it's a word for all seasons, it really is.

5/03/2006 6:34 PM  
Blogger Rey said...

I'm going to have to go with Fawndoo on this. Wanker easily rolls off the tongue.

Um...that didn't come out right.

Erm...neither did that.

5/05/2006 4:48 PM  

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