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Dec 13, 1999 01:45 PM

Hey...I like Wendy's!

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On the splash page, Jim vows "May I eat nothing but Wendy's for the rest of my life if I ever offer less than purely objective chow advice."

Why Wendy's? I've always thought that Wendy's is the best of the fast-food options out there. I could understand if he vowed to eat nothing but McDonald's or (yech) Burger King, but given the choice to eat food from only one fast-food joint for the rest of my life, the choice would be easy: Wendy's.

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    Patrick Thompson

    Wendy's the best of the fast-fooders? Hmm. I'd have weighed in for White Castle (or, in a more regional vein, Maid Rite).Anyone else willing to fess up to a liking for franchise junk?

    13 Replies
    1. re: Patrick Thompson

      For me, it used to be Taco Bell. The regular taco with their brand hot sauce was my primary craving in 1965 when I was "with child" for the first time. I used to sneak out at night with an equally rotund friend and we'd go to Taco Bell and eat 3 a piece, then sneak home again. (They were not on my diet). Boy, I loved those things. Of course in those days the meat was more than a smear of meat-like paste and the taco shells were not of the non-fat variety. I have one from time to time now, but only one, and I'm always disappointed. pat

      1. re: pat hammond

        On the west coast it has to be In-n-Out burger. Double, Double(double meat and cheese)with those fresh cut fries.

        1. re: pat hammond

          I am not a Taco Bell veteran, but there are historical reasons for the sea change in their food. The matter is written about extensively in Reengineering the Corporation , by Michael Hammer and James Champy. The compny examined what the customers wanted, and apparently a chowhound experience wasn't on the list.

          One of the things that Taco Bell did in the 80s was to downsize its kitchens, through what the company called the K-minus initiative -- kitchenless restaurants. (I kid you not, see p. 177.) Everthing is cooked (and chopped and diced) outside the restaurant in central commissaries, and the kitchen has been 'reengineered' in to an assembly and staging area.

          I hope that you can find some consolation in the fact the the decline of filings to a sparse meatlike paste is a reflection of significant economic trends.

          Taco bell was not a significant presence in NY until post-reengineering, perhaps why I have no affectionate memories of the place. What does it for me is Wesson's (do they exist anymore?) which provided me with my first taste of fast food fries.

          1. re: Alan Divack

            I won't go to Taco Bell since of the horrible stories I have heard from people that have worked there.

            I do like White Castle a lot, but I wish to hell they would build them in nice areas. They could charge double for the damn things where I live and I would still buy 'em, as long as I know I was safe wehn I walked in there. But thats a funny thing about sliders -- the more dangerous an area you are in, the better they taste.

            It's been mentioned here many times but White Mana in Hackensack is also the mecca of the best greaseburgers in this area of the country.

            I used to like Mcdonalds fries a long time ago but they have since replaced peanut oil with something else, and they don't taste the same anymore. For best commercial fast food fries on the planet my vote would have to be for Nathans, and I would also nominate their hot dogs and hamburgers (which you have to -wait- for) in that category as well.

            The Wendys chicken sandwich, as somebody pointed out, is pretty good.

            1. re: Jason Perlow
              Russell Drecque

              Jason, my man: You know the difference between 'fast food' and 'junk' food? Not much. I wouldn't be scared of those rough nabes you mentioned, but for all those hormones and antibiotics clogging that cheap meat, not to mention melted down grease they fry it all up in. I think you and other scarfers ought to get a support group going and take it to another website, otherwise us connoisseurs will start moanin: "There goes the neighborhhod!"

              1. re: Russell Drecque

                I don't think there is any danger of Chowhound becoming
                a mecca for greaseburger seekers anytime soon, Russell, but I think one can have an appreciation for White Castle as much as they can for filet of beef at a fine restaurant. There's good fast food and there is bad fast food, if you've ever been to White Mana in Hackensack then perhaps you would understand.

                The desire for it probably stems from nostalgia and childhood memories than anything else. But I like a good greasy hamburger as much as anyone else, and I am not ashamed of saying so either.

                1. re: Jason Perlow

                  Right on, Jason! Say, didn't McDonald's use beef tallow for the fries in the good old days?

                  1. re: Jim Dorsch
                    Rachel Perlow

                    That's what I told him, that or lard!

                    1. re: Jim Dorsch

                      Rachel and I are both 30, I am not sure if we are old enough to remember what Mcdonalds used to fry their food in -- if they used animal fat that has to be pre 1970's, no?

                      Whatever they used in the 70's, it was better than what they use now, for sure.

                      1. re: Jim Dorsch

                        Beef Tallow? Yep.

                        And all french fries used to be hand cut on the premesis from fresh potatoes. Not anymore.

                        Have to say that I used to be a fan of McD's double-cheeseburgers, but have boycotted the place since it was replaced by the odious Quarter Pounder with cheese.

                2. re: Alan Divack

                  Whoa-- that brings back memories. I remember what I think was one of the first MacD. forerunners, Wetson's in Hempstead, LI. My grandparents used to take me there when I was really little. I loved it!

                  1. re: Barb H.
                    Paul Anthony Browne

                    On the subject of Wetson's, which has been mentioned here a couple of times, anyone know a (compact) history of Wetson's or where to find one? I've found histories of other defunct chains, such as Burger Chef, Royal Castle etc., but Wetson's remains elusive. Anyway, I used to go to one in Connecticut back in the '70's...

                    1. re: Paul Anthony Browne


                      I remember wetsons myself. There were a few in Brooklyn when I was growing up as well. My guess is they probably moved down south like the Jack in the Boxes which I believe are still around. Probably couldnt compete with the current mega burger franchises (Micky D's, B.K.) Your best bet is to try down there. Good luck.


            2. "given the choice to eat food from only one fast-food joint for the rest of my life,"

              Freezing to death is better than boiling to death, but I'd vastly prefer to live!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Jim Leff

                I think I might go for the classic flame-broiled Whopper at Burger King if I were doing national fast food, and White Castle otherwise. But if it were any kind of fast food, I'd switch over to an Italian beef sandwich. Unfortunately, I haven't found Italian beef here in the DC area.

                Big Dog and I visited a Five Guys burger store when he visited DC a few months ago. They have two or three stores. Alas, the original in Arlington (Columbia Pike and Glebe Rd) is gone. They used buns from Brenner's Bakery, a couple doors down, and had crunching music bouncing off the tin ceiling. Each burger is made with two hand-formed patties and cooked to order. They post a sign stating the origin of the potatoes each day, and have a bag of peanuts in the shell to occupy patrons while they wait. They have a seating area in one of the stores now; hope that doesn't ruin it.

                1. re: Jim Dorsch

                  Five Guys sounds a bit like Giant Hamburger, a Bay Area fast food chain. Quite decent burgers (hand-formed and cooked to order) and fries. Another fine burger chain in CA is Fast Eddie's Meal on a Bun (MOAB). I haven't eaten much chain fast food since I moved east -- I still haven't eaten a White Castle burger.

              2. seconded

                wendy's spicy chicken sandwich with fries and a gallon of coke is about as good as fast-food gets, so when i'm on a road trip and forced to pull over and swallow my pride to eat at a national chain, i'm glad when it's wendy's and not the unspeakable Mcd's or BK (god, I've spoken them) or worse.

                parenthetically, what is it about Roy Rogers that makes me physically ill every time...does anyone kow? do they use a low grade of tallow to fry stuff with, or what?