HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

How do you "enhance" your take out/fast food to your liking?

When I get spicy broccoli and steamed rice, I always add peanuts to the broccoli.

And while I don't eat much fast food because I don't eat meat, I do have a weakness for McGriddles, egg and cheese, no meat. I take it home, nuke it in the microwave so it gets really hot, then I pour real maple syrup on the inside of each of the pancakes, sandwich it back up and enjoy. :-) I'm sure somebody is totally disgusted right now!

Had a friend who would mix mustard and ketchup together and dip her fries in that. That to me is so gross!

Anybody else?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Hot sauce like Cholula is great on fries, combining zing with the vinegar. Of course mayonnaise is preferred if the fries are any good.

    1. I don't eat much FF, but with chinese I always like chili-garlic sauce. I also really dig a good spicy mustard.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sisterfunkhaus

        Agreed on the chili-garlic. Just finishted a bottle of rooster sauce and I promised myself NOT to buy the chili-garlic until it was done. NOW I can indulge!!!

        1. re: sisterfunkhaus

          Rooster sauce here on Chinese take out. But no garlic. Just straight up chili paste.

        2. I don't eat a lot of ff either it makes me feel like garbage. The one thing I love is pizza of any kind. In the summer when tomatoes are at their peak I will order in a cheese pizza and slice up a tomato s&P it while I wait for the pizza. When I get it, put a few slices on the piece im eating so good.

          5 Replies
          1. re: itsmejessica

            I like to put crushed red pepper flakes on my cheese pizza. And in a pinch I'll eat a frozen pizza if there is nothing else available. Always add extra cheese and onions before tossing it in the oven.

            1. re: Jpan99

              Yes on frozen pizza always extra cheese and crushed red peppers flakes. Maybe some grated garlic. It helps the frozen pizza.

              1. re: itsmejessica

                It's amazing what a healthy drizzle of olive oil will do for a frozen pizza.

                1. re: Pwmfan

                  Who in their right mind would freeze a pizza? I mean, doesn't the cheese get all hard and icy?

                  1. re: MGZ

                    But it doesn't burn your mouth. Much safer for kids.

          2. Sometimes I'll keep a bottle of barbecue sauce in the glove compartment. A cheap value menu cheeseburger or mechanically seperated chicken sandwich tastes a lot better with some Stubbs or Bulls Eye sauce in it.

            If I ever have stale fast food fries leftover, I reheat them in a dry pan over medium heat. The fries will exude their own oil so you don't need to add any. Just keep them moving so they don't burn, and toss with a little table salt at the end. They will be almost as good as fresh-fried.

            Chinese takeout steamed white rice makes really good fried rice because it's drier than the stuff I make at home, so I always order an extra package.

            12 Replies
            1. re: RealMenJulienne

              Not for fast food, but other fries get reheated at 350 on a baking sheet. Frequently better the second time around. Oh, yeah, and sprinkled with RPF.

                1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                  The light bulb just went on, red pepper flakes?

                        1. re: flavrmeistr

                          They don't have fangs, but they do have wicked teeth.

                           
                2. re: RealMenJulienne

                  Thanks for the tip on the fries, I hate soggy cold fries.

                  1. re: RealMenJulienne

                    Excellent suggestion about the Chinese Fried rice. While I love making home made fried rice the consistency or excess moisture of most home made white rice ruins the consistency of the finished fried rice product. Thanks for the tip!

                    1. re: jrvedivici

                      Which is why you always make your fried rice either with leftover rice that's dried out in the fridge overnight, or you make the rice in the morning, spread it out on a half-sheet pan and let it dry on the counter until it's time to make dinner.

                      1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                        True, but this requires foresight and planning skills which I am sadly short of. The dry takeout joint rice is ready to go right out of the carton.

                  2. I like to "enhance" my McDonald's Filet-O-Fish experience with a second Filet-O-Fish.

                    1. I often add a few drops of sesame oil to some of my
                      Chinese take out - esp lo mein and hot & sour soup.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: ferventfoodie

                        nearly always do this with takeout Chinese. Most wonton soups seem to benefit especially much from this.

                        The best wonton soup I ever had was from a little place in Montreal called Kam Tong; haven't been up there in years so I don't know if it's even still there now. They infused the broth with fresh ginger and added a little sesame oil to the wonton filling so each wonton gave you a mini flavorburst of the stuff. Remarkably good, and the reason I originally picked up the habit.

                        1. re: ferventfoodie

                          Sesame oil is always a good idea. Often, some fresh white pepper is good, too.

                        2. Gotta have malt vinegar with Long John's fish.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                            It's a travesty they don't give you that as standard operating procedure.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              I think they used to back in the 70s. Apparently younger Americans are pretty clueless about the fried fish/malt vinegar combination. A pity for them.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                they have it available, they just leave it up to you to add it.

                            2. Sometime, and only sometime, I use mayo on my French fries. That's probably what I do most.

                              1. Buy quarter pound cheeseburger from McDonald's and bring it home and add fresh lettuce and tomato from my garden.

                                1. Every now and then when in Japan I'd buy a corn dog (called "American dog"), and the convenience stores stock a very nifty packet of mustard/ketchup that you pinch together to use. At the same time, if you don't want one of those two condiments, pot luck...

                                  When I do take-out I take a gander at what spices are in the cupboard and experiment. I bought a pack of yuzu pepper in Japan, though it packs quite an assortment of flavors, so it might be best used for white rice. Zaatar for salads and dukkah for cookies.

                                  BuildingMyBento
                                  http://collaterallettuce.com/

                                  2 Replies
                                    1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                      Shichimi togarashi on white rice often suits my tastes.

                                      Another one that I like is a seasoned salt called Spile; it has many, many ingredients, but when used sparingly I get primarily overtones of curry, citrus, and dried herbs. Spike also combines very well with mayonnaise and a dash of Maggi.

                                    2. I always add extra veggies to canned soup, frozen veggies or just chop up whatever I have on hand. Grilled chicken from the salad bar at work is usually eaten dipped in barbecue sauce and either mayo or blue cheese dressing.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: WhatsEatingYou

                                        I've been known to throw minced scallion, diced carrot, and some hot sauce into storebought Ramen noodles.

                                      2. I always add Mae Ploy sweet and hot chili sauce to Hu's Shrimp Fried rice. Perfect.
                                        And i also keep it in my glove compartment!

                                        1. I forgot to add, I recently bought sivri biber tur┼čusu (hot pickled Turkish peppers) and throw them on every sandwich I eat. Still looking for something with more of a kick, though.

                                          BuildingMyBento
                                          http://collaterallettuce.com/

                                          1. I really enjoy the soups from Whole Foods but usually enhance them with a few ingredients from home. A favorite is to add mussels to the New England Clam Chowder as well as some cream and pepper. With the chili, I will add beans, aged cheddar and always hot sauce. Whenever I do any takeout that might involve dip - chicken fingers, fried chicken, fries, etc. I always use condiments from home.

                                            1. i order a "bacon & egg mcmuffin" and a "sausage mcmuffin", and ditch the bottom muffin slice of each and make myself a "bacon, sausage & egg mcmuffin". too bad mcdonald's bacon is so thin you can hardly taste it.

                                              i tried the same with a bacon cheeseburger and a junior chicken. the jury's still out on that one.

                                              1. I always drink ginger ale with my Chinese take-out. It's a perfect food/beverage pairing.

                                                1. I haven't eaten chain fast food in over a decade, but I remember doin' so. Moreover, I'll get take out from a few different local spots. I find there are two things that have always "enhanced" the experiences. First, smoke a joint before you get the food. Second, have some hot sauce in the house. Trust me, it always works.

                                                  1. i love adding any leftover chinese food to chicken broth and making a new soup.

                                                    also i am a big fan of using my own condiments on chicken.

                                                    and fresh salsa on anything remotely mexican.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: pie22

                                                      I love your soup idea, pie22! Will have to remember to try that, though I seldom have any Chinese leftover besides plain rice, which I sometimes reheat with green peas and a little good cultured butter..

                                                      1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                        Egg rolls and chicken balls in a soup? Oh, I dunno...but ok, I'll give it shot...
                                                        :)

                                                    2. I'll admit I do have a thing for McD's Southern style chicken sandwich. Got one last week to have at home. Remembered I had a couple challah rolls from Wild Flour Bakery here in Philadelphia. They're shaped like a bun, not like a small challah bread. Cut one open, slathered on some mayo, added a slice of American cheese (yes, American! Sorry! :-} ), a handful of salad greens, put the chicken back on and feasted. That worked quite well.

                                                      1. I ask for handfulls of sacue from Taco Bell, then put it on whatever else I decide to get from a drive through. Hot sauce on Wendy's Baconator is exquisite. TB's Salsa Verde I usually wind up sucking right out of the packet, tho.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: njmarshall55

                                                          I have a friend who is right there with you sucking TB sauce right out of the packet. He also will hit two or three drive thrus in a row to get the perfect meal

                                                            1. re: pie22

                                                              I really don't know. He likes certain food from certain places like the fries from Micky D's etc.

                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                When I was kid my mom would sometimes pick up Arby's roast beef sandwiches for a quick dinner. She'd get the sandwiches then head across the street to McDonald's to get fries. That was when the fries really tasted good!

                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                  very nice, i agree mcd's fries complement everything!

                                                          1. There are very few take out foods I eat that can't be enhanced by a variety of hot sauces/ spicy condiments. I finally have a few places trained how spicy I really like it. The key is finding places that can keep the flavor while cranking up the heat.

                                                            1. I cannot believe I am the first to admit it. Sriracha makes even the most oil soaked cold french fry edible. Small bottle in the glove compartment.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                Agreed. Rooster sauce IS the be all and end all condiment! All hail Sriracha!

                                                              2. 1. Hot sauce or Srircha
                                                                2. Horseradish sauce
                                                                3. Toasted sesame oil
                                                                4. Any kind of garlic, depending om the dish. (garlic powder, paste, flakes, jarred minced).

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: liza219

                                                                  I am a big fan of #4 and completely forgot. Added garlic finds its way into most take out dishes eaten at home.

                                                                2. I routinely buy a bacon footlong from Subway, then bring it home and put real turkey or other real meat on it to make a club (ish) sub. The meat like product they use is scary.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: gordeaux

                                                                    When I was a student I would buy the footlong veggie sub meal at lunch. Eat the chips, drink the soda, and eat half the sandwich. The other half I would bring home after class and add cold cuts and whatever other veggies I had in the fridge for dinner.

                                                                  2. Olive oil is a mysterious and perfect enhancer. For peppery foods try a spanish oil, for greens try a Greek or Italian.

                                                                    1. No matter where the fast-food came from, I found it was always "enhanced" by taking the necessary steps beforehand to ensure a raging case of the munchies.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: grampart

                                                                        Great point, always snacks on hand for the takeout induced dopamine-need food now urge.

                                                                      2. Caesar dressing (blue chz dsg acceptable variant) and Louisiana hot sauce, each applied to one bun of takeout chicken sandwich (sandwich ordered dry).

                                                                        Fries re-warmed in toaster oven till crisp. More Louisiana hot sauce for dipping.

                                                                        Broccoli (steamed) and chopped green onions added to lo mein.

                                                                        Pizza often ordered plain, then whichever available/desired of chopped raw garlic, onions, green olives, pepperoni, cooked crumbled Italian sausage, basil, spinach, feta applied; slices re-heated in toaster oven on pizza stone. (This is generally a two-person hack: one chops food and warms oven while other hunts/gathers pie.)

                                                                        Reading through this, I realize I have SERIOUSLY overthought/overworked fast food in my life. I may need a 12-step.

                                                                        1. I like to dip my Burger King croisandwich in maple syrup

                                                                          1. take-out/fast food is rarely seasoned enough. It is usually left bland for mass consumption. Therefore, depending on the dish, I'll add salt/pepper, chilis, and anything except ketchup or yellow mustard.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                              <take-out/fast food is rarely seasoned enough>

                                                                              ? Most fast foods have fairly high salt and sugar content. Now, they may not have a lot of herb, but I won't call them bland.

                                                                            2. I didn't remember this before as I don't eat many take out sandwiches but I love hoagies but if I'm not in Philadelphia at a traditional hoagie place, I will get the sub with no condiments and use my own imported Olive oil at home, this really turns a good sub to pretty great.

                                                                              1. Honey on pizza. (Usually a meat-based pizza) Used to just dip the pizza bones in it... now it just gets all over it along with some "good" grated parmesan.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                  I am also guilty of dipping pizza bones in ranch or the whole slice in straight balsamic vinegar. Yum.

                                                                                2. I'll usually doctor up most foods with either ground black pepper (pizza, salad, eggs) and malt vinegar (fish, fries, battered foods) and I usually find most take away isn't hot enough so I'll heat it on quick blast in the oven.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                    I agree, I usually have to reheat. Well, I reheat foods which I can. If fried items aren't warm enough I just go with it.

                                                                                  2. I'll add my voice to those who sing the praises of mayo on good fries.

                                                                                    I like the Wendy's "natural-cut" fries much better than their old frozen ones, but whatever mayo Wendy's uses seems to have no taste at all, whether applied to fries or to burgers, chicken, etc. Zip. Nada. To me it only seems to function as a lubricant and I need to get real mayo from elsewhere. Has anyone else noticed this?.

                                                                                    1. When I order fish sandwiches at McDonalds, I ask them to put extra tartar sauce on it so I can scrape some off and dip my fries in it.

                                                                                      When I get the Giant Roast Beef sandwiches at Arby's, I don't even eat the bread, I just grab handfulls of the beef.

                                                                                      1. All takeout sandwiches I order with no lettuce..just gets soggy going home, so I add fresh lettuce.
                                                                                        Same with condiments...I'll hold the mayo/mustard and add at home.
                                                                                        Will often add an egg to a burger or Asian dish...

                                                                                        1. A few dash of maggi on my chinese takeout and meats along with fresh black pepper on everything.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: DarthEater

                                                                                            I love maggi but have to remember to just use a few dashes.

                                                                                          2. Hot sauce. I keep it in the glove box.

                                                                                            1. Had a co-worker who did something in fast food places that I thought was ODD until she explained. She'd always request fries with NO salt and then salt them anyway? Wasn't a salt thing, cuz she would GENEROUSLY salt them anyway?

                                                                                              Her explanation was perfect! She knew she'd have to wait a few extra minutes because a new batch would have to go in.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. I enhance my Subway experience by walking straight past and getting a sandwich from somewhere else.