07 August 2010

america's condiment obsession: a rant

So we made it to Pensacola! That's really "old news" by this point, since we got here Thursday and B checked in to his new command yesterday.  We're staying in the Navy Lodge, and tonight we feasted on Easy Mac in our lovely kitchenette.  I'm planning on getting more adventurous with our cuisine though; I even brought a small slow-cooker.

On our two-day drive, we ate fast food for lunch each day. The first day was Wendy's--I don't eat fast food much, and now I remember why.  I decided I wanted a double cheeseburger value meal.  Those come "deluxe," and my translation of that term means lettuce and tomato.  But an explanation is provided absolutely NOWHERE in the entire place (yes, I did look).  Sometimes I get the employee to spout off the litany of crap which comes on the burger and then I go from there, picking stuff off.  I didn't feel like being that girl on Wednesday, so I just said "no pickle."  Bad idea.  Apparently what "deluxe" means is lettuce, tomato, onion, and every darn nasty sauce under the sun.  Blech!  I had to scrape off most of it.

Why do we have to "hold" things instead of add them?  No wonder why you're fat, America!  I know the Burger King saying is "Have It Your Way," but I still have to ask for things to be LEFT OUT of their sandwiches, and it's a pain in the bum when I don't know what's on it to begin with.  I also noticed this after studying abroad in Italy.  My favorite lunch sandwich there was panini in its simplest form:  pomodoro e mozarella.  All it had was tomato (pomodoro), mozarella cheese, and a piece of lettuce sandwiched between some yummy fresh bread.  When I was back in the States, I found a few places that sold panini, thinking I could get my basic one.  Nope, not a chance in hell for that.  Everything in these "authentic" Italian shops had a minimum of nine ingredients.  I guess in America [some of] the people want the kitchen sink, so that is what we are given.  I've given up on any type of panini-quest and will just have to make my own.

So the next day of our road trip, we were driving near Montgomery, Alabama, around lunch time and I let B choose any lunch spot of his liking.  Being the adventurist, he sees a sign for something new and different, and off we go to Whataburger.  Apparently, this is a Gulf Coast thing -- we do have them here in Pensacola, but their headquarters are in Corpus Christi, TX.  It was fantastic!  They asked me EVERYTHING I wanted on my burger, down to the last drop of ketchup.  She even asked if I wanted it "dry," and I said yes.  I'm pretty sure if I told that Wendy's gal to make it "dry," she would've looked at me like I had three heads!  So, thank you, Whataburger, for letting me build my own burger instead of deconstructing someone else's excessively calorie-laden idea of one.  Also, thanks for being very generous with your fresh lettuce and fresh cut-tomato.  I'm a fan!


  1. Ugh! You're so right...I HATE having to pick everything off and really only like my hamburgers with pickles, cheese and meat! Most places always put wayyy too much of everything else and its just disgusting! But I'm glad you found a place you like! :)

  2. Let me tell you... when we road tripped, I packed us tuna kits for lunches so we could just stop at a rest stop and eat it... there's no way I could have eaten fast food the entire way! It gets too ridiculous. We stopped for Wendy's in Nevada I think, and I thought I was going to hurl in the desert! I also hate having to guess what's on a burger... give me lettuce, tomato and maybe, maybe mayo... but rarely, since there's enough on it to feed an army.

    How are youenjoying P'Cola?

  3. Elizabeth, good call on the tuna kits! When my mom and I did our last big road trip, we had peanut butter and jelly and bread at the ready, and we had a microwave in the back of the van so we could get Lean Cuisines or whatever. We had to get ice for our cooler every other day or so, but it was cheaper and a bit healthier!

    Sorry about your Nevada experience; that sounds nasty! And Pensacola is nice -- much quieter and slower than I was prepared for, even after people telling me it's this way.

  4. There are some awesome burger joints in Montgomery. And some good food in Pensacola too. I can't wait to go to Joe Patti's again