So a while back I get an email from Serious Eats (food website) highlighting the UNHEALTHIEST fast-food of 2012 and you know that got my heart pumping. Last year I set out to eat some of the worst eats out there in Fast Food H-E-L-L and it was both fun and painful. But who can resist starting off 2013 with an overdose of calories, fats and sodium? Sounded like the perfect foundation for Fast Food HELL Part Deux! And yeah, it's a bit of fun doing these junk food posts so without further adieu my fast food devils, let's get eating and try not to get too hungry or too ill...
My first fast food victim was a doozy. Given Wendy's is right around the corner from work, I went for the easy kill, the Baconator. At the drive-thru window they ask, "Single, double or triple?" For a brief moment I pause but yeah, three's my lucky number so I order up max-calories. I pass on the fries but with 1360 calories and 38 grams of saturated fat, the Baconator Triple out-calories last year's Monster Thick-burger! I get back to my desk with my little white paper bag, and my co-worker Amanda is aghast as a healthy vegetarian. I unwrap my sandwich which is so big it requires two pieces of wax paper. The Baconator Triple is similar to any Wendy's burger in terms of its footprint but it's stacked and tall. Three 1/4 beef patties, 2 pieces of cheese, 4 or so slices of bacon with a bit of mayo to top this meat-feast.
I latch onto it with both hands and try to figure out how to cram it in but in it goes. First bite and it's tasty. Decent, greasy beef, salty bacon and cheese with some smooth mayo makes it very similar to BK's stacker. A couple of more bites and yeah, it's a beef and cheese injection which is totally enjoyable and shockingly, the bun is holding all the parts together. But even if this burger is good, there's SO much of it. I get about 80% through and put it aside. I may be crazy but I'm not stupid, the last couple of bites will have to wait even if I did pay over $8 (with tax) for this bad-boy!
Moving on to the white meat side of the world, my next fast food victim was KFC's new Chunky Chicken Potpie! After being horribly disappointed last year by their DoubleDown, I wasn't that optimistic about what the Colonel would deliver in 2013. At $3.99 the KFC potpie is a deal but I have to admit to getting worried about the weightiness of the meal. It seemed awfully light but we shall see! Getting home I crack upon the box and you've got beautifully browned, 7 - 8" diameter pie with lots of crust overhang. Definitely a visual feast but potpies are all about what's underneath, right? I punch open the crust and it crackles a bit, smells a bit of butter. Inside there's gravy, chicken and veggies with the emphasis on gravy which is tinged with the classic KFC spices There's not that much chicken but what is there contrasts nicely with the peas and carrots. So what you end up with is mostly pastry and gravy which is still not bad at all.
Looking at the nutritional information the KFC Chunky Potpie is on the light side, only 790 calories but where it goes bad is the 37 grams of saturated fat, nearly double the recommended daily intake. The potpie is really a decent size but not uber-filling. I can see some 20 year old dropping $8 and eating two which will probably knock a day or two off your life. But you know what? The KFC chicken potpie would nearly be worth giving up some of your time on earth, it's a tasty meal!
Next on the list was Pizza Hut's Mighty Meaty P'zone! At $5 it wasn't a bad deal, nicely browned, crescent of pizza crust dusted with cheese and parsley for good effect. About 10" wide, the P'zone has some heft but isn't particularly thick. Inside you'll find a layer of cheese, ham, pepperoni, sausage and more. Same toppings you'd get on a pizza but turned inside out. With a side of marinara sauce, this boy is ready to eat!
Dip the P'zone into the sauce, a bite and a chew later, not bad. Overall it's about carbs, crust and toppings but in a different way than pizza. The meat filling is decent but of Pizza Hut quality so there's a bit of an unknown quality to the taste. The cheese in my P'zone was a lot less than expected and since the sauce is on the side, your tastebuds are focused on the meat! Crust-wise the P'zone is just ok. It's thin so you aren't weighed down with doughy thickness but also a bit spongy which is not my preference. The marinara dipping sauce is also overly sweet and simple which surprised me a bit. Overall I liked it as a meal but it was squarely in the middle: average price, average taste, average size. Which isn't always a bad thing but also not particularly impressive.
Now I'm not sure what a calorie smells like but I'm pretty sure it's what my car smelled like with the McDonald's Big Breakfast sitting inside. Grease, butter and maybe some savory, the Big Breakfast packs a huge caloric punch (1,490) even though it doesn't look like much and doesn't cost too much ($5.49). Scrambled eggs, sausage patty, hash brown, hot cakes and biscuit. But once you start digging in, it becomes obvious it's a LOT of food. Dense, dense eggs, greasy sausage and hashbrown, it's like a sausage egg McMuffin deconstructed. But wait, there's more! The hotcakes with two pads of butter and two containers of syrup sitting on the side are NOT as innocent as they look, ouch.
I dig in, tearing through the savory eggs, sausage and hash brown, not bad at all. Smear the butter tween each of the three hotcakes, drizzle (slather) syrup over the top and start forking it in. Yep, the action starts slowing down cause pancakes pack a punch. And finally, the lonely dry biscuit, ugh. After finishing this meal, you certainly know you're in FAST FOOD HELL my friend! If you eat the McDonald's Breakfast, I hope you're fasting through lunch and going light on dinner because unless you're an Olympic swimmer or professional football player, it's way too much calories and carbs to start your day!
So there you go, my fellow fast food fiends. Who can say no to these high calorie treats when you're sitting in your car, take-out speaker front and center. McBon appetit!
Wendy’s Baconator Triple Taste: *** Queasiness: *** Value: **
KFC Chunky Chicken Potpie Taste: ***** Queasiness: * Value: ***
Pizza Hut Meaty P'Zone Taste: *** Queasiness: ** Value: ***
McDonald’s Big Breakfast Taste: *** Queasiness: **** Value: ****
(Ratings out of 5 stars)