In this here blog, I have alternately praised and condemned Burger King and their food. And for the longest time, I didn’t eat there. A long time ago, I might randomly drop in to remind myself why I hated it so much. Wendy’s is another place I stopped going to regularly, also documented in this here blog. I would rarely stop in and when I did, I would leave full and disappointed.
These two places are what I consider third-tier dining. Over time, I elevated myself to places I consider second-tier. Conveniently, in the current economy, you can simplify this scale of mine into how many $10 bills it takes to get a meal. Third-tier meals typically cost less than $10. Second-tier is $10-20/meal, and first-tier is over $20. So, yeah, I suppose my business-class, expensed travel meals that were something like $70 rate about the same as a meal at Kobe. That kind of sums up how refined my palate is.
But anyway, it was early sometime this year that I had made the comment, “I’ve eaten at Wendy’s more times this month than I have in the last few years.” I can’t really say why Wendy’s fell back onto my list of viable dining places. I think it was an alternative SadMeal™ at the time and it kind of stuck with me.
Today marks the second time within a week that I’ve eaten at Burger King. One of my biggest gripes with the place is that the double cheeseburger is hardly worth the effort to eat. But on the random decision to eat there one day, I saw on the menu (which was totally different than I last remember it), they had a thing called “Double Quarter Pound King”, which looked essentially like a double whopper with cheese, or, to my excitement, a larger-than-old-times double cheeseburger. And I bought it right away.
The taste of the burger was awesomely nostalgic and the fries even seemed to be better than I remember, too. I left that day with a surprisingly positive impression. Today, when I went back for a repeat visit, the smell in the restaurant took me back to my hometown. (Fun fact: When I was much younger, I worked at that BK for two weeks and two days. On my second day, I decided I didn’t like working there and put in my two-week notice – and fulfilled it) Today’s experience was slightly marred by an undercooked patty, but I ate around the pink (heh) and was still satisfied at the end.
Despite the unmistakable smell of a Burger King that surprises me when I get inside, the other thing that surprises me is the way the place makes me feel – sad. For a very long time, I’ve held the impression that BK is probably about as low as you can go in the burger world. I know that’s not absolutely true, because I’ve been to a Krystal once, which resulted in me coining the term, “meat pringles” to describe their burger patties. But anyway, watching people buy and eat BK food fills me with pity, that they may not have better options available to them.
I’ve always thought the only reason I’m still alive today is because I was able to elevate myself to eating at second-tier restaurants, where the quality of food is higher (possibly only marginally). So, with that personal impression, maybe it’s a little weird to regress and start eating less healthy options. But, at the same time, as I get older, the more I want to just enjoy the current moment. (Fun fact: when I was much younger I always thought going to the bathroom was such a waste of time, like I had so many other things I’d rather be doing. Now, going to the bathroom at work is a chance to actually relax and savor. It feels like the only time I can be alone with my thoughts)
The non-point of this post is just to document a moment when I might just be slumming it in the dining department, or it may retroactively identify that 2018 was a turning point in my dietary standards.