TOP TEN BEST FAST FOOD JOINTS

I have a lot of unapologetic love for fast food and so I thought it would be fun to offer up a list of my favourite fast food places around. I also thought it would be fun to insult and metaphorically tear down the places I don't like. These are just my opinions, so feel free to call me crazy all you want. Here we go!

10. Tim Horton's

As a Canadian, I am contractually obligated to put Tim Horton's on any list like this one. I am pretty sure that one of the rules of being Canadian is that you have to love and appreciate Tim Horton's. There's probably some Tim Horton's-related question on the citizenship application. The message is simple: if you don't love Tim Horton's, get out of the country. That said, Tim Horton's is pretty damn tasty. Never mind that the majority of the staff look like they'd rather kill you than serve you. The food is decent and the donuts are often great. Plus, it's open 24 hours, which means you can get a dozen donuts and a yummy hot drink at 3 in the morning. You can't go wrong there.

 

9. Flying Wedge Pizza

Where else can you get a hearty pizza with coconut, curried cream cheese, and marinated bombay chicken? Or how about some zucchini and snow peas? Okay, so it'll cost you over 5 bucks for a single slice of pizza (unless you go with the ultra-simple Wedge of the Day, which still gets close to 4 dollars with tax and stuff), but the pizza is delicious and the toppings are very unique.

 

8. Quiznos Sub

The real home of the toasted fast food sub. With lots of different sandwiches to choose from and ingredients that don't taste like crap (unlike that other famed sub restaurant), Quiznos is a great place to have a quick and easy bite to eat. The sandwiches are quite filling and the menu offers enough options to please a wide range of sub lovers. As a bonus, they also offer tasty soup (though it's a bit pricey given the small portion).

 

7. KFC

The Colonel's famous fried chicken is still going strong. With lots of additional options, from chicken sandwiches to wraps to hot wings, this place does about as much as you could expect with tasty poultry. But it is the classic meal with chicken pieces fried in that delicious batter, fries, gravy (the best fast food has to offer), and that crazy radioactive coleslaw that really seal the deal for me. Oh, and they also make chicken bowls with corn and mashed potatoes and cheese. And yes, they taste as good as they sound.

 

6. Wendy's

Chili! Baked potatoes! Fantastic fries! And a little beast called the Baconator. All of these things make Wendy's an excellent example of fast food gone right. The Baconator may make you feel like tearing out your stomach afterwards, but it tastes awesome going down. There are tons of cheap options that make a small snack a definite possibility and they recently brought out a fish sandwich (made with Pacific Cod) that actually tastes like a real fish sandwich. And their Frostees make for a very good dessert, too.

 

5. McDonald's

The classic. The legend. The greasy, unstoppable behemoth. There is no denying the power and influence of McDonald's. And while something so popular (and so definitively fast food-y) may seem like an easy target, it still remains one of my favourite places to chow down on greasy food. The McChicken rules, the cheap options are very good, the wraps are tasty, and the fries are often great. Things were already going pretty well in the past. But then they completely raised their game by unleashing the Angus Burger, which is absolutely delicious. And they're everywhere, too. You can't escape them, so just give in to the power of McDonald's. Now if only I could convince them to bring back their pizza.

 

4. Nando's

It's almost unfair to include this restaurant on the list, because it is fast food operating on a different level than most of its counterparts. They sell beer, they offer full chickens, and their hot sauce is actually (*gasp*) hot. It won't kill you or anything, but at least they give you the option of getting close to burning off your taste buds. Their Peri Fries are basically just fries with a dusting of Portugese spice, but they're ridiculously tasty. And again, their Peri Peri hot sauce is among my favourite hot sauces ever. Also, you can tell them how spicy to make your chicken and they really relish a challenge. So if you like hot (as I do), then don't be afraid to push the workers to make it as spicy as possible.

 

3. Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits

Sadly, there is no Popeyes in Western Canada, which is where I live. I have only had the pleasure of biting down on Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits a few times in my life, but each bite was absolutely divine. The biscuits are one of the greatest items sold in fast food restaurants, the chicken batter is unique, and the inclusion of rice and beans on the menu is a pleasant surprise (but it makes sense, given the restaurant chain's Louisiana roots). It's different, it's delicious, and I can't wait to have it again.

 

2. Taco Bell

Mexican food with a fast food flair. A million items (okay, maybe a little less) being sold at cheap prices. Free refills. And they have Dr. Pepper! Taco Bell is a kind of fast food heaven for me. The options are seemingly endless and I can stuff myself for under 10 bucks. Tacos, burritos, chalupas, gorditas. They're all delicious and they all have meat and cheese. And you wash that meat and cheese down with Dr. Pepper. Simply incredible.

 

1. Mary Brown's

And so we come to number one. The big deal. The final spot on this best list. And just like Popeyes, it's a place that I rarely get to visit. Mary Brown's is a fried chicken joint that exists only in parts of Canada where I don't live (I smell a conspiracy). But while not having one next door to me is a form of personal torture, when I do get my hands on Mary Brown's, it's as though time has stopped. Mary Brown's is like KFC touched by the hand of God. And even if the chicken wasn't so amazing, this would still be number one on the list because of what this restaurant does with potatoes. Instead of measly little fries, Mary Brown's offers up their famous taters, which earn my vote as the single greatest thing ever done with a potato. They are perfection and should have a shrine built in their honour. In addition to this, the Mary Brown's in Newfoundland (the only place this divine creation has ever touched my lips) sells Pineapple Crush (aka the Greatest Beverage Ever). It is simply impossible for me to express how much I love this place, so I will just say thank you to the people of Mary Brown's for elevating fast food to such a spectacular level.

 

TOP FIVE WORST FAST FOOD JOINTS

5. A&W

They make great root beer, but somewhere along the way, this famous chain went wrong. The fries taste like cardboard and the onion rings I once loved so much are now so doused in that salty spice stuff that you'll need ten litres of root beer to wash it all down. And given that their constant "deals" are really not deals at all, you end up with a fast food place that seems to think it's way better than it really is. Go for the root beer, but fill up on food somewhere else.

 

4. Taco Time

Somehow, this place manages to be more expensive than Taco Bell and still taste like crap when compared to the Bell. The cheap-o tacos are edible, but my experience with their more expensive items has been less than satisfactory. I once had a sirloin burrito thing that was more expensive than any one item on the Taco Bell menu and the sirloin pieces tasted like rubber. Don't let the ads fool you. Taco Time is not a "good good, fresh fresh, taco time." Just a plain ol' disappointing time.

 

3. Burger King

This burger and fries juggernaut is like the demented, in-bred cousin of McDonalds. With a dash of Wendy's thrown in. The result is some very big burgers and a whole lot of plastic, greasy flavour. It isn't fair to call it completely disgusting, but it feels like a lesser version than McDonald's and Wendy's at every turn. It's nice that they offer more than just fries as a side option (they have baked potatoes and mini onion rings, which aren't bad), but Wendy's has them beat in that department (there's no chili here). Overall, Burger King is a viable option if you're lost in the desert and haven't eaten in days (given a Burger King is alone in the desert), but you could do a lot better.

 

2. Domino's Pizza

With so many pizza chains to choose from (Pizza Hut and Panago are pretty good choices), why settle for crap like this? Domino's pizzas are completely uninspired at every turn, from the lacklustre crust to the less-than-generous amount of cheese. They have some deals, but the pizza sucks so hard that it doesn't matter. If you have a hankering for pizza, I recommend that you give your money to Pizza Hut or Panago, which at least offer, you know, flavour.

 

1. Subway

There is bad fast food and then there is Subway. The ingredients look like they were picked out of a compost, the place always smells strange, and whatever you tell the worker to do with your sandwich, they'll just pile 5 pounds of shredded lettuce on it (because lettuce is cheap and so is Subway). To make matters worse, their commercials hurt my brain almost as much as their food hurts my stomach.