Tuesday, July 26, 2016

3 Fast Food 'Hacks' That Actually Work

#3. The Roast Beefwich (Arby's)

You know what's not healthy? Fast food. You know what is healthy? Veggies. This is the natural order of the universe, and only a madman would dare question it.
Ben Wyman
Or a madthing.
Arby's line of veggie-filled marketplace sandwiches attempts to bridge that gap and show that fast food can at least appear to be healthy. But I'm not one to be shown up by an oven mitt. If that bastard can combine fast food and health food, then so can I.
It was a daunting task. Arby's sells Marketplace Pecan Chicken Salad Sandwiches, which measure a whopping 7.4 giga-hippies on the scale of things that sound healthy. An easy way to top it would be to throw something "organic" or "free-Range" in there, but such ingredients were sparse. Then it hit me: Sandwiches have bread.
For those of you who have traveled back in time from 2350's War on Scientific Discovery, mankind has recently learned that bread is full of carbs and gluten, both of which are as unhealthy as swallowing a plague rat wrapped in razor blades. But we still need something to contain the sandwich -- otherwise, we're just eating a boring old salad. The solution is simple and elegant: Have the staff wrap the meal in roast beef. And that's it! We've created the healthiest meal on the planet.
Ben Wyman
Don't forget the cheese sticks for an added protein boost.
Fatty foods are cancelled out by healthy ingredients as long as you don't have any of that damn gluten to tip the scales, so I added mozzarella sticks, brown sugar bacon, and jus for bonus flavor points. Now, I know you think that mozzarella sticks have gluten in them. That's a common misconception -- even the Arby's employees thought that. But gluten is just a fancy protein that comes from wheat, which is a grain. Mozzarella sticks are made of cheese, which is a dairy product, and therefore gluten-free.
Ben Wyman
It's a simple mix-up.
Despite a long conversation with the staff, there was still some confusion about my sandwich. All the ingredients were there, but they were arranged into more of a salad, possibly in a desperate attempt to amend the heresy I was committing. But with a bit of fiddling, my masterpiece was complete.
Ben Wyman
The journey to a healthier lifestyle starts with one small step.
It was a perfect blend of health and grease, a glistening pile of meat and veggies. Unfortunately, roast beef doesn't provide the same amount of structural support as bread and its devil gluten. I had inadvertently created the first health food which not only encourages you, but requires you, to eat it by the fistful.
Ben Wyman
Which technically makes it paleo, too.
It was a never-ending journey of flavor discovery -- crunchy, soft, chewy, stretchy, savory, sweet, each bite different and distinct. It was almost too subtle, but like most problems I've encountered in my life, it was solved with the generous addition of jus.
Ben Wyman
We're all adults here, stop making that face.
I felt thinner and more energetic as soon as I finished! The sandwich was filling, and considerably tastier than traditional health foods. It is a little messy, but it's still a great addition to the diet of anyone trying to eat healthier.
Update: It's come to my attention that the pecan chicken salad contains apples, which are filled with carbs and therefore unhealthy. I would recommend removing the apples before consumption.

#2. The Cookiewich (Subway)

A growing population of American citizens stop developing their taste buds after the age of eight. This has led to the development of meals like bacon ice cream, chicken and waffles potato chips, and pretty much everything at Denny's. But never fear, child-people! The Cookiewich will get you your fat and sugar fix while slowly introducing you to new flavors.
The Subway staff were perplexed by my request for a cookie sandwich, and initially said no, which frankly makes me question their vision as sandwich artists. But after I pressed the matter, two employees huddled, whispered, and eventually returned carrying cookies.
Subway
"The manager says that as long as you sign this NDA and liability waiver, you're good."
"What sort of cheese would you like?" the sandwich "artist" asked. I asked for provolone. It was at this point that I discovered what the staff had been whispering about. They had apparently come to the conclusion that I only wanted cookies and bread, and the cheese question had been meant as a joke. They were wrong, and now here I was, shattering their fundamental understanding of human taste.
The restaurant went quiet as all the employees watched me and the artist. He looked at me like I was an alien, all of his senses confirming that I was real while basic logic argued that I couldn't be. I, meanwhile, stared him down like a man facing a bear, attempting to look stern while simultaneously preparing for the worst reaction. After what felt like a lifetime, the tension broke and we both began laughing, our minds broken just a little bit. And that's the story of how I left Subway carrying a toasted six-inch double chocolate fudge Italian sandwich.
Ben Wyman
I'm no hero.
The Cookiewich is unassuming, its chief ingredient disguising itself well. But if fairy tales have taught me anything, it's that unassuming packages will contain either wonders beyond all hope or horrors beyond all fear. I attempted to open the sandwich and examine its innards, but apparently the toasted cookies had cooled and cemented the sandwich together with their chocolatey goo. There was only one way in.
Ben Wyman
Mary statues for blocks around began inexplicably weeping en masse.
It was, above all else, dense. Dense to a startling degree. When chewed, the whole thing dissolved into some sort of grainy, dirt-like mixture. The flavors completely failed to gel -- instead of having a chocolate-flavored sandwich, some bites were all sandwich flavor and others were all cookie, regardless of the actual proportion of ingredients consumed. If I wanted a better mixture, I needed to go bigger.

#1. The Combo Breaker (Dairy Queen)

For my final creation, I wanted to make something so unbelievably stupid and unreasonable that whatever restaurant I went to would have no choice but to deny my request, and also possibly ban me for life. I wanted to create a meal for people who have given up on both nutrition and their own existence.
"Can I get a chocolate fudge blizzard and a chili cheese dog, but can I get the ingredients reversed, so the chili-cheese is in the blizzard and the chocolate fudge topping is on the hot dog?" I somehow asked without having a heart attack just by uttering the words. Surely, this was it. There was no way they'd make this.
"Uh, sure. If that's what you want."
Ben Wyman
"'Want' has nothing to do with it, son."
I hadn't expected this to work, and now that I had it, I was obligated to eat it. I had flown too close to the sun, and it's not easy to fly after everything I'd put into my body.
Ben Wyman
The wings aren't so much melting as breaking under the stress.
The hot dog was like ... okay, imagine that you're on death row, and you've just been asked for your last meal. You think carefully, wanting to choose something that will bring you a modicum of comfort as you face down your own mortality. After an emotional reflection on both your tastes and your life, it comes to you. Maybe it's a meal your mother made to comfort you in a childhood that feels oh so long ago. Maybe it's a food you enjoyed sharing with a loved one you'll never see again. Or maybe it's just something you once turned to on long days where you needed a little comfort. Whatever it is, you're confident that it will give you a moment of solace before you embrace oblivion. But then the warden laughs and tells you that you misheard. You're going to be the last meal. Then he ties you up and throws you into a pitch-dark pit of spiders who will slowly eat you piece by tiny piece over the coming days -- days during which you will feel nothing but incredible agony and extraordinary regret as you long for the death you once feared. That would be preferable to eating this hot dog.
The blizzard was worse.
Ben Wyman
Behold the instrument of your destruction, which even light fears.
Its horror was indescribable, but the madness that it induced was not. I assumed it would be bad, but I was not remotely prepared for how bad it would be. It was like the Pandora's Box of ice cream. All the evil of the universe had been condensed into some soft serve, and I foolishly decided to open the box with my face.
Ben Wyman
Be thankful scratch 'n' sniff GIFs haven't been invented.
My taste buds ceased transmitting flavor, and instead simply said "bad." Throwing up would have been an improvement in taste, and it would have spared me the task of eating the damned thing. But the universe was not so kind, and so I choked down the entire cold and greasy mass. This was not a blizzard. It was a storm.
Ben Wyman
This is the kind of thing where survival is the crueler punishment.
The blizzard was the last straw. I was done. I had embraced my freedom and become a husk that held only grease and regret. You're free to do whatever you want, but remember that sometimes, accepting that you're too dumb to enjoy your freedom is the smartest choice you can make.

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