6,370 calories, 308 grams of fat, six fast food venues, 2 hours.
Let us assure you: there was nothing sentimental about this eating. It wasn’t about enjoying our food; it was about efficiency, agility and strength. The strength to stomach what was assuredly one metric assload of grease, steroids and livestock hormones.
The challenge was to the run the gauntlet of alternative fast-food delicacies. Five sandwiches, all inside other sandwiches, devised to quicken the pulse of even the most seasoned, artery clogged drive-by diner. Inspired by one too many late night internet excursions, our intrepid Reporter team set out to dominate the world of culinary bottom feeders.
Luther Vandross Double Down
2 Glazed Donuts from Dunkin Donuts
1 KFC Double Down (2 fried chicken breasts, 2 strips of bacon, 1 slice of cheese, special sauce)
Emily: After adding the overwhelming sweetness of two glazed donuts to a sandwich primarily meant to be disgusting, I expected very little. I was fearful, yet curious to try the Luther. The first bite was a surprising wave of sugar from the glazed donut. Warm, salty fried chicken, quickly followed it, making a surprisingly pleasant taste combination. I was shocked that I genuinely enjoyed the amount of fried fat, sugar and salt that went into making this Frankenstein of fast food. Given the opportunity, I would definitely eat this sandwich again.
Michael: I sincerely enjoyed Mr. Vandross’ latest reincarnation, from the sticky outsides to the stickier insides. On that note, who says chicken has to be sticky? The pepper jack sauce was over the top, and coated the lining of my stomach for the rest of the trip.
Arby’s Animal Farm
1 Beef ‘n Cheddar Sandwich, 1 Ham Melt , 1 Roast Chicken Club,
1 Chicken Fillet Sandwich
Emily: Upon the first bite of this sandwich, I yelled in horror, “This is too much meat!” While the chicken patty was a nice texture contrast to the various, thinly sliced meats, it was not worth the $12.
Michael: George Orwell could not have predicted the hopelessness of this fast food creation. Some assembly was required, and a bit of hand wiping to ensure that 100 percent of this sandwich was is in my mouth. After about four bites, I had disconcerting thoughts: “Why does it hurt to chew?” “Isn’t there something I’d rather be eating, like some nice lettuce, or maybe a rock?” There really isn’t a reason ever to try this, unless you enjoy the feeling of your arteries hardening. A definite no-go. Unless you’re a fisherman, because you’re likely already salty.
The King’s Castle
12 Burger King patties, 1 Bun
Emily: After a little negotiation and overpaying, we compiled 12 beef patties on an insufficient amount of bread. With about eight inches of sandwich, Michael compressed it, and dumped over a tablespoon of grease on to the ground in the process. (We chose to eat outside and take in some fresh air.)
Every time I took a bite, I had a face full of beef. I felt pain in the middle of my chest. The patties’ lack of flavor was the only thing that made stomaching such a mass of meat possible. When I finished my half, I did feel somewhat triumphant, but mostly, there was a sensation of disappointment, knowing what I was doing to my body.
Michael: As I shaved off layers of beef shimmering in the evening light, I realized that metaphor about biting off more than I could chew was painfully appropriate — and also, no longer a metaphor. It literally hurt to chew this sandwich. Burger King patties are ideally used as filler for beanbags, not consumed en mass.
1 Cheese Quesadilla, 1 Bean Burrito
Emily: By this time in our journey, food had become wholly disgusting. It did not help that the bean burrito, in a desperate attempt to escape its gruesome fate, continued to ooze out of its wrap, resembling something found in diapers. Regardless, this was probably the most reasonable and enjoyable hybrid on our trip.
Michael: A vegetarian choice felt like a breath of fresh air, despite the dank, humid interior of Henrietta’s finest Taco Bell establishment. The faux-Mexico restaurant prides itself on having its own “flavor,” and while my mouth was already completely robbed of its desire to taste, I could give the folks who engineered the “chalupa” their props.
1 McChicken, 1 McDouble
Emily: After four sandwiches, we were eager to end at the mecca of fast food. The tastefully refined McGangBang seemed meager when we unwrapped it on our plastic tray. We thought that we could easily consume it and finally go home. I was able to pull my share, but Michael had faded quicker than we expected. The last bite of McDonald’s saccharine sweet essence summed up the night’s experience. About five minutes after finishing, I felt the wave of settled stomach along with a sense of relief that it was over. I hope I will always remember that feeling whenever I think about going to a fast food establishment.
Michael: I hate you, McDonalds. Yeah you, with the Ansel Adams photographs lining your pepto-pink walls. You’re not fooling anyone with your art, or the creative ways you’ve found to defrost cow brains. Yeah, right. What is this garbage? Drinking out of cups, I felt like I was king of the trees. No way, get real.
We weren’t out the change the world. Absurdity is only useful when we put this in perspective: Fast food won’t kill you if you eat it sparingly. But, no one ever died from eating too much salad. Or grains. Or asparagus. Or bananas. I suppose this was more of a lesson in self-control, learning that some impulses should only be acted on with preparation, or at least a week’s worth of purging.