Look, I like junk food just as much as the next guy.
But I’m noticing this disturbing trend right now of extreme junk food. And I don’t mean the disgusting crap that pudgy, bald Andrew Zimmern swallows whole (like BBQ’ed raccoon). Or even the mass amounts of food that adorable linebacker Adam Richman shoves down his pie-hole (like an omelet the size of a bath mat).
This isn’t about the gross-out factor, or sheer quantity. It’s more of a mash-up of 2+ foods that eaten alone are pretty bad for you, but eaten together are a crime against cuisine (and your colon).
I suppose the original mash-up is chicken and waffles. Restaurant empires have been built around this concept, so it must be good. But lately there’s been a surge of flavor combinations that seem to have been randomly picked out of a hat. While wearing a blindfold. In the dark.
WARNING: Your arteries may clog just reading this.
I’ve got to say, initially I was intrigued. Fried chicken as bread? Sounded genius. Then I saw one in real life as I was shopping for new accessories at the HomeGoods on Post Road in Norwalk, CT, and was quickly cured. It looked like a greasy, oozy mess. And it’s no wonder -- the bread in a sandwich serves a purpose, people! It’s there to sop up all that grease and ooze. You take that out of the equation and you’ve got sandwich chaos on your hands. Literally.
Cheeseburger x 4 - American ingredients + Italian ingredients = NY Pizza Burger
I have no idea why BK would want to get into the pizza game. But then again, I’ve never understood why Pizza Hut and Domino’s ever started serving up chicken wings or the carbohydrate coma known as “bread bowl pasta.” Either way, The King is smoking crack. Only available in their new Times Square Whopper Bar, this burger gut-buster is made up of 4 Whoppers which are topped with marinara, mozzarella, pepperoni, and a “nutless” pesto-flavored mayo. It is then served on a sesame seed bun the size of a steering wheel, and cut into slices like a pizza. They say it’s meant for sharing. With your enemies.
Mac & Cheese + More Cheese + Fried Tortilla = Mac & Cheese Quesadilla
This Mexican abomination is actually on the KIDS menu, though it might be considered child abuse to let your kid actually eat it. Particularly if you take them up on their offer to mix in bacon and/or Friendly Franks (which, incidentally, contain milk -- so if you’re concerned about keeping Kosher, back away from the hot dog, but if not, go hog wild). Inexplicably, the dish comes with a handful of pickles (which I detest) and ketchup. Why not a side of lard? Oh, because THAT would be gross.
Grilled Cheese - Bacon & Tomatoes + Mozzarella Sticks = Fried Cheese Sandwich
Hmmm, so let me get this one straight: mozzarella cheese is breaded and fried, then covered in American cheese and bread, and fried again. It’s like mozzie sticks in grilled cheese clothing. It comes with a side of marinara sauce, which not only stays true to the sandwich’s Italian roots, but it also appears to be the healthiest thing on the plate. I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like, and this is even too much for me.
Pop-Tarts x 3 + Fruit Roll Up - Rice, Raw Fish, & Seaweed Wrap = Pop-Tart Sushi
Now I know what you’re thinking... you can’t order Pop-Tarts in a restaurant! This must have come from some wacky cookbook, with recipes for Twinkie Tacos, or Cheetos Meatloaf, or SPAM Fingers. Nope! Pop-Tarts World is an actual place that just opened across the street from our office in Times Square, and they are serving up sweet, sweet delicacies like Pop-Tart sushi. I do love a good Pop-Tart, but I like them au natural. In fact, I’ve never even toasted one. So maybe I’ve just been eating Tarts all this time (hold the Pop). I dunno. But to me, Pop-Tarts sushi seems like a culinary horizon better left unexplored (much like SPAM and ANYTHING).
Chocolate Ice Cream - 1 Heath Bar + 1 lb. Crumbled Bacon = The Bacon Blizzard
Alright, I made this last one up -- I dream of being tempted by a bacon smoothie. But you believed me for a second, right? Don’t be surprised if you see a commercial where little pieces of pork fall slow motion-style into a swirling cup of frosty ice cream, that gets drizzled in maple syrup and chopped nuts as you watch those faceless red lips suck it down! And if they do, DQ can send the royalties to my new digs. Or they can just pay me in Bacon Blizzards. Either way. I’m easy.
Would YOU try any of these fast food mash-ups? Tell me why (or why not) below.
tags: food, gross, pop culture