The phrase "fast food" sums up precisely what I like about it: it’s fast and it’s food. I’m no stranger to food cravings, but I rarely crave anything sold at a fast food restaurant. I go there when I’m really hungry and want to stop the hunger quickly and with little effort.
The exception to this rule is that nostalgia sometimes leads me to a Wendy’s drive-thru. Their Single, with mustard, pickle and onion only, is as close as I can get to my memory of the hamburgers at Taylor’s in Springfield, Missouri. Mmmmm-mmmm! It’s been 49 years since we left Missouri, but my sister and I both still remember how good those burgers were.
Usually, though, I just don’t much care. "Have it your way" is a nice thought, but the reality is I’d just as soon have it their way and not have to make any extra decisions about it. Fortunately, at most fast food restaurants, even if you’re allowed to make special requests, you don’t have to. You can simply ask for the dish by name or number, hand ‘em your money and, most of the time, a bag containing your sandwich pops out the window.
Which brings me to my gripe about Subway. I like their sandwiches, but they’re way too much trouble. Let’s say, for example, that I see a picture of their Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sandwich. It looks delicious and I decide to go there and try one. First of all, there’s no drive-thru, so I have to get dressed appropriately, then go in and stand in line. My turn comes and it goes something like this:
Me: "I’ll have the 6-inch Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sandwich, please."
Server: "Good choice. What kind of bread do you want?"
Me: "I want the bread that's in the picture."
The server names all the different kinds of bread they have and, with a little prompting, tells me what she thinks is in the picture. But she isn't sure.
Me: "Okay, fine, let’s try that one."
Server: "Great. Now what do you want on it?"
Me: "I want whatever comes on it...whatever is in the picture."
Server: "Do you want lettuce and tomato?"
Me: "Mmmm...there appears to be lettuce and tomato in the picture, so yes, I do."
Server: "What about cheese? Do you want cheese on it?"
Me: "I don’t see any cheese in the picture. Does it usually have cheese on it?"
Server (getting testy now): "You can have cheese or not. It’s your choice."
Me: "Never mind the cheese."
Server: "Mustard, mayonnaise, oil and vinegar?"
Me: "I. Want. Whatever it takes. To make a Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sandwich. Don’t you have a recipe or something?"
Server: "No. It’s your choice."
Me: "Okay. Don’t put anything else on it. I’ll take it just like it is."
The good news is that I’ve never had a bad sandwich from Subway, regardless of my uninformed choices. The bad news is I don’t go there often. It’s too stressful.