My parents acted like they never let us eat fast food and it was always a "treat" but in hindsight we got the treat whenever the fuck we wanted/talked too much in the car. Looking at the current landscape of health, who knows if that's something to be thankful for. But, even now, I can feel the flutter in my heart as my dad places my order 🍔🍟🍗
  1. McDonald's
    Age 4-9, Chicken Fajita with a side of chicken nuggets (note: I hope the chicken of the late 80s and early 90s was less disturbingly produced cuz that's a lot of chicken.)
  2. Taco Bell
    Ages 9-12, a hard taco with beans (note: my whole family went insane for Taco Bell, as if we'd found a fun little hole in the wall serving authentico Mexican cuisine. My mom would go on and on about how she'd heard on the radio that the plain chicken taco was actually a healthy option.)
  3. Johnny Rocket's
    Ages 12-15, double cheeseburger and vanilla milkshake (note: I considered this place very classy and elite because you sit down and are waited upon.)
  4. Burger King
    Ages 15-17, 2 BK Veggie Burgers no cheese (note: this is a vegan order.)
  5. Jamba Juice
    Ages 16-20, EVERYTHING (note: I had learned about Jamba Juice from some LA girls at camp who just called it "Jamba." Like In n' Out it was chic and west coastal. When it finally came to NYC there was only one, in midtown, and I'd take the subway a billion blocks just to Jamba out. Smoothies seemed really rare and sexy back then.)
  6. Red Robin
    Ages 19-22, large fries with Red Robin seasoning (note: In college in Ohio, Red Robin was the place to be. We would all pile into the Volvo of this one dude who had already graduated and drive 45 minutes to eat these fries with this seasoning. Finally I bought a large jar of the seasoning which my mom still uses to this day. It may be the same jar.)
  7. Chipotle
    Ages 20-24, a burrito bowl with grilled veggies, guac, cheese, salsa fresca, you know (note: I once saw a lecture by the founder of Chipotle and it was very galvanizing and inspiring and I was like "I am going to support this man til I die!!!")
  8. Starbucks
    Ages 25-present, unsweetened iced green tea and egg white and turkey bacon sandwich (note: I love Starbucks. It's my favorite restaurant. I feel a very sensible mix of shame and pride about this. When I see a Starbucks I feel that I am home. Same when I smell a Starbucks. I've never been disappointed by a Starbucks, even when I went into one where they were "out of coffee." But I drink tea, so it was fine!!!)