There are few things that I find to be as delicious as an Itís-It. First, I love oatmeal cookies. I also love vanilla ice cream and chocolate. Put a scoop of vanilla ice cream between two oatmeal cookies, cover it in chocolate, and Iím in heaven. It just doesnít get much better. Straight from the freezer, an Itís-It will be pretty firm. As you eat it, it gets softer as the cookies and ice cream thaw a bit. By the end (if you donít eat it too fast...), you may have ice cream dripping down your hand. Donít be embarrassed if you have the urge to lick your hands like you are a cat - itís normal. In addition to vanilla, Itís-Its also come in chocolate, mint, and cappuccino flavors. Iím a traditionalist, so I stick with vanilla. Look at the ice cream treat section of your supermarket some time. Thereís a lot of choices and many of them are very tasty. However, I think Itís-Its are the best of them all.
If you live outside of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Hawaii, or Arizona, you may have never had the opportunity to enjoy an Itís-It. Donít fear, you can buy them directly from the company and have them shipped to you (link here). I recommend getting at least a couple of cases.
I can hear it now: ďMcNuggets? Youíve got to be kidding. Only kids eat them.Ē Well, maybe we can learn something from kids. The much-maligned McNugget is viewed as a joke by many people, not ďrealĒ food and certainly not something that a sophisticated adult would eat. Perhaps a sophisticated adult wouldnít eat them, but then, Iím not very sophisticated. I just like my fast food to be tasty, deep fried, and easy to dip into a little tub of sauce. The McNugget meets all these criteria. Another great thing about McNuggets is that you can order them in various quantities, depending on your appetite. The 10-piece McNugget pack, fries, and a soft drink make a nice meal for me. McDonalds sometimes offers a 20-pack, which is probably more McNuggets than any one person should eat but is sure hard resist for this McNugget fan. Itís time the McNugget received the recognition it deserves, which is why it is being inducted into the prestigious Phoood Hall of Fame.
Residents of four western states are extremely fortunate that they can eat at In-N-Out Burger, my favorite fast food restaurant. The highlight of In-N-Outís sparse menu is the Double-Double, which has two patties, two slices of American cheese, lettuce, tomato, spread (similar to Thousand Island dressing with a mayonnaise base), and fresh or grilled onions (or no onions at all). Itís by far the best fast food burger Iíve eaten, and has had a very special place in my heart since the first time I ate one. The flavor and freshness of In-N-Out's burgers are what makes them so much better than the competition. When I need even more meat and cheese, I order a 4x4 (you guessed it - four patties and four slices of cheese!). In-N-Out will make your burger with as many patties and slices of cheese you want. Iíve been tempted to order a 6x6 or an 8x8, but havenít Ö yet. One of my many goals in life is to order a 100x100 someday (see example here). In-N-Out is legendary for their excellent food, clean facilities, and friendly service. If you are one of the unfortunate souls who donít live in California, Nevada, Arizona, or Utah, what are you waiting for? Get on a plane, train, automobile, motorcycle, bicycle, Segway, skateboard, or pogo stick and get yourself to an In-N-Out. I promise that you will not be disappointed.
Update July 6, 2009: The rumors are true! I confirmed with In-N-Out corporate headquarters that you can no longer order a burger larger than a 4x4. A company representative told me that this policy was implemented so that they could maintain their high quality standards. I wonder if the fear of lawsuits from sleazy lawyers (ŗ la McDonald's) is the real reason for this change in policy.
Jack in the Boxís Ultimate Cheeseburger is in the Phoood Hall of Fame for several reasons. First, itís an extremely tasty burger. Second, it has been on the menu for about as long as I can remember and has been consistently good the entire time. Third, I donít have to pick off the rabbit food (otherwise known as lettuce, pickles, onion, tomato etc.) like I have to with most other burgers. Sure, other fast food restaurants have their own version of the double cheeseburger, but none come close to the Ultimate Cheeseburger. Maybe itís because the others try too hard, while the Ultimate Cheeseburger keeps it simple with a perfect combination of meat, American and Swiss cheeses, and condiments. Jack must have been reading my mind when he thought up this burger, because it has exactly what I want and none of what I donít want. I couldnít ask for anything more.
There are a lot of different brands and flavors of tortilla chips, and the number just keeps increasing. Many of them are quite good, but none are as tasty as Doritos Nacho Cheese. Thereís really not much that needs to be said about their flavor (Iím sure you are all familiar with it) except that it sets the standard by which all other flavored tortilla chips are measured. Occasionally, Iíll have another favorite flavor for a period of time. But sooner or later, I always come to the realization that Fiery Taco, Smokiní Cool Salsa, or Blaziní BBQ Nacho flavors, although they may be delicious, can never take the place of my faithful favorite, Doritos Nacho Cheese.
For almost as long as I can remember, Cheez-Its have been my favorite snack crackers. One of my earliest childhood memories is that of me and my best friend at the time, Todd Edwards, eating Cheez-Its together while sitting in my garage on a hot summer day. There are many Cheez-It imitators, some of which are pretty good, but none are better than original Cheez-Its. The cheese flavor and crunch just cannot be beat. For a tasty combination, eat them with a glass of milk. I think that milk complements them better than any other beverage. Try it! My other favorite way to eat Cheez-Its is to put them inside a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Yum!
Every since I can remember, my favorite cookies have been Motherís Circus Animal Cookies. To this day, my mouth still waters every time I see a bag of them as I walk down the cookie and cracker aisle. These pink and white-frosted cookies with sprinkles are probably aimed at the 10-and-under market, but I donít care Ė I love them anyway. Iím donít know if Motherís cookies are available in all states. If theyíre not, then I feel sorry for those of you that canít get them. You are really missing out. Keebler makes a similar cookie, and Iím sure other cookie makers do to. But Iíve never tried these others Ė it would be like cheating on a girlfriend. Did you know that you can improve the taste of these cookies by putting them in the freezer? Itís the only way I eat them. For some reason (maybe a scientist could explain in to meÖ), they just taste better when frozen. Try it and I bet youíll agree.