From Our Readers

3 Best/Worst Car Foods

After a decade of combining my two great loves – eating fast food and driving with my knees – I am now an expert on car foods. Consider this a prequel to the book I will someday write called Look, No Hands! about the art of eating in the car.

Here is my carefully chosen list of the goodies:

1. Crisp Burrito, Taco Time. Here’s the thing. I live in LA and despite writing letters and emails to the CEO a billion times, they don’t have Taco Times here. But back when I lived in Utah, I was constantly hittin’ up this awesome joint. The burrito comes in three varieties: bean, meat (I’m pretty sure this means beef but who cares) and chicken. It is like a baton. A burrito baton. It was made for eating in the car. In fact, if I ever catch someone eating this outside of their car, I will punch them in the face. Psych! I don’t punch people.

2. Mozzarella Sticks, Arby’s. These are in the “sides” category but they are great for the car. There are 4 sticks (it comes in 8, too, but if you get that you better make sure you tell the cashier that it’s for your “friend” or you are in for some hardcore judging) and it comes with marinara sauce in a little plastic cup. Just put the sauce in your cup holder and dip away! But buyer beware! These suckers are always 2,000 degrees Kelvin (just kidding, I don’t know about Kelvin) so be sure to blow on them or hold them out the window for a minute.

3. Hashbrown, McDonald’s. OMG, I freaking love these things! So good. When I was little, I refused to eat breakfast sandwiches (I actually refused to eat all sandwiches until the age of 13) so when my family would go through the drive-thru, I would order 4 hashbrowns. Ridiculous. I know. They are so delicious, especially if you get a crispy one. They come in a nice paper sleeve. Just be careful not to eat the paper. Talk about yummy in my tummy.

Ugh! These ones are the worst!

1. French Fries, Everywhere. Here’s the thing. You always think FF are the best, but they are actually the worst. I get it, they are so tempting. And they are so good when they are hot! Do not fall into this trap. Here’s the play-by-play. You sit the bag in the passenger seat. You open up the bag and grab a few (thousand) fries. Then, as you cross back over the console to your mouth, all but 1 fry drops into the teeny cracks around the armrest. It is impossible to get these bastards out. Even when you vacuum your car (once every 7 years) you will be able to see them but you will not be able to reach them. FF suck.

2. Hard-Shell Tacos, Everywhere. The problem with tacos is that there is no way to wrap/hold them without the dreaded taco poop problem. If you hold them horizontally, you have to do a crazy neck crane in order to take a bite. No. And if you hold them vertically, then gravity will cause the taco to poop out all the filling and you will just have soggy shell and a wrapper full of taco poop. And don’t even try to eat the taco poop off the wrapper! Embarrassing.

3. Chips and Nachos Cheese (aka Nachos), Everywhere. This may be a personal problem but I am obsessed with chips in general. If I can dip them in something, I see that as extra-special. You always want to eat nachos in the car because you don’t want soggy chips. Don’t! You will get cheese everywhere. It will get all over your hands, then on the steering wheel, then in your hair. Embarrassing. Plus, chips are way crumby so when you step out of the car, there will be chip flakes all over you and the car.

I know that some of this information may sadden you (nachos!) but just trust me, I’m an expert.

Alison Brough spends her days attending The Roseanne Conner School of Housewifery, working on her cookbook: ‘Nacho Cheese-100 Ways,’ and mastering impractical, purposeless skills that will never help her in adult life, like yodeling. Check out her blog here.

  • Taylor Wendt

    Awesome. I think I could handle those good ones even while driving stick shift… always difficult while you are coming into a turn having to turn steering wheel and change gears with food in your hand.

  • Jessie Coss

    Reading this at work and seriously just got crazy looks bc I was laughing SO loud and so hard! Thank you for making 4am a little easier! (c:

  • Melissa Martin

    my favorite car food is chicken nuggets, nice little compact crispy goodness :)

    P.S. I also refused to eat breakfast sandwiches and would only get the hash-browns LOL

  • Danielle Bon

    tacos from jack in the box are the taco exception. the little sleeve they come in make them perfect to eat while driving because all the excess stuff falls into it

  • Sonya Smith

    just went to taco time yesterday lol those crispy burritos rule!!!!
    ps if you want me to send you some I will :)

  • Brianne Archer

    Los Angeles has had Taco Times in the recent past. I know there was one in El Segundo and one downtown. I don’t see them on the website though.

  • Alyssa Olszewski

    French Fries aren’t so bad, unless they are animal style fries from In’n’Out. Nearly impossible to eat while driving. Trust me. I’ve tried.

  • Brittany Hall

    i would like to add protein style burgers from in n out to the worst list. although tasty, impossible to eat while driving, at least not without eating some paper or spilling lettuce all over your lap.

  • Clare Bamford

    Speaking of Taco Time, Mexi Fries (or tatter-tots for all you people unfortunate enough to not have Taco Time) are also pretty ideal car snacking food too. It’s easy to grab just one, they are perfectly bite sized, and perfectly delicious. I like to munch on them while stuck at an intersection. Yum!

  • Cheryl Paskins

    SmashBurger has veggie frites, like asparagus, sweet potatoes or carrots fried with a light tempura batter. SO good! Plus, you can pretend they’re health food.

  • Katie Myer

    Hash browns are the best! Yum yum yum, so delish.

  • Emily Marter

    Definitely laughed out loud at “You open up the bag and grab a few (thousand) fries.” So me. Love it!

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