Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A Tale Of Two Burgers

One of the great, and terrible, things about a road trip is eating on the road. Road food, the likes of burgers and snacks, is inherently unhealthy. It is a completely disruptive combination of fat, sugar and salt in almost all serving sizes. It is bad for you, in so many ways, and yet we live on it while we travel. The only respite is when we stop at a decent restaurant for something vaguely resembling a salad. Fast food may be easy to deal with but it is murder on the waistline and so many other parts of our body.

On the other hand, fast food is just that - fast. It is an easy, simple solution to the hunger pangs that attack after a few hours on the road. It is designed for eating from the hand, packaged for maximum consumption efficiency, so that you can keep driving with doing something simulating dining. Road food is the perfect fit for holding a burger in one hand and the steering wheel in another, unless, of course, you use hand controls in your vehicle. Even with this impediment I can assure you that eating and driving is still moderately possible.

Yesterday, however, I enjoyed both ends of the road food spectrum, both of them a burger, both of them reasonably decent burgers. Having left Calgary at about lunch without actually eating any, by the time I did the three hours to Golden hunger pangs were beginning to show. I pulled in to the A&W and ordered one of my favourite unhealthy meals; a Mozza Burger, Onion Rings, and a Root Beer. It is possible to eat a worse combination of foods; I'm just not sure how.

I consumed this burger at my usual pace, inhaling the over-sugared bun, the over-salted patty, the sweetened condiments, the processed mozzarella cheese and the pale imitation of lettuce and tomato included therein. The onion rings disappeared with equal efficiency as did the root beer, all settling into my stomach, intent on producing the food induced coma that can only follow both rapid and unhealthy consumption. It worked; I stopped in Revelstoke for a half hour nap, followed by an iced coffee.

Once back on the road I made my way to Kamloops and checked into my budget priced roadside motel. I chose this location because it advertised an onsite restaurant and bar. Dinner and a beer sounded wonderful. However the onsite restaurant and bar was the White Spot across the heavily sloped parking lot. I rolled downhill to my dinner, knowing full well the uphill later would be the real price.

At the White Spot, I ordered my other favourite burger meal of all time; the Monty Mushroom Burger Platter. This delicacy comes with real Monterey Jack Cheese, sauteeed mushrooms, the usual lettuce and tomato, and the secret White Spot Triple O sauce which I am sure is also over-sugared. I ordered the well-salted fries and gravy, with a beer on the side. I sat down to eat, slowly savouring my meal, even pausing between bites. I even ordered a second beer just to wash things down. I relaxed and let the food settle in, taking my time and girding myself for the uphill slog to bed.

I had two hamburger meals yesterday, twice the content of most of my days. I ate one in a hurry, while driving. I at the other at my leisure, slowly savouring each bit. Guess which I liked better.

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