In Search of The “Neat and Tidy” Burger

driving and eating

Often a Bad Decision: Driving and Eating

My wife and I recently took a weekend road trip to Seattle, WA. We were in a bit of a rush to get down there to see a play so we decided to go through a drive through and eat our meal on the road. Since I was driving and because it was raining that day I joked with my wife that I was going to order the “Neat and Tidy” burger and just see what they gave me. Pulling up to the drive-through speaker I tried to select the neatest, tidiest burger I could find…I chose the Guacamole Bacon Burger. My reasoning was that guacamole has a thicker viscosity than mustard, ketchup or Thousand Island dressing. As we left the Carl’s Jr. I was feeling pretty good about my decision.

Upon closer inspection of the Guacamole Bacon Burger, I could tell I had made a fatal error in judgment. There seemed to be a secret second sauce that slipped my notice when I was ordering. The extra sauce might have been Thousand Island dressing or a mystery mayonnaise. Either way the enigmatic sauce totally negated my viscosity calculations and in short, completely messified my “Neat and Tidy”.

The “Neat and Tidy” Burger?…What was I thinking?!

As I turned onto the rain-laden interstate that looked something like this, I came to the conclusion that I could not safely ingest the meal I had just purchased. My wife ended up feeding me the giant mess of a burger as I drove, but this got me thinking; what really is the neatest and tidiest burger you can find? and are burgers the neatest of foods for driving down the interstate, or is there something even more fit for the task?

Burger Analysis

As far as burgers go, I’m thinking the McDonald’s cheeseburger is the neatest, tidiest burger to eat while driving down the interstate. The cheeseburger is slightly tidier than the hamburger equivalent because the cheese in the McCheeseburger acts as a mortar that holds the burger structure together.  The Burger King counterpart is “a brick” of a sandwich and fares well during interstate travel as well.  The downside to the Burger King cheeseburger is that you’ll probably end up with a lap full of sesame seeds.  I’ve found the Wendy’s burgers to be greasier than the McDonald’s and Burger King burgers.  The Wendy’s burger patties are also square and thus present an extra element of awkwardness while driving down the road.

McDonald's Cheeseburger

McDonald’s Cheeseburger

Burger King Cheeseburger

Burger King Cheeseburger

Mouthwatering: Cringe Portability: You betcha!

A new trend among fast food chains is the tiny burgers.  Burger King and Jack in the Box both have tiny burger offerings that would probably be good choices for in-the-car meals.  Burger’s with lettuce and tomatoes provide more of a challenge.  And finally, the burgers that are excessively large, have lettuce and tomatoes and have multiple sauces dripping out of them (i.e. the Guacamole Bacon Burger) I have determined to be worst travel burgers.

Beyond Burger Analysis

Are burgers the best alternative when it comes to travel food? Applying a little research (just sitting in my chair thinking), I’ve come to the conclusion that a plain cake doughnut hole is the the neatest and tidiest food to eat while driving down the interstate.  I’ve compiled a chart to illustrate which foods are good choices for interstate travel and which choices are “invitations to disaster”.

Note that once you get into foods that require utensils, there is a significant and sudden increase in the amount of danger you have placed yourself (and those driving around you) in.  Also notice that at that point it doesn’t really matter whether you are driving an automatic or a standard; your middle name is “Danger”.  I have deemed soups to be the most dangerous of all foods to eat while driving.  Although, thinking it through now, I suppose if you got one of those “Soup at Hand” cups and eliminated the need for a spoon, soup might be a viable option.