Call me a food snob. I’ve dined at some of the best restaurants in Manhattan. I recall every detail of every meal. My two best? Gordon Ramsay at the London and Bouley.
So when I walked into McDonald’s with the intention of ordering a McRib (at the behest of a friend), I wanted to keep a low profile. Because: I work out six days a week and I eat vegetables! Then again, the company I keep is also pretty healthy. So if I ran into someone I knew at McDonald’s, I’m sure they’d feel just as busted. But, since one of the 70 ingredients in the McRib is a product used to make yoga mats, that makes the McRib a quasi-health food, right?
Fearful that other customers would judge me, I planned to whisper my order. I imagined adjacent customers would say, Is this dude really ordering a McRib? Gross. I successfully placed my order with the cashier who appeared to be the only one listening to me. Excellent. He’d hand me my food, I’d run to my car, take several bites, toss the evidence, go home and take a cold shower.
I found myself wondering if I should order a back up meal. Yeah, I like foie gras. But I also like a double quarter pounder with cheese. To be a proper food snob, you can’t thumb your nose (snout?) at lesser foods. We should find something enjoyable in every meal.
An employee appeared with a to-go bag presumably for me. I hurried to grab my food, but before I extended my hand, her voice rang out. McRib, to go!
Damn. Everyone was looking at me. I thanked her, snatched the bag, and ran to the safety of my car.
If you ask any non-food snob if he’d willingly eat the lesser-known parts of a pig—heart, snout, maybe even some skin— he’d probably say no. But people eat these processed pieces of meat every day when they eat fast food or a Slim Jim. So in some weird way, they’re food snobs too, eating unique and odd food combinations that other people might snort at as being too pretentious.
I ate my McRib in the parking lot, half regretting not ordering fries, a milkshake, and a double quarter-pounder. During my drive home my teeth started to hurt. Not one tooth—all of them.