The great thing, or not so great thing, about fast food chains (McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, etc ) is their familiarity.
Before going in the front door (since it has usually been visited many times before), patrons know what will be on the menu and how it will taste.
And it doesn't matter if it is Ocean Springs, where we live, Dallas, New York, San Francisco or anywhere in between.
And for the most part, prices are close to being the same. They may vary a few nickels or dimes, but not a whole lot -- even at locations outside the United States depending on currency evaluations.
Some people may go to the extreme of calling food at such places "homecooking" or even "comfort food" because of an affinity to find a place to their liking, for whatever reason, and then going back many times, as if returning to one's own kitchen, knowing exactly what is available and what it is going to taste like.
At home, my wife and I frequent Whataburger -- too much. And sometimes Taco Bell. When we're headed out of town in the early morning, we usually don't eat breakfast at home, but stop off at McDonald's for breakfast burritos.
When visiting a foreign country, we desire to partake of the local cuisine -- at least 99 percent of the time.
We like to see the way things we eat back home are fixed abroad whether it is pizza, chicken, steak, paninis, pasta or whatever.
The foreign food expeditions are usually planned out so that we can enjoy a leisurely meal.
But sometimes it doesn't work out that way. When the plane, train or bus runs late and its been a long time since the last meal, anything goes.
Such was the case in Venice, Italy.
We had arrived by train from Florence and headed out on foot to search for our hotel. About two hours later, we found it.
Then it was time to find some food. Where to go? What to do? Our stomachs were growling.
We seemed blinded to things around us as we headed toward St. Mark's Square.
The square was a mile or so away. We meandered through small alleys and pedestrian thoroughfares and upon turning one corner ( I doubt I could find that location again without the help of a map) -- a bit of home -- Burger King.
Whoppers, French fries and soft drinks -- it was ---- so Italian!
We satisfied ourselves and then headed on to sights unseen and adventures around every corner.
Burger King wasn't the only recognizable sign we saw. There was also a McDonald's located just outside the square.
Both offered "homecooking" and restrooms. What a relief!
Next post: Sunday, August 22, 2010