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The Best….

Throw out the health issue for a minute and think aloud about the best fast-food restaurant. What’s your favorite? Will it be burgers, tacos, fried chicken, fish, or a prosciutto on panini? I could go on. What’s your favorite?

(Kris and I are convinced it is Chipotle.)

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posted May 15, 2009 at 5:05 pm

ABSOLUTELY it is Chipotle.
Second is Chick-Fil-A.
Then Culver’s.
Mostly, I find myself at McDonalds though.

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posted May 15, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Though I only get there once or twice a year.

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posted May 15, 2009 at 5:11 pm

BBQ (Kansas City fast food)

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posted May 15, 2009 at 5:16 pm

When in California, you’ve got to have In-N-Out Burgers.
Double Double, fries & a shake… nearly perfect

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Jeremy Berg

posted May 15, 2009 at 5:28 pm

I enjoy the hot panini sandwiches at PANERA BREAD to escape my fast food addiction. PB is also a great place to camp out for a few hours on your laptop – free refills on soda, coffee/bagel options as well as a good meal when breakfast wears off.
Go PB!

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posted May 15, 2009 at 5:47 pm

El Pollo Loco. Hands down. And you don’t have to throw out the health issue, because it’s generally healthy.

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posted May 15, 2009 at 5:48 pm

First Place: McDonalds Cheeseburger, fries, and shamrock shake…
(Panera doesn’t count as “fast food”)
Second place: NY Pizza Depot … good stuff – either White Pizza(Ricotta, Mozzarella, Grated Cheese & Garlic)or BBQ Chicken Pizza (BBQ Sauce, Mozzarella, Red Onion & BBQ Chicken). By the slice it is fast.

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posted May 15, 2009 at 5:55 pm

White Castle!!!
Does this mean no music post this week? :(

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Kenny Johnson

posted May 15, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Chiptole — The chicken fajita burrito.
For a burger, I’d actually go with Carl’s Jr — I love their Super Star

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Kenny Johnson

posted May 15, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Chipotle – Chicken fajita burrito

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Travis Mamone

posted May 15, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Five Guys Burgers!

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posted May 15, 2009 at 6:58 pm


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posted May 15, 2009 at 7:09 pm

In-n-Out, no question about it. Good fresh burgers, fries, shakes; a sole proprietorship owned by Christians, paying the highest wages, with the friendliest people. Give me a Double-Double Animal Style!! I feel sorry for those outside of California, Nevada, Arizona or Utah (when it comes to burgers and fries).

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posted May 15, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Those of you unfortunate enough to not live in Texas probably don’t know it, but Freebirds makes Chipotle look sick.
And Chick-Fil-A is probably the best :)

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Dave Diller

posted May 15, 2009 at 8:10 pm

For Burgers, Beef, and Dogs it has to be Portillo’s in Chicago.
Chipotle when I’m in the mood for Mexican.

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posted May 15, 2009 at 8:18 pm

El Pollo Loco

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John M. Yeats

posted May 15, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Now that I can’t get it anymore, I would love a Portillo’s Chicago Dog!

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posted May 15, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Taco Bueno anyone?

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Jay Wermuth

posted May 15, 2009 at 10:20 pm

#1 Tropical Smoothie
#2 Five Guys Burgers and Fries (a bit pricey, but worth it)
#3 Chik-Fil-A

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posted May 15, 2009 at 11:58 pm

Unfortunately, you just can’t “throw out the health issue.” At least not if you take the scripture about our bodies being a temple of the Holy Spirit seriously. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

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posted May 16, 2009 at 12:04 am

Without the least hesitation I say Peter’s Drive In in Calgary, Alberta.

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T. C.

posted May 16, 2009 at 1:00 am

Popeyes in New Orleans! – Popcorn shrimp, cajun fried chicken… need I go on? :)

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Steve Kimes

posted May 16, 2009 at 1:04 am

Carl’s Jr. was my favorite growing up and they have only gotten better with their 6 dollar burgers!
And you can eat healthy at fast food. You can choose a salad instead of fries at most places and get tea instead of soda. And many places offer real options for entrees as well!

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posted May 16, 2009 at 1:08 am

We have a local Mexican grill, a la Chipotle, called Pablo’s, whose chicken burritos easily beat the other similar restaurants in the area. They’re especially good with the habanero salsa, which will burn a hole in the table if you spill any. Just had one tonight….

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posted May 16, 2009 at 1:08 am

For Hot Dogs: Byron’s in Chicago.
For Burgers: Portillo’s (Chicagoland) or Kopp’s Custard (Milwaukee)
Chipotle is excellent for burritos, as is Burrito Loco.
Is Panera really “fast food” though?

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Jim Martin

posted May 16, 2009 at 2:36 am

1. Chipotle
2. Freebirds
3. In-N-Out Burger (when in Cal.)

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posted May 16, 2009 at 3:00 am

Jimmy John’s
Sonic (too bad there’s only one in the Chicago area! I have a strange craving for a cherry limeade….Grrr.)

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Tom Smith

posted May 16, 2009 at 3:10 am

USA : Chipotle
South Africa : Nandos

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Tim Gombis

posted May 16, 2009 at 7:24 am

Since I’m now in the Midwest, it’s CHIPOTLE.
But when out West, In ‘n Out (Double Double, animal style, with fries animal style and a chocolate shake).
Also, out West, RUBIO’S, home of the fish taco, and it’s awesome when it’s lobster burrito season (only about 9 months of the year).

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Cynthia Wells

posted May 16, 2009 at 8:21 am

Wahoo Fish Taco’s! The grilled Mahi Mahi taco and the cajun spice white beans are my California fav.
Like Tim, Chipotle’s is great when I’m back east…but I look forward to the migration of the fish taco!

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Clay Knick

posted May 16, 2009 at 8:52 am

Chick-Fil-A, but I only eat the grilled chicken. :) Really.
Very, very good sweet tea.
Lisa will ask, “Where did you eat lunch today.” I’ll say, “Chicky.” She always knows what I had too.
I’ve always found each restaurant to be managed quite well by very good people. That is especially so here in the Winchester, VA area.

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posted May 16, 2009 at 8:57 am

1. Chik-fil-a
2. Portillo’s
3. Wendy’s

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Adam S

posted May 16, 2009 at 9:28 am

I like Chipotle but I am kind of worn out on it. When in Chicago I like Potbelly. In Atlanta it is Chick-fil-a

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posted May 16, 2009 at 9:59 am

If you need some quick protein for an economic $, McDonald’s double cheesburger is hard to beat at $1.07. If you are on a low carb diet, just peel off the buns and eat the meat.
If I am in a ‘healty’ mood and have the time and my laptop with me, Panera Bread is great: a Greek salad and the Broccoli-cheese soup is just the ticket. If I eat outside, I can also smoke a cigar.

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posted May 16, 2009 at 10:32 am

There’s an historic place in Iowa (if you go see the Field of Dreams, drive on over to see this), Canteen Lunch in the Alley…served many a president,etc. Oh, and even Rosanne and Tom back in the day. mmmm. Choose your burger and a piece of homemade pie!

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Jeremy Berg

posted May 16, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Ok,so you are skeptical of Panera being “Fast Food”…. I agree, it’s not McD’s. But it’s very similar to Chipotle and Potbellys, is it not?
Let’s have the JC community come up with an agreed upon DEFINITION of fast food. Read – Set – GO!

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Your Name

posted May 16, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Muchas Gracias carne asada burrito, real mexican food. Arby’s roast beef with horsey and red sauce, and blt’s.

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posted May 16, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Yes, Chipotle! And Chick-Fil-A a close 2nd…which desperately NEEDS to come to Chicagoland!!!! :)

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Billy Usery

posted May 16, 2009 at 3:14 pm

If you are ever in Arkansas try either Whattaburger or C.J.’s both in Russellville Ar and I would add Applebee’s where ever it is found!!

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posted May 16, 2009 at 3:22 pm

We do like Chipotle. My favorite might be Arbys. But I have to say, $1 menu at McDonald’s is a good thing! They have good coffee, now, too. So a coffee and a chicken or McDouble for just a couple bucks = nice.
Haven’t eaten there for a long time, now, but Hardees has a good burger and good shakes and I like good shakes.
It becomes easier to avoid all of them with the onset of summer and GRILLING SEASON, woohoo!

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posted May 16, 2009 at 7:29 pm

Gotta stick with good ol’ McDonald’s. A big Mac, fries, chocolate shake or an orange drink.

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Patrick Hare

posted May 16, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Wow, surprised no one has mentioned my favorite quality Chinese fast food – Panda Express.
And never mind the overly sanitized In-n-Out – next time you’re out in California Scot I’ll take you out for the true LA hamburger experience – Tommy’s. Chili fries – Yummm!

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Georges Boujakly

posted May 16, 2009 at 8:39 pm

Chipotle, for sure.
Jeremy #37. Possible elements of a definition
1. Over the counter, not sit down service
2. Under 4 minutes service
3. Under 10$ with drink
4. Extra condiments and utensils not at your table
5. Uniformed servers

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posted May 16, 2009 at 9:26 pm

When I moved from Southern California to Colorado in 1994, I had one last meal at an In-N-Out before driving away.
When my wife and I were on our honeymoon in Northern California in 1999, I spotted an In-N-Out just off the freeway about 10 miles from where we stayed. We had some more elegant meals, but she was understanding enough to let me have my fix once during the week (Double Double and a chocolate shake; I’m not into fries).

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posted May 17, 2009 at 10:41 am

Since it isn’t limited to chains, I’ll nominate Uncle Nick’s in Rockford, IL. Excellent Gyros, served up fast. No ambience whatsoever.

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Steph Seefeldt

posted May 17, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Chipotle w/o a doubt. Fresh, great healthy options, actual pieces of chicken visible on a grill – love it.

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Doug Allen

posted May 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm

No one’s mentioned Fazoli’s. Wonderful value ($2.99 pasta specials), and my favorite kind of food. For a little more $, Pannera Bread is great. And Chick-fil-A is very good, too. No, I don’t work for or own stock in any of the above.

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posted May 19, 2009 at 10:01 pm

DC – Cosi
Colorado – Tokyo Joe’s
California – In-n-Out, Rubio’s, Wahoo’s
They are all healthy, but that is my definition of best: GREAT food, fast, healthy

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