“I’m a Cheesy Gordita Crunch guy,” says the chef of Canlis.
It’s drive-in, drive-through and road-trip season, and especially on sunny days, sometimes food doesn’t have to be goody-goody to be good. Here’s where some of Seattle’s top chefs go for fast food, here at home or when they’re on the road (including some in Eastern Washington — and North Carolina! — recommendations you might want to add to your list).
But I’ll go first — it only seems fair. In town, my long-standing Dick’s order is a quickly chanted “Cheese[burger], fries, two tartars, two ketchups, please.” Dick’s is good because it’s Dick’s (and Jason Stratton, Jerry Traunfeld, and I understand you might not be on board with our tautology). Burgermaster also exerts an occasional siren song (and its classic drive-in-style burgers are made with local, grass-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free beef — so it sort of counts as goody-goody, too).
Faced with a choice of chains along a highway, it’s McDonald’s for a flat, little, somehow pleasantly fake-tasting cheeseburger and their surprisingly good French fries (which, hey, both Taichi Kitamura and Jacques Pépin like, too). Or, if available, Taco Time — but I have nothing to say about it that can come close to chef Maximillian Petty’s story here.
Maximillian Petty, Eden Hill:
“My very first job was as a drive-thru ‘concierge’ — my title, not theirs — at Taco Time. I also wore the cactus suit at the new store and danced with my headphones on to Ace of Base. Suffered heatstroke from that. Twice. Since those glorious days, I have had a love affair with Mexi-Fries. They are always hot and always crispy, and always amazing. With them, I will order a taco and then put the Mexi-Fries within the taco to make it even better. It is all-around magic, and I am not ashamed.”