The beloved personality from The Howard Stern Show celebrates American fast food, exploring the history and secret menu items of both national and regional chains, ranking everything from burgers and fries to ice and mascots, and offering his own expert tips on where to go and what to order.
Jon Hein is the ultimate fast food maniac, and in this book he draws on his extensive knowledge of, and love for, both nationwide chains and regional gems, from McDonald’s and KFC to In-N-Out Burger and Carvel. He digs into their origin stories; reveals secret menu items; includes best lists for everything from fried chicken and shakes to connoisseur concerns such as straws and biscuits; takes a nostalgic look back at the best giveaways, slogans, and uniforms; and even provides a battle-tested drive-thru strategy. With behind-the-counter looks at places like the Dunkin' Donuts headquarters and Nathan's original hot dog stand, Fast Food Maniac is the definitive, cross-country guide to some of America's best-loved guilty pleasures.
From the book's first lines, Hein lays the premise of this book out clearly: "I am here to praise fast food, not to condemn it." Those looking for foodie critiques or nutritional treatises had best look elsewhere, unless one considers Hein's diehard love for McDonald's and dislike for Burger King particularly groundbreaking. Hein is probably best known as a guest on the Howard Stern Show, so it comes as no surprise that his prose has a very conversational, inviting feel to it. Covering ubiquitous institutions (McDonald's, Pizza Hut) and regional favorites (In-N-Out, Primanti Bros.) in one to three pages each, Hein provides a quick account of each restaurant's history, menu, and claim to fame. In the final quarter of the book, Hein gives his top five of everything from hamburgers and fries to ice and straws. This is where he shows his true colors and gives diehard fast food fans a chance to agree or disagree while allowing less experienced eaters to take advantage of his expertise. To liven up the reader's next stop for a meal, Hein also shares the ins and outs of the secret menus that some establishments employ. Photos.