Introducing first, the challenger in the red corner, weighing in at 784 locations nationwide, hailing from Tampa, Florida, and rated by many as one of the best late night burger joints around, with 369,936 colons destroyed, the Dominator of the Double Drive-thru… CHECKERS/RALLY’S!
And in the blue corner, weighing in at an astounding 7,000 locations internationally, from Downey, California, the reigning champion of stoner voyages, with 4.2 million colons destroyed, the Führer of Franken-meat… TACO BELL!
Round 1 – Quality
Anyone who has ever bulldozed through a night of well tequila knows how low on the totem pole the “quality of the food” is in regards to a meal decision at three o’clock in the morning. It’s just shit to put in your stomach to keep the extra Montezuma’s Finest your liver hasn’t dealt with yet from sloshing around uncontrollably. However, no matter how shit-bricked out of my senses I get, I will never order Five Star pizza as my post-drinking gorge fest. I’m sorry. I tried the disgustingly fetid cheesy cardboard circle they refer to as pizza once, and I swear to god I would have been better off swallowing a cup of diseased pubes floating in dip-spit. If I could nuke every fucking Five Star pizza joint on the planet without turning the atmosphere into a gigantic sparkler, I would do it in a fucking heart beat. Burn deep in hell, Five Star.
So, the moral of the story is that even though the quality of an early morning feeding is low on the list when it comes to overall importance, it still matters.
Checkers/Rally’s gets a couple jabs in on the champ in this round. For an eatery doomed to do most of its business long after sundown, I have never heard of anyone becoming violently ill after eating their menu options. Their products are far from first rate, but in terms of post-drinking adventures, their burgers are usually decent tasting and their chicken sandwiches are pretty satisfying. Their grilled dogs aren’t horrible, and while pretty far down the list of recommended orders, you could do much worse than their chicken wings. I have never tried any of their smoothies because I’m not a psychopathic fucktard who attempts to make fast food healthy, but I’m sure they’re only slightly below average. All those things aside, the real strength of Checkers/Rally’s is their fries. Topped with their very own secret seasoning and cooked with just enough grease to protect the stomach from that extra shot of Evan Williams, the fries are the shining star of Checkers/Rally’s menu and is the chain’s biggest weapon in the post nightlife food war.
In regards to the other competitor, no one goes to TBell for the quality of their food. Hell, their beef might be pigeon, rehydrated pinto beans, or even what they found in an ice cream scoop after they scraped the sides of a cow’s anus. Eating there is like Russian roulette; is this the time I get a piece of crow in my gordita, or is it next time? Taco Bell is the juggernaut of late night, but can’t stand up for shit in the quality department.
Round 2 – Affordability
Taco Bell takes Checkers/Rally’s out back, throws a wet blanket over it, and beats it with a 2×4 in this round. It’s not even remotely close. TBell just brings too much goddamn heat with its eleven item dollar menu for C/R to match-up. I mean for fuck’s sake — 85% of Taco Bell’s entire selection comes in at below $6.00. What ingredients from God’s green earth are they making their food with that they make a profit off of items that are listed so cheaply? Instead of using GMOs to counter the world’s food shortage, let’s just ship crisis areas their own Taco Bell franchises. Everyone will have shat their innards out by 27, but at least they will be well-fed while they do it.
Checkers/Rally’s never had a shot at going toe-to-toe with TBell where affordability is concerned. The price gap between the two eateries is so big that the cost of one meal at Checkers/Rally’s is comparable to the price of two meals at Taco Bell. Shit, 20 bucks at Taco Bell can buy a week’s worth of food if you don’t mind the dysentery level water-like diarrhea explosions that accompany prolonged exposure to their foodstuffs. Unfortunately, that astronomical measure of cost effectiveness spelled a quick defeat in this round for C/R, as the champ pummeled it with a flurry of bowel-cleaning burritos.
Winner: Taco Bell
Round 3 – Variation
Since we’re dealing with fast food eateries here, this round takes into consideration the variation of options on the menu within their respective themes (Mexican outhouse and American roadkill). Not looking for a ton of choices across all culinary denominations here. Plus, it’s not like having a shitload of alternative food selections guarantees a decent eating experience. I feel like I’m reading a fucking Ayn Rand novel whenever I go to the Cheesecake Factory, and they’re not particularly good at making anything on their Atlas Shrugged-esque menu.
This round is the closest of the three, but again — Checkers/Rally’s just can’t stand up to Taco Bell’s crushing crunchwrap campaign. The founder of Fourth Meal’s menu has the depth of a Nick Saban-recruited football team. Where C/R has burgers topped with mushrooms and spicy chicken sandwiches, TBell comes in with Mexican Pizzas, chalupas, and Doritos shell tacos. Hell, the SOBs have merged a Quesadilla and a Burrito and made a shell that shares characteristics from both hard and soft shell tacos. Whoever is running the Taco Bell R&D department deserves a fucking Nobel prize.
Winner: Taco Bell
There you have it, gentlemen. The winner of the first 3 A.M. Drunk Food Grub Match is everyone’s favorite “Live Más” monopoly: Taco Bell. With its combination of cheap prices and menu variety, TBell defends its spot as the top destination for the post-binge drinking early morning food pilgrimage. What a battle. Can’t say I’m not a little disappointed in the victory though. From a personal standpoint, I have a pretty tumultuous relationship with the friendly neighborhood Mexican joint. To say their food and I don’t always get along is a huge understatement. Regardless, I keep crawling back. After all, what are the odds a place that has successfully put me in the hospital with botulism once and poisoned me two other times can do it again?.