You Change, You Lose

Today, I noticed a restaurant I used to visit closed up.  it got me thinking about all the places that I stopped going to because they changed in some way for the worse.  I keep telling myself that the one thing I wish I could express to the younger generation is that they have no idea what they missed out on, when fast food used to taste great.  But anyway, these are my reflections:

Burger King:  They used to have the best fries up until about 1996.  They were so good, I’d get a large and another medium with my meal.  Then this big craze of “coated” fries happened and everyone’s fries started sucking.  Later, in the “Great Recession” of 2007, they decimated the double cheeseburger.  That used to be single greatest value on the whole menu, then they turned the patties into tiny silver dollars.  Now, if I ever go there, I have to get two double cheeseburgers and the smallest fries available.  That’s maybe twice a year.

Wendy’s:  My first experience with Wendy’s was a long time ago, maybe early-to-mid-80’s.  It was amazing.  I had to wait for a long time for one to open near me, but when it did, I ate there all the time.  Then I moved away and I’m not sure if it was an operational coincidence or a geographical difference, but they stopped pressing their burgers.  This made the patty a thick cube and significantly altered the taste.  I tried to work through it, but ended up going less and less frequently.  Their fries have also declined in taste, so it’s now a very infrequent visit.  I feel bad because my nearest store just did a complete new and modern rebuild and I don’t even go there.  The parking lot is empty every time I drive by, too.

Longhorn:  I discovered their burgers maybe around 2003 on a vacation and ate them religiously until only a couple years ago when they changed their buns to some Brioch crap.  I ate them much less frequently, then just gave up and started eating the 6oz steak instead.  Longhorn’s fries have declined in taste lately, too.  I used to eat there multiple times a week, and now it’s maybe every other week.

Chilis:  I used to eat there a lot starting around 2005, then they changed their chili recipe from a Texas Red to something heavy on the beans (i.e. cheaper).  I didn’t eat chili, but my SO at the time did, so we never went back.  Fast forward a few years, new SO and new weekly+ enjoyment of Chilis burgers.  Until recently when they changed their buns to some Potato bun crap.  Seriously, it is like eating latex foam.

Green Iguana:  I discovered this place maybe in 2012.  It was somewhat close to work and they had great burgers and fries.  Then one day, they were closed.  Turns out they were moving to a new location.  After patiently waiting, I hit them up soon after they opened.  But it wasn’t the same.  They changed their fries and changed from Coke to Pepsi, and overall wasn’t just as good.  I went there twice, then stopped.  They just closed down; maybe they lasted a year at their new location.  There are other locations that I could and would be willing to try if I was near them.

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