Tuesday, December 22, 2009
TBG Eats: The Extra-Long Chili Cheese Coney from Sonic
Current Weight: 168.0 lbs.
So, I spent last Saturday with my son Jalen in an ill-fated attempt to complete my Christmas shopping. Given a choice, I'd have left the boy at home, but he really needed a haircut and my barber is a 30 minute drive from my house. Sure, I could've doubled-back and dropped him off at the house, but Mrs. Bootleg was using her childless window of freedom to buy gifts for the last few names on her list.
There are only so many hours of "agreeable Jalen" in the day and I made the mistake of miscalculating the Black barbershop's inherent C.P.T. tendencies. This is to say, I showed up on time. Most Saturday mornings, my barber is running anywhere from 15-30 minutes behind. And, after arriving at 9:30 AM, I didn't get into the chair until 10:00 AM, with Jalen following immediately after. Thankfully, the boy takes his cuts like a champ.
Instead of knocking out my mall shopping, I opted to hunt down the next entry for my "TBG Eats" feature. I don't want to say that the requirements of this lightly-read blog officially outrank gift-giving to my friends and family, but let's be honest: f*** yeah, they do.
It came down to one of Subway's (relatively) new breakfast sandwiches or Sonic's Extra Long Chili Cheese Coney. Since I've made no less than a half-dozen failed attempts to get Jalen to finish ONE child-size Subway sandwich, I reluctantly cut my losses and head out for a second round with Sonic. The 10-minute drive is made eminently more enjoyable when I pass the front entrance of the palatial trailer park about a half-mile from the restaurant:
My first Sonic review prompted a few reader recommendations and the praise for the Chili Cheese Coney was enough to get me on board. Finding something for Jalen was a tad more challenging. Sonic's kids' menu included everything except what J wanted: a hot dog. Fortunately, I negotiate multi-million dollar defense contracts for a living, so I knew how to handle this.
Me: How 'bout a hamburger?
Jalen: No. YOU'RE having a hot dog!
Me: I'm having a chili dog, J.
Jalen: Can I have a plain chili dog?
Me: I'm not spending $3.29 for you to tell me 'This doesn't taste like mommy's hot dogs'.
Jalen: Then, I don't want ANYTHING.
Me: I'll let you sit in the front seat with me.
Sonic's Extra-Long Chili Cheese Coney isn't quite a foot-long, but it's still fabulously phallic. Topped with a respectable pour of chili, shredded cheese and onions (optional), this had the look of the million or so "homemade" microwave chili dogs – canned chili, American cheese – that sustained me through college.
The quality of the hot dog was solid – slight, pleasant saltiness with a wee bit of snap. The chili was better than I thought and featured a mild smoky flavor that made up for its thin consistency and granules of meat. I could've gone for another fist full of onions, though and the cheese had an odd gummy texture. These are comically served with a plastic fork, as if one can't just pick it up and plow on through. Somehow, the final product managed to exceed the sum of its parts.
Jalen, meanwhile, annihilated his hamburger. I asked him to give it a score between one and five, with five being the best and… Before I could finish explaining my grade-school review system, J jumped in, "FIVE!" In addition, I ordered my first strawberry limeade. Without a hint of hyperbole, I'm certain that if Jesus had known of these, he'd have turned water into strawberry limeade, instead of wine. By the end, I was ready to eat the cup it came in.
Oh, yeah…Christmas shopping. After two hours at the mall, I left with one gift for Mrs. Bootleg and a race car for Jalen. Not a good sign when fast food is the day's family highlight.
Grade: 3.5 (out of 5) Calories: 660 Fat: 39g