One of the secret pleasures of any road trip is the freedom the traveler has to eat and drink foods that they would normally avoid at home. After a ten hour trip, my car is often littered with Diet Coke bottles, chip bags, and an array of fast food wrappers. Despite my affection for all of these delicacies, the greatest of all road foods can only be found at QuikTrip convenience stores. While I’m sure that there are also fine imitations, QuikTrip’s Chicken Taquito is God’s own secret road food (I cannot speak for its cousin, the Beef Taquito, because I’ve never eaten one. Why do so when the Chicken is God’s own little snack?). Some of you may want to nominate other foods, but you’ll have to match, and overcome, the following Taquito strengths:
- Being deep fried, Taquitos are guaranteed to provide the consumer with an inexpensive sense of nostalgia and warmth. When I take that first bite of a warm Taquito, the fried taste never fails to bring me back to Appalachian State University’s Bavarian Inn, a dining room that specialized in fried food (and evidently no longer exists). I’m reminded of those deep-fried burritos served on the B.I.’s “wheel of death” and the friends with whom I shared them.
- As implied by number 1—and as noted on QuikTrip’s web page--at 99 cents per Taquito, Mayan Gods would be happy. What a bargain! While it would be difficult to finish three of them, you can have an entire meal for $1.98 plus local tax. Beat that!
- The shape of the Taquito, and the wrapper in which it comes, make it the perfect food for eating while driving. My friend Robert Huffman and I were on a road trip the other day. When we stopped to eat, he told me that he didn’t like to eat and drive because it was difficult to enjoy the food and messy as well. Not so with the lovely Taquito. Shaped like a hot dog and delivered in a cylindrical piece of wax paper, the Taquito is easy to eat (hell, it’s fun to eat) and your hands never have to touch the food itself.
- You will find your hot Taquito waiting for you, while spinning on those familiar hot dog rollers. The first time I saw those as a kid, I stood watching them spin for five minutes or so. While on the one hand this shows that I am very easily amused, it’s an emotion I know I share with others. The Taquito is not only tasty, inexpensive, and clean, then, but it is also displayed in an entertaining fashion.
This is a great country, to be sure, and the QuikTrip Chicken Taquito is one of our finest products. I challenge you to name a better road food.