We'd like to preface this week's column with a warning: You should not be eating either of the following Versus contenders. This is the absolute lowest grade of food you can possibly buy. If you're starving, need something fast and have a couple of bucks to spare, go get yourself something off a drive-thru value menu. If you must eat from a convenience store, for whatever reason, we're here to make sure you chose the path of least bodily harm. With the KFC Double Down all the rage, we figured we'd peek inside two popular quick marts to test some other "avant gard" sandwiches that give the KFC nightmare a run for its money in the gross department. We didn't realize just how disgusting the food we tasted would be. Case in point: 7-11's Cheeseburger Big Bite versus Chevron's Extra Mile Tornados. Some fillings should remain in sandwich form.
3801 California Ave. S.W. (and other locations), 938-1417
As soon as you see the Cheeseburger Big Bite on the roller grill, you know you're in for something totally disgusting. Compared to the spicy bite and regular hot dogs, this quarter-pound cheeseburger dog looks like a giant turd, cooking under a hot lamp. It's much girthier than the other dogs and is dotted with chunks of orange (cheese) and white (onions). As soon as the cashier puts the dog in a bun do yourself a favor by running to the condiment section and dousing that thing with liquid cheese, onions and ketchup. These cover-ups are the only things that truly make this dog resemble a cheeseburger in any way. "What sort of meat am I eating?" is a question you're certain to ask yourself after the first bite. And my friend, we'd love to tell you, but we just don't know. It's so reconstituted, it's hard to tell, but our best guess is a mixture of pork and beef. It's a lot like the meat patty you find in an actual cheeseburger, but in hot dog form. Why? We don't know that, either.
2347 California Ave. S.W. (and other locations), 933-1100
We were hoping to find a steak sandwich of some kind, and we did -- in taquito form, called a Tornado. While the meat was just as low quality as the Cheeseburger Big Bite, it was diluted with a crisp tortilla that made it more palatable. It's also small, which means you can eat one to hold you over until you get to real food instead of filling up on this bitemare. The filling looked more like a runny beef stew. It did have a nice spice and a hint of something sweet (we're guessing cinnamon), but it still lacked an appetizing look or overall appeal. Proof that Tornados suck? The cashier didn't charge us for ours. We paid for it later, though.
It's hard to wrap your mind around a cheeseburger in hot dog form, which makes the 7-Eleven Cheeseburger Big Bite even harder to swallow. It also comes with a whopping 680 milligrams of sodium, 270 calories and 22 grams of fat, and that's without the bun. The Tornado is more of a snack, which is perfect, because you really don't want to replace a meal with convenience store food, anyway. It's just not worth it. Plus, the Tornado comes with just 180 calories, 7 grams of fat and 330 milligrams of sodium. Regardless, the Tornado had less of a feral meat taste, thanks in part to a fried tortilla wrapper which is more innocuous than rancid meat. That's why we crown Chevron Extra Mile's Tornado as the winner, or should we say, the lesser of two evils.