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Fast Food Maniac: From Arby's to White…
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Fast Food Maniac: From Arby's to White Castle, One Man's Supersized…

by Jon Hein

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So long as you understand what you're getting it does its job Don't remember what drew me to the book (not at all familiar with Hein) but I had been under the impression that it was his memoirs of eating fast foods or a more thorough examination of the history of "fast food" in the United States. Nope. It's an encyclopedia with a little bit of what Hein loves about these particular restaurants or their quirks or interesting bits of history about them.
 
There's really all there is to it. It's an alphabetical listing of the particular restaurant with a basic list of facts (origins, founders, how many locations, recommended items, seasonal menu foods, etc.) plus a few words (a page or two) from Hein about what is unique/what he loves about the food there/commentary about the history/food/etc. Plus he has some lists of what foods he likes best, what he recommends, tips for secret menus or what it's like to order, etc. 
 
There's not much else to it. The criticisms are on target: it's not particular in depth. The entries do read like ads for each eatery. If you're someone who already loves a particular restaurant or fast food in general, I'm not sure how much you'll get out of this. 
 
I'm not sure who the target audience is, either. It's far too basic for most people and unless you have an interest or familiarity with these places it'd probably read like a boring encyclopedia of a topic you don't care for. At best I'd say it might be for a food historian or for someone who really likes Hein (although there are plenty of reviews from people who say they're disappointed that his name is attached to this). He clearly adores fast food and that comes through his writing. He also provides a number of pictures (black and white) but that isn't enough to really carry a book like this (and as other reviews say, this apparently doesn't translate well to audiobook form either).
 
The only people who might really get "use" out of this is someone who is new to the US and wants to explore the country via fast food (which I'm sure is something that has been done). As a specific travel guidebook this could be something that would be "fun" for someone who has the time and inclination to undertake a trip like this but I think that would probably be a fairly small group of people. 
 
This was fun for what it was but I can see why a lot of people are disappointed and why the reviews are negative. ( )
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
It is a good look at what is on the menus at some of the fast food places out there. This book explains how the fast food places got their start and what the specialty items on the menu are. In the back of the book it tells how some of the items are made. It is a really interesting book. ( )
  mware1961 | Mar 17, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553418033, Paperback)

The beloved personality from The Howard Stern Show celebrates American fast food, exploring the history and secret menu items of both national and regional chains, ranking everything from burgers and fries to ice and mascots, and offering his own expert tips on where to go and what to order. 
 
Jon Hein is the ultimate fast food maniac, and in this book he draws on his extensive knowledge of, and love for, both nationwide chains and regional gems, from McDonald’s and KFC to In-N-Out Burger and Carvel. He digs into their origin stories; reveals secret menu items; includes best lists for everything from fried chicken and shakes to connoisseur concerns such as straws and biscuits; takes a nostalgic look back at the best giveaways, slogans, and uniforms; and even provides a battle-tested drive-thru strategy. With behind-the-counter looks at places like the Dunkin' Donuts headquarters and Nathan's original hot dog stand, Fast Food Maniac is the definitive, cross-country guide to some of America's best-loved guilty pleasures.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 26 Feb 2016 10:04:53 -0500)

Jon Hein is the ultimate fast food maniac, and in this book he draws on his extensive knowledge of, and love for, both nationwide chains and regional gems, from McDonald's and KFC to In-N-Out Burger and Carvel. He digs into their origin stories; reveals secret menu items; includes best lists for everything from fried chicken and shakes to connoisseur concerns such as straws and biscuits; takes a nostalgic look back at the best giveaways, slogans, and uniforms; and even provides a battle-tested drive-thru strategy. With behind-the-counter looks at places like the Dunkin' Donuts headquarters and Nathan's original hot dog stand, Fast Food Maniac is the definitive, cross-country guide to some of America's best-loved guilty pleasures.… (more)

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