Monday, April 24, 2017

Fast Food Oversaturation In Wareham?

If your doctor told you that you needed more cholesterol, you might want to get into the Fatmobile and bring the pod to East Wareham.

Sonic Drive-In, an Oklahoma-based restaurant chain that banks much green in the South, is slowly edging into Massachusetts. They have set their sites on Wareham, via the Patel family, owners of a bunch of Taunton-area convenience stores.

We had to go to Somerset to get these pics, but of course you know that I stopped for a salad on the way and didn't eat any artery-clogging fast food. We include the pictures for SE Massachusetts people who have never been to a Sonic. They're rare around here.

The same area of Wareham is also getting an Olive Garden.

As near as I can tell, the Sonic is going onto the property currently occupied by an oil-change shop, so your fries will have a Pennzoil taste to them. The Olive Garden is said to be going across the street from Barnacle Bill's.

How much is too much?

A lonely stretch of East Wareham is now host to a veritable takeout Mecca. You can get Burger King, Subway, McDonald's, D'Angelo's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Krua Thai, Pizza Boy, Rice Bowl and Dunkin Donuts. I'm not throwing Papa Gino's, Lindsay's or Bailey's into the mix, as you can't order from your car there. I'm pretty sure that the 99 only closed because the building floods in heavy rains.

It's the Cardiac Highway!

We're not Food Snobbing anyone. Stephen, one of our writers, hasn't cooked his own food since 2011 or so. However, about one hundred yards of East Wareham, a depressed region of a small town, now has every fast food place in the Northeast.

They could use a White Castle or a Carl Jr's/Hardee's, but there is only so much Cranberry Highway.

Buzzards Bay had a Burger King fail, which isn't easy. Other than the Hooters: Cape Cod and the Falmouth/Kingston Pizza Huts, it is the most high profile failure of a major fast food chain in the area.

You order off this screen, into the sort of speaker that you used to see at drive-in theaters. Someone skates out with it, and you get into the goods. I need both glasses and a taller car.

Jessica and I passed on the tater tots, as I ate them every day for 4 years in high school. I got the SuperSonic Bacon Double Cheeseburger (pictures below), which came with fries and a soda for about $10. The burger was a-ight, but the fries were Ore-Ida quality.

My meal had over 1500 calories and 2200 milligrams of sodium before I counted the milkshake (it had about 3000 calories with the milkshake... meanwhile, famine victims in refugee camps are happy to get 1200 calories a day), and the unknowable portion sizes makes it impossible to gauge how many calories I stole from Jessica's food. The recommended daily allowance for sodium is 3400 mg, but I consider that to be a piddling sum ascribed to a 105 pound woman. I'm a slim 240 man, so I should get to have twice as much sodium as mortals are allowed. I plan on buying a salt lick and just posting it up in my office somewhere.

I didn't get a pic of it, but when I took the bun and tomato off of the burger, it looked somewhat like William Dafoe.

Jessica got the Chicken Strips Sampler Platter, which was 3 whack strips, more Ore-Ida fries, and onion ring and some toast. That also ran ten bucks, and you can see it below somewhere.

Jessica's chicken did not look like a celebrity.

My man Hardcore Logo got the Chicken Strips Kids Meal, which came with a shake and some Justice League stickers. He didn't let me steal any of it.

The rollerskater (who was a guy) was friendly enough. He's out hustling for his dollar, so I'm not making fun of him. I have had worse jobs. He was the first fast food employee I have ever tipped, aside from the Dunkin' and Marylou's girls.

That's your restaurant review. I made my journalistic bones as a sportswriter. Stacey's French, but she also isn't writing this article. We did go from Cape Cod to Somerset for these pictures, so we deserve some credit.

They must have been out of the Brazilian Man rollerskating waitress neon signs, which is understandable.

Does the population of Wareham have enough kids who know how to roller skate to staff a Sonic these days? You may not want to go there until the girls get their skating legs under them, lest you get a milkshake to the face (doh!) like the cop in the Happy Days intro.

Will this be enough for Sonic- who for some reason can't seem to come to some sort of spokesmanship agreement with the Sega hedgehog- to hold up on the Cranberry Highway against the heavyweights?

We'll goof on the Olive Garden in some future article where we have pictures of one. We consider going to an Olive Garden for Italian food to be akin to going to Red Lobster for seafood. It works if you don't have Italians around to call BS on it.

Olive Garden competing against Mezza Luna should be a devastating loss, but people like franchises. Don't count the OG out of it by any means.

Here's Jesse's dinner. I stole her onion rings before the picture could be taken... because I'm eeeeeevil.

Note that Sonic and Olive Garden are two more businesses who declined to move into (and perhaps revive) the Main Street area of Buzzards Bay. The only big names willing to dance with Buzzards Bay are Subway and Dunkin' Donuts, and we know that Dunkin' would set up in Aleppo if they were allowed.

How much fast food can one region consume? Will the added presence of Sonic be too much for BK or lil' Miss Wendy to bear? Wendy's in Wareham is sort of smelly, and Sonic may just walk them out behind the barn and put them out of their misery.

... or maybe Wareham needs more fast food? Does more fast food exist? Wahlburgers may be a bit high end. I'm not sure if Jack In The Box still exists. In-n-Out Burger or Phatburger (Fatburger?) may not make it here. I'm not sure if dropping a White Castle in Buzzards Bay or East Wareham works, especially for B Double. Chick Fil-A will help along people looking for a less gay-friendly chicken sandwich, but would you run the Bourne rotary for one?

Will the East Wareham economy survive if it is reduced to a bunch of people selling shoddy hamburgers to each other? If that happens, will employees eventually just be paid in hamburgers?

Will the very town of Wareham fracture along supper preference lines, with the higher-end West Ham and their Longhouses and Red Robins break away from their more ghetto McChicken-eating cousins in East Wareham?

Only time will tell.

Playing ring toss with onion rings makes the hardened arteries well worth it.

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