Dangerous Dining with Alex #10

Harvey’s Meal Deal

Overview: With the coupon I had, I guess it was a deal. But was it a meal?

Label: Not much sticker shock from the nutritional guide on this one. The Harvey’s “original burger” is only 360 calories undressed. 17 g of fat and 970 mg of sodium. That’s liveable. As part of the meal deal I had a coupon for, however, it came with a side order of fries. This, remarkably, had the same amount of sodium and 50% more fat than the burger! Throw in a medium soft drink (not my thing, but it’s part of the deal), and some fixings for the burger, and the total came to just under 1,000 calories. That’s still not too bad. Of course there’s nothing here that’s actually good for you, but it’s not a health crisis either.

Review: Harvey’s is pretty much the only burger chain I can stomach. The burgers still retain some faint resemblance in taste and texture to a real hamburger patty, and I like that you can watch them make it the way you want it with a nice range of toppings. Like black olives. I put those on everything because I read something a long time ago that said they were healthy. Alas, the burgers are so small that the olives keep falling off.

I think some people get carried away with all the choice. The woman behind me in line wanted ketchup, mustard, and relish on her burger. That struck me as in some way counterproductive. It’s like she was making a burger slurry.

I really enjoy the atmosphere at my local Harvey’s. There are often a lot of oddballs in there, including, this time, one of the biggest guys I’d ever seen. His head was almost touching the ceiling, which I would have thought was impossible. Ordering was an adventure, as I honestly couldn’t make out a single word the cashier was saying, and she was speaking English. I had to get her to repeat everything three times. Best of all, they always play great classic rock. I ate my meal to AC/DC’s “For Those About to Rock We Salute You,” a song I haven’t heard for decades. It doesn’t get any better than that.

The big problem I had with the meal deal itself was that it wasn’t enough. As I’ve said, the burger seemed really small. I think I could have easily eaten three of them in one sitting.  I’d already eaten a lot that day, but by the time I finished walking home I was hungry again. So while the numbers weren’t too bad, I wasn’t getting stuffed. To be honest, it felt more like a snack than a meal.

Price: $5.99

Score: 5 / 10

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