Fast Fixin' Restaurant Style Cheeseburger Fingers 

6600 Clayton Road
Richmond Heights

With their anthropomorphic connotations, the head cheeses, wieners and chicken fingers of the world have always been a link too close on the food chain for my comfort. Don't get me wrong: I don't mind talking bottles of syrup or peanuts with monocles and top hats. But confronted with a plate of spotted dick, I'm likely to run screaming from the table.

So this twenty-ounce bag of frozen Fast Fixin' Restaurant Style Cheeseburger Fingers presents a special challenge.

Be that as it may, I've got to say that I'm a little disappointed with the marketing department at Advance Brands, the parent company responsible for Fast Fixin' Restaurant Style Cheeseburger Fingers. For these are no mere "cheeseburger fingers." These are deep-fried and breaded "cheeseburger fingers." I don't know about you, but I think Fast Fixin' Restaurant Style Chicken Fried Cheeseburger Fingers just sounds better, and you'd think the folks at Advance Brands would want to advertise that. But I digress....

As instructed, I warmed my fingers in the oven until the little granules of yellow cheese had rendered into rainbow-colored rivulets that meandered across the baking sheet. A stickler for cooking instructions, I let them cool for two minutes on the counter.

Then I took a finger and stuck it down my throat.

Grease? Check. Overcooked, underseasoned ground beef? Check. Cheese? Check. Breading? Yep.

But wait! What's that sharp thwack at the back of the tongue? Is it sodium hexametaphosphate? Sodium tripolyphosphate? Disodium guanylate? Sodium acid pyrophosphate?

All of the above, most likely. You don't discern it at first because the grease in Fast Fixin' Restaurant Style Cheeseburger Fingers clogs the taste buds. According to Advance Brands' very informative Web site, a finger contains about 250 milligrams of sodium. That's not too terribly much. But once you get your mouth fully around a finger, the salt drills into the back of your tongue like an auger.

Just as quickly, though, the grease reasserts its dominance, sealing the mouth from the ravages of its salty passenger.

Suggested degreaser: Two fingers of whiskey.

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