Guilt-free reviews of fast-food menus and indulgences. Weekly w/ illustration
Weekly reviews of specials from Taco Bell, McDonalds, Wendys, and other eateries.
In his syndicated column, “The Drive-Thru Gourmet,” Ken Hoffman writes food reviews for people who prefer french fries to French cuisine. King Features Syndicate distributes the often-outrageous, nutritionally informative and always hilarious weekly column. It covers the national fast-food chains plus one-of-a-kind food stops across the country. He reviews everything from “two all-beef patties” to “the Colonel’s secret blend of herbs and spices” to a desolate truck stop cooking the “hottest chicken wings in the world,” where customers must sign a legal waiver before eating. Each column digests one new item from the ever-changing world of fast-food cuisine.
Hoffman attributes his inspiration for “Drive-Thru Gourmet” to a combination of personal tastes and national statistics.
He was 17 when he got his driver’s license, and the first place he went was McDonald’s. He says those burgers have stayed with him ever since — as have the ketchup stains on his pants, seat covers, sneakers, floor mats, etc.
According to the figures, he’s not alone in his bad eating habits. Americans love fast food. More than 90 percent, whether they admit it or not, eat fast food. Most of us do it once a week or more.
Hoffman hits the drive-thrus on his way to the Houston Chronicle, where, three days a week, he also writes a humor column filled with assorted comments, observations and trivia.
He devours his breakfast, a couple of Sausage McMuffins or a box of Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkins and a Diet Coke, while hosting a popular morning radio show for KTBZ-FM in Houston. He has written many comedy segments for a variety of radio stations.
“The thing that surprises people when they meet me is, I don’t weigh 500 pounds. I don’t look like the Nutty Professor. Jerry Springer isn’t after me to be a guest,” says Hoffman, who is a self-described “ultimate tennis nut.” He is proud of himself for having once won a point, fair and square, against Bjorn Borg.
Before joining the Chronicle in 1995, Hoffman wrote a daily column for the Houston Post for 10 years. Prior to that, he covered pop music and television for the Phoenix Gazette for eight years. He is a huge fan of the Beatles, and collects Beatles memorabilia.