Stu Helm, Asheville’s Facebook Food Critic: Profanity-laced rant on fast food restaurants

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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stu_colonel_2013Hello, Asheville!

I’m ending 2013 and starting 2014 by sharing my most controversial “food review” with you. When I originally posted this one on my own Facebook page a month or so ago, it resulted in the longest comment thread ever, and cost me at least two friends.


FAST FOOD – Everywhere, even Asheville, unfortunately…


If you ever wanna wind-me-up, push a button, and watch me spin around and around until my head pops off, ask me what I think of fast food. I hate it. I hate what it tastes like, I hate what it’s made out of, I hate what it stands for, and I especially hate what it does to the human body, and human culture. Here’s a quick list of the first handful of these purveyors of filth that come to mind…

McDONALD’S – Ba-da-ba-ba-baaa… fuck this place.

BURGER KING – Ditto. Burger King is — always has been, and always will be — a “ditto” of McDonald’s. That is all they can ever hope for. Second best to the all-time worst. Which you’d think would make them a little bit better, but actually somehow makes them a little bit worse.

WENDY’S – I haven’t eaten at a Wendy’s since the 1980’s. Back then I thought it was pretty good. I liked the squareness of the burgers (I’m into shapes) and I seem to recall they had something called a “frosty” that I enjoyed. I think I’ll keep those teenaged memories pristine by never stepping foot through the door of Wendy’s ever again for as long as I live. I’m sure it sucks balls. But not in the good way.

TACO BELL – Back when I was a vegetarian, I used to occasionally eat a bean taco from Taco Bell. Up until recently, I maintained a sort of fantasy that Taco Bell was “okay.” Then my friend told me a hilarious story of shitting his pants two seconds after eating at a Taco Bell. I laughed and laughed, but now I can never separate the two in my mind. Taco Bell equals “I shit my pants one time after eating at Taco Bell.”

SONIC – I ate a hot dog there on my 45th birthday. Everyone thought that was really sad, but that’s what I wanted to do. I was out of my mind, obviously. I mean, a hot dog is a fucking hot dog is a fucking hot dog, right? I should have gone to the Woolworth counter downtown and gotten my dang birthday hot dog served to me by the nice ladies in the tuxedo t-shirts. Fuck Sonic. Their drive-thru mentality is killing America.

POPEYE’S (AKA Pope Yes, AKA Poopies) – Never been. Never will.

LONG DONG SILVER – Never never never will I step foot into this nightmare.

WAFFLE HO– — USE – I made the mistake of telling a Southerner that I’d never been to Waffle House. “Oh, I’m taking you!” She exclaimed gleefully. It won a Stoobie Award from me: Only Breakfast to Make Me Feel Sick Before I Ordered It. I couldn’t even finish it. No fucking way. Eggs, hash-browns, toast… some of my all-time fave stuff… so disgusting that I left feeling angry at other people who eat there. “Why, God?!?” Plus, speaking now as a graphic designer, their sign sucks. Big time.

DENNY’S – I’d never been to a Denny’s until Dawn and I made the biggest mistake we’d ever made together at 2 in the morning. I got the Moons Over My Hammy, because I liked the name. I don’t know what Dawn got. I was sickened by the sight of the shiny, greasy, unreal slop that the waitress placed in front of me. I was shocked, I really was, by how fucking bad this food was. The experience sucked from the moment we decided to pull into the parking lot until the moment that awful food vacated my system. It made me angry. At the people who eat there, at the people who work there, at the whole fucking country for supporting such a blatantly gawd-awful food establishment. I was even a little mad at Dawn just for being there with me. C’mon, Dawn! You should have known better!!!

PAPA JOHN’S – Holy shit, that’s bad pizza. Are you kidding me with this pizza? Seriously, it really really really sucks. Ass. Dog ass. Dead dog ass. And I guaran-dang-tee you that the douchebag on TV who’s always looking coked-out of his mind, and leering at us like a sex-fiend is going to go all Billy Mays on us one day. Is Celebrity Death Watch still around?

DOMINO’S – Don’t even. Worse than Papa John’s. But that’s like saying it’s worse to get stabbed in the left eye than it is to get stabbed in the right eye. I choose not to have my eyes stabbed out at all, please. Thank you.

CHIC-FIL-A – You Southerners is cray-cray. Fuck Chic-fil-A. For real. Their food is literally killing it’s customers, and the CEO is King Douchebag Extraordinaire. “Hey, King Douchebag, here’s my money. Can I please have some hatred and heart disease?” Get a grip, Dixie. I luv ya, but…

KFC – I ate there as recently as 2002, and was blown away by how nasty the food was. It made me feel sick then, and you know what? The memories are making me feel sick right now. Slimy chicken, and mashed potatoes that tasted like an inner tube smells.

JACK-IN-THE-BOX – I’ve never been, and I never will. Everything about their TV commercials, from the “food” that makes my eyes wanna puke, to the weird, creepy, mascot/spokes-thing, is directly out of my darkest nightmares.

HARDEE’S – What the fuck is up with Hardee’s? Are they on a fucking mission to kill all of the young men and bachelors in America? All of their commercials are directed at men… single men… losers, pretty much. Yeah, that’s what I said. Hardee’s is marketed towards single male losers. Are you one? I certainly fucking hope that you have higher self esteem than to eat at Hardee’s. You are NOT a loser! From Hardee’s Corporate point of view, I myself am one of those single male losers, and I should be eating my breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Hardee’s every day, because mommy doesn’t cook for me anymore, but now I can be a naughty little boy and indulge myself in thickburgers and onion rings and great green gobs of greasy grimy gofer guts until I fucking blow up and DIE!!!! Hardee’s is a serial killer that hunts &captures young men, then infects them with crippling disease that will eventually kill them. Has anyone alerted the FBI? We don’t need a profiler, or a medium to solve these murders. It was the Smiley-Face Star People. PS – I’ve never eaten at a Hardee’s in my life and I never will. I don’t need to stare into the Sun to know it’s gonna
suck if I do. Fuck you, Hardee’s for targeting me as a demographic. I take that shit personal.

Fast Food is literally killing anyone who eats it with any frequency at all. That’s a fact, commonly known, and well established by science, and Morgan Spurlock. And yet, for some unknown reason (unknown to me at least), people flock to the bright lights, and even brighter food coloring of the fast food hucksters on a weekly, sometimes even daily basis. I eat at one every year or two, and I’m immediately filled with regret and gurgle guts galore. The hinterlands of America are a complete nightmare of bad food choices and sick people. Sick from the food? J’athink?!? When I travelled through West Virginia I was shocked by the scenery. Whole mountains being torn down and replaced with repetitious, unending, strip malls of fast food, heart clinics, auto parts, fast food, heart clinics, auto parts, fastfoodheartclincsautoparts… it all ties in and ties together, People. Wake up! Do not eat at fast food establishments. Do not invite them into your neighborhoods. They are your enemy! They want steal your money! And kill you! I speak the truth!!! Why won’t anyone listen to me?!? You have to listen! Soylent Pink-Slime… it’s made out of PEOPLE!!!

(Spin spin spin spin POP)stu_helm_2013

Stu Helm is an artist and writer living in Asheville, NC, and a frequent diner at local restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and the like. His tastes run from hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese, to haute cuisine, and his opinions are based on a lifetime of eating out. He began writing restaurant reviews strictly to amuse his friends on Facebook in 2013.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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  1. Plastic Paddy January 3, 2014

    Stu must like to get his $5 foot long on.

  2. DROE January 2, 2014

    For fuck’s sake (some of you) people (Nate, yep, BTK and Big Al). Seriously? You’re taking on the tone of little schoolyard shitheads with your bitchy, pointless comments. I’m not suggesting comment threads are only meant for praise, but if you take issue with the post’s content, consider taking a moment to more carefully articulate your critique. Sure, Stu’s writing is thick with colorful and (purposefully) ridiculous language, but it’s a hell of a lot more nuanced and well crafted than these naive insults.

    Stu’s articles are meant to be fun – they take the form of an opinion column that brings a humorous perspective to restaurant reviews as well as timely and timeless issues around food and food culture. And, if that’s not your thing – maybe stop reading these?

    1. Big Al January 3, 2014

      The profanity never bothered me, and I have actually begun to respect Stu’s no-frills reviews, especially when compared to the pretentious, self-absorbed snobs’ responses. (Ill bet that wine bar that feels they are too good to serve creamer stills charges a buttload for a cuppa joe!))


      When you jump from reviews of serious restaurants to a rant about fast friggin’ food, you have just jumped the culinary shark.

      Get back to what you do well. Leave the bitch sessions for PETA and the vegans.

  3. Smytty January 2, 2014

    You skipped Arby’s. Almost everyone I know has a “I ate at Arby’s and was sick for three days” story.

  4. Tiptop54 January 1, 2014

    Funny, funny article! I laughed until I almost puked!

  5. Big Al December 31, 2013

    I was starting to like you, Stu, but now you just sound whiny and bitchy.

    Stick to reviewing real restaurants. I am curious what you think about Farm Burger.

    1. Stu Helm January 1, 2014

      Please “like” my Facebook Page to see my response, Big Al.

      1. Big Al January 3, 2014

        I don’t do “facial book”.

  6. Nate December 31, 2013

    I’ve actually really enjoyed Stu’s previous installment, but why would anyone care what another human thinks about fast food, especially fast food that he’s never even consumed? Anyone who claims that they don’t understand why people eat fast food is either an idiot or lying.

  7. yep December 31, 2013

    Stu is telling us that fast food is terrible on every level. Ooh, that’s news! Thanks for informing us! Stu is great at saying nothing, but pretending it’s something by saying it LOUDLY and with lots of cursing. Ugh.

  8. BTK December 30, 2013

    Funny thing is, I really hate fast food and I still think this article is shit.

  9. Harry December 30, 2013

    “I mean, a hot dog is a fucking hot dog is a fucking hot dog, right?”

    Not according to your previous writings.

  10. Das Drew December 30, 2013

    I like Waffle House. Good call on Chick-fil-A.

  11. robyn December 30, 2013

    I might say it differently and I feel the same way.
    In Asheville? Why?

  12. ashevillain December 30, 2013

    What about VegHeads? Do they get a reprieve?

  13. RonFWNC December 30, 2013

    I’m a little disappointed. I felt you were holding back, for some reason. Don’t go all tentative on us now, Stu.

  14. Lerjoy December 30, 2013

    Fuck yes! Fuck all of them!


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