The Poor student’s guide to food

Neil Chakravarty

If you frequently find yourself out on the town and in the panic of starvation, with nothing more than five bucks to your name, you’ve come to the right place. The East Renton Highlands “Strip” (a.k.a. N.E. 4th street) and surrounding area are home to a gaggle of fast food joints, the majority of which are yet to be fully taken advantage of by most Liberty students. After having lived and gone to school in this area for several years, I feel that I have visited enough eateries in this area with enough friends that I can finally decide which food items at which places are the best in both taste and value. Here are some favorites of mine—that fall into both the basic and more exotic categories—that a hungry student can grab at most times of the day for no more than a five buckaroos.

Best Burger:

The Junior Bacon Cheeseburger at Jack in the Box- A hotly contested debate, the Junior Bacon Cheeseburger narrowly inches out McDonalds’s McDouble. Both sandwiches can be purchased for a mere dollar, and both sandwiches can be stacked to the consumer’s content, but the bacon of the Junior Bacon Cheeseburger is what gives it the edge in this competition. Sure, the McDouble can be used to construct the fabled Mc******** (a McChicken wedged between the patties of a McDouble), but standing alone, the Junior Bacon Cheeseburger provides a more fulfilling experience for your palette.


Best Fast-Food Creation:

The Mickey D’s Shake and Bake (no baking required)- Fabled to have been first concocted at the Newcastle McDonalds, the Mickey D’s Shake and Bake requires one to purchase a twenty piece chicken nuggets and add to the boxes the desired amount of shredded cheese and Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. The boxes are then closed and shaken to ensure an optimum amount of mixing. The resulting product is a mouth pleaser that blends spicy, sweet, and savory notes to deliver a dish that will sweeten any dreary night.


Best Fries:

Five Guys Fries—Enough FRESH fries to feed four casual snackers for fewer than four dollars. Enough said. (Warning: don’t get the Cajun style unless you want to feel like you’re eating sand.)


Best Chicken:

I know I’m going to get a lot of flak for this, but Ezell’s is far from being my favorite chicken place. Hop In chicken is where it’s at. For those who’ve tasted chicken from both places, we know that it’s that magic gas station chicken from Hop In that has fresher taste, a crispier coating, and a price that won’t suck your wallet dry.  That nice football player from the MLK assembly would be proud. If you have another few bucks to spare, don’t hesitate to grab a bag of the fresh potato chips from beside the chicken case (the Johnny’s flavor is a winner and the Garlic and Herb flavor tastes just like the garlic fries from Safeco Field).