“Every pizza is a personal pizza if you try hard enough and believe in yourself…”— Bill Murray, Twitter
Truer words have never been spoken.
This post isn’t necessarily about pizza, but I feel like you should be aware that this article isn’t health-conscious. This isn’t pandering to the health nuts out there in any way. There may or may not be healthy foods out there you can enjoy while on the road with a group of friends, but I personally don’t know any. Consistently consuming any of the foods/beverages on this list on a regular basis will quickly land you in the hospital. Still, every now and then it behooves one to treat themselves.
I know that our group is called “Couch Potato Brothers” (Couch Potato Bros. if ya nasty), but occasionally we have to peel our sweaty cheeks off the inviting cushions of our couches. To defy all logic and comfort — to venture out into the hazardous and alien world that is outdoors. I know, it sounds terrifying…but bear with me. Leaving the house may seem completely unnecessary and trivial in this day and age, but there is fun to be had when you step off your stoop.
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of going on a road trip. It was only two hours away, but it was a nice change of pace compared to my regular schedule of parking it in my favorite couch crater that’s been formed perfectly to my buns and feeling sorry for myself, as my eyes melt out of my sockets from staring at screens all day. I always like road trips. You still get to sit down, for one. You also get to drop whatever thoughts and worries you’ve had pent up for who knows how long and just enjoy the freedom of the open road.
We all know the BEST part about road trips though, right? The SNACKS. Road Trips and snack foods go together like Riggs and Murtaugh. You can’t have one without the other. Well, maybe YOU can. They just make it so easy for you to sink into the realm of tasty treasures. Whenever you stop to fill up your tank, each and every shelf taunts you for your perusal. It would truly be sad if it wasn’t so awesome!
Which brings me to my list. I understand that people’s taste regarding foods is completely subjective, and a matter of personal preference…but if you can’t agree with at least one of the goods on this list, then you are just plain wrong.
So recline those chairs, blast that AC, and crank up the iPod, because it’s SNACK TIME!
(Before I begin, I should probably let you know that I am in no way affiliated with any of these brands. I’m just chubby and like me some snacks.)
(10) Pizza-flavored Pringles
My friend once illustrated this point perfectly when he said:
“Sometimes, you’re just like ‘YEAH, PRINGLES!’ Other times, you’re just like ‘UGH, PRINGLES!'”
Pizza flavor, and all of the other more-inferior Pringles are great on-the-go snacks, largely due to their resealable cans. Because of the nature of the way they were made (perhaps voodoo magic), most of the Pringles in your can will maintain their rigidity and will not crumble on you. At least not as much as other chips. What crumbs are left over will be easily disposed of when you dump the remnants of said can straight down your face hole. Its lowness on the messy snacks scale, combined with its affordable price land this salty snack on our list.
(9) Casey’s General Store Pizza
Upon creating this list, I’ve come to the shocking realization that Casey’s General Store is exclusive to the Midwest, with locations most prominently in Iowa. I realize that I’ve just inadvertently given you personal information about myself. I am an Iowan. Take that for what you will.
I’m going to assume that pretty much everywhere has a place like this. Casey’s is a convenience/gas station combo that you can find on any random highway, and peppered through your hometown. They are known famously for their fresh cooked pizza, which you can order either by the box or slice. Compared to other pizzas out there, it’s nowhere near the best. In fact, somedays you can get a piece that is just plain awful that you are SURE was left in the warmer for waaaay too long.
It’s not so much the flavor of Casey’s pizza, but the feeling you get when you have some. There’s something special about going in on a chilly day and picking up a little bit of Casey’s to help warm you up.
Plus, their breakfast pizza is DOPE.
(8) Glazers Donuts — Kwik Trip/Kwik Star
I’m not usually a fan of sweets, but I’m willing to make an exception with these.
Kwik Star is one of those other gas station/convenience store hybrids exclusive to the midwest. I don’t know if you in other states are lucky enough to substitute, but Ii’ll do my best to describe these bad boys to you.
Glazers are a great and quick breakfast snack. They make them fresh every morning and put them in half dozen boxes right near the cash register.
Glazers aren’t a complicated donut, lacking most of the pomp and frills of more well known donuts. These aren’t adorned with sprinkles, are pumped full of jelly or cream. These are no-nonsense, regular donuts with a fine sheen (or glaze, if you will) of liquid sugar covering their surface.
Glazers’ beauty are in their simplicity. Sure you could get some luxury crap somewhere else. At Kwik Star however, you can get two boxes of these suckers for only 5 bucks. Suck on that, Dunkin. Pair these with your favorite milk, and you are sitting pretty.
(7) Brisk Half & Half
I came into the Arnold Palmer game later than I would’ve liked. Arnold Palmer was once known as an esteemed golfer, or some other type of esteemed athlete, so I hear (what am I, a doctor?). To the general public who isn’t into sports, however…he is the man who coined this tasty beverage.
What IS an Arnold Palmer, you ask? Don’t feel ignorant if you don’t know, that just means I get to enlighten you! What you do, is you take half a container of tea, and a half container of lemonade and mix them shits together. VOILA! You’ve just created a nectar of the gods!
Brisk Half & Half drinks aren’t the BEST Arnie Palmies out there, but they ARE super convenient. You can find these bad boys in any gas station or convenience store — even the weird ones — in sizable bottles or tall-boy cans. The best part is they’re dirt cheap, so you can grab a few of them for your long trip and not destroy your bank account. (If your bank account lives and dies on the amount of beverages you consume, you’ve got other problems entirely.)
This may be my most controversial pick for this list, as Funyuns are derided by many. People either really love Funyuns, or they hate them with the power of a thousand suns. There have been bloody wars fought, and generation-spanning feuds created in the name of Funyuns. Don’t quote me on that last part.
I personally love these salty snacks. A popular, and incorrect assumption is that they are dried out onions that were fried, when in actually they are made out of cornmeal, and seasoned with salt and onion flavoring. That doesn’t stop me, though. I’ll still munch on a bag until my gums bleed.
Be wary of these particular treats, though. They will make your breath nastier than a metropolitan sewer. It behooves you to carry some gum or mints with you, if you intend to take these with you on a long journey.
Which leads me to…
(5) Wrigley’s Extra Gum — Polar Ice Flavor
Whoa, whoa! Before you bring out your torches and pitchforks let me explain…
If you’re on a long trip in a car, and you enjoy some delicious snacks, and then maybe nap for a while…you’re breath is going to taste and smell like BUTTS! You need to keep that breath as fresh as can be, and it’s not always easy to find your on-the-go toothbrush in your luggage.
This particular gum not only tastes great, but it lasts considerably longer than any other gum I’ve chewed. I don’t know if it’s subconscious or what, but Extra truly seems to last longer. It helps to control your usage over time. I don’t have much else to add — they have a good set of flavors. Polar Ice happens to be my favorite.
(4) Flamin’ Hot! Cheetos
I’m not the biggest Cheeto fan. Don’t get me wrong — when you’re in the mood for them, they can be an enjoyable snack. There is always a huge issue with “Cheeto Fingers” though, and the sticky cheese powder can be a nuisance if you’re trying to do other things while you snack.
Flamin’ Hot! Cheetos are a different story. I don’t know if it is because I’m half latino, but I’m a big fan of spicy flavored foods. These Cheetos are spicy, but comfortably enough that you aren’t wheezing for a beverage every few bites.
Th powder still sticks to your fingers, though. At least it’s super delicious. I can forgive them for that.
Gardetto’s are a hodge-podge of snacks in one bag of pure joy. Gardetto’s are the classy man’s gorging treat. Their classy-looking packaging helps disguise the fact that you’re being a big fatty for scarfing down entire bags in one go.
The highlight of Gardetto’s are obviously the rye chips — a salty, dark, rock hard disc of pure ecstasy. These damn chips are so good, that General Mills released them in a bag all on their own by popular demand. I personally prefer getting surprised by one every now and then. Having nothing but rye chips would be almost too much flavor.
(2) Munchies — Cheese Fix
Munchies are a miraculous combo that just works in unison, like a legendary choir in perfect harmony: you have Sun Chips, Doritos, Cheetos, and Rold Gold pretzels stuffed into a giant bag. Each handful holds a cacophony of palate-erupting deliciousness that will keep your mitts grubbing for the bottom of the bag with every sitting.
There are other flavor combos for munchies, as well: I’m pretty sure they have Ranch and Ultimate Cheddar flavors, plus maybe more. It matter not. Cheese Fix is all one needs for a great time on the road, and if one of your buddies doesn’t like one of the items in the bag, they can easily choose one of their other favorites from the selection. It’s a perfect party snack.
I’td be very remiss of me not to include some of these other mouth-watering monstrosities. So before we get to our number one slot…
Rold Gold Honey Mustard Pretzels — a savory/sweet blend that is nigh impossible not to over-indulge yourself with
Sour Cream and Chive Triscuit Thin Crisps — a potentially healthier alternative for your gorging consideration
Slim Jim Beef and Cheese Stick Combo Pack — when on a time crunch, you can always mash them together and eat as one
Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles — my OG go-to road trip snack
Last, but certainly not least — our number one choice…
(1) T.G.I. Friday’s Cheddar & Bacon Potato Skins Snack Chips
You would think that maybe one of the other big chip contenders like Old Dutch or Lays would take the championship belt. Well, you would be wrong.
I don’t know if you’ve tried these before, but these chips just get me. The flavoring certainly nods to enjoying a delicious loaded potato skin appetizer at your favorite bar and grill, and it does it with such elegant simplicity.
No frills, no extra crap thrown in. Just damn. Good. CHIPS. They have other flavors, but none yet have managed to compete with the classic Cheddar & Bacons. Nobody could ask for more.
Well, there you have it. The perfect road trip snack list. If you have yet to sample some of these delicacies, get off your booties now and get to a convenience store! You’re truly doing yourself a disservice.
How about you guys? Do you agree with this ranking, or do you want to burn me at the stake for not including one of your favorites? Sound off with your personal snack favorites in the comments below. This has been my fattest post so far. Thanks for reading!