An Ode to Cheesies Fried Pickles

Sometimes I have those mornings where I wake up and the first thought in my mind is fried pickles.

Yes, I know I’m a strange person. Usually my first thought in the morning is about chocolate, so keep things in context.

So I took my lunch break between classes and trekked through the frigid pre-winter winds to Cheesies, which is the current favorite drunchie location of the majority of the Northwestern student body. I love a good overpriced grilled cheese sandwich, but my favorite snack at Cheesies happens to be the fried pickles I woke up thinking about.

Being there at 1 in the afternoon, I was the only person in the restaurant besides a group of four older people enjoying a long lunch conversation (quite the crowd I am not used to seeing when I go to Cheesies). In the time it took me to wait for my fried pickles to be ready, I discovered that I had forgotten my DSLR’s memory card. I suppose it’s better than what happened last time, when I forgot my wallet, but it still sucked in its own way. Fortunately for me, I have the ability to take pretty darn good photos on my iPhone 4S, so I wasn’t completely at a loss.

Soon the waitress brought me my basket of fried pickles. Where I was sitting, the sunlight filtering through the front windows bathed the appetizer in a golden light that made this excursion seem much more important than it actually was, which was my selfish attempt to satiate my foodie fantasies.

The grease clinging to my thumb and index fingers, I raised a crispy pickle to my mouth and bit through the breading. Grinding my teeth to fully cut through the warm, floppy pickle inside, I tasted the brine at the very same time as the vaguely Italian-seasoned breading. It’s one of those combinations to which one would be skeptical, but all questions are answered upon swallowing the greasy snack.

While enjoying my fried pickles this afternoon, I thought about my futile attempts at eating cleanly this summer, punctuated by that one intense craving I had for fried food, similar to what happened when I woke up this morning, that culminated in my first experience with fried pickles at Cheesies. Part of this might have also been the fact that I only lived a block away from the grub pub.

The great thing about having cravings for deliciously fried snacks like these is the fact that I can never bring myself to finish them in one sitting. After gulping down a couple clear plastic cups of ice water, I loaded half the fried pickles into a styrofoam to-go container and set out on my merry way, eventually giving my leftover pickles to a sorority sister out of the kindness of my heart (and out of the guilt of consuming a very rich glass of hot chocolate shortly after returning home).

Here’s to you, Cheesies fried pickles. Never change. I love you even with all your grease.

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