It’s about 11 in the morning, and you are about to climb into your car and drive to Madison or Chicago or Green Bay. Suddenly, the first pangs of lunch hunger begin to rear their head, and you figure you’ll just get something to eat in the car on the way.
A spill on your shirt or tie. Your skirt gets an embarssing stain. Your car may become littered with some kind of formerly edible product. Or worse, a spill in the car can quickly escalate into a far more violent spill on the road.
Driving and eating is a perilous combination but one that can be accomplished with success with a little inside knowledge. And here it is.
I’ve done this countless times with varying degrees of success and mess. Along the way, I’ve learned a couple of things.
The biggest thing is you have to think "CHEESE." Not because we’re the dairy state but because cheese holds stuff together as long as it’s melted. Put it on almost any sandwich, and you increase your chances of clean eating by almost 37 percent. It’s a fact. You can look it up.
So, with this background, here are the top 10 things you can safely eat while driving. I went for taste, too. Health ... not always.
1. Hummus from Aladdin in the Milwaukee Public Market – It’s the best in the entire city and a dish that stays put when you dip one of their baked pita chips into it. You can’t glop it on, but a little bit is great. You can try to put small slices of cucumber on top, but that requires some right hand dexterity that only a few have.
2. Grilled cheese from George Webb – Gourmet? Not so much. But a solid sandwich, cut in half, with a kind of bread that leaves very few crumbs. I think it’s the globs of butter the cook puts on the outside of the bread. Adding bacon or ham is also an option, but be careful of ham; it can be a little oily and ooze out of the side.
3. Well done French fries from Solly’s – If you get them like that, you get that great crispy outside and that soft, smooth center. Of course, ketchup always goes along with fries, but beware: Ketchup runs. It’s just too thin and hard to control. Instead, ask for a cup of mayonnaise and dip your fries in that. The mayo stays where you put it, and it’s a new taste experience.
4. A burrito from the Taqueria Buenavista, which can be found on Chase Avenue in Bay View – Don’t go crazy here and load it up with all kinds of stuff. Stay away from sour cream, for example. But if you go al pastor with a little bit of refried beans and some queso, you’ve got an easy to eat meal. Make sure you ask the cook to double the tortilla so that you’ve got something solid to go after.
5. Spring rolls and crab rangoon from Jing’s in the Third Ward – The spring rolls are delicious, fresh and perhaps even slightly healthy. As for the crab, a little bit of creativity is needed. While driving, use your right hand to break off the crisp wonton edges of the dish until you are down to the crab center and just a little bit of fried wonton. Otherwise, you may drop crumbs. You may well be able to put the whole thing in your mouth.
6. The classic lox sandwich from Benji’s – This one is simple, but a couple of things should be considered. Don’t get any of those sesame or poppy seed bagels, or you’ll get crap on the lap. A plain bagel is best. Ask them to go easy on the cream cheese so it doesn’t squirt out. And make it plain cream cheese, none of that garden or raspberry favored by so many millennials. And finally, cut it in half so it’s like a sandwich.
7. Barbecue ribs from either Ashley’s or Speed Queen – On the surface, this looks like it’s impossible, but with some experience you can handle it. First of all, ask the cook to leave the sauce off the ribs. Put it about two inches of it in a large soda cup. Then ask for the rack to be cut into individual ribs. No white bread, either. Then you can eat these and if you want, dip a rib into just a little bit of sauce. Be careful if you dip.
8. A sandwich from the Pita Pit on Farwell – Here’s the problem with every pita sandwich served in every restaurant in the world: Since the ingredients are so inexpensive, restaurants figure they can charge more if they overload the sandwich. If you want to go the pita way, ask to fill it with whatever you want but only 75 percent of the way to the top. No oil or dressing; eat it naked. You can close the top of the pocket and feel safe as you munch. This is especially good for vegetarians, vegans and other crazy people.
9. Pizza from Ian’s – Pizza is a tough choice because no matter what you do, that tomato sauce is a problem. Ian’s has a great quattro formaggio (four cheese pizza), however, that doesn’t have the sauce. It’s wonderful, and if you ask them to bake it a little longer, it comes out without anything that will spill. You can’t add any meat because that’s where the grease comes from. But you can learn to fold a pizza slice in half lengthwise and eat it like that. Practice this at home first.
10. Go to Honeypie for a sweet treat to take along with you. The shop has two things on the menu that are good for drivers. One is its cannoli, which is sweet and creamy, and if you take small bites, you will be safe. The other is the caramel brownie. Caramel. Brownie. Nothing more needs to be said.
There you have it. The top 10, plus the overall hint that everyone should remember while dining: drive safely.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Dave Begel
Published June 30, 2015
The No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in the world, Germany and the United States, will meet tonight for a berth in the final of the Women's World Cup. Both teams were favored to win the tournament before it started and the game feels like it should be the final.
Published June 29, 2015
Just one day after the nation was rocked to its foundation by the Supreme Court decision to honor love in all its forms the story of another love that blossomed as the world was changing came to our attention. It's the APT production of "Pride and Prejudice."
Published June 29, 2015
Pity is a coomplex thing but it's relatively easy int he world of sports. There are good guys and bad guys and we like some of them and dislike others. It's all a big pity party.
Published June 28, 2015
"The Island" is a play about the brutality and pain of apartheid in South Africa. But it is also more than that - a tale about the obligation to protest against unworthy conditions. It is a difficult and meaningful play to watch.
Published June 26, 2015
The Milwaukee Bucks, who didn't have much shooting in their arsenal last season, went for exactly that in both the NBA draft and a draft-night trade. Rashad Vaughn, a shooter from UNLV, and Greivis Vasquez, a veteran shooter from the Toronto Raptors, will join the Milwaukee Bucks.
Published June 25, 2015
Summerfest was nothing more than grass and mud in the early days, the level of excitement soon took on a massive personality. The Beach Boys played after a driving rainstorm and Orbison was a wonderful gentleman.
Published June 25, 2015
Following the Rolling Stones can be a problem for any band. But Florida Georgia Line put on its own high-energy show at the Marcus Amphitheater on the first official night of Summerfest.
Published June 24, 2015
The Milwaukee Bucks look to pick up a power forward in the NBA draft Thursday night. The two names most often mentioned are Bobby Portis from Arkansas and Kevon Looney from UCLA, but both Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky from Wisconsin are getting some mentions, as well.
Published June 23, 2015
Sports fans provide support for their teams, both moral and financial. I think fans deserve to be treated with respect and be given honest answers about some of the questions that face teams in trouble, like the Brewers.
Published June 23, 2015
"Every act is different," Babisch said. "But no act gets booked in a vacuum. You always have to balance one act against what's going on the rest of the festival."