Finger Me

by dpreyde

I’m really fucking tired right now, it’s after midnight, I’ve had a long, weird day, and I’m feeling loopy and punchy. I’ve also been thinking a lot about restrictive eating lately, and how it relates to autism. I get the impression that a lot of autistics are picky-ass bitches when it comes to food. I know I am. I’ve done some amount of reading on picky eating, and apparently pathologically picky eating may in fact be an eating disorder. So in addition to being retarded, I might very well be crazy.

What do picky-ass bitches like to eat? Like, what is the main thing you could put in front of the majority of us without causing a goddamn situation?

Probably chicken fingers.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like chicken fingers. I mean, it’s nowhere near my favourite meal (it’s not even in the top five, and yes of course I have a top five, I’m fucking autistic) but I will always eat chicken fingers if they’re put in front of me.

So if you’re feeling threatened by the possibility of flavour, where on earth can an honest, crazy retarded person go to seek shelter and find some fucking tasty chicken fingers?

I looked up the top three largest cities in Canada and the United States, and Googled “chicken fingers” for each of those cities. Then I picked three restaurants/taverns/dive bars/whatever which looked particularly appealing and safe. I reproduce those results here because I love you.

Toronto, Ontario:

Flo’s Diner

I recently went here with Hannah and had a minor autistic fit because they don’t serve pancakes. It’s probably a decent enough place- Hannah certainly seems to like it- but after finding a distinct lack of pancakes on the menu, I wanted to commit seppuku.

Anyway, I’m sure the chicken fingers are lovely.

Jack Astor’s

I feel like a bad person for recommending a chain restaurant, but chains are generally paradise for disabled people. Most of them are wheelchair accessible, and the food is typically consistent, reliable, and bland. Don’t go to Jack Astor’s after 5:00, because it gets really fucking loud. Oh, and they sneak sauce on some of their food, so watch out for that.

Fran’s

Everyone in Toronto loves Fran’s. It’s a goddamn institution. The notoriously autistic Glenn Gould regularly visited Fran’s at 3 A.M., sat in his favourite booth, and ordered a big plate of scrambled eggs. He died of a stroke at the age of fifty, so maybe don’t do that. The chicken fingers are probably perfectly fine.

Montreal, Quebec:

For some reason I’m kind of shocked that they have chicken fingers here.

Baton Rouge

Yeah, go to a fancy steak place and order chicken fingers. Both the servers and your dining companions will mock you both openly and behind your back, but you know what? They can fuck themselves.

Nickels

Apparently this is Celine Dion’s restaurant. I didn’t even know she had a restaurant, and at first I was horrified and appalled. Then I realized that Celine Dion is the musical equivalent of chicken fingers, and that she probably understands them better than anyone else. The chicken fingers at Nickels could very well be the best ones you’ll ever eat.

Deli Planet

I have nothing to go on but their website, and judging by that, it looks like the sort of place where the floors are sticky. But I doubt that the food will taste like anything at all, so that’s a plus. Unfortunately, there is the distinct possibility that the waitress’ name will be Laverne, and that she will get up right in your personal space. Deli Planet is clearly a world of mixed blessings.

Calgary, Alberta:

They don’t seem to really do chicken fingers, which surprises me. I mean, they unironically wear ten-gallon hats and vote Conservative. Chicken fingers should be right up their alley.

Pockets Sports Bar

There seems to be a conflict here between the food and the atmosphere. Judging by the menu- the food itself, and the way it is written about- nothing here tastes like anything. This is good. Unfortunately, it is also a sports bar, and is probably garish and loud. There are probably lots of TV screens with lots of flashing images. There may be people in jerseys screaming in tongues. I bet the chicken fingers (called “tenders” here) are fantastic though.

Black Swan Alehouse

On Yelp, this was recommended as being particularly cheap. It looks like a fucking disaster, honestly- words on the menu are misspelled, and there’s a disconcerting use of Papyrus font. But I’m probably just being an asshole. They have something called a Boxing Day sandwich, which is basically turkey and stuffing piled on bread (and served year-round!). Only decent people could create something like that.

The Garage

Another sports bar. This one proudly advertises “food you won’t forget, and drinks you won’t remember”, and their chef’s name is apparently Merlin. The good chef Merlin has- according to the menu- been working hard to create pub food the whole staff can be proud of. If you avoid coming here during the Stanley Cup or the Stampede you’ll probably have a good time.

New York City, New York:

Sticky’s Finger Joint

Their website claims that they have quite possibly the best chicken fingers in the world. They feature glowing blurbs from about ten different places. This is fucking serious, we’re in New York now. I’ve never been to New York, but I like to assume the city has every type of cuisine you can think of, duplicated at least twice on every single block. The competition must be fierce and unyielding. Chefs probably go home crying every day. They probably come to work crying. God, I want to visit New York.

Hill Country Chicken

This restaurant seems to prove that New York is the city of dreams. The website is beautiful- retro ‘50s and sky blue- and they have a separate pie menu. They call their chicken fingers “Texas Tenders” for some reason, and serve them skinless with a crunchy cracker crust. Honestly, that sounds like it might be texturally problematic, but I want to believe.

Dirty Bird to Go

Their website is retro ‘70s and orange, (this is how you differentiate yourself in a city of endless redundancies) and just as beautiful as Hill Country Chicken. They advertise fast slow food, which I guess means whatever they want it to.

You can get fifteen chicken fingers for $26.25, though I’m not sure why anyone would do that when you could order an entire rotisserie chicken for around sixteen bucks. And because this is the United States of America, after eating an entire animal you can also order a bag of cookies.

Los Angeles, California:

Big Fat Sal’s

Their motto is “We’re makin’ sandwiches over here” and they use obesity as a marketing gimmick (the words fat, fatty, or fatter appear 17 times on the menu). I love this restaurant. I love this country. Chicken fingers appear as a sidenote on the menu, a kind of concession to the fact that having a restaurant like this without having chicken fingers is like not having tables or chairs.

Louisiana Famous Fried Chicken

This appears to be one of a small chain of fried chicken restaurants. They won something called the “Neighborhood Award” four times, and go out of their way to explain what a chicken tender is. They sound like good folk.

Birds

There’s really nothing to say here. They look so bland and unforgettable it’s almost extraordinary. Their website would’ve impressed me in 2001. They do have a section of their website devoted to animal rescue, so there’s that.

Chicago, Illinois:

D’Agostino’s

Something I’ve noticed is that a lot of places call chicken fingers “chicken tenders”. I don’t know how to feel about this, because it’s obviously wrong, but not wrong like genocide or smallpox. Anyway, this place has been around for almost fifty years, and looks like it’s probably been owned by one family the whole time, and that makes me happy. There are people out there who love D’Agostino’s, who will visibly cheer up when they hear the name, and there are people with fond memories of this restaurant. And there are so many other restaurants like this one- modest and good- that I’ve never heard of, which are important to people. These things matter.

Ranalli’s

This is obviously a pizza town. Both this restaurant and D’Agostino’s are primarily pizzerias. I was, of course, aware of the whole “Chicago-style” thing, but it looks like pizza has deeply permeated the culture. This is my kind of city. Anyway, Ranalli’s is open until 4 AM, which is good, but they use the phrase “chicken tenders”, which is bad, but they marinate them overnight, which is good.

Butch McGuire’s

Again with the whole “chicken tender” thing. It makes me uncomfortable. But, going by their website, this very much strikes me as the kind of place I might stumble into as a tourist and sink into a wood-panelled booth and briefly forget the fact that I’m too far away from home. It’s a pub, and I love pubs. They’re some of the most comfortable places on earth. This one in particular has been around for over fifty years. Continuity and consistency are so important.

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