Darcy Biermeyer and Emily Roberts

  Everyone enjoys fast food. It’s a fact of life. Whether it’s the animalistic nature of In N’ Out’s burgers or the salty crunch of McDonald’s french fries, there’s something for everyone out there. One thing that is incredibly debatable is what the best pairing to these delectable dishes is.

  Through systematic deliberation, we decided ranch was the best overall partner, whether it be with a burger, fries, or mozzarella sticks. Have you ever been at one fast food place and thought, “wow, this meal would be great with ranch from somewhere else.” Well, we have. To determine which fast food industry had the best ranch, we conducted a very scientific experiment. We went around Pahrump and snatched each of their ranches.

  We used McDonald’s fries as our constant, and carefully logged our experiences with each. Jack-in-the-Box, Burger 

King, McDonald’s, Sonic, Carl’s Jr., and KFC: we have challenged them all and chosen a champion.

  Jack-in-the-Box: Initially, it was promising. It was the first out of the bunch, and the aroma was alight with vinegar and sour cream. It was served cold. When I went in, the cashier hesitated a moment before pulling a few little blue-lidded containers of “Buttermilk House Sauce” from a mini-fridge behind her. The contrast between the hot, salty fries was stark (yet complementing) against the cool, almost tart ranch. There were few black specks (presumably a spice) amongst the thick, smooth, cream-colored sauce. It was rated a mutual 7/10.

  Burger King: This was slightly more disappointing. We ordered a Frozen Coke from the drive-through and asked for two containers of ranch. After receiving a rather quizzical look, the girl handed us our order and luke-warm, white-lidded, Burger King branded ranch. There was hardly any smell and hardly any taste. Decently spiced, a few black flakes. If you’re a wimp and like watery condiments, this is the one for you. 4/10.

  McDonald’s: You would think that this would have been the best, given it was designed to pair with the fries we were using as a constant. The black specks were very fine, and the color of the sauce appeared almost bleached in comparison to the rest of the cream-colored ranches. The lid was blue–seafoam, almost, like the arches you see in Sedona, Arizona. When we opened the package, it smelled like boiled eggs. However, it had a very sweet taste, herbs hitting primarily in the aftertaste. It was thicker than Burger King’s, but quite as thick as Jack. It was an average 5/10.

  Sonic: Oh boy, don’t even get me started. Sonic has the best mozzarella sticks ever, hands down. Sonic has the best drinks, especially given that a large is only $.99-1.39 before 11AM. Sonic has great boneless buffalo wings and 12” Coneys, even though they might give you indigestion every now and again. But let me tell you, Sonic has the worst ranch in Pahrump. It was yellow, it was sour, the container tall and thick and not in a good way. I checked for an expiration date. 0/10, the worst ranch in the history of ranches.

  Carl’s Jr.: Not much better, actually. Like Jack, it was served cold, which is immediately a leg up. It wasn’t as yellow as Sonic’s disaster, but almost as watery as Burger King. It had a bite, which I couldn’t identify where it came from, but felt almost tangy. It wasn’t bad, but it certainly wasn’t good. One and done, 3/10.

  KFC: When are these going to get better, you ask? Right now. We saved the best for last, and it really was the best. It had big black flakes, and lots of them. The sauce itself was an ecru color, maintaining the perfect balance of buttermilk, sweetness, and all 11 herbs and spices. Solidly the best ranch from any on this list, and likely a lot more. It was wifey material, it felt like coming home and taking your shoes off after a long day, it had dinner ready and warm. 12/10, absolutely the best. It was absolutely perfect to pair with the chicken–one might even say it was the perfect “chicken ranch.”