Half-baked ideas: When all the drive-thrus are closed, what’s a hungry stoner to do?

by DGO Pufnstuf

If you’ve attempted to eat at a restaurant, order takeout, or just grab a sandwich at a well-known sandwich chain recently, you’re likely well aware of the issues the labor shortage is causing. Restaurants are being forced to shut their doors hours early, or close on certain days each week, or they just can’t sell you any food (we’re looking at you, chain drive-thru that offers delicious cherry limeades) right now.

This is neither the time nor the place to debate the merits of a minimum wage hike (know that this pot writer is all for it), nor is it the time to lambast the people behind the horrible cherry limeade debacle, but there is one thing that we can agree on. Whatever your thoughts on fiscal policy, we all know that the labor shortage is causing some major issues with our bellies. And, in particular, with our stoner bellies. We need food! Food is life when you’re stoned!

And, this labor shortage is not just a local issue, either. Durango’s cost of living may be sky high, which is contributing to the issue, but the reality is that this stuff is happening nationwide.

All you have to do is look at the news headlines to know how bad it is out there. Or, if that’s too much of a hassle, look at the fliers in the windows of the restaurants you want to eat at while you’re waiting 2.5+ hours for a table. It’s bleak.

No bonus, or unusual restaurant perk, or whatever else, seems to be doing the trick. Without staff to fill restaurants, our bellies are empty, and that makes us the saddest stoners ever.

So, what’s a hungry stoner to do without a restaurant to order takeout from?

Well, they’re forced to improvise, obviously.

If we can’t get our beloved junk food from a drive-thru window, we’re going to have to get creative at the grocery store instead.

If you’re also craving the junkiest of junk food but delivery and pick-up are failing you, here are some stellar grocery store backups you can rely on.

Fill your fridge or freezer with these stoner staples and you’ll never go hungry again. You can just pop one of the processed, unhealthier-than-hell snacks in the ol’ microwave or oven or whatever and call it a day. Problem solved.

Listen. We know they ain’t a cherry limeade, but they’ll do, pig. They’ll do.

1. Frozen White Castle burgersCraving a delicious hot cheeseburger from In-N-Out or like, Wendy’s or something? Well, if they ain’t open (or in this part of Colorado), we can’t fix it for you, but we can make it easier to get your cheeseburger fix.

You can snag a box of these frozen White Castle burgers out of the frozen food aisle at your local supermarket — but avoid your natural grocers at all cost; they ain’t in the biz of microwaveable burgers — and toss them in the freezer.

Leave them there until the next time you have a hankering for some tiny sliders, complete with onions, pickles, and, uh, whatever else you want to load on top of them. When that happens — right about 4:22 in the afternoon or so — all you have to do is grab a few out of the big freezer monster in your kitchen.

A few seconds in the ol’ microwave and you’re good to go. Hunger abated with no sad tears at the drive-thru.

2. Bagel BitesYes, Bagel Bites. Now stop judging, please. We’re not saying these snacks need to be delicious when you’re sober. They need to be delicious when you’re stoned. That’s an entirely different category!

Bagel Bites may not be the classiest or most nutritious snack on the planet, but they do make a solid replacement for the pepperoni rolls from your (much better) local pizza place.

We can’t help you get your paws on those delicious, restaurant quality pepperoni rolls — we love them too — but these round orbs of cheap sauce and tiny pepperoni squares are a second best.

3. LunchablesWho likes sodium with their sodium? We do!

Salty snacks can be the best when you’re stoned, but who wants to spend time cutting a charcuterie plate when they’re stoned? That seems like a dangerous task anyway.

Save your fingers (and your sanity) by investing in some Lunchables.

Is there anything particularly healthy about them? Hell no! But there’s really nothing healthy about the charcuterie plate you’re mourning from the closed local pasta shop, either. And at least this one is readily available in your local cold foods aisle.

And, pro tip: If anyone asks why you have 14 Lunchables stacked in your cart, just tell them you have LOTS of kids at home. They don’t need to know your business (or your snack tricks. Ain’t nobody trying to lose out of what’s actually available to other hungry stoners, now are they?)

4. Maruchan Ramen, ANY FLAVORAgain, this one is sodium overload, but who’s asking? Your local ramen shop may be struggling to keep the doors open thanks to being short staffed, but your ramen fix is easy (and super freaking cheap) if you invest in a palette of ramen from the store. We like the chicken flavor, but go head on with your bad self if you prefer another kind, like beef. To be clear, though, we think the shrimp flavor is filth.

You may not feel great about your life choices, but don’t let that get to you. Don’t think of this as broke college food. Think of it as a blank canvas that you can spice up just like your beloved ramen shop does!

Toss some in boiling water, throw in a fancy egg, some veggies, and some rotisserie chicken, and then top with some chopped green onions. You can even throw on some Sriracha if you’re feeling wild. The possibilities are endless.

5. NutellaCraving chocolate mousse from that little restaurant around the corner? Want to indulge in the creamy fudge of that closed-on-Mondays candy shop? Get. You. Some. Nutella.

And do it right now.

Nutella is the very best kind of stoner treat. You can toss it on some ice cream, smear it on some fruit, or just eat it by the spoonful when you want something sweet.

This stuff is great for the days you’re couchlocked into oblivion, or those days when every restaurant worker decides enough is enough and no-shows for work.

Either way, you’re set. One jar of Nutella is all you need.

6. Anything Little DebbieNo, this is not an ad. Little Debbie snacks are delicious.

Love that fudge brownie your local ice cream shop drops at the bottom of your brownie a la mode? Well, you may not be able to get your sticky mitts on that, but you can get yourself a Little Debbie Cosmic Brownie and throw it in the bottom of a dang bowl yourself! Problem solved!

If you’re feeling super fancy, you can top that cosmic delight with ice cream and some Nutella, which you OBVIOUSLY keep in your pantry as a proper stoner. The combo is complete and utter filth, and we mean that in the very best way.

7. Some gotdang Chili Cheese FritosIs the food truck you get Frito pie from shut down for the day? Do you desperately need your Frito pie fix but don’t know or care how to make chili? Dudes. You need some Chili Cheese Fritos.

These bad boys are everything you want, all rolled up into one tiny corn chip. They have the delicious saltiness of Fritos, the smoky bite of chili, and they leave the best chili cheese dust on your fingers! Stoner. Paradise.

DGO Pufnstuf

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