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 SQUAD! Big ups to the McElroys (esp Justin, Munch Squad Master) for bringing to light and celebrating the existence of garbage foods. Thank you Domino’s. Thank you Burger King. Thank you Olive Garden. Thank you Arby’s. Thank you Taco Bell. Thank you Taco Bell. Thank you Taco Bell. Thank you Taco Bell. Maybe…a volume 2 in the future? IT IS POSSIBLE. - Valerie Barr / @valerie2776

TABLE OF CONTENTS Front/Back Cover - Melanie LaMay (Aesirly) 1

Thanks & Etc Valerie Barr


Do Not a Plate Set At My Seat A. Griffin | Illustration: Lauren Norby


Garbage Cheese and Friendship Natalie Koch | Illustrations: Molly


Sandwich | Munch Jossly Rossly | Ari Tupelo


Tim Horton’s New Everything Bagel Jenna Knorr


H.S.P. Avery Flinders


McDonald’s Comic Noah Morss


A Short Treatise on the Consumption of Fries… Lap Nguyen | Illustrations: Ali Goldaper


Real Gamer Time Cupcakes Finian Lumino | Illustration: Valerie Barr


Sodastream cg / dinnerparty


The Sith Welcomes a Friend | the Mav Trina Barnes | Jason Kerr


Diet Coke Recast Press Release: A Black Out Poem B. G. Foster


Sugar Shingles Ari Tupelo


McDonaldland Sam Schultz


The Salted Cupcake Mackenzie Bush | Illustration: Valerie Barr


 Mary Grace Hathaway


Captin Burgur Jack Morss

 (with apologies & thanks to Mary Elizabeth Frye) By A. Griffin 
 Do not a plate set at my seat;
 I am not there. I’m out to eat. 
 I am the dollar cup of joe.
 I am the fryer lights that glow.
 I am the sign that claims whole grain.
 I am the friendly “come again.”
 When you’re amid the lunch time rush
 I am the taste of Orange Crush
 With fizzy drinks’ familiar bite.
 I am the 24-hour light.
 Do not look for me when it’s lunch;
 I am not there. I’m out to munch.

Lauren Norby

AND FRIENDSHIP By Natalie Koch I run a trivia night every Tuesday in a bar that is very heavily influenced by sports. It is, as they say, a Sports Bar. They serve typical bar food fare and the regular clientele seem perfectly fine with that. When I host, I don’t typically order food. I have to handle a lot of tiny slips of paper and enter points on my laptop, so trying to maneuver greasy bar food into my mouth while also speaking intermittently into a microphone just isn’t a recipe for success. I get a water and wait until 9pm, when trivia is over, to have my dinner. It’s a rough life, but someone has to ask strangers general knowledge questions in exchange for gift cards.

One night, I came in to set up for trivia and discovered that a friend of mine, Nate, had taken over as kitchen manager for the bar. This was great news. Nate is a good guy, fun to be around, and an excellent cook. His skills, of course, are wasted in a sports bar establishment but he knew what he was getting into. “You hungry?” he asked while I hooked up my speakers. “I mean, kinda. But I don’t typically eat during trivia, so don’t worry about it,” I said. I explained my very difficult situation with the food and slips of paper. He nodded solemnly.

“I get it. But, if you’re hungry, I can make you whatever you want. I’m still working out some kinks in the kitchen, so having someone to test food on would be great.”

I actually was hungry. But I wanted something very specific. I told him I’d look at the menu and if anything caught my eye I’d flag him down.

Later, in round two after a particularly baffling question regarding Ronald Regan’s middle name (it’s Wilson, and now I’ll know that for the rest of my life), I caught Nate’s attention. I had about a minute and 30 seconds left in the song I was playing so I had to get my question across clearly and quickly. “Nate, do you have garbage cheese?” “What specifically do you mean by garbage cheese?” The genuine curiosity in his voice is what makes Nate great.

“I want garbage cheese and fries, nothing fancy. The menu has cheese fries… but what kind of cheese does it mean?” “It’s like shredded cheddar melted over the fries. But what you want is…” I cut him off. “I want the cheese that comes out of a machine when you push a button. Nacho cheese, but not spicy. Cheese you’d get with a pretzel at a ballpark. You know?” I was getting desperate. He could see it on my face. The song was almost over, and now that I was talking about garbage cheese my craving for it was getting more urgent. “Garbage cheese,” he said confidently. He knew what I meant! No one ever knows what I mean when I say how much I love garbage cheese, and here was someone who works in a kitchen – nay, manages a kitchen – and he knows what my garbage cheese is.

“We don’t serve that.” My face must have conveyed exactly how much despair I was feeling. “But I can make it for you! Sit tight.” And he ran into the kitchen. He reappeared 4 questions later with a basket of crinkle fries and a pot of perfect garbage cheese. I don’t know how you create garbage cheese when you don’t serve it, but Nate did. It even tasted ever so slightly of hot plastic. It was a masterpiece.

Illustrations by Molly

Jossly Rossly

Ari Tupelo

Jenna Knorr

H.S.P. By Avery Flinders I thought I knew greasy late-night junk food. I'd had greasy, flabby potato cakes from train station kiosks on the way home from a concert. I'd eaten souvlaki* and kebab from trailers decked in fairy lights that only seem to appear by the roadside at the dead of night. But truly, I knew nothing about drunk food until I had a halal snack pack.

The halal snack pack (HSP) is, as far as I know, a uniquely Australian dish. It is a box of hot chips covered with cheese, kebab meat,** and three sauces. The sauces can vary a little from shop to shop, but there is a canonical combination known as the Holy Trinity: barbecue sauce, garlic sauce and sriracha. You'll sometimes see tomato sauce, hummus, or in the blasphemous wilds of Queensland, chopped pineapple. Such topics are hotly debated at the Halal Snack Pack Appreciation Society, a Facebook group of 186,000 members and counting, which also includes reviews of every HSP vendor you could possibly think of, intense discussion of whose HSP is the best, and the occasional celebrity member.***

It's the best. It's everything I love. The chips stay crunchy, the meat is in bitesized chunks that can be crusty and tender at the same time, the cheese is melty and while they look like they're smothered in far too much sauce, it all melds together into something glorious.

I moved house last year, to effectively the third city in as many years. I've been in Ballarat, in Preston in inner Melbourne. Now I'm in Werribee, which is the kind of place that was once a town but is now on the verge of being swallowed up by the outward march of Melbourne's suburbs. When I was deciding on where to live, a house-hunting buddy who was looking at the same area recommended Werribe on the strength of its HSP offerings. Sure enough, Golden Grill by the train station makes the best damn HSP I've ever eaten. Impressively, it also offers an extra-large version, served in a pizza box. One day I might even have the guts to order it.

* 'gyros' to US Americans

** I don't know if US Americans call it this - the chunks of meat that go in gyros or shawarma.

*** I'm sad that the HSP's highest-profile fan is no longer a Senator, but at least Sam Dastayari remains an active and passionate member of HSPAS and I look forward to reading his book, One Halal of a Time.

Noah Morss

A Short Treatise on the Consumption of Fries with Soft Serve Ice Cream By Lap Nguyen

Intrepid garbage food explorers may have heard of ordering a fast food chain apple pie with a soft serve cone – it is a great way to eat a scorchingly hot apple pie fresh from an industrialised frying device. A more curious phenomena is the consumption of fries with the soft serve, whereby the icy confection is used as a dipping sauce for the crisp fried potato batonnet. This delightful treat can be created from the menus of various purveyors of fast food, be it branded with golden arches, crowned sandwiches, or freckled redheads. To maximise enjoyment, the fries must be freshly made and by readily available cheaply, for it goes without saying that one should not pay treasure prices for trash food. In my own native land of Australia, the items can be assembled for less than the cost of the cheapest burger (or 8.5 minutes working at minimum wage). For those doubting the culinary value of this food, I contend that it is not so unusual. Indeed, I would liken it to a cheaper interpretation of potato waffles or churros. For those trying for the first time, note that two hands are required to eat: one to dip the fries and the other to steady the ice cream. My only other words of warning are that as with any such simple dish, quality is totally reliant on the base ingredients. Avoid watery soft serve that will likely melt before the fries are done. Soggy and over-salted fries are also not ideal, but preference may vary according to individual taste.

Having embarked on a journey into a larger world, I oer the following avenues for further exploration:

+ Make at home variants using vanilla ice cream (a scoop left to soften is best) + Add malted chocolate cereal to the soft serve or ice cream to add textural complexity

+ Upgrade the soft serve to a sundae; caramel and chocolate work best + Replace the soft serve with a thick shake, again caramel and chocolate work well Until we next meet, I wish you happy dining, my fellow garbage food enthusiasts.

Illustrations by Ali Goldaper


1: Break

out that box mix, and pour it in a bowl. Regard your eggs and oil, and then immediately return them to their food homes, because you're gonna pour one standard bottle of Mountain Dew in that mix and stir it up. Want it to look particularly Dew-y? Smack in some green food coloring.

2: Bake

according to Betty Crocker's masterful instructions, maybe in some solid red cupcake liners for some Real Gamer Flair.

3: Ice

those boys up with some orange buttercream and, if you're really feeling zesty, top 'em up with one whole Dorito Chip. I like Cool Ranch, but you do you.

4: Strap

into your gamer chair, flip on some tunes, and enjoy. B)

cg / dinnerparty

The Sith Welcomes a Friend by Trina Barnes Back before black and white Mixed to grey, I was a girl Who wanted the toy, painted blue Although she knew It might confuse The worker behind the counter Years later in lamp light I can taste vanilla swirl Little hands gripping star wars toy Made for a boy My little joy From the worker behind the counter.

the Mav by Jason Kerr Bacon grease and ash settle imperceptibly on the skin. Why anyone would drive so nearly out of town for coffee cut with cardboard and a cloud of reminder how once there were such things as cheap cigarettes and trans fat likewise distant from the center. Makes me think of mom, I guess, plus that story I hadn't finished yet— Reader's Digest on the toilet. Never could resist a milkshake at the Hungri Maverick.


Ari Tupelo

Sam Schultz

The Salted Cupcake By Mackenzie Bush

There’s a shop in my town that sells 158 flavors of cupcakes.
 Every day, they sell 11. A game of Russian roulette. The first time there, I get a cookie dough, an ante with no raise,
 and the frosting is gritty with sugar, a tub of Tollhouse with a spoon.

After a while, I’ve tried Death by Chocolate, and Peanut Butter Cup,
 and Nutella and Turtle Cheesecake. They all turn me to melted butter. So I get gutsy, take off my pullover for once. I order the White Russian, 
 kahlua-soaked chocolate cake. It reminds me of my sophomore year, when my roommate made the cocktail with soy milk instead of cream,
 when I learned just how gross soy milk gets in the hot July sun.

The shop turns into an obsession. The Bleu Cheese is weird but somehow great,
 a graham cracker with stinky cheese fondue on top, and then there’s this one
 that’s topped with an adorable stack of little Barbie doll-sized pancakes, overflowing with caramel sauce syrup, too cute to eat if you have a conscience.

Black Licorice tastes like melted grandma, Matcha is for the hipsters,
 and Gin and Tonic like melted alcoholic grandma.
 I’m a vegetarian, so I don’t try the Chicken and Waffles, but I appreciate it 
 from afar, the epitome of weird cupcake shop body horror, my white whale.

So I try new cupcakes, all summer. This week they’re introducing Sweet Corn
 with a peach and blueberry filling, and Elvis is on the menu;
 even if I hate his music, I can enjoy his peanut butter and bananas.

In my opinion, it’s more fun to eat Moscow Mule and Goat Cheese Chardonnay than keep ordering Vanilla Bean over and over and over again until it gets cold.


By Mary Grace Hathaway

Ingredients: + Instant Ramen noodles package + Kraft Singles 1.

Make the ramen noodles as instructed on the package. (for better results, forget about the ramen and let it cook for like 15 minutes which is entirely too long and the ramen will be basically mush)


Do not add the flavor package that comes with the ramen.


Grab a bowl, and place an unwrapped Kraft Single at the bottom of the bowl.


Add unseasoned noodles to the bowl, then stir with a fork until all ramen is vaguely cheesy.


Enjoy and try not to take it personally when all of your friends mock your eating habits. They’re the ones in the wrong.

Jack Morss