Fast Food Restaurant-Sourced Cooking Ingedients

12:03 a.m. on July 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Am in the middle of planning a solo weekend camping trip, and am trying to come up with a meal plan. I'm trying to make my plan require absolutely zero cooking, either making my meals in advance, or by using non-perishable ingredients I bring with me.

While I could, surely, cook with my campfire, I don't intend on bringing any of my cookware, nor do I plan on bringing my stove or fuel for it. Call this a primer trip for an eventual backpacking hobby. This also serves as a built-in contingency plan should it rain, and I'm unable to make a fire for myself.

Now I know - when abused - the practice is frowned upon, but I wanted to write and see if any of y'all had specific fast food restaurants your condiments (mayo, relish, etc.) came from. If it's better to send a PM to answer my question, I'm more than alright with that. 

Truth is, during my "day job" work week, I wind up eating at fast food restaurants on a pretty regular basis, and, if I'm there anyway, I was wondering if there were particular items you had better luck finding at particular restaurants. Like I said, I'm asking for these on the premise of being a paying customer, so it's not like I'm going to sneak in the side door, load up a bag full of ketchup packets, and bounce.

Curious to see what y'all have come up with, and with any luck, hear from ya soon!

11:01 a.m. on July 15, 2013 (EDT)
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I'm a huge fan of the little packets of olive oil one can find at some small deli places.  They really enliven my meals.  Single-serving hot-sauce packets from Taco Bell are nice too.

11:16 a.m. on July 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks, Seth!

Any good place for pickle relish? I'm a big fan of tuna and chicken salads, but they're wholly contingent (at least for me) on having relish as part of the mix.

4:35 p.m. on July 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Out in Southern California, there's a place called "The Hat" that has a multitude of condiment packets ranging from relish to dijon mustard to mayo to ranch.  All the condiment packets are out in the open and it's not uncommon seeing customers taking a ton of condiment packets.  The Heinz relish packets, if you can find them, are pretty good.

1:17 p.m. on July 17, 2013 (EDT)
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I got lucky because my local deli carries Mayo, Ranch and other dressing to include Ketchup and I get my mustard from Chinease food resturants. But hard to find items I get them from WWW.Minimus.biz.

1:57 p.m. on July 18, 2013 (EDT)
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You can get individual chicken & tuna salad mixes with mayo & relish packets included at your local grocery store.

Here's a simple no-cook menu for a weekend.

Breakfast--instant oatmeal (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Quaker-Flavor-Variety-Instant-Oatmeal-Value-Pack-18-count-27.3-oz/23751965) . Just add water and eat. If I have any, I squeeze in a jelly packet or two.

Lunch--I usually graze on Trail Mix, Clif Bars, Fig Newtons, and Beef Jerky throughout the day.

Dinner #1--Ramen noodles (soak 'em in cold water until they are soft). Mix with Adobo seasoning (or the ramen flavoring that comes with the packet), sesame seeds, & sundried tomatoes. Sprinkle parmasean cheese on top.

Dinner #2--Buy a small package of Instant Mashed Potatoes (like this http://www.walmart.com/ip/Idahoan-Roasted-Garlic-Mashed-Potatoes-4-oz/10312433) for $1. Just add water. Now that can be a full dinner in and of itself, but if you want to up the ante, mix in a package of pre-cooked bacon pieces (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hormel-Applewood-Smoke-Real-Crumbled-Bacon-3-oz/23591130) and some shredded cheese.

1:58 p.m. on July 18, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks, Denis! Bookmarked it so I can reference it later. Sounds like a deli or sandwich shop would be my best bet, now that you mention it. At least here in Chicago, most condiments are kept behind the counter and have to be asked for. I can't really recall any place that keeps them out in the open, still.

8:48 a.m. on July 20, 2013 (EDT)
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I find that for a one stop shop, Panera Bread usually has a very good assortment of condiment packets. They have mayo, relish, brown mustard, tabasco, and sometimes lemon juice.

Then there is taco bell for their sauces, they have the normal taco hot, med, mild sauces, salsa verde, and several others.

Pretty much anywhere has ketchup if you want it.

The next place I have found are large caffeteria style places, usually in office buildings etc. Small delis also usually have the basics of mayo and mustard if nothing else.

I don't advocate just going to a place and loading up and walking out though. That is for all intensive purposes, even though they are free, stealing.

I travel daily for work so usually find myself stopping somewhere for lunch, and i will usually grab a couple of each after I purchase my meal. I don't fill up a grocery bag full of them, just a packet or two of a couple things.

10:09 a.m. on July 20, 2013 (EDT)
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Goose 00 said:

Dinner #1--Ramen noodles (soak 'em in cold water until they are soft). Mix with Adobo seasoning (or the ramen flavoring that comes with the packet), sesame seeds, & sundried tomatoes. Sprinkle parmasean cheese on top.

Dinner #2--Buy a small package of Instant Mashed Potatoes (like this http://www.walmart.com/ip/Idahoan-Roasted-Garlic-Mashed-Potatoes-4-oz/10312433) for $1. Just add water. Now that can be a full dinner in and of itself, but if you want to up the ante, mix in a package of pre-cooked bacon pieces (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hormel-Applewood-Smoke-Real-Crumbled-Bacon-3-oz/23591130) and some shredded cheese.

Both good ideas. I also use Ramen and instant potatoes. Here is what I have done.

You can also do the Ramen for lunch. I have a orange Gatorade container that I put Ramen (minus the flavor pack), dehydrated mixed veggies and water in. I let that soak while I am hiking. When it is lunch time I drink the remaining water (if any is left) and add cheese, pepperoni and some type of dressing like ranch. You have a pasta salad.  You can pickup the foil packs of salad dressing at any type of Deli

On the instant mashed potatoes I like to use the four cheese one and add a can of smoked oysters to it. 

8:17 p.m. on July 20, 2013 (EDT)
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Ewker said:

On the instant mashed potatoes I like to use the four cheese one and add a can of smoked oysters to it. 

 Ugh! You lost me on the oysters.

11:34 p.m. on July 21, 2013 (EDT)
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Jeffery,  it is an acquired taste. I like smoked oysters by themselves.

12:17 a.m. on July 25, 2013 (EDT)
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Soy sauce from our local grocery store that sells sushi. Subway for some condiments.

1:31 a.m. on July 25, 2013 (EDT)
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Wasabi in a small squeeze tube adds nice flavor and is readily available at supermarkets & grocery stores.

I think the brand here is Tsunami if I remember correctly.

(I'm a sushi sashimi fanatic.)

12:09 p.m. on July 29, 2013 (EDT)
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any time I see Guldens mustard in those little foil packets, I'll steal 'em all.

11:15 p.m. on July 31, 2013 (EDT)
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One of my favorite condiments was Heinz's Horseradish Sauce. Culver's used to carry it (delicious on their melt sandwiches) but no longer does. Anyone know of a good place to find it? 

Rick - yep, you've got it: Tsunami brand. See it all the time around here. If I ever tailor an Asian menu, trust me, I'll take advantage of the aforementioned knowledge. 

Honey mustard's another favorite of mine, especially as a cracker and sandwich spread. Some fast food restaurants are generous with packets or dipping containers of these, others, not to much (even to paying customers - I usually opt to dip my fries in HM sauce over ketchup).

11:47 p.m. on July 31, 2013 (EDT)
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Hmmmm, Horsey Sauce packets from Arby's maybe?

4:58 p.m. on August 1, 2013 (EDT)
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Ahh yes, i forgot about horsey sauce! Horsey sauce makes everything better, haha.

I forsee a beef and cheddar sammy in my future soon.

10:17 p.m. on August 1, 2013 (EDT)
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OH MAN FORGOT ABOUT HORSEY SAUCE.

As well as Arby's. Haven't been there in years, but looks like I've got a legitimate excuse, now.

7:39 p.m. on August 18, 2013 (EDT)
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More often than not I use condiments from home via braingreen's "straw-packaging" method (the site wouldn't allow links so go to briangreen.net and look for DIY single-use antibiotic packs).

Brian suggest using the packaging technique for single use antibiotics...but since I came up with the idea somewhat independently of Brain I have always been more interested in using the technique for packaging condiments that are difficult to obtain...which I think his method suits beautifully. His method is much simpler than the one I devised...but I do prefer my preference for Mc'Donald straws which have a larger diameter than other straws.

Hope my input makes going lighter more pleasurable and cheaper!

10:58 p.m. on August 21, 2013 (EDT)
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jrenow, thanks for the tip. I've heard of this method mostly for toiletries and those kinds of items. I imagine it'd work just fine for condiments, too. Had to laugh: for years, I've sworn by McDonald's straws because they've a bigger diameter. Anything cream-based would probably work well with this, but I imagine it gets trickier with liquid-based things, no? Then again, if this is how I'm able to pack my green Tabasco and Horsey Sauce along with me, well, I'm willing to put some effort into learning how to do it correctly.

3:06 a.m. on August 29, 2013 (EDT)
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HornRimmed,

Actually...the thicker the condiment the more difficult it can be (the thick stuff does not flow as easily...another reason the McDonald's straws are superior). I use this method for everything I need a one-off of (salt+lemon juice+antibiotics+olive-oil+hot-sauce+etc.). Once you get one end of the straw sealed it is just a matter of using gravity to let everything settle to the downward facing end while you seal the top end. The only down-side is that it is difficult to re-use once you have cut it open (I have resealed it with a lighter in the field...but didn't enjoy it). However...for those little extras in your meal-bags...your first-aid kit...and toiletries bag...this has been a small revolution...lightweight...cheap...adjustable...what else could you want from a straw?

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