QOW: Guilty Pleasures

Author: | posted 09/23/10 | Print This Post Print This Post |

When no one’s looking, what do you eat?

We’re talking hide-the-wrapper, destroy-the-evidence, eat-a-breath mint kinds of foods that you don’t want anyone else to know you secretly crave. Guilty pleasures so to speak.

Perhaps its a unyielding addiction to Taco Bell’s Nachos Bell Grande or an unrequited love for the McRib. Or it could be a “bad day” run for a Double Double, or my personal weakness, Pho Vietnam’s #36. Maybe its a childhood comfort like strawberry Jell-O or just a craving for Martini Prawns at Gary Chu’s.

From fast-food and midnight grocery runs to favorite local restaurant dishes (one friend we know has a secret rendezvous each week at the Cheese Steak Shop), what are your guiltiest of pleasures. Just between friends, of course…

Someone naughty among you just might win a copy of Simple Comforts: 50 Heartwarming Recipes. It’s an easily-concealed-sized book filled with warm, comforting recipes for everything from 3-cheese polenta to chili, chocolate banana bread and tomato soup and grilled cheese. Yum. Just the stuff for guilty pleasure.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

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50 Responses

  1. Rena October 2, 2010 at 11:52 am #



    As we used to say when we were kids, “I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you…..”

  2. LM September 29, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    Cheetos….and for some reason, a combo plate at Tandoori Express on Mendocino Ave. I have never been there with anyone else! I go when I need some good hangover food and am by myself! Always get an order of samosas with the combo!

  3. Kori Newman Lantow September 28, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    I almost forgot my newest favorite. Caramel Espresso Macaroons from Big 3 at the Sonoma Mission Inn. Best cookies every.

  4. Kori Newman Lantow September 28, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    Betty’s Fish & Chips and See’s Butterscotch Squares!

  5. Nicole September 28, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    Honey Walnut Prawns from Hunan Village in Petaluma. By far the most delectable, scrumpdiddlyumptious prawns around!

  6. Scott September 28, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Those cheap 2 for .99 cent tacos from Jack in the box.
    I’ll second that fish sandwich from McDonald’s as well.

  7. AC September 28, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    Dude, I will take down an Entenmann’s All Butter Loaf like a lion takes down a freakin’ gazelle. The whole thing.

  8. jilllian September 28, 2010 at 5:40 am #

    T W I N K I E S

  9. rpsoccermom September 27, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    Soul food: peanut butter on a slice of bread, folded in half. Dunk in Nestle’s chocolate milk. Will solve any problem. Binge = four half sandwiches. Before they invented Reese’s, my brother made this up.

  10. julie September 27, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    Jelly Belly Beans…Ice cream palor flavor. YUM YuM

  11. Kimber Christian September 27, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    Oreo Cakesters!!!!

  12. Dick Cheney September 27, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    I eat my boogers. Good for heart health.

    • Kate September 27, 2010 at 10:30 am #

      Actually, I read somewhere that people who eat their boogers have better immunity to common cold and flu viruses. Just a little something to chew on.

      Now if i need something salty, give me a bag of Kettle salt and black pepper chips. Heaven, but not heart healthy.

  13. Cathi September 26, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Jack in the box tacos with a vanilla milkshake!

  14. CE September 26, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    continued: “BALUT” with seasalt…mmmgood!

  15. paula oandasan September 26, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    hormel canned tamales, totally agree with their greatness
    chex chipotle snacks mix
    carl’s junior tacos…soo good
    health bars

    if it makes you feel good..eat it..if you must do it in moderation, so be it.

  16. Foodhound September 26, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Guilty pleasures:

    Canned Tamales smothered in Cheese, Frosted Flakes with half & half instead of milk, popcorn
    smothered in a ton of salted melted butter!!!

  17. Noelle September 26, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    Nutella. Straight from the container. Oh yeah. Incredibly yummy.

    • Rich September 27, 2010 at 11:13 am #

      The endorphin release from Nutella out of the bottle must rival that of crystal meth.

      • Noelle September 29, 2010 at 11:12 am #

        There would be no more meth heads in the world if they knew the greatness, Rich. :)

  18. liz September 26, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    Canned salmon…….cold….right out of the can…….and not the wimpy skinless, boneless stuff.


    Brown sugar sandwich…..soft white bread spread with lots of butter and about 1/4 inch of dark brown sugar……nothing else on it….just that.

  19. DGE September 25, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    SPAM! dipped in ketchup with garlic fried rice…da kine!

  20. valerie September 25, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Has to be MacRibs from MacDonald’s when they ever have them, which is seldom. Nice boneless pork ribs on a bun with lots of barbeque sauce and raw onions and sour pickles……oh, yum! I’ve tried to tell MacD that they should have them as a regular menu item, but they won’t listen to me!

  21. Diane September 25, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    My default feel-good food item is old-fashioned doughnuts! One maple and one chocolate! Hits the spot!

  22. Amanda Valerie September 24, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    Two taco bell tacos, and a double decker taco, eaten in my car at 11 o’clock at night before a big test while listening to NPR.

    • biteclub September 24, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

      Nice — high brow and low brow at the same time.

  23. ER September 24, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    -A whole package of Keebler Grasshopper cookes (they taste like Girl Scout Thin Mints, are cheaper, and are available year-round).

    -Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

  24. Scott K. September 24, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    Street food, stuff off of a cart of questionable provenance: German sausages, shwarmas and gyros, hot dogs boiling in water, steamed pretzels. Just don’t look under the hood.

  25. Scott K. September 24, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Hands-down, street food. All sorts of it. When I lived in NYC, there was this astoundingly broad array of very high quality truck and cart food (well, very high flavor, I’m not sure what was under the hood). Devastating indulgences included the shwarma brothers and the German sausage guy.

  26. CE September 24, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    Stinky frozen durian from the Asian store
    Smells like hell but tastes like heaven!!!

  27. Jo September 24, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    liverwurst on rye with mustard and onions (good rye but yellow mustard and fresh onions if possible)

    Some people had a poached egg moment with their mothers
    this was the sandwich we shared

  28. yayo September 23, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    TOP Guilty Pleasures:

    ~ Farmer’s Market: Lata’s Indian Every Wed: Lata’s Indian Food stand: Samosas with 2 kinds of chutneys cilantro coconut and tamarind

    ~ Jollibee at Seafood City, Sonoma Blvd., Vallejo: (a Filipino eatery, just like McD’s in the US) pancit palabok (rice stick noodles w/ shrimp sauce) AND/OR crispy milkfish breakfast w/ side of garlic fried rice and egg.

    ~ Goldilock’s bakeshop/Ongpin restaurant, Sonoma Blvd., Vallejo: ONGPIN: fresh lumpia (crepes w/ stir fry vegetable drizzled with peanut garlicky brown sauce), ‘lechon’ or roast suckling pig w/ its crispy skin and sauce////////////// Goldilocks Pastry corner: SANSRIVAL!!!

    ~ Tapioca Express in Sonoma Blvd, Vallejo: taro, avocado, milk tea etc. w/ small or large tapiocas yum

    ~ McDonald’s chicken nuggets with all the dipping sauce, ranch, sweet n sour, honey mustard.

    ~ Octoberfest 2nd Sat annually at the Resurrection Parish: Pulled pork sandwich

    ~ Tra

  29. xtinaznap September 23, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    If I am in need of a totally naughty guilty pleasure, I will choose one of the following favorite options, not necessarily in order of preference:

    1) an ENTIRE line of premium saltine crackers spread with creamy skippy peanut butter
    2) 4 slices in a row of cheese pizza from Mombos or NY Pie, plus the crusts left over from my son’s 2 slices
    3) 3 McDonald’s regular hamburgers minus the pickles and a super-size fries
    4) A toasted bagel from Homegrown Bagels in Sonoma, slathered in salted butter….and maybe another one if I’m still hungry
    5) A minimum of 6 California brittles and a minimum of 3 caramels w/almonds from See’s.
    6) 4 homemade corn tortilla tacos – asada, carnitas, el pastor, and fish – from La Texanita

  30. Kevin September 23, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    I LOVE boiled peanuts!!! They are soooooo addicting!!! If you havent tried them you should. You see them being sold on the corners in the south but I found a recipe online and enjoy them often.
    Of course you cant enjoy a bunch of boiled peanuts without washing them down with an ice cold beer!! :)

    • Heather Irwin September 23, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

      Okay, here’s my take on boiled peanuts — i think you have to grow up with them. They taste like beans, which isn’t horrible, but very unexpected when you think they’ll taste like…uh…peanuts. I kind of gagged when I got them in Tennessee.

      • Hardy Wallace September 23, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

        Boiled peanuts are glorious! Think of them like American edamame…. We need a roadside boiled peanuts shack in Sonoma…

      • Erin Jespersen September 23, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

        I was so excited to try them when I was in Georgia – found a little roadside stand selling them. My mom and I pulled over to try them and said the same thing you did – they tasted like beans, and were very unusual. It sort of grew on us when they were piping hot, but as they started to cool I thought they were pretty nasty – plus the car stunk from the boiled peanuts until we could get rid of the uneaten ones. Definitely an acquired taste I think!

  31. Lala September 23, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    Sunflower seeds and shelled peanuts..for some reason i just think people think its weird..also I broil steak when no ones watching and eat it plain..mmm

  32. Brian September 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    Heather, you nailed it! Philly Cheese Steak from Italian Delite in Novato… OH damn.

    Whole steak, everything, extra hot sauce please!

    Check them out!

    RCHS Alumni is the new owner and now accepts Credit Cards (on orders over $10)


  33. susan September 23, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    I think a fun subject to have would be “where do you HIDE your stashes”? I have found nobody lifts the lid on a ricotta chees container that is in the fridge, a great place to hide good cookies, nobody looks in a cottoge cheese container in the freezer, a good place to hide the really good ice cream. Oatmeal containers on the shelf are a great place to hide the real good chocolate. From a mother of four. LOL

    • rpsoccermom September 27, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

      susan, too funny! I wish I’d had these tips when the kids were young!

  34. Pendolino September 23, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    Hormel tamales, paper coats taken off and smashed into a baking casserole, topped with canned chili (no beans, thank you), and topped with lots of shredded cheddar cheese and crumbled up tortillas chips. Take at 350 for about 25 minutes.

    • Jernewm September 25, 2010 at 11:46 am #

      My kids and I used to love the Hormel canned tamales when they were too young to read the label. They are such good junk food, but they make a Big Mac look healthy.
      Right now my favorite guilty pleasure is a Chocolate Chip Cookie from the Cookie and Coffee place on Main Street in Sebastopol. Really good cookies.

  35. Rena September 23, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    Once a year I make a red velvet cake with the richest, most decadent butter cream frosting I have ever tasted – anywhere. (My mom’s recipe and it will probably die with my daughter who is not planning on having kids…..)

    You may laugh because it’s a once a year deal but trust me, I do not share and when the cake is gone, I have to embark on a two week program to get back into most of my wardrobe……


    • Heather Irwin September 23, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

      I have so many little stashes of food I won’t share. It’s mean, but come on…I don’t see them sharing their Goldfish with me. And really, they’re just not going to appreciate the Scharffen Berger chocolate like I do.

    • Marilyn September 26, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

      Rena, post your recipe and it shall not die. YUM!

  36. SoCoDaddy September 23, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Sardines…in a can…any style…preferably mustard.

  37. susan September 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Would have to be that big chocalate cake at Costco with the shavings on the side. Some one brought it to a BBQ we had and when no one was looking I took three slices and put them in the freezer. Well, ok……I took FOUR slices.

  38. Kate September 23, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Whoopie pies. Yeah, the ones that they sell at Pacific Market in SR. I am secretly addicted to the chocolate chip cookie version. I don’t know why, because the frosting is so sugary they make my teeth hurt, but I will grab one with my salad or whatever when I don’t feel like cooking for myself. And I always hide the evidence.
    They remind me of soccer games when I was a kid. I think Little Debbie or Entemann’s made a version back in the ’80′s and some parents would bring them as the after-game treat.
    I do know that they were a regional specialty back East back in the day.

  39. KellyH September 23, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    Fish sandwich at McDonalds. I’m a total foodie now and I KNOW that that sandwich is… well scary but I love it still. Total comfort food from my childhood. I have a friend who is a commercial fisherman and he heard that I liked these and couldn’t believe it. He said “do you have any idea what kind of fish parts go into that?” Nope, and it doesn’t matter.

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