There’s nothing like realizing you’ve memorized all the burrito settings on the 7-11 microwave to drive home the fact that you’re making bad life choices.
This happened several years back, when I’d got in a rut of not planning lunch options. For the uninitiated, 7-11 offers a series of burritos and the exciting opportunity to heat them yourself. They have microwaves, but they seem concerned about 7-11 patrons’ ability to navigate the complex world of traditional microwave programming. So rather than complicated concepts like minutes and seconds, they’ve streamlined the process. At 7-11 microwaves give you five options. Hit “1” and the microwave annoys the burrito with a vague idea of heat. Hit “5” and the microwave liquefies its prey with the burning fury of a vengeful sun. Two through 4 offer varying degrees of, well, degrees.
And I stood there one day realizing that I knew which setting went with which burrito. Not only that, but I had developed opinions on them. Going classic bean and cheese? The powers that be will tell you 3 but honestly, if you want to eat it straight away and not wait for it to cool, it’ll cook through on 2. Meat, bean and cheese, on the other hand, is not to be trifled with; you’ll want a 4. And if you’re some made-of-money fancy lad who gets the chimichanga? Well son, looks like you just bought a ticket to Fivetown.
I think I was explaining to the person in front of me that a 3 was a risky call for the beef, bean and green chile when it struck me that this was an indictment of my dietary habits and possibly not the best use for my brainpower. It’s not necessarily a good thing to have favorite 7-11 microwave settings. But I can’t help it. I like ranking things and picking favorites.
Apparently so do you. This is our Best Of issue, and if there’s a thing in Fort Lauderdale that can be ranked, we’ve probably ranked it. Or more specifically, you’ve ranked it; this year’s voting garnered a record number of online votes. You guys have views.
Some of it is straightforward Best Of stuff; other categories are more unique to Fort Lauderdale. (I bet the monthly magazine in Topeka doesn’t give out a Best Yacht Broker award.) But all of it has one thing in common – it’s completely non-scientific and lots of fun.
Will there be arguments? Undoubtedly. Will you think our voters got everything right? No way. That’s the beauty of the Best Of; everybody’s got views, and no two views are exactly the same all the way down the list.
My advice? If you don’t agree with some winners, start voting on 2022 ASAP. Share it on social media. Make the trend happen. Somebody’s got to get the buzz out there for your favorite little café or local band; it might as well be you.
Oh, and if you’re going for “The Bomb” spicy beef burrito, know this: only 5 can penetrate the depths of its beefy core. You’re welcome.