Dear Carl’s Jr. –

Here we are again, wincing through the pain of dining in your restaurant.

I love you.

I hate you.

I love you.

Mostly, I hate you.

The little boy is climbing up the tower in your airless playroom while I sit here trying to digest/forget what you just served to me.

Why is the audio on?  Don’t you realize that most parents come in with a headache, don’t really want to eat fast food, and are not thrilled about sitting in a claustrophobic room where kids run and scream at the top of their lungs?  Why do you insist on further torturing us with badly mixed, muffled audio when there’s no freaking video in here?  TURN. IT. OFF.  You suck and I hate you.

Your chocolate cake is really good.  It’s the only thing you get consistently right.  My eight-year-old kid loves that cake and so you stay on our list of emergency meal/tantrum abatement destinations.  I double plus hate you.

You play Carl’s Jr. TV like it’s real news.  Too loud.  Too annoying.  Too geared to tweenage girls.  There are middle-aged mommies and a bunch of blue collar work dudes in here.  Why not play actual news and save us all from the insult of your narrow minded, vapid programming?  I hate you.

You still have absolutely NOTHING on your menu for vegetarians.  I just ate a side salad with onion rings.  Burp.  Gross.  I feel violated.  Iceburg lettuce, a few spinach leaves and nary a tomato in sight.  And burnt breading on the rings.  Really?

When I asked you for a veggie burger, your cashier assumed I just wanted a Famous Star without the meat.  Seriously?  That’s your suggestion?  Can’t you keep a couple of Boca patties in your freaking freezer?  Thirty seconds in the microwave, a minute on the grill, and so much better than anything else you offer.  Talk to Burger King.  They figured it out.  I hate you.

Your commercials are absolutely disgusting.  I skip over them when I can in my own home, but when I’m here, I can’t get them out of my head.  They gross me out.  Blech.  Especially that pig with the hula girl bobble doll.  Yuck.  I hate you.

You don’t have chocolate milk, so I always have to get water for my kid, but you don’t have lids for the water cups.  Annoying.

You aren’t completely without redeeming features.  You give me a number to put on my table and then you bring the food.  I get to sit while you prepare it.  That’s kind of nice, I guess.  And there are napkins right here where I need them.  I do like that.  And occasionally, you check on me and even offer to get anything else I want.  That’s kind of hospitable, I suppose.  If only you did it consistently.

It’s not enough, Carl’s Jr.  It’s just not enough.  I want vegetarian food and I want you to repair the audio in this playroom.

I have filled out the contact form on your website.  I’ve spoken to your manager and I’ve completed comment cards, but still no Boca burgers and no nice music.  I’m tired, Carl’s Jr.  I’m tired.

At the very least, can’t you make this a Green Burrito location?

Please?  I think I could handle a cheese quesadilla once in a while.