Cook-Out: A feature on the relationship between students and fast food
It’s 11:30 p.m. on a Monday night. Mountains of homework sit, waiting for students to complete before their various deadlines. Curfew starts in half an hour, and residential assistants will walk through the halls to do room checks.
Instead of focusing on the tasks at hand, Liberty students grab their friends and drive to Cook Out for a midnight snack.
For those on a college budget, eating out is tricky. Prices for food are sky high, even before adding in the tip. However, Cook Out offers menu items that never exceed $4.99. Hotdogs and hamburgers are best-selling items, according to the general manager Leo Dillard.
“Cook Out-style hotdogs are undefeated,” Connor Douglas, a sophomore engineering major, said.
If students feel especially hungry, they have the option to order a tray, which consists of a choice of one entree, two side items and a drink. Alternatively, students can “double up,” ordering two entrees and a drink. Real fans top it off with the special Cook Out sauce.
According to its website, Cook Out trays are the “best combos in town.” The proof can be found in students willing to wait in the drive-thru for up to an hour just to grab their order.
In addition to regular menu items, Cook Out also sells more than three dozen flavors of shakes, including seasonal flavors. During the summer months, specifically July through August, customers can buy watermelon-flavored milkshakes. For the fall season, Cook Out carries a pumpkin pie-flavored shake, and during winter, they offer eggnog-flavored milkshakes. This month, cookie dough milkshakes join the list of offerings.
Along with its mouthwatering delights, Cook Out presents an opportunity for students to spend time with friends, relaxing in the drive-thru at the end of a long day and taking turns playing music on aux.
Any seasoned student knows not to grab Cook Out during the day but wait until 10 p.m. Part of the Cookout experience is the spontaneous nature of most trips to the eating establishment.
Rebekah Russell, a senior education major, sat in the common room with friends last year when they decided they wanted Cook Out with the clock counting down to curfew.
“We went anyways and ended up being in the car longer than we thought. We texted our RA’s, and thankfully, they were really nice about it,” Russell said.
A trip to Cook Out takes less than five minutes – simply drive under the tunnel and turn right. The drive-thru will be on the left within a mile.
Greene is a feature reporter for the Liberty Champion