Many of the seminal experiences of my childhood and early teen years happened in the Fox River Mall in Appleton, Wisconsin. Trips to window shop at tween clothing stores, followed by a stop at Walden Books, and then a jaunt into Bath and Body Works to sample lotions — those were my jams (side note: The “Jen from Appleton” video was talking about MY childhood mall. So famous). If you combined a movie at the mall’s sticky floored movie theater and lunch at the food court, you were looking at an entire day of fun.
Naturally, I’ve spent a good amount of time checking out the cuisine offered at such establishments, and I have some very strong opinions about these restaurants. Some are admittedly delicious, other simply should not exist but together they form a great conglomeration of amazingness. All cultures, all people- peacefully coexisting at the nexus of a shopping center for our consumption. If Grandma wants a hamburger, and Dad wants some Chinese, while little bro wants a slice of pizza, well GUESS WHAT? NO ONE HAS TO CHOOSE BECAUSE THEY HAVE EVERYTHING. It’s the ultimate fine dining experience, if by fine dining you count meals under ten dollars that come on a tray and include a giant Pepsi. AND. I. DO.
We power ranked the very best (and worst) mall food court standards so that the next time you’re in a mall (like because you’ve time traveled to the early 90’s) you’ll be set up for the best experience of your life.
9. Great American Cookie
Has anyone ever been happy that their loved ones bought them this frosted monstrosity over an actual birthday cake? Honestly, if there is one person who exists in this universe who prefers a Great American Cookie cake to any other dessert PLEASE BRING THEM TO ME. I want to shake their hand. And while I’m shaking their hand I want to look them straight in the eye and tell them that their entire life is garbage.
Who puts frosting on chocolate cookies? Who approved the ratio of that much frosting to a thin cookie? These are questions we may never be able to answer.