In no particular order, here they go:
1. Friday night “surf and turf” – The DFACs serve some form of beef and fish/seafood every Friday night. It’s not quite like home, but it’s a valiant attempt and appreciated by all.
2. Sunday morning brunch – A group of us who go to church together eat at the Aviation DFAC afterwards for Sunday morning brunch. Again, it’s not exactly the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs but not shabby for a war zone…actually quite good.
3. Wednesday night Italian – I try to stay away from this one because I can over eat Italian with the best of them, but it is good.
4. “Meat shack” – This is a DFAC where you can always get pork, ribs, BBQ chicken, and brisket. Whenever I need a “Taste of Texas”, this does the trick.
5. Drink mixes for bottled water and Gatorade (not food but goes with it) – I could have this at home but typically just go for straight water because it’s easier. Drink mixes and Gatorade is everywhere here so a nice change for working out.
6. Beef jerky – It’s also everywhere. I rarely buy it at home because it’s expensive, but it’s an easy between meal snack here.
7. Green Bean Coffee – It’not the same as my beloved Starbucks, but if you want a decent imitation, it’s worth the 10 minute walk for a legit cup of Joe.
8. Sunflower seeds – I usually keep a bag in my pocket. They are good for my ADD habit while I am standing around and waiting. We do lots of “hurry up and wait” here (long lines, weather’s bad, not ready yet, plane broken, come back later we’re closed, etc.). No worries, hun, I have no desire to chew tobacco!
9. Popeye’s Chicken – They actually have it at Bagram, and the chicken is very good. You have to pass on the sides though, especially the biscuits.
10. Pizza Hut – It actually tastes like home. The only problem is that the definition of “Supreme” means whatever assortment of toppings they have in stock depending on how well the Pakistani border conflict is going, which is where most of our food comes from. The variety of our food selection depends heavily on the border situation and can change on a daily basis. Although you never get Pizza Hut “supreme”, it’s hard to complain when the drivers who bring the ingredients across Afghanistan risk their lives doing so! As a result, you pay about a $10 “I could get killed bringing this to you” surcharge, so the pizza is not cheap. However, it’s certainly worth it on special occasions.