It is the stuff of fast-food chain legend: a secret menu known only to those insiders brave enough to order outside the listed menu.
Ditch the risk of disappointment and become a fast-food insider with Slashfood’s list of some top-secret menu items at well-known restaurants near you.
Southern California burger chain In-N-Out has one of the most famous secret menus in the country, but thanks to the Internet, that menu is not so secret any more. Despite a lack of in-store advertising, In-N-Out burger lovers can see “official” explanations of the restaurant’s unofficial menu online, including staples like Animal Style (slathered in grilled onions and extra sauce) and Protein Style (with lettuce instead of a bun). But as they say on the site, it’s only “some of the most popular items.” That’s the thing about a true secret menu: New items can be added at any time. (Editor’s note — it’s not on the site, but try the fries “well done.” They’re kept in the fryer a tad longer for extra crispiness. And the “Flying Dutchman” consists of two patties, two slices of cheese and nothing — absolutely nothing — else. This, we cannot advise.)
The 1/4-pound Single, 1/2-pound Double and 3/4-pound Triple all made the menu, but what if you want four patties? Wendy’s trademark burgers are in the shape of a square. Makes sense to honor the quad, right? Now, you’ll know how to order it by name: Just ask for a “Grand Slam.” It sounds a little classier than a “1-pound Quadruple” — though if you order enough of these bad boys, Quadruple-bypass surgery could be in your immediate future.
Burger King took a big step forward in fast-food history when they added the BK Veggie Burger — made with a Morningstar Farms Gardenburger patty — to their menu. But some vegetarian BK patrons prefer to “have it their way” and order a Veggie Whopper instead, with all the Whopper accoutrement, minus the meat. It’s a lot easier than digging through all that lettuce, tomato and mayo to chuck out the patty yourself.
On the flip side, West Coast burger chain Fatburger has a fun secret menu burger known as the Hypocrite — a veggie burger wrapped in bacon. We get why they’d leave the name off the menu: Fatburger wouldn’t want to offend any of their more discriminating customers’ sensibilities. Then again, those customers are eating at a place called Fatburger.
Chipotle’s secret menu isn’t so secret. In fact, it’s not even really a menu. This burrito chain promises that they will make anything, as long as it utilizes the ingredients they have behind the counter. As Chipotle proclaims on its Web site: “Just ask. You choose exactly what you want … whatever you’d like.” Turns out the menu is just a suggestion board. Fashioning a custom quesadilla or turning chips and guac into nachos is within the realm of possibility. Or just get your burrito bowl with a couple of different types of meat for extra variety.
Like Chipotle, Taco Bell creates almost everything on the menu by recombining the same group of ingredients. Though the Mexican fast-food chain stops short of openly saying they’ll make anything you ask for, it’s certainly worth a shot. But the real over-the-border secret is their unadvertised “green sauce.” It hasn’t been on the menu for years, but most locations keep a stash of this very-much-worth-asking-for condiment behind the counter.
Starbucks “little” secret is their “short” size. The short is an 8-ounce serving, 4 ounces smaller than the 12-ounce “tall” — the smallest on the official Starbucks menu. If you’re interested in getting a little less caffeine, holding off on a few more calories or saving a bit of money, the short size is certainly worth asking for. The best thing about the short size: Knowing that it exists finally helps explain why the current smallest size is named “tall.”
When Jamba Juice opened nearly 20 years ago, smoothie mania was taking over the country. One of the smoothie’s selling points was the health benefits of its fruits and other ingredients. But as anyone who’s ever contemplated the similarities between smoothie and milkshake can tell you, smoothies aren’t inherently healthy. In fact, there’s no limit to what can be tossed in a blender. Jamba Juice realized this and left a number of amazing concoctions off their official menu, but motivated patrons can still try sweet sensations like Strawberry Shortcake, White Gummy Bear and PB&J.
Subway has also spent a long time re-branding Subway sandwiches as a healthy alternative to other fast food options. Jared and his giant pants present a pretty compelling argument and the powers that be don’t want to muck up their image re-engineering with some seriously unhealthy subs. Consequently, most Subways removed the “pizza sub” from their menu. But if you ask nicely enough, most sandwich artists will show you their skills at mixing marinara, pepperoni slices and gooey melted cheese.
At the other end of the health spectrum, Popeyes chicken has never claimed that its deep-fried signature food is great for you. However, if you are being calorie conscious and want to avoid an excess of artery-clogging oils, just ask for your chicken “naked.” You’ll get your pieces sans breading. Some Popeyes have been promoting this previously “secret” option, but whether it’s on the menu or not, “naked” should be an option at a location near you.
The average Dairy Queen Blizzard packs plenty of calories and that carefree attitude works to the customers’ advantage, since most DQ locations will toss just about anything you can think of anything into the mix. If you can dream up a crazy dessert treat, you can probably convince the employee behind the counter to give it a try. Come on — it’s all ending up in the middle of a cup of ice cream. Who cares?
McDONALD’S IS SPECIAL AT 10:35 A.M.
There’s a growing phenomenon at McDonald’s restaurants across the country. People are grabbing themselves a Mc-10:35 sandwich.
The Mc-10:35 is a combination of a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin and a McDouble, which you can only get at 10:35 a.m. because that’s when McDonald’s switches from their breakfast menu to their lunch menu.
You buy one of the last Egg McMuffins that have been made and one of the first McDoubles — and then you go to work.
You take the egg and Canadian bacon from the Egg McMuffin and put it on the McDouble and dig your chompers into the Mc-10:35.