I suppose it’s fortunate that my name rhymes with a number. Let’s see someone named “Scott” or “Luis” do that. I could have chosen a top seven list, as it is more difficult to think of eleven things, but then I couldn’t get a movie reference into my blog, and I watch a lot of movies. It is extremely likely that I won’t be able to come up with a full list every time, and you will certainly be able to tell when there are filler items. In addition, not every list will be a ranked list, it will merely be a collective list of items, as ranking may be unfair. Sometimes it will just be a list of eleven things, like directions/instructions.
Two posts ago, I mentioned fast food. I certainly have not tried every item on every menu, though I’ll usually attempt to try new things. Over the years, many items have come and gone. Which ones were/are the best? This list reflects the major fast food chains available across the US, not the regional ones that may not reach certain areas.
1. Three Cheese Melt burrito (Taco Bell): Only available for a few years in the 1990s, it offered the best mix/blend of cheeses ever. This burrito may have introduced the wonder of pepperjack cheese to the masses. Today’s Cheesy Beefy Melt burrito and Cheesy Beefy Gordita are also very good, though not the same.
2. Polish sausage w/soda (Costco): I’ve never seen a hot dog anywhere for less than $2 (that you don’t cook at home), let alone a polish sausage (typically bigger and tastier) with a refillable soda for $1.50. I realize that not all of you have a membership to get in, but if you don’t know anyone with a membership and you want to try it, just tell the door-clicker that you’re going to the membership desk. They should let you through, then head for the food court and indulge. I like to tag-team it with a combo slice of pizza (plain cheese and pepperoni also available) for $1.99 for a grand total of $3.76 after tax. Nearly an unbeatable deal.
3. Crunchwrap Supreme (Taco Bell): This is a triumph of culinary engineering. It is similar in design to McDonald’s McDLT (in the days of Styrofoam packaging), where the hot section was kept separate from the cold section. However, instead of being completely segregated, the Crunchwrap Supreme keeps the hot meat and sauce on one side and the cold toppings (lettuce, tomato, sour cream, cheese) on the other side of a corn tostada shell. Eaten like a sandwich, it is hopefully well-folded in an extra-large flour tortilla. I have had a few where the folding was inaccurate, leading to a massive hole in the middle for the cold stuff to fall out.
4. McDonald’s Dollar Menu: The double cheeseburger and McChicken sandwiches have been removed from the menu in most locations, though some restaurants still offer them for $1. Find them and cherish them. Where else can you get a double cheeseburger, McChicken, small fries, refillable small soda, and a yogurt parfait or sundae for dessert for $5 (plus tax)? Replace a sandwich or dessert with a side salad for health concerns if necessary, but that’s still a sweet deal. Fun fact: while the double cheeseburger was $1, I had never seen the regular (single) cheeseburger for less than $1.05 (and as high as $1.19). How’s that for logic? No wonder Americans are fat.
5. McOz burger (McDonald’s Australia): Basically, it’s a Quarter Pounder with a slice of beetroot in it. It’s quite good, as grill cooking softens the slice and caramelizes the sugar in the beetroot. It’s also another vegetable in your burger, and we can all use more of that. Try beet slices on your burger next time you grill, or in your homemade sandwich. Fun fact: they still have the Quarter Pounder in Australia, despite using the metric system.
6. RibWich McRib (McDonald’s): Its uniqueness is due to being a pork patty, rather than a beef patty. Supposedly, it is still regularly available in select eastern locations, but in California, it is nowhere to be found except during the promotional periods. A McDonald’s in my college town was a test market location, meaning they always got every promotional item (none of that “in select markets only”) and even tested new ones, like a bucket of fries, which was fries filling a container that is best described as a small soda cup, but twice as wide.
7. Cheesy Beefy Melt burrito/Cheesy Beefy Gordita (Taco Bell): I like the cheesy part best, but the beefy part is still appreciated.
8. Unlimited refill soda (most, but not all, places): The earliest fast food chain I can remember to offer free dine-in refills was Taco Bell back in 1989 for the special cups promoting the new Batman movie. This was at the same time they introduced the Cinnamon Twists.
9. Cheese curds (A&W Restaurant): Wisconsin white cheddar cheese in a crispy coating. How much more American can you get than fried cheese?
10. Waffle Fries (Chick-fil-A and Carl’s Jr/Hardee’s): What could be better than a stick of potato? How about a mesh network of potato?
11. Burger Bundles (Burger King): From the late 1980s, these were miniature burgers sold in three or six packs. Just as flavorful as the full size version, I liked these even better because the bun was different from the bland, enriched flour version you normally get, it seemed less “doughy”.
Just missed – Original style Onion Rings (Burger King): Years ago, Burger King offered a larger-sized onion ring with a real strip of onion in it, not like the current tiny ring from a shaped mold of onion pulp.