If there’s one thing in life you can count on, it’s fast-food. These restaurants aim to deliver next-level, out-of-the-box, delicious menu items, all designed to satisfy even your wildest cravings. While not every new release deserves to take a victory lap, some of the time, these novelties are worthy of a trophy. So, without further ado, here are the 10 Biggest Fast Food SUCCESSES Of All Time (Part 4).
10. Popeyes Chicken
When looking for a good, well-renowned fried chicken joint, your first instinct is probably to go to KFC – and no one can blame you – the red-and-white-striped bucket is too much of an emblem to ignore. However, you shouldn’t limit your options out of loyalty to the Colonel. There are plenty of other respectable – and dare we say – maybe even better places to get your chicken fix. One of those places is Popeyes. Popeyes is famous for its signature chicken sandwich. You know – the one that drove everyone mad for a while. Well, it’s kind of still doing that, to be completely honest – but people tend to overlook the goodness of the chicken itself. The chicken at Popeyes doesn’t necessarily need to be accompanied by all kinds of extras. Just a simple chicken tender along with some fries and maybe a biscuit is enough to satisfy your need for fried delightfulness. How can you say no to those perfectly crisp and savory strips? The chicken is always fresh, never frozen, and is prepared in the most Southern-style way possible. It’s first marinated in buttermilk – which helps tenderize the chicken – and spices before being battered in a mixture with even more spice. A truly unbeatable and underestimated chicken recipe that deserves so much more love. After all, without the chicken, we wouldn’t have the precious Popeyes chicken sandwich.
9. Taco Bell Crunchy Taco
If Taco Bell isn’t the place you head to on Taco Tuesday – or whenever you feel like a really good taco – then you’re clearly missing out on something. Taco Bell has sure made some crazy menu items over the years – we’re looking at you Doritos Locos Tacos – but they also know how to make some pretty simple, run-of-the-mill tacos. The most basic order at Taco Bell – and the most frequently ordered item – is the classic Crunchy Taco. You can never go wrong with simplicity. With the restaurant serving more than two billion customers each year – and roughly the same amount of tacos – to win the crown of the most popular item is a big honor. Ever since the founder of Taco Bell, Glenn Bell, invented the pre-formed crispy taco shell in the 1950s, the Crunchy Taco has been a staple of the chain’s menu. Simply filled with seasoned ground beef, shredded lettuce, and shredded cheddar cheese, these little icons are the perfect addition to any larger meal. The $2 crispy treat has also been deemed the ultimate hangover food by many college students and fanatics of the chain. There must be some sort of magic preservative in them that can keep the shell just crunchy enough for maximum late-night consumption and day-after eating. So, next time you don’t know what to order at Taco Bell, why not go with the chain’s most successful item. Billions can’t be wrong, can they?
8. McDonald’s McRib
At some point or another, everyone has heard about the acclaimed McRib. It’s a legend, an icon, a token of McDonald’s success. While it’s not on the permanent menu at McD’s, the McRib still manages to be the talk of the town whenever rumors of its comeback start percolating. Periodically popping up once every blue moon, the McRib has gathered quite the cult-like following over the years. It was first introduced as a limited-time item in the early 1980s, but the Golden Arches quickly understood that they had a gem on their hands and decided to keep its fans on their toes. However, die-hard fans know exactly how and where to obtain the goods. Using the McRib Locator, you’ll be the first to know whenever a McRib sighting has been made. Made from a cheap cut of pork, a lot of salt, a starchy sweetener – dextrose – and water, the McRib isn’t actually made of ribs. The concoction is actually pressed and shaped to make it resemble a little rack of ribs. Why they didn’t just call it the McPork instead, we have no clue, but imagining you’re eating some tender ribs does sound better. The little pork patty is then placed onto a hoagie-like roll and topped with tangy BBQ sauce, onions, and pickles – making this one of the greatest sandwiches ever invented by McDonald’s. Even if it may not seem the most appetizing, the result is surprisingly addicting, and you’ll most likely find yourself ordering more than one – before it disappears again.
7. KFC Double Down
Speaking of iconic, weird-sounding combinations that have actually worked, and we wish we could order everyday, the Double Down Sandwich from KFC meets all the criteria. Although, maybe this one is a little more on the health hazard side than the McRib. You see, long before keto diets and “health-consciousness” became the trendy words of the decade, KFC launched one heck of an impressive sandwich – both in terms of deliciousness and calories. The Double Down didn’t have any bread – no sir – but it did have breading of some kind. Instead of having a traditional bun, this special beast had two pieces of boneless fried chicken filets to nestle all of the ingredients. And, it’s not as if what was inside was any better for you – some bacon, cheese, and a zesty sauce. The Double Down made a triumphant debut in 2010, and despite being released as a limited-time item, it was brought back by popular demand a couple of times, but always as temporary promotions. The Double Down received some negative feedback from some people, and it became quite a controversial topic of discussion for a while, but that’s not that surprising, well, considering. While obviously, this creation is probably the farthest thing from healthy, no one can deny how gratifying it is to bite down on the crispy, reinvented sandwich.
6. Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls
We all know that most fast-food giants specialize in burgers, fried chicken, and even pizza. You could probably name a bunch just off the top of your head. But can you do the same with places that sell some of the best sugary desserts? Better yet, can you name a place where they do the best cinnamon rolls? If you said Cinnabon, you’re on the right track. While other fast-food businesses tend to explore their options and try to master many things, Cinnabon decided to focus on one thing and one thing only; cinnamon rolls. But not just any cinnamon rolls, delicious, decadent rolls that melt in your mouth right from the first bite. The original Cinnabon cinnamon roll was thought of in 1985 and became an instant success. After months of trial and error, hundreds of different recipes, and a lot of perseverance, the legendary, sweet, cinnamon-spiced pastries came to be. Today, with locations in over 50 countries worldwide, you can enjoy this delight just about anywhere. Even though the menu has expanded over the years, and people can now enjoy other desserts, the main attraction will always remain the little rolls. With an unmistakable smell and a unique gooey texture, they’re practically impossible to recreate at home, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying if you feel up to the task.
5. Domino’s Pepperoni Pizza
For starters, pizza in every form is tasty. Thin crust, cheese-stuffed, deep-dish – every way is the best way to eat pizza. As for toppings, well, it’s the same deal. You can put just about anything you want on your pizza, and it’ll still be amazing; that’s the magic of pizza. However, there is one topping that’s a little more popular. It has even been named the most popular – the king of toppings, pepperoni. Again, pizza is incredible pretty much anywhere you go, but Domino’s might be one step ahead of every other pizza joint. As the largest pizza brand in the United States, Domino’s offers an incredible number of options. With three sizes, five crusts, nine sauces, and 27 toppings, as well as a dozen ready-made combinations, the choices are endless. But it’s the pepperoni pizza that gets ordered more than any other variation at Domino’s. With its blend of pork, beef, and spices, the taste of the pepperoni blends perfect flavors when paired with the chain’s real mozzarella cheese and tangy tomato sauce. Almost every single pizza at Domino’s is topped with pepperoni, whether it’s the MeatZZa, the Deluxe pizza, or even the ExtravaganZZa. Every topping combination seems to work with the salty meat. For the best pepperoni pizza out there, your best bet just might be Domino’s.
4. Whataburger Original Whataburger
If you’re from the South or Midwest, then you probably already know the number one burger chain that lives in a lot of people’s hearts. Ask any Texan where they get their burgers, and they’ll all tell you the exact same thing: Whataburger. Whataburger was even named a “Texas Treasure” in 2001, so that tells you a lot about how beloved this outlet is. But, if you’ve never had Whataburger, then you’re probably wondering what the fuss is all about. What could be so great about a burger? Practically every restaurant makes a burger. Well, for one, the beef patties are fresh, grilled, and nicely seasoned and are never ever frozen. You will always be served fresh beef with a perfectly toasted bun. As for the toppings, it’s all up to you. You can pick from any combination of lettuce, tomato, onions, jalapenos, cheese, bacon, grilled peppers, and the list goes on and on. You can even put avocado on there for crying out loud! Oh, and obviously, they’re a very decent size. Ever heard of the phrase: “everything is bigger in Texas?” Well, it turns out, it also applies to the burgers. Over are the days when you needed to order multiple burgers to fill you up. Whataburger has got you covered with only one. The whole idea behind the Whataburger name was that when people would order one, they’d exclaim: “What a burger! And what a burger, indeed.
3. McDonald’s McFlurry
There’s this kind of unspoken war going on between Dairy Queen’s Blizzard and McDonald’s McFlurry. Both are amazing frozen treats, and both are icons at their respective chains. But, the McFlurry just holds a special place for many. While Dairy Queen seemingly has an endless number of Blizzard varieties, all McD’s really needs are some Oreos and M&Ms to get the job done – along with some other special occasional toppings, but you get the idea. No trip to the Golden Arches is complete without fuelling up on the frozen goodness. With its cold, creamy sweetness, it’s the perfect way to balance all of the salt you just ate from your burgers and fries – and the perfect way to end a meal. Plus, the treat pieces to ice cream ratio in a McFlurry is almost always on point, which makes this dessert even more perfect. Invented by a Canadian franchisee in 1995, the McFlurry was basically McDonald’s’ answer to Wendy’s Frosty, only with added crunchiness. It quickly became the chain’s signature dessert – along with the apple pie, of course – and began selling like hotcakes. The only thing more iconic than the delicious flavor might just be the unique spoon. You know, that spoon that every mom in the world thought was a straw at some point or another. That spoon is a marvel of modern utensil technology and is clearly specific to McD’s.
2. Starbucks Caramel Macchiato
When thinking about classic, basic, and tasty drinks from Starbucks, most people will go straight to the Pumpkin Spice Latte. While it is one of the most famous drinks – they did invent it, after all – there is one other drink that could easily join the PSL in the coffee hall of fame. The Caramel Macchiato can sometimes be overlooked, and yet, it’s one of the tastiest of the bunch. This foamy espresso concoction is a consistent favorite among Starbucks fans and has been so for over three decades. It consists of freshly steamed milk with vanilla-flavored syrup – yes, not caramel – “marked with espresso and topped with a caramel drizzle for an oh-so-sweet finish.” While there are many varieties of macchiato, the caramel version is by far the most frequently ordered one – and for good reason. It can be ordered either hot or cold to better fit the weather – or simply fit your mood. Countless copycat recipes can be found online in hopes of recreating the goodness of the macchiato, but nothing could ever truly beat the one and only original. So, if you’ve never tried it, next time you pull up at Starbucks, why not give it a shot – literally.
1. Taco Bell Hot Sauce Packets
Not a food item, per se, but one of the biggest fast-food successes nonetheless. Practically every fast-food place has its sauce packets to go along with its meals. McDonald’s, KFC, Chick-fil-A, Popeyes – you name it, everyone has their own little sauce recipes. However, there is one fast-food chain that has a pretty impressive cult following surrounding its signature sauce packets, Taco Bell. Sure, the food at Taco Bell is already good on its own, but think about it; what makes all of these combinations of ground beef, lettuce, cheese and tomato really shine? That’s right, the hot sauce packets. Let’s be honest; chances are, you have a drawer in your kitchen dedicated to your growing collection of Taco Bell sauce packets. With so many flavors available – and a couple of fallen heroes, R.I.P Verde Salsa – you can make your taco experience unique and specific to your needs. Whether it’s the breakfast, mild, hot, fire, or diablo, every flavor is perfect for adding heat and fiery flavor to any meal – it doesn’t even have to be Taco Bell! And if you want to save on packet hoarding, the sauces are also available by the bottle at most grocery stores!