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Secret menu items from your favorite food places

  • Secret menu items from your favorite food places

    Hidden from plain sight, far away from the menus designed for so-called “regular” people, there exists a world full of culinary possibilities and gustatorial delights. This is the world of the secret menu. Restaurants all over America offer off-the-menu items to please their most discerning fans. These concoctions are occasionally created by the restaurant itself, but more often than not, the secret menu items are Frankenstein-like creations made by menu mad scientists who combine elements of other dishes for their own gastronomic pleasure.

    This list divulges 30 secret menu items from your favorite food places all over the country. Stacker scoured the internet to find the most unique menu items from fantastic online resources like hackthemenu.com, which is a virtual treasure trove of off-the-menu goodness. Some of these items are ordered on a regular basis from restaurants where the secret menu is more of an unpublished extension of the main menu, while others are fan food fantasies that need to be willed into existence.

    To order off-the-menu, the best advice is to be kind and patient with the employee and explain exactly how to construct the dish step-by-step, because sometimes the secret menu is secret even to the staff of the restaurant. Carefully examine this list to stock up on secret menu items—from mix-and-match McDonald’s favorites to a KFC Canadian import that’s perfect after a night at the bars.

    RELATED: Snacks and other food items banned in the US

  • S’mores Frappuccino

    Turn everyone’s favorite campfire treat into a S’mores Frappuccino by getting creative with ingredients found in every Starbucks. Start with a Java Chip Frappuccino, then add a pump of Cinnamon Dolce syrup and one of Toffee Nut syrup to create the graham cracker flavor. Blend in whipped cream to act as the marshmallows and the S’mores Frappuccino is ready to go. Starbucks actually offered their own official version of this tasty creation but it’s now discontinued.

  • Animal-Style Fries

    In-N-Out is famous for its secret menu which came about because burger fans had to get creative when the only items on the official menu are “Hamburger, “Cheeseburger,” and “Double-Double.” While everyone knows about the Animal-Style Burger, few are aware that fries can also be served Animal-Style just by asking. Animal-Style Fries come topped with a slice of American cheese, grilled onions, and a heaping serving of spread (aka thousand island dressing). Those truly in the know add chopped chilies to seriously amp up the spice level.

  • The Quesarito

    Fast casual Mexican chain Chipotle first earned fans by offering tacos and burritos completely tailored to the customer’s preferences. Chipotle super-fans realized that the ultimate in customization was combining two items from Chipotle’s menu: the burrito and the quesadilla. The result is the Quesarito, which can be had for an extra $3.50 by requesting a quesadilla and then opening up the melty treat, filling it with burrito fixings, and then wrapping the whole thing back up like a burrito. A second version, called the Double-Wrapped Quesarito, involves making a two-tortilla quesadilla and using the non-cheesy side of one tortilla as the base for a standard burrito.

  • Meat Mountain

    Arby’s uses its commercials to proclaim that they have the meats and the Meat Mountain is the perfect secret example of how many meats they have. For $10, the meat gods will offer two chicken tenders, 1.5 oz. of roast turkey, 1.5 oz. of ham, one slice of Swiss cheese, 1.5 oz. of corned beef, 1.5 oz. brisket, 1.5 oz. of Angus steak, one slice of cheddar cheese, 1.5 oz. roast beef, and three half-strips of bacon on a standard Arby’s bun. Unofficial analysis has put the sandwich at 1200 calories and 48 grams of fat, making it a mountain that may be difficult to justify climbing.

  • No Noodle Pasta

    While most of the items on this list veer into high-calorie “Man vs. Food” territory, Olive Garden actually offers a good-for-you option on their secret menu. It’s not a well-known menu hack, but Olive Gardeners can substitute any pasta with vegetables, eliminating the high level of carbohydrates that noodles provide with a much more heart-healthy alternative. The restaurant even recently started offering spiralized vegetable noodles mixed in with traditional pasta recently, but guests can opt for a no-noodle pasta whenever the mood strikes.

  • Pink Starburst Smoothie

    Smoothie chain Jamba Juice prides itself on its customization, so it’s no surprise that it offers a full range of off-menu items. Case-in-point is the Pink Starburst Smoothie, which mimics the flavor of the chewy candy by combining six ounces of lemonade, six ounces of soy milk, one scoop of raspberry sherbet, one scoop of plain sherbet, one scoop of frozen yogurt, two scoops of strawberries, and ice.

  • Double Grilled Cheeseburger

    This Five Guys hack is not listed on the menu, but it’s an incredibly simple tweak that combines two of the world’s favorite sandwiches. Essentially, the Double Grilled Cheeseburger is a cheeseburger that swaps out its bun for two full grilled cheese sandwiches. The result is a gooey, cheesy, beefy mess that’s sure to win over even the toughest of critics.

  • Frozen Hot Chocolate

    Dairy Queen has actually offered Frozen Hot Chocolate as a seasonal and regional specialty item, but there’s an easy way to get this oxymoronic drink at any DQ if you know what to ask for. While the official version combines vanilla soft serve with rich cocoa fudge, ice, and various flavors, the secret menu edition is much simpler. Just ask the employees to take cooled hot chocolate and blend it with ice and any other toppings you crave for a slushy, chocolatey treat.

  • Triple Crispers

    The Chili’s menu is ever-changing but some items never go out of style at the Tex-Mex chain. One of those items is the Triple Dipper, a make-your-own combination appetizer platter. Most people opt for single orders of three different appetizers, but to get the largest order possible of Chili’s famous Chicken Crispers (their version of chicken fingers) without wasting time on side dishes by ordering the entree version, order triple Original Crispers. The result is nine Crispers and no sides, an 80% increase on the number of Crispers that come in a standard entree order.

  • Frito Pie

    The folks at #HackTheMenu describe this Sonic Drive-In specialty as “a heaping pile of Fritos smothered in chili and nacho cheese.” While Sonic doesn’t always have Fritos on the menu (depending on what special items they’re currently offering), they do have chili and nacho cheese, meaning you can pounce on the Frito Pie train whenever those Fritos are in stock. Fans have fallen so hard for the secret menu item that they’ve started a petition to make it permanent.

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