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NOM NOM CITY — The secret’s out: Not all restaurants post all the items it offers on its menu.
So you probably already knew that, especially if you’ve ever visited SecretMenuHolic.com. But we are here to tell you what we thought was worth – or not worth – trying. Some are worth trying for the experience, some because they are actually really good.
Celeste’s Order: Sour Patch Kids
Thoughts: I expected this to be sour, but I didn’t really expect it to be quite as sour as it was. It felt like I was drinking a vat of citric acid, which may have been the case, since it was made mostly of lemonade (the rest was sherbet, making it, in no way, a fruit smoothie).
I ordered a kid’s size drink and it was clearly not a good idea to drink the entire thing. It was like Warheads: I know they’re awful and will leave me sick, but I keep eating them because the third-grader in me wants to find out my breaking point.
Recommend It? Not this flavor. Try another one of their novelty smoothies.
John's Order: White Gummi Bear
Thoughts: I figured it would taste like a gummi bear because they threw in gummi bears. How wrong I was. Apparently there is some unholy concoction of fruits that when mixed give the flavor of a white gummi bear.
I tasted it and it was awful. Then I gave it a minute and I actually started to like it. Then I tasted it the rest of the day and regretted my decision.
Recommend It? What do you think? It was not good. They have some other stuff on the secret menu I'd give a shot, but just avoid this mistake.
ChipotleCeleste’s Order: Taco Salad
Thoughts: Everything a taco salad should be. I got the braised carnitas and loaded the romaine salad with medium salsa, sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips and extra pico de gallo. I got the cilantro dressing on the side so I could control the flavor.
It came in the same dish size as a burrito and I couldn’t quite finish it (I am a bit of a lightweight eater). I was happy to find a lighter alternative to the big burritos I can’t ever finish.
Recommend It? Absolutely.
John's Order: Quesarito
Thoughts: I was pumped to try this. Maybe it's because of my unhealthy addiction to junk food or my complete disregard for the well being of my heart, but I couldn't wait to try this.
Basically the fine folks at Chipotle make a quesadilla then open it up and build a burrito inside. It was tasty, but I'm not going to say it puts their already delightful burrito over the top. With that said, however, it's still pretty good.
Recommend It? Sure. While it's not going to blow your mind it is pretty tasty and if you don't give a hoot like me, then a few extra calories with cheese won't bother you too much. That is until your arteries collapse, but that's in the future, live in the now.
Celeste’s Order: Hamburger with grilled onions, animal-style fries and Neapolitan milkshake. (Went back later for the grilled cheese.)
Thoughts: For journalism, I avoided thinking about the very real possibility of having a heart attack during lunch and ate this meal. While the In-N-Out menu and its animal-style topping is “not so secret,” the Neapolitan shake and grilled cheese were new to me.
I used a fork for decorum and to keep my cheese, grilled onions and In-N-Out spread off my shirt, but these fries were messy. As the melted cheese began to cool, the entire carton of fries stuck together, creating a challenge. All that said, this was the first time I was really excited while eating In-N-Out fries. Top them with fat and calories, and apparently I’m in.
Meantime, the super-thick Neapolitan shake softened to a slurp-able state. And it was delicious. I may never go back to a plain chocolate shake again.
The grilled cheese was served on In-N-Out’s delicious buns and I topped it with its sauce and grilled onions. The combination was gooey and delicious and buttery.
Recommend It? In good conscience, I can’t tell you to eat all this at the same time, but I can recommend them individually. The fries were worth the mess and the shake was like sipping my favorite childhood ice cream. I ordered it again when I went back on Friday night for dinner. The grilled cheese was a nice no-meat option on which the grilled onions really stood out. John's Order: Double-Double Animal-Style, cheese fries and root beer float.
Thoughts: Now I know that most of you are saying to yourselves, "Duh, everyone knows about In-N-Out's secret menu." Well, that's not true. When I picked up the order the man next to me looked at it and said, "What is that?" as he slipped on the floor that had become wet from his uncontrollable salivating brought on by envy, not rabies.
The burger was solid, obviously, and the cheese fries were good. The only problem is once the cheese cools it's not quite as tasty. Truth is I was just coveting Celeste's Animal-Style fries. The root beer float was good and was more of a root beer shake than a float.
Recommend it? Of course. If you've never tried animal style you have to give it a shot on both your fries and your burger. Opt for the animal style fries over the cheese fries however. Don't fall into the same ugly covetous cycle I did. The root beer float was a nice little option, but with all of that I needed a long nap.
Celeste’s Order: N/A
Thoughts: I tried to order a few different things I had heard of, but struck out three times, walking away empty-handed after seemingly annoying the employee. Sorry, McDonald’s employee.
Recommend It? N/A
John's Order: The Mckinley Mac
Thoughts: I didn't have the same troubles Celeste did, but she ordered first and I was afraid to ask for anything special after the employee was eyeballing Celeste for her outlandish requests. Maybe it was my smile, but the girl at the register totally complied.
I ordered the Mckinley Mac. It's a Big Mac with Quarter-Pounder patties. Yes, it was as intense as it sounds. It was actually pretty tasty and is without a doubt the biggest burger I've ever had at McDonald's. I thought the unholy union between Double Quarter Pounder and Big Mac was better than both its predecessors.
Recommend It? I have to give full disclosure on this one. While it was quite good I did end up in the emergency room days later with kidney problems. I wish this were a joke. I can't say the Mckinley did me in, but I'm sure it didn't help. To say the least, following this adventure I am on a diet. So, with the Mckinley, try it because it's actually delicious, but do it with the risk of knowing it may kill you.
What other secret menus or secret menu items do you recommend?