Earlier this year, a wonderful thing happened. The people spoke, and the corporation actually listened. No, I’m not talking about Zack Snyder’s Justice League, I’m talking about the Mexican pizza at Taco Bell.
People wanted the Mexican pizza back so badly, in fact, that they were completely sold out in a week. There are many fast food items that have come and gone over the years; some good, some not so much.
Here are 25 fast food items lost forever.
McDonald's Salad Shakers
The Salad Shakers landed at McDonald’s with the promise of a healthy alternative to greasy, fattening french fries. The shakers came in three different ways: the Garden Salad, the Chef Salad, and the Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad, all served in a tall, domed container.+
You would add the dressing to the salad, pop on the dome, and shake it up, thereby making the salad perfectly dressed! Today, we are far more health-conscious than we were when the Shakers were available. Because you can control the amount of dressing used, it would be a perfect addition to the Mickey D’s menu!
Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists
Cinnamon Twists were, at one time, the perfect thing to top off your tacos and burritos. This dessert was made from light, crispy fried puffs covered in cinnamon and sugar. You’d have to imagine the taste of Cinnamon Toast Crunch infused into a lighter, less crunchy pork rind but without any of the “eeewe, yuck” porkiness of it all.
Like a churro, but not so doughy! You get the idea.
Burger King Whopperito
At the time of its release, the Burger King Whopperito was a great idea done poorly. It was also completely ahead of its time. Essentially, the Whopperito was a Whopper wrapped in a tortilla instead of on a bun. The only other difference was that there was queso cheese instead of the usual mustard and ketchup. And therein lay the problem.
If they had made it a simple Whopper in a wrap, it would have been money. But they got too cute with it and tried too hard. Today, a cheeseburger wrap is a pretty normal item at most fast-casual restaurants. If Burger King brought it back now, it would likely be a big success.
McDonald's Fried Apple Pie
What’s that you say? Does McDonald’s already have an apple pie? Well, yes, technically they do. But they don’t have THE apple pie. The apple pie at McDonald’s has a baked, flaky style crust with a little split down the middle. (It’s an abomination.)
What they used to have was a thin envelope of dough wrapped around delicious apple pie filling with a hint of cinnamon and deep fried until slightly crispy. It was, in a word, amazing.
Arby's Potato Cakes
Arby’s has fries. They have curly fries. They have crinkle-cut fries. But they used to have the mother of all potato sides. The Arby’s Potato Cake.
The potato cake was far more than just a McDonald’s Hash Brown; it was light, crispy, and larger than the hashbrown. It was the perfect side for one of Arby’s meaty monstrosities!
Whataburger Chop House Cheddar Burger
Imagine, if you will, fresh, never frozen, Made in America ground beef grilled so as to be slightly crispy on the outside and incredibly juicy on the inside. Lay it on top of a perfectly toasted buttered bun, add melted shredded cheddar cheese all over it, and then give it two slices of crispy bacon and a layer of tender grilled sweet onions. Finish it off with a creamy barbecue sauce and you have a crazy delicious meal.
Does it make your mouth water? It should. And they took it off the menu.
Pizza Hut Dippers
The Pizza Hut Dipper was a two-foot-long, rectangle-ish pizza. It came in two varieties: cheese or pepperoni. They bake it on your choice of crust; Hut Favorite, Toasted Cheddar, or Salted Pretzel. They then cut it into dippable strips and served it with your choice of marinara, ranch, barbecue, or honey sriracha.
It was amazing and shareable, even though you wouldn’t want anyone else to touch it.
Taco Bell Breakfast Waffle Taco
In the early days of Taco Bell deciding to have breakfast options, they were looking for the perfect items to kick it off. One of those items was the breakfast taco. They took a waffle and formed it into the shape of a taco shell. Inside, they replaced the usual taco meat with a breakfast sausage patty and the lettuce with scrambled eggs. Instead of taco sauce, Maple syrup!
Actually, it may have been that last one that doomed the breakfast taco. The syrup would get all over everything as it dripped out of the waffle taco shell.
KFC Potato Wedges
Fries are one thing. Every fast-food restaurant has fries. But what KFC used to have was more like a slice of baked potato you could eat with your fingers. Seasoned with the colonel’s seven herbs and spices and deep fried to perfection, these magnificent side items were the perfect complement to a three-piece box.
They were even better than the mashed potatoes! And if you dipped them in the gravy that usually goes on the mashed potatoes, you were absolutely hooked!
Jack in the Box Cheesy Macaroni Bites
Jack in the Box once had Cheesy Macaroni Bites, which were little triangles of mac and cheese, covered in batter and deep fried. They were probably one of the least healthy items on the Jack in the Box menu, but boy were they good.
As the country moved toward being more health-conscious, its popularity diminished. They were laid to rest in 2009. They did, however, return for a limited time in 2021.
McDonald's French Fries
If you’re thinking to yourself, “But Mike, that is wrong. McDonald’s still has fries! ” I can only answer by saying yes. McDonald’s has fries, I guess. Today, they are cooked in a healthier vegetable oil. both at the factory and again at the store. But back in the day, they were cooked in beef tallow, otherwise known as beef fat!
And they were delicious. You can argue all you want. I don’t care. These were quite simply, the best french fries ever put before mankind.
Burger King Funnel Cake Sticks
Burger King describes its now defunct Funnel Cake Fries as follows: “hot, crispy, funnel cake goodness, fried sweet to crispy perfection and topped off with powdered sugar.”
If you don’t think these need to come back, read that description again. Some people go to fairs and carnivals strictly for the snacks. And Burger King was just giving it to us. And then they took it away.
Burger King is cruel.
Sonic French Toaster
You are sweet. You’ve got savory. And the two mix together to create an addictive flavor combo. A perfect example of this was the ‘Sonic French Toaster’. This was a sandwich consisting of scrambled eggs, cheese, and your choice of bacon strips or a sausage patty resting between two great big thick slices of french toast.
The toast was infused with the sweetness of maple syrup flavor. For some reason that no reasonable person could ever understand, Sonic stopped selling them.
Taco Bell Enchirito
The first time the public was able to order the Enchirito was in the early 70s, and it remained very popular into the late 90s. It would seem crazy for Taco Bell to drop a popular menu item, but, as with the Mexican pizza, they have been known to do this often. The Enchirito was a combination of a burrito and an enchilada hybrid. It contained your choice of taco meat, steak, or chicken, pinto beans, diced onion, and cheddar cheese, all wrapped in a tortilla, smothered in enchilada sauce, and topped with melted cheddar cheese.
It was a standout item for years, but in 1993, it was pulled from the menu. It made a reappearance in the early 2000s, but some of the ingredients had been changed, thus leading to its permanent cancellation in 2013.
(Update! The Enchirito just won a fan vote and will be making a comeback in early 2023.)
Taco Bell Meximelt
You may be thinking, “You guys really put a lot of Taco Bell on this list,” and you would be right. That would be because Taco Bell is famous for adding items and taking items off their menu constantly. It’s a tactic that has contributed to their success in a major way. This time, it was the Meximelt.
The Meximelt was a combination of Fiesta Soft Tacos mixed with a quesadilla. A folded flour tortilla stuffed with the taco meat and Fiesta Salsa of the soft taco on top of a large amount of melted cheddar cheese. It was quietly lost to a massive menu overhaul in 1999.
McDonald's Shamrock Shake
McDonald’s may still sell something that they call a Shamrock Shake. But do not be fooled. It is not a Shamrock Shake. It’s more like a vanilla shake with a tube of Crest toothpaste mixed in it. And it’s too green. An unnatural green.
The original Shamrock Shake tasted more like a mint chocolate chip without the chips. It was thick and creamy and actually quite refreshing. Some things should just be left alone.
McDonald's Cheddar Melt
In the late 80s, McDonald’s went through a period of time when they added and discontinued menu items at a rapid rate. One of these items was the McDonald’s Cheddar Melt. This item was a bit of a departure from their usual McBurgers.
It consisted of a grilled beef patty dipped in a sweet teriyaki glaze, grilled onions, and a cheddar cheese sauce (as opposed to the usual cheese slice), on a rye bun. The likely reason this one has never made a comeback is because of the item’s specific ingredients and longer prep time.
Anything that requires different ingredients has a tendency to be frowned upon by franchisees.
Burger King Satisfries
As Americans became more health conscious, Burger King wanted to give customers a healthier option in their “junk food”. These fries would have 20% fewer calories and 30% less fat than their original fries. They would be cooked the same way and have essentially the same ingredients as the regular BK fries, but would retain less of the cooking oil from the fryer.
It seems that people who are serious about their health don’t choose to eat at Burger King. The Satisfries never caught on with customers and were discontinued shortly after their debut.
Taco Bell Chocoladillas
Yeah, Taco Bell again… But this one is very different. The Chocoladillas were regular tortillas, folded and stuffed with chocolate chips. They would then put it on the grill press to make it warm and melty. And that’s it. None of Taco Bell’s signature weird extras. No outrageousness. It’s just a simple sweet snack.
After it was on the menu for a short time, customers did have the option of adding Kit Kat or Twix crumbles, but that doesn’t seem over the top. Sadly, it was gone as quickly as it arrived. At least in the US. This tasty treat is still available in other countries around the world.
Little Ceasars Bacon Wrapped Crust Deep! Deep! Dish Pizza.
In 2015, Little Ceasars gave a great big middle finger to people who were health-conscious by introducing The Bacon Wrapped Crust Deep! Deep! Dish Pizza You were looking at a pizza with a thick crust wrapped in 3.5 feet of bacon strips and topped with mounds of cheese, pepperoni, and chopped bacon bits.
As amazing as that sounds to all of us carnivores, it was a heart attack in a box. It boasted 450 calories, 40 grams of cholesterol, 23 grams of fat, and 830 milligrams of sodium in one slice. It was not a big slice either.
Carl's Junior Pop-Tart Ice Cream Sandwich
There really shouldn’t be too much mystery about this one. It’s right there in the name. Carl’s Junior at one time had two hand-dipped scoops of ice cream between two strawberry Pop-Tarts. It became so popular that they had some prepackaged and available in stores!
But alas, all good things must come to an end.
Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chalupa
OK, A Taco Bell Chalupa with all the meat and lettuce and cheese and sauce wrapped up in a fried bread dough shell. It seems easy enough. But take away that bread shell and replace it with chicken.
The shell… was chicken…
All that goodness wrapped in a shell made of fried chicken! How great was this? (Very. I had one. Thumbs up!)
Burger King Mac 'n Cheetos
Taco Bell isn’t the only company willing to make a deal with snack food! Much like the Jack in the Box Macaroni Bites, the Mac ‘n Cheetos were macaroni and cheese cheese bites deep fried with a crispy coating. But then… they cover that coating with a tasty orange cheetle!
If you aren’t aware, cheetle is the actual, official name for Cheeto dust! And when it covers fried mac and cheese bites? Wonderful
KFC Double Down
Yeah, I know. This one is on every list of foods that are missed or foods that never should have existed. It has massive notoriety (both good and bad). However, the majority of those who drag it have never had one.
Two strips of bacon, a secret sauce, and cheese between two chicken fillets covered in that signature KFC breading. It was delicious. I swear. And let’s be honest, if someone walked into a fast-casual and ordered two fried chicken fillets topped with bacon crumbles with a side of cheesy mashed potatoes or an order of cheese fries, no one would think anything of it.
So why all the hate?
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The McRib is just… I don’t know… a gift from the heavens. You know what’s in it? It’s a barbecue rib sandwich. But it’s not just any regular barbecue rib sandwich.
You get one and it’s hot and juicy, the ribs are tender, the sauce doesn’t overpower the taste of the rib, and the onions and pickles give it that little bit of crunch to take it over the top. And we never know if we will ever get it again or not.
It usually comes back once or twice a year, but not always at every location. They get us addicted to their product and then take it away from us.
McDonald‘s-you’re just being mean.
Do you remember any of these long-lost items? Did you ever actually try some of them? Let us know in the comments below! And it’s OK to admit you had a Double Down and liked it. This is a safe, nonjudgmental space. You’re good.