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My Fastest Favorites: Top Ten Fast Foods

Not on the list. Gotcha.
Not on the list. Gotcha.
Photos by Christina Uticone

A funny thing happened when I sat down to compile a list of my favorite fast-food items: I couldn't think of that many that actually come from fast-food restaurants. Don't get me wrong, there are a few -- some burgers, and of course I included my go-to fast-food taco -- but most of my real favorites are sprinkled throughout the menus of "real" restaurants that I frequent, particularly for lunch.

Calling ahead or ordering online when possible obviously speeds up the process of grabbing "fast" food at "real" restaurants, but in my experience you don't need to wait long.

10. Taco Cabana: Shredded Chicken Taco

A few years ago, former EOW writer Kevin Shalin added the Taco Cabana Shredded Chicken Taco to his list of favorite fast-food chicken dishes, and it has since become a favorite of mine. I especially love to grab them on my way home from the airport when I know I have an empty fridge waiting for me. I've literally never ordered another thing off of their menu.

9. Smashburger: Texas Burger with Veggie Frites

I am a total convert to the "mustard-only" burger thing, in large part because of the Smashburger Texas Burger. I never put ketchup on hamburgers anymore! I just dig the burgers at Smashburger, too; they are fresh and greasy, which is no more an oxymoron than jumbo shrimp, so just accept it.

Add the veggie frites just because they are good, and because they count as a serving of veggies, right? Yes.

8. Aladdin

No specific dish, just Aladdin. I mean, I know I particularly like their tabbouleh and falafel and the Lebanese mashed potatoes. Especially the Lebanese mashed potatoes. Aladdin's cafeteria-style service line keeps things moving along, and they do a brisk to-go business. This is one of my strongest go-to restaurants for a quick "Oh shit, I didn't defrost anything for dinner" dinner.

It's so nice when a healthy one turns out to be so delicious.
It's so nice when a healthy one turns out to be so delicious.

7. Snap Kitchen Chili and Eggs

Healthy, filling, delicious and prepared by someone else -- now that's the perfect breakfast. There is nothing better than a warm morning meal, and the Snap Kitchen chili-and-egg combo is a reliable favorite. Great for days when a cold bowl of Cheerios just won't do (which is every morning, I think). The prepared foods at Snap Kitchen can be hit-or-miss, but they are leaps and bounds ahead of anything similar you find at the grocery store -- they are always worth a visit.



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