Secret items or off-menu dishes at restaurants are nothing new. In many cases, they're arguably more famous than the regular food, such as the "Animal Style" fries at In-N-Out Burger (a chain which has more "secret" menu items than regular ones). Our own Brooke Viggiano has been compiling lists of "secret menu" items for months.
A question posed on Reddit last week -- "Fast-food employees, what is the best thing on your restaurant's menu that no one ever orders?" -- proved so popular, in fact, that there's now a Reddit subforum devoted to the pleasures (and perils) of the secret menu item.
And according to that initial question, which netted several thousand responses, these are the most popular "hidden" menu items you're not ordering at fast-food restaurants:
McDonald's Chicken and waffles, Neopolitan milk shake (with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream)
Wait...McDonald's doesn't sell waffles. So how does this work? "Order the Southern-style chicken," explains a Redditor, "and ask for it on a McGriddle bread instead of a biscuit."
Popeyes Deep-fried apple pie
Since McDonald's no longer fries its apple pies, aficionados of the deep-fried dessert have turned to Popeye's. Even Chow.com recommends them.
Burger King Rodeo burgers, veggie burgers
"I've worked at Burger King for about 3 years now," says one Redditor of the MorningStar Farms veggie patties the chain offers, "and our veggie burger is absolutely delicious but no one knows we even sell it."
As for the "rodeo burger," the onion-ring-and-barbecue-sauce-topped burger was created in 1998 and discontinued a few years later, but can still be ordered at most locations.
Wendy's Frosty float, bacon-cheese potato
"[Y]ou can make any combination from chocolate or vanilla ice cream and basically any other soft drink they have," says one Redditor. And the potato is "basically a baked potato with melted cheese and about a 1/5 [pound] of bacon bits (of actual bacon)."
Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita crunch
Although they're now back on Taco Bell's menu, remember that you can still order the cheesy Gordita crunches even when they go away. One Redditor even advises, "You can get these with a Dorito shell on the inside."
Sonic Pineapple Dr Pepper
"I always recommend it to anyone I eat there with but few try it," says one Redditor. "However, those that do fall in love. I have created a cult like following in the Memphis area"
Little Caesar's "Italian" cheese bread with garlic cream cheese dipping sauce
Dairy Queen Midnight Truffle Blizzard
It's "a chocolatey masterpiece," reports one Redditor, "but not many people order it."
Subway Chicken pizzaiola
Explains one Redditor in detail: "It comes with the plain chicken strips, pepperoni, and marinara sauce. It actually may not be on the physical menu at stores but it's on our registers." He later adds helpfully: "Here's a tip when you order a flat bread sandwich, ask them to flip the bread over, it taste so much better with the lumpy side on the outside."
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And one last parting tip for the road:
Not an employee, but I have never, ever come across a person outside of my family (who has been doing it for years) who knows you can order a cup of melted cheese at both Wendy's and Arby's and dip your fries, nuggets, whatever in it.