Fast food is as American as McDonald’s fried Apple Pies. The fast-food business constantly innovating, finding ways to turn chicken fingers into Chicken Fries and Chicken Rings.
Yet for every smashing success like the McRib, the menu board is littered with fast food failures like McSpaghetti, McLobster, and the Hula Burger.
Some items just come and go with the times. The following are sandwiches and snacks that fell out of fashion for one reason or another, but we’d eat all of them again right now. Which ones do you miss most?
The Bell Beefer From Taco Bell
Taco Bell got into the sandwich game in the mid-’70s with the Bell Beefer…essentially a Sloppy Joe made from taco meat. The chain has always been clever with finding new ways to rearrange its five core ingredients. Perhaps they just wanted to stop buying buns?
Burger Bundles at Burger King
Awww, little tiny baby hamburgers! Sure, this 1987 launch was not the most original idea — just ask White Castle and Krystal — but we feel less guilty eating one than a Whopper. Until we eat three of them.
McDLT from McDonald’s
The hot stayed hot, and the cool stayed cool. Just ask Jason Alexander, who sings and dances down the street in this vintage 1980s commercial. This was more a packaging invention than a new item, honestly, with a two-chambers styrofoam box separating hamburger halves. But it wasn’t just a gimmick…the box really worked as advertised.
Peg Legs from Long John Silvers’
You may find yourself asking why would you get a chicken drumstick from a seafood joint? Because they fried the legs in the famous Long John Silvers batter, that’s why.
The late Dave Thomas offered up a sprawling salad and hot bar with taco-building tools, a pasta station, fruit, and more. All you can eat. For $2.99. The 1980s nirvana did not last, perhaps because people ate into profits.
Burger King’s Yumbo
Bk brought back this ham and cheese sandwich a years ago, though it was doubled in size (naturally). All brown, pink and yellow, the Yumbo was the early-’70s on a sesame seed bun.
McDonald’s Arch Deluxe
McDonald’s attempted to go “classy” with this uppity burger in 1996, in what is now a textbook case of misguided marketing. “Bakery style roll, two leaves of lettuce, peppered bacon, tomato, processed cheese, ketchup, tangy sauce, and a quarter-pound beef patty” failed to become the new “two all-beef patties, special sauce…” Nothing says gourmet like “processed cheese.” Maybe it’s just the nostalgia talking, but I still miss it.
Arby’s Chicken Selects Menu
The roast beef chain is all about “The Meats” these days, but two decades back, it was positioning itself as a hen house. “Love Chicken? Think Arby’s,” the commercials declared, as Barry White moaned, “Cluck, cluck, baby.” Back then, dare I say it, Arby’s had the best chicken sandwiches in town…especially for a roast beef place.
The Priazzo From Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut spent $15 million on marketing during the mid-’80s launch of its gut-busting Priazzo pizzas, aimed at taking a bite out of the deep-dish pizza market. The pizza had two layers of crust with layers of cheese and toppings in between. Though devotees proclaim their love of the Priazzo pies online to this day, Pizza Hut yanked it from the menu relatively shortly because it was too costly and time-consuming to make.
Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza
Taco Bell broke our hearts last year when they pulled this iconic item from their menus. But recent rumors allude to Taco Bell possibly bringing it back to the menu in the near future. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
If you’ve got a junk food question, junk food memory, or just want to share an observation of your own, feel free to drop me a line at [email protected]. And you can always find me on Twitter posting about both old and new junk food, as well as other random geeky stuff. Stop by there and say hello as well.
Man, some of these I really miss (I named a Facebook group “Bring Back the Arch Deluxe”), and others I never had the pleasure of even knowing, like the Priazzo. Mexican Pizza falls in the middle — I knew about it, but never tried it, and when I would have, it was too late. While the States got advance warning about Taco Bell pulling menu items like that, we received no such courtesy. Hoping the comeback rumor is true.
SuperBar was so, so good. And we don’t have Arby’s in Toronto anymore, and it depresses me that if they ever come back, the Chicken Cordon Bleu sandwich won’t likely be coming with it.
The Yumbo… you could basically order it as a hot ham and cheese as an off-menu item for years after it was taken off. Now, at least in Canada, I just want ham back for the ham, egg, and cheese Croissanwich.
As for the Arch Deluxe, I’m willing to compromise. Make it a fancy Quarter Pounder, just get me that sauce back!
From the items you listed here, I would probably go with the Arch Deluxe and of course the Mexican Pizza.