So, I’m a big fan of sportswriter Bill Simmons. I love his writing and his podcast. About a year ago he started a website called The Ringer that basically develops sports and pop culture content, and last week they released a list of the Top 50 Fast Foods of all time.
On his pod, Simmon’s admits that the millennials who work for him screwed up the entire list (they had Chick-fil-a waffle fries as the number one choice! Those aren’t even the number one choice on the Chick-fil-a menu!), but it’s a fun list to look at any way to see where your favorites fall. To me, the list was flawed as it just measured all fast food foods in one category, which is really hard to do. S
So, I’m giving you my Top 10 Fast Foods based on the following categories: Main dish, Side dish, Breakfast, and Desert.
Sackett’s Top 10 Fast Food Main Dishes:
1. Chick-fil-a Original Sandwich – I first ate a Chick-fil-a sandwich on spring break in Florida when I was nine years old and I thought it was the best thing I’ve tasted. Since I was in Michigan, I only got Chick-fil-a once a year when we would go to Florida for Spring Break. So, when I got older and traveled all over the country, I would go to great lengths to get Chick-fil-a and bring Chick-fil-a home to my family! These sandwiches are so good I actually look past their awful social stances! Until I’m done with the sandwich, then I go back to thinking how bad of a company they are.
2. Shack Burger from Shake Shack – The single best burger on the planet. Some could argue it’s not completely fast food, but when you order at a counter and wait to pick it up in minutes, it’s fast food. More expensive than most fast food, but another item I go out of my way to get! And stop on In-and-Out burger. You lose all credibility with me if you actually think In-and-Out is better than Shake Shack. Cheaper? Yes. Better? Not even close.
3. Spicy Chicken Sandwich from Wendy’s – The original spicy chicken sandwich and for my money the best. Chick-fil-a is close, but when the original is so good, you can’t bring yourself to order the spicy. Wendy’s sandwich has the right amount of heat and a juicy piece of chicken!
4. Joey Bag of Donuts burrito from Moe’s Southwest Grill. Qdoba’s burrito runs a close second to Moe’s. Chipotle isn’t even close. Look, when I get a burrito that’s as big as my head, I don’t need to hear your organic, free range bull shit. I know I’m eating something that will likely kill me, just let me enjoy it! Moe’s makes a great burrito and you always feel welcome!
5. Double Cheese Burger from McDonald’s. The double cheese from McDonald’s is the grease-soaked burger type item that just tastes good, even though it shouldn’t. Also, you can’t just eat one, it’s a two order minimum, they should just come that way. I’m not proud, but I’ve been known to order more than two. It’s a great 2 am meal.
6. Arby’s Roast Turkey Ranch & Bacon Sandwich. First, you actually feel healthy ordering this as compared to most fast food items, But throw on a ton of turkey, bacon, and ranch and it’s no longer a healthy choice, but it sure tastes good! This replaces all subs on my list. Sure there are great subs shops, but they’re all local. National sub shops are usually awful.
7. Shredded Chicken Burrito from Taco Bell. This is my go-to road food. If I’m in the car and in a hurry, this Taco Bell burrito is a winner in my book. Look, I don’t trust Taco Bell beef, but for some reason, I trust their chicken, and I can eat a few of these.
8. Little Ceasars Hot & Ready $5 Pepperoni Pizza. Not fast food? It might be the fastest food on the planet! I walk in. Ask for a hot and ready and I’m out in a minute! Not only is it not an awful pizza, it might be the best value of all fast food, ever! Sure you can find way better pizza, but for $5 bucks you can’t beat this pizza.
9. Philly Cheesesteak from Penn Station. Regional chain alert. I don’t consider a Cheesesteak a sub, and Penn Station has a great Cheesesteak. Sure, you can find way better local joints, but not fast food cheesesteak places in the midwest like this!
10. Chicken Club Toaster Sandwich from Sonic. Okay, I’m a chicken sandwich fan and I like Texas Toast, Sonic gives me both on this sandwich. It’s my go-to sandwich at Sonic.
Sackett’s Top 10 Fast Food Side Dishes:
1. Potato Ole’s from Taco John’s – I’m a sucker for tater tots and these are the small ones, deep fried with a blend of spices that you can dip in nacho cheese. Stop it! I want some right now!
2. McDonald’s Fries – I think 99% of American’s grew up on these and they’re still a favorite. Consistently great for about ten minutes. Once they get cold they taste like something awful and they can never be warmed up. This leads to eating the fries first, usually before you even get the bag home.
3. Sonic Tater Tots – Like I said, I like tater tots. It’s my list, not yours. Dip them in ranch and welcome to the Midwest of awesome!
4. Kentucky Fried Chicken Mashed Potatoes – I don’t even think these are real potatoes but you put that brown gravy on them and I can eat way too many.
5. Qdoba Queso and Chips. Great spicy white queso and fresh chips, if they only had a margarita in a to-go cup this would be perfect.
6. Long John Silver’s Hush Puppies. What the hell is even in a hush puppy? I don’t know and I don’t care because they’re so good!
7. Crab Rangoon’s at any Chinese takeout place. Usually, this is another no-wait item in the Chinese takeout world, especially those takeout places that run the hot buffet counter all day long.
8. Waffle fries from Chick fil a. You don’t find waffle fries in many places and they do these pretty good. The one thing that holds this back is when you get that one waffle fry that isn’t really a waffle fry but more of a half of potato that didn’t get fully waffled!
9. Onion Rings at Burger King. These aren’t great onion rings overall on the onion ring scale, but these are fast and good. The problem is you never get enough of these in an order, but you do get usually get a bonus fry or two.
10. Crinkle Fries at Culvers – close second place are the Shake Shack crinkle fries. The key to a great crinkle fry is making sure you get the done enough. The worst tasting fry is a half done crinkle fry. Culver’s does these really well!
Sackett’s Top 10 Fast Food Breakfast items:
1. Steak Breakfast Crunchwrap from Taco Bell – So, let me get this straight you put a big hash brown, eggs, steak, and cheese inside a flour tortilla shell and grill it? Yes, please!
2. Krispy Kreme Donuts – Okay Krispy Kreme’s aren’t even my favorite donuts, but donuts had to be high on the list and we all have our favorite local places! To be fair, a hot box of Krispy Kreme’s is like eating Lay’s Potato Chips, you can’t just eat one! My favorites in order: Quality Dairy (Michigan), Glazed and Infused (Chicago), and LaMar’s (Midwest, KC).
3. Chick-fil-a Chicken Biscuit – It’s the Chick-fil-a sandwich on a biscuit instead of a bun. What’s not to love?!
4. Sausage, Egg, and Cheese McGriddle’s from McDonald’s – Okay, sausage, egg, and cheese between two warm griddle cakes that taste like maple syrup. My diabetes gets excited just thinking about it!
5. French Toast Sticks from Burger King – Perfect fast food breakfast. You don’t have time for a fork and knife. Just let me dip these deep fried pieces of bread into some syrup.
6. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Croissan’wich from Burger King – Back to back BK items on the countdown. This is a solid breakfast sandwich and the flaky croissant pushes it over the top.
7. Cinnabon Original Classic Role – My teeth hurt just writing this, but OMG these are too good to be real! I actually feel guilty ordering one of these and eating it in front of people.
8. Steak, egg and cheese Subway Flatbread – Under-rated as a breakfast stop. Their sandwiches are awful, but the breakfast is actually pretty good and you can make it semi-healthy is you decide that’s for you.
9. Grilled Breakfast Burrito at Taco Bell – Taco Bell is killing it at breakfast as compared to most fast food places, I could probably list most of their items on this list and feel good about it.
10. McDonald’s Hash Browns – It doesn’t seem like a breakfast item by itself, but many folks I know just order these. What’s not better for breakfast than fried potato cakes!?
Sackett’s Top 10 Fast Food Dessert Items:
1. The Chocolate Chunk Cookie from Chick-fil-a – I have this number one on my list and I think it’s underrated! Every time I give someone one of these cookies they can’t believe how great it is and they can’t believe I got it from a fast food place. I could buy these in bulk, put them on a plate in my house and pass them off as homemade.
2. Blizzard from Dairy Queen – The most copied fast food desert on the planet, almost everyone now has their version of the original, but it started at Dairy Queen. Vanilla ice cream and your choice of mix-ins, it’s one of the perfect summer treats.
3. The Chocolate Frosty from Wendy’s – Another original which is basically an extra thick chocolate shake or just a cup of soft serve chocolate ice cream, it doesn’t really matter because this is the perfect fry dipper!
4. Strawberry Slush from Sonic – Okay, you could call it a drink, but it’s a dessert. Most people will say this isn’t event the best dessert at Sonic as their shakes and malts are good as well. Plus, if you don’t like Strawberry, go ahead and pick your flavor, there are like twenty-five to choose from.
5. Apple Pie from McDonald’s – It might have been the first fast food dessert ever created, so it has to make the list. I mean, warm apple pie you can eat with one hand while driving! That can’t be beat.
6. Cookies from Subway – You can’t miss with Subway cookies. My oldest son likes these so much we had them at his graduation open house. What makes them good? Usually, they’re half-baked, making them super soft and you can’t just eat one.
7. Cinnabon Delights from Taco Bell – These double as a breakfast food and a treat. Basically, they’re a traditional Cinnabon ball filled with Cinnabon icing, plus they come warm! So sweet your teeth will hurt.
8. Cheesecake from Fazoli’s – Plain or with strawberry topping, the Fazoli cheesecake is a great compliment to your Italian fast food meal.
9. Frozen Custard from Culver’s – Super creamy, thick frozen custard tastes so much better than your normal soft serve ice cream. Plus, they always have multiple flavors and toppings, plus the flavor of the month. It’s hard going to Culver’s and not getting custard!
10. Rootbeer float from A&W or In and Out – It’s a throwback to when America was great. I remember my grandparents making root beer floats for us as kids on a Saturday night and everyone, including the adults wanted one.
Hit me in the comments if I missed one of your favorites on the lists above!