Don't believe everything you read. Those menus posted at your favorite fast food spot or coffee stand are not the be all and end all of their offerings. There are secret menu items -- hidden deals and delights that you should know about, but that you won't find advertised.
1. Starbucks: The Short Cup
Thought there were only tall, grande and venti? Ok, yes, there's the trenta, with a gut-busting 30+ oz. For those with smaller tastes, try a short latte or Americano to save a few cents. A short is in an 8 oz. cup, and the price varies based on your drink of choice.
2. Burger King: Go Veggie
The Home of the Whopper has a vegetarian variety. It has all the fixings of a whopper but with a meatless patty. Replacing the meat with the meatless counts as a substitution, but does not change the price of the Whopper. The meatless patty can be swapped into other burgers as well.
3. Jamba Juice:All-American Flavors
National treasures like apple pie and peanut butter and jelly are served up in liquid form. for your All-American delight. If you feel like straying from the traditional norm, ask what they do with gummy bears or Fruity Pebbles cereal. The price varies based on size, but expect to pay about $3-$6.
4. Five Guys: Cheesy Fries
The Five Guys chain is known for some of the best French fries around. Period. Plus, it's served in a brown bag, which is pretty cool. And portable. But the franchises are more than happy to add some cheese to your bag and bake it for a minute, well, because cheese makes everything better. They might charge you $0.45 per slice of cheese on top -- a bag can be covered in about three slices. It's great on either plain or the Cajun-style fries.
5. Red Lobster: Extra Biscuits, Please
Those little warm mouthgasms have plenty of folks going back for more. But don't let the servers be stingy with the cheesy biscuits. Ask them to keep 'em coming. You might be able to score a box to take home. And yeah, those extra biscuits are just as free as the first ones.
6. Dairy Queen: Secret Blizzard Flavors
Just because a Blizzard of the Month flavor is no longer listed, it does not mean it's not still available. Most of Dairy Queen's ingredients remain the same year round. So the Midnight Truffle Blizzard (vanilla soft serve, dark chocolate fudge, truffle bits) is still available and so is a Coffee Blizzard, a Chocolate Chip Blizzard and a Banana Split Blizzard. Dairy Queen flavors are mix and match, so don't be afraid to create your own. My personal favorite is Mint M&M.
7. Taco Bell: Ask for Lava
This is for people who hate to open those little spice packets, but love the spice. Ask Taco Bell employees to "lava" anything and you get the hot lava sauce added, no extra charge.
8. Subway: Got Broken Cookies?
It's apparently against Subway's policy to sell broken cookies. If you spot one, they might give it to you for free.
9. Chili's: Chili
In an ironic twist, Chili's no longer lists chili on the menu. But you can still order it. Currently, it costs $3.69 for a cup and $5.29 for a bowl. (Prices at Chili's in airport terminals are slightly higher.)
10. In n Out: Animal Style
This is for folks who like it dirty. An animal-style burger is smothered in mustard before cooking it, then it gets all the fixings (lettuce, tomato, pickles and grilled onions) plus extra special sauce. The animal-style fries come with cheese, grilled onions, pickles and special sauce. Both items require an extra helping of napkins. And, honestly, while the menu might be secret at the stores, it's not so secretly posted online. They also have a Protein-style offering -- a burger wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun, helping out gluten-free folks. And there's a grilled cheese to appease the veggies.
While the menu is there as a guideline, it's fun to order outside of the lines.
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