Restaurant chains are constantly releasing innovative new creations, in hopes of outdoing their competitors by coming up with the next big thing. Sometimes, the risk pays off. Other times, we get food items that are more entertaining than they are appetizing. You won’t believe that these food items actually exist, and, in some cases, we wish we could tell you that they didn’t. So let’s look at 10 times fast food went too far.
Taco Bell Chocoladilla
Oh, Taco Bell. What have you done now? This sickly sweet quesadilla sounds like something out of any five year old’s dreams. Which, by default, means it’s something out of any parent’s nightmares. Instead of being filled with all your usual quesadilla ingredients, such as meat and cheese, between the tortillas of the Chocoladilla you find nothing but Kit-Kats. Have you ever left a chocolate bar sitting in your car on a hot, sunny day? Well, since this quesadilla is served warm, that’s just about the consistency of chocolate you’ll find within. It’s definitely vying for the position at the top of the list of World’s Messiest Foods. In 2016, Taco Bell held trial runs in the UK for this new food product. They were, apparently, deemed to have been successful, because Taco Bell brought the Chocoladilla over to the US for a limited run in fall of 2017. It only cost one dollar, which might actually be less than you would spend on an actual Kit-Kat bar. Odds are though, you would regret the decision to cough up an extra bit of cash to buy the chocolate bar less than you would the decision to subject yourself to the Cocoladilla. However, Nutella on toast is widely regarded as a top tier breakfast food, so maybe the bread and chocolate combination is one that generalizes to fast food as well. Like they say, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.
McDonald’s Vegan Burger
While more options are gradually being added to menus, until very recently, fast food restaurants haven’t exactly been the most vegan-friendly establishments. Vegans visiting McDonald’s were pretty much limited to salads. Even the fries at McDonald’s aren’t strictly vegan. Lately, McDonald’s has been testing the waters of plant-based burgers with a creation dubbed the McVegan. It’s first test run took place in Finland in 2017, and it was introduced internationally in 2018. The McVegan has all the fixings of a traditional burger (except cheese, of course), but the beef patty has been swapped out for a soybean steak. The words “soybean steak” maybe don’t do much for the meat-eaters out there, but for anyone sticking to a plant-based diet, the words are music to their ears. No more “I’ll just have the salad, thanks,” for vegans and vegetarians. There still aren’t many options for them, but at least now they can enjoy a more well-rounded fast food experience. As for those who don’t eat only plant-based foods, if this sounds appealing to you, why not try something new? But if you’d rather stick to your chicken or beef, that’s fine, too. Either way, it’s great to see McDonald’s is trying to be more inclusive of different lifestyles and dietary restrictions.
Taco Bell Volcano Crispy Chicken Chips
Taco Bell is back to shock us again with their new Volcano Crispy Chicken Chips. They look like tortilla chips, they’re shaped like tortilla chips…but are they tortilla chips? Well, this wouldn’t make for a very exciting entry if they were. No, these triangular “chips” are actually fried chicken. It’s revolutionary, it’s bizarre, and it’s the food item we didn’t know we needed. These crispy chicken chips are paired with Taco Bell’s signature Lava sauce, a spicy cheesy condiment that tastes so good you won’t mind the fact that your mouth is on fire. The Lava Sauce has popped on and off the Taco Bell menu over the past few years, usually available with limited edition products. Its pairing with Volcano Crispy Chicken Chips was its first appearance in over two years. At this point, we’ve seen so many absurd food items that dipping fried chicken in spicy cheese shouldn’t really be surprising to anyone, yet here we are. It’s really the fact that Taco Bell is trying to pass off breaded chicken as chips that’s confusing us the most. Because they kind of just sound like glorified chicken nuggets… but that’s beside the point. This food item could be purchased in sets of six or twelve, for two dollars and four dollars, respectively. Not a high price to pay for what could easily become your favorite guilty pleasure food. Taco Bell took the Crispy Chicken Chips even further with their Volcano Chickstar, a wrap featuring the new fried creations. If these chips get big, they could really change the entire fast food game.
Sonic Pickle Juice Slush
Pickles. One of the most polarizing foods out there. And if liking pickles themselves wasn’t controversial enough, some people actually claim to enjoy the taste of pickle juice. Now, to each their own and everything, but it also feels like this is where we should draw the line. Nevertheless, it is something that many people do enjoy, and Sonic Drive-In decided that it was going to take advantage of that. If you don’t like pickles, this may be a lot to take, so brace yourselves. In June 2018, Sonic debuted their Pickle Juice Slush, a bright green, sweet and sour, pickle juice flavored slush. This is the epitome of fast food taking things too far. Surprisingly, Sonic Drive-In isn’t the first to take the pickle route. Several companies and restaurant chains have come out with not only several kinds of pickle flavored drinks, but even pickle flavored popsicles. These drinks are strange, not so much because they incorporate pickles — the food item is quite popular — but because they make pickles the star of the show. Typically, pickles are used as a garnish, such as when they top off a burger. A food item that is completely based on pickles is unusual. No one can say that this drink isn’t innovative. Pickles have such a distinct, strong flavor, that we can’t help but wonder if this drink might be a bit too much, even for the most diehard pickle fans. Regardless of where you stand on the matter, the pickle craze is very real, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to die down any time soon.
Popeyes 24 Karat Champagne Chicken Wings
In 2018, Popeyes celebrated the opening of its 3000th restaurant in the most extra way imaginable. The Kardashians have nothing on them. For just one day, they served 24 Karat Champagne Chicken Wings. These limited-edition wings were the epitome of exclusive, as they were available at only four locations across America, one each in New Jersey, New York, Louisiana and California. You might be wondering how champagne fits into the picture here. It’s not usually the drink of choice to pair with chicken wings. Well, the batter coating these boneless chicken wings actually included champagne. It is a celebration, after all. Once fried, the wings were coated in a light dusting of 24 karat gold flakes. It’s so painfully extravagant that it’s hard to believe, but this is actually a thing that happened. Surprisingly enough, this isn’t the first time chicken wings have been bedazzled. Prior to Popeye’s, Jonathan Cheban began serving chicken wings coated in gold flakes at The Ainsworth bars. If you happened to have a thousand dollars to spare, you could pick up fifty of these wings, along with a bottle of champagne. While you can’t get bottle service at Popeye’s, buying their gold wings wasn’t nearly as much of a hit to your wallet. 24 Karat Champagne Wings were sold as part of Popeye’s Boneless Bash Combo, meaning that you could get six wings, along with a biscuit and a side of your choosing, for only five dollars. These wings were easy to miss out on, so here’s to hoping that they bring them back to celebrate the opening of their 4000th location, whenever that may be.
KFC Waffle Double Down
One of KFC’s most popular, but controversial, food items is the Double Down, a sandwich that replaces the buns with two chicken patties. While this product is polarizing enough on its own, several KFCs worldwide drew inspiration from America’s Double Down to create their own even more shocking variations. The Philippines have the Double Down Dog, Korea has the Zinger Double Down King, and, in 2018, Canada brought us the Waffle Double Down Sandwich. In typical Double Down fashion, the buns of the Waffle Double Down Sandwich are swapped out for two fried chicken patties. In between them, you’ll find a Belgian waffle. As for condiments, the waffle has been topped off with Canadian maple aioli sauce. O, Canada. Staying true to the stereotypes, as per usual. Well, you can’t say that KFC Canada didn’t make this burger their own. The Waffle Double Down was a long time coming. The original Double Down was one of the most highly requested products in KFC Canada locations, but many customers had also been asking if a food item featuring the famous chicken and waffle pairing would be added to the menu any time soon. You can’t say KFC doesn’t give the people what they want. Combining these two highly demanded food items was genius. Absolutely bizarre, but genius. As for the maple sauce, KFC might as well have just stamped the phrase “Made in Canada” onto the bottom of each burger, eh?
Taco Bell Naked Egg Taco
Taco Bell is known for pushing the envelope when it comes to taco shells. They once used a piece of fried chicken. This time, they went for something a bit more refined. That being a fried egg. The Naked Egg Taco can be found on their breakfast menu and it actually looks…kind of beautiful. The perfectly fried egg is folded to mimic the appearance of a taco shell and is loaded with potatoes, sausage, cheese and bacon. That’s one way to get in your protein fix. The release of this food item was so hyped that you could actually reserve a table specifically for the purpose of tasting it. Restaurants in Chicago, Laguna Beach, Austin and New York participated in this promotion, allowing for many Taco Bell fans across the country to celebrate the debut of the Naked Egg Taco. The pricing of this unique product is quite reasonable. On its own, it’s just two dollars, and in a breakfast combo with a coffee, two Cinnabon Delights or a hash brown, it comes out to four dollars. While this item seems a bit weird, adding it to their breakfast menu was a smart move on Taco Bell’s part. Breakfast foods, especially at fast food establishments, often involve some sort of bread or pastry. It’s difficult for anyone with a gluten intolerance to find cheap and quick breakfasts to-go, so innovations like this provide them with convenient options. Eggs are also loaded with protein, so this taco will provide long-lasting satisfaction that’ll help you get through your busy mornings. Pair it with a coffee, and you’ll be ready to conquer the day.
Pizza Hut Cheeseburger Crust Pizza
This Pizza Hut creation is ridiculously aesthetically pleasing. Between the shape and the colors, it looks like a work of art. Bring on all the Instagrams. They say don’t mess with perfection, but that’s exactly what Pizza Hut went and did. They decided to reinvent their pizza crust by adding — wait for it — ten mini hamburgers around the outside. The beef patties are almost folded into the crust, which sticks out of the circumference of the pizza like the petals of a flower. Like the rest of the pizza, the hamburgers are topped with cheese, which has melted to gooey perfection. As unappetizing as this sounds, you still might think that it could be fun to try, just for laughs right? Think again — a large will cost you about thirty bucks. What’s kind of awkward about this pizza is that it’s basically Pizza Hut ripping off their own idea. Not long before the release of the Cheeseburger Crust Pizza in the United States, Pizza Hut locations in the Middle East came out with the Cheeseburger Crown Crust Pizza. There’s no need to describe the latter to you in any detail, because it’s literally identical to the former. The Cheeseburger Crust Pizza is marketed as having “all the fun without the bun,” but it looks like a stomach ache waiting to happen, which can probably be universally agreed upon as not being anyone’s idea of fun. This pizza is just confusing, because, with the way it’s designed, you would probably just end up eating the pizza and the burger separately, so then why even bother? Sometimes more isn’t better.
KFC Fried Salmon
KFC Japan is going off-brand and putting chicken on the back burner to bring customers some interesting seasonal specials. Japan is big on seasonal food; it’s one of the ways restaurants draw clients in. KFC decided to try its hand at this marketing technique, ringing in autumn with two new additions to their menu. The theme? Fried salmon. For less than four dollars, you can buy yourself a Fried Salmon Sandwich, which, other than a panko breaded salmon filet, contains lettuce, tartar sauce and basil sauce. All of this lies between two incredibly soft and fluffy white buns. The other new item is a simple filet of fried salmon. Like the filet in the sandwich, it’s coated with panko breadcrumbs. It’s cooked as well as any fried chicken you can get from the fast food chain; crunchy on the outside, but still soft on the inside. The condiment of choice for this product is tartar sauce, which is used on the sandwich as well. The main reason this dish is so jarring is that salmon is pretty universally acknowledged as being one of the healthiest foods out there. Doctors are constantly recommending that you eat a filet of salmon for dinner. This probably isn’t what they were talking about. Fish and chips is already a thing, so this shouldn’t be too hard to wrap your head around, but it still feels weird coming from KFC. It’s interesting to see them branching out into seafood. They’ve done it before in China, with the Shrimp Burger, but, after so many years of seeing KFC exclusively produce chicken, it’s only natural to be skeptical.
McDonald’s Nutella Burger
Italians are usually praised for their delicious foods. Pastas, pizzas, cannoli, gelato. Sweet or savory, it’s all amazing. But have they taken it too far? The country that, during World War II, gave us Nutella has now done the unspeakable. They put it on a burger. The Sweety con Nutella is a new dessert item on the McDonald’s menu, available only at locations in Italy. It’s a simple burger. Just two classic buns, filled with a thick layer of everyone’s favorite chocolate and hazelnut spread. It’s reminiscent of Taco Bell’s Chocoladilla, which isn’t necessarily a compliment. The Nutella Burger is designed to look like it contains a beef patty, but never fear, there aren’t any unwanted surprises waiting inside. It’s just pure chocolatey goodness. Talk about carbs on carbs on carbs. The packaging of the Sweety con Nutella is the same as that of any other McDonald’s burger, which is actually a very cute touch. This burger feels a bit unnecessary, as you could easily make it at home if you wanted to. And did the world really need a dessert burger? We could question McDonald’s decisions all day long. Instead, we’ll just accept the existence of this burger and move on. Hamburger buns are usually paired with savory fillings, so it’s strange to see them utilized in a desert. It’s perfectly understandable if you plan on skipping this new creation and order a McFlurry for dessert instead. Sometimes the oldies are in fact the goodies. While some people might prefer just sticking to classic Nutella on toast, if you’re feeling adventurous, treat yourself to this chocolate sandwich. When in Rome and all that.