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Ah, fast food. My old obsession. As I've said before, there's something to be admired about a restaurant that's so well-run, so beloved, that it's capable of spreading its grasp of a demographic from one coast to another. They are well-oiled machines that show how powerful marketing, good management, and a little bit of luck can be.
Over the years, fast food has created amazing dishes—particularly when it comes to dishes that taste delicious while you're high. Some, such as the Nachos BellGrande from Taco Bell, have stuck around for decades. Others? Well... they weren't so lucky.
Of the failed fast food menu items that the world has enjoyed, there are some that we honestly wish would come back. Do you remember these epic gems?
When it comes to great failed fast food menu items, you really can't go without discussing the McRib. It's one of the most famous failed McDonald's menu items in history—and also one of the most delicious, if you believe the reviews about it.
The problem with the McRib was that it was dogged by rumors. What was the meat inside supposed to be? Why did most people really not care? Who knows? The only things we really know for sure is that the McRib was discontinued despite being overwhelmingly popular—and that it occasionally still shows its face from time to time.
Wendy's Frescata Sandwiches
Back during the 2000s, the film Super Size Me pointed out how bad fast food really is for your body. Fast food companies started to take note of diving sales, and came up with a nice array of menu items that would cater to people who wanted a healthier snack.
In 2006, Wendy's came out with Frescata Sandwiches, a bunch of deli fresh sandwiches that had an artisan twist. They were delicious. The long prep times they took, though, ended up being their undoing. By 2007, they were gone and became one of the most deeply missed failed fast food items of the decade.
Long John Silver's Peg Legs
Back in the 1970s, Long John Silver's was known for having a much more pirate-y theme than today's establishments. The biggest issue most people have with this fast food restaurant chain is that they really don't have many menu options that weren't fish-based.
In the 70s and 80s, the pirate theme really sank into the menu with fried chicken drumsticks called Peg Legs. These drumsticks were fried with the same crispy batter they used for fish, and actually made the drums super light and crunchy.
These days, the pirate theme is a little less—but then again, so are the number of stores. If the trend continues, you might end up seeing Long John Silver's becoming one of the chain restaurants about to go extinct.
Taco Bell's Seafood Salad
Okay, to a point, it's easy to see why this ranks among failed fast food items. It's seafood from a chain that's notoriously not seafood-related at all. However, just the thought of what Taco Bell could have done with this makes me really wish I was born earlier.
During the 80s, the US was going through a seafood craze and plenty of companies wanted to cash in. Taco Bell was one of these companies, but unfortunately, they did not succeed. The salad itself was reportedly tasty, but after a large number of food poisoning reports, it got pulled off shelves for good.
McDonald’s Arch Deluxe
McDonald’s Arch Deluxe was one of those burgers that had great reviews and a loyal following, but just fell through the cracks. This 1990s-era burger was supposed to be a "grown up" version of the classic McDonald's sandwich during a time when McDs was just known for catering to kids.
It was very tasty, had a larger bun, and also just had better quality meat. The Arch Deluxe actually worked out fairly well for several years. That being said, it was discontinued in the early 2000s since the Angus burger started to gain way more traction in that demographic.
The marketing money spent on the Deluxe was massive, and sadly, it never really caught on. Those of us who remember it, though, will tell you it was a great meal. Arch Deluxe, we miss you!
Friendly's Grilled Cheese Burger Melt
The American restaurant industry is known for calorie bombs, and to a point, fast food has a reputation of being an itis-inducing race to the fattiest, most indulgent and decadent menu item on the map.
Friendly's, arguably one of the first fast casual restaurants to really exist, blew most others out of the water when they created the Grilled Cheese Burger Melt. This monstrosity was nicknamed the "heart attack on a plate," because of its insane 1,100-plus calorie measurement.
The Grilled Cheese Burger Melt was a hamburger that was placed in between two grilled cheese sandwiches, with bacon added in the middle. It was discontinued because there are certain things that are just too grossly decadent for any menu out there—or so we assume.
As far as failed fast food menu items go, this one might be one of the most unhealthy out there. That's saying something.
Burger King's Shake-Em-Up Fries
Burger King has had quite a few failed fast food menu items that were noteworthy, but not many were quite as "90s-style" as Shake-Em-Up Fries. These were french fries that had little packets of dry seasoning accompany them. Diners who'd order them would drop the fries in a bag or a box, add the seasoning and shake them.
The fries tasted good, but let's be real—no one wants to have to shake their food. As a result, they ended up getting canned.
McDonld's Szechuan Sauce
Made famous by Rick and Morty, the McDonald's Szechuan Sauce was, in fact, developed as a promo for the Disney movie, Mulan. It. Was. Amazing.
Once the movie aired, execs decided to take it off the menu forever—and it was only after crazed fans demanded it to be back that McDonald's brought it back. (Sadly, it only lasted about a week, making it one of the best discontinued fast food sauces.)
It was good. Like, real good. Rick Sanchez definitely had good taste. That's why I'd say it's the best gift for Rick and Morty fans might just be a container of this sauce... or just a good recipe for a dupe.
Admittedly, this is not necessarily qualified as far as being a member of the "failed fast food menu items" goes, but if you think about it, the real failure here is that McDonald's didn't make it permanent.
Sonic's Pickle-O's are exactly what you'd expect them to be: fried pickles. Back in the olden days, the original restaurant chain used to sell them and that's not surprising, considering that Sonic's is an Oklahoma-based chain. That being said, the whole "fried pickle" thing ran out of juice some time in the 1960s.
Then, in the 2000s, upper management decided to bring them back. They were juicy, crispy, and oh, so good. Though initial interest flared up, the truth was that the interest dropped and they were pulled off the menu.
Rumor has it that you can still order them on the secret menu, though. Not that surprising, considering that this company has made pickle juice smoothies in recent years. Yep. Sonic's loves their pickles.
Taco Bell's Volcano Nachos
Taco Bell is a fast food chain that really, truly gets inventive with their goods. This means that they've had quite a few failed fast food menu items that were gross—and a handful that would make any hungover stoner's eyes well up with tears.
This dish was actually spicy, gooey, and tasty. It lasted for 10 years, then Taco Bell decided to flip the bird on their customers and pulled it from the menu. Some of us are still grieving.