Some of you who've been reading for quite a while now will remember how I used to do a weekly feature on Fridays about some of my favorite fast foods. Eventually that, like all good things, came to an end. However, the other day I stopped by the last Arby's that I knew of that served Onion Petals still (the one closest to my home having discontinued them a couple years ago), and found that, sadly, they too had stopped serving this delectable side dish. It got me started thinking about other discontinued fast food favorites and so, I present to you the Discontinued Fast Food Favorites Hall of Fame. Just to clarify some of these were only limited time availablity, but really is that any better?
1. Arby's Onion Petals
The aforementioned side dish from Arby's was different than your typical onion ring, as it wasn't deep fried until it was black and was actually more onion than batter instead of the reverse.
2. Taco Bell's Club Chalupa
Probably most famous for the commercials it spawned that talked about going "clubbin", this take on the classic chalupa featured ranch sauce and bacon.
3. Panda Express's Beef and Potato
I'm still waiting for them to come out with something that would deter me from getting a double portion of Orange Chicken in my 2-entree plate. The Beef and Potato was a good one. I always want to ask why they have sweet 'n sour pork, but not sweet 'n sour chicken.
4. Wendy's Bacon n' Cheese Baked Potato
The other day I decided I wanted one of these, only to find out that this dish, essential a potato bowl filled with bacon and cheese soup is no longer available. Apparently only healthy eaters want a baked potato and they don't want it with tons of bacon and cheese.
5. Taco Bell's BLT Soft Taco
This taco still holds a place in my heart. Growing up we never went to Taco Bell. One day in high school I went there with some friends and ordered one of these and found it to be delelectable. Sadly, I then found out it was available for a limited time only. Ah, where have you gone BLT Soft Taco.
6. McDonald's Arch Deluxe
"The Burger with the Grown Up Taste" This burger made the list for two reasons. 1) It was actually a pretty decent burger. 2) It came on the scene while I was in the midst of my 2 years of working at McDonalds. And the PR push on this one was something to behold. We got new hats, buttons, etc. Everything was about the Arch Deluxe. They changed some of the other sandwiches as well to look similar with similar buns, packaging, etc. For fun we used to welcome people to the drive-thru by saying, "Welcome to McDonalds, Home of the Arch Deluxe, the Burger with the Grown up Taste". Anyway it was a decent burger. Too bad it didn't last.
7. Arby's Western Chicken Club
I may be messing up the name on this one, but there's no messing up its worthiness of a spot in the Hall of Fame. This Arby's creation was a sliced chicken sandwich (remember when they had sliced chicken there, instead of just Crispy or Grilled chicken fillets) with lettuce, tomato, and bacon. I remember I was always amazed that it would fill me up and I wouldn't even need to order fries to go with it. Very tasty as well.
8. Wendy's Monterrey Ranch Chicken
This one is the granddaddy of them all. During my freshman year of college, I lived just down the street from a Wendys and this special menu item made its debut. Chicken breast fillet with Monterrey Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and Ranch sauce. I know it doesn't sound much different than anything else, but there's just something about this sandwich that has to be tasted to comprehend. It made a brief reappearance a few years ago, when Wendy's was cycling through a whole variety of specialty chicken sandwiches (Jazzy Blue, Wild Mountain, Parmesean Supreme), and I was able to show others why I had always remembered the Monterrey Ranch Chicken Sandwich. Sadly it is gone again now. I guess its possible that you could have ordered this sandwich during the period when Wendy's required you to build your own sandwich each time you wanted to order something, but I was always afraid I'd screw that up and get something terrible.
Feel free to leave your discontinued favorites in the comments.