In a town that elevates VIP treatment to a level that, at the very least, approaches absurdity, it makes sense that the rest of us would want a taste of it too. The easiest, and cheapest, way to be special and in-the-know? Ordering secret (and not-so-secret) off-menu stuff at fast-food joints. Full disclosure: the off-menu items contained herein cannot all be personally attested to by this author, so when you sidle up to the counter, casually ask for a "Suicide" at Burger King, and are met with a blank stare, you're on your own. (4 meat patties, 4 slices of cheese, bacon and sauce on a sesame seed bun.)
- Animal-style burgers & fries: But they don't say, for instance, that fries too, can be ordered "Animal-style," which is to say, with pickles, sauce and grilled onions.
- Grilled Cheese: You can order a "grilled cheese" (cheeseburger, hold the meat) and cheese fries too.
- Flying Dutchman: Two beef patties and two slices of cheese on a bun.
- Neopolitan Shake: They'll also make a Neapolitan shake (as will Wendy's, Fatburger, and McDonald's).
- Lemon-Up: You can wash everything down with a "Lemon-up," a mixture of Lemonade and 7-Up. So evidently, there are still ins and outs to uncover.
Fatburger has a few secrets in its bag of burgers too.
- Spanish-style burgers & fries: "Spanish-style" means a fried egg on top, and though who knows why you'd want to, you can order a burger or fries this way.
- Hypocrite: If you like your hypocrisy straight up, go ahead and order a "Hypocrite," or a Veggie burger, topped with Bacon. For bonus points, hold the mayo, order a diet coke and dump some sugar in.
- Chili-Cheese Onion Rings: For the real non-conformists among you, chili-cheese onion rings... Because chili cheese fries are so 2005. They'll also add more artery-clogging goodness to any burger in the form of a layer of fries, fat or skinny, sandwiched between the buns.
Jamba Juice has a whole rainbow of secrets with candy like flavors mimicking your childhood favorites. PB & J, Strawberry Shortcake, Fruity Pebbles, Skittles, Starbursts and Sour Patch Kids.
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Fruity Pebbles
- Gummi Bear
- PB & J
- Skittles, etc.
They're also rumored to offer a pizza smoothie, but this couldn't be confirmed.
L.A.'s own Kogi BBQ, has a plethora of specialty off-the-menu items. An item called a "Black-Jack Quesadilla was such a phenomenon, it's now on the regular menu.
- Short Rib Quesadilla
- Half and Half: Half chicken, half pork burrito.
- Two-Faced: Half salsa verde, half roja.
- The Craig dog: A spicy pork hot dog. Guess you really know you've made it in this town when a Kogi item is named after you. Alas, we have no advice as to how you make it happen.
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SHOW ME HOW
Starbucks will pretty much make anything you want, even if it is ridiculous, and smile while they're doing it.
- Red Eye: A cup of drip coffee with a shot of espresso.
- Black Eye: Drip coffee with two shots.
- French-Pressed: If however, you're feeling slightly more elegant, you can order any whole bean coffee French-pressed.
- Short Cups: For frugal days, ask for a short drink, instead of the tall, grande, and venti posted sizes. The short is a smaller cup, hence cheaper, and in a happy confluence of circumstance, a cappuccino in a short cup tastes more like a real cappuccino.
- Just about anything else: This pretty much holds true, even though no barista I found knew how to make a "Ghetto Iced Latte" (iced Americano with no water, half and half added from the accouterments counter).
If we missed some of your favorites, let us know in the comments.