12 Fast Food Secret Menu Items You Can Probably Skip Ordering

It took most restaurants that weren't In-N-Out Burger a while to catch on, but secret menus are an extremely popular trend in fast food. Whether its off-menu items, special custom preparations, or a trendy menu hack, it seems like pretty much every fast food establishment these days has some form of secret menu. Sometimes, though, if something is kept a secret that is because it is supposed to stay that way. Not all secret menu items are a stroke of genius.

The secret menu made way for such marvelous creations as the Animal Style Burger from In-N-Out and Chipotle's Nachos, but it also has helped keep old favorites from dying out — like in the case of Subway's defunct, but still orderable Pizza Sub. Sometimes, though, the prestige of a secret menu can lead to items that are more spectacular in concept than they are well thought-out flavor profiles. Sometimes, just because you can order something one way, it doesn't mean you should.

If you want to know which secret menu items to avoid, just follow our lead and check out these 12 fast food secret menu items you can skip ordering altogether. Take our word for it.

1. In-N-Out -- Veggie Burger

While some give a great deal of the credit for popularizing the secret menu craze to In-N-Out Burger, it doesn't give the restaurant immunity. The reputation and legacy of the In-N-Out secret menu doesn't ensure everything on the chain's expanding list of not-so-secret and secret items will be as top notch as the Double Double. Take for example, this sad option on the super secret menu — the Veggie burger. And whatever you're picturing when we say "In-N-Out Veggie Burger," we can assure you it's less exciting than what is served in reality.

Ranked consistently as one of the worst secret menu items at In-N-Out, the Veggie Burger is a weak attempt to include a vegetarian and vegan option. What the chain calls a Veggie Burger is just lettuce, tomato, onion, and spread on a bun. At least there's spread. Although if you are vegan you can't eat that either.

Regardless of dietary restrictions or preferences, this is the least satisfying item on the In-N-Out Burger menu.

2. In N Out -- Flying Dutchman

While this sandwich has more substance than the Veggie Burger, the Flying Dutchman still ranks among the In-N-Out Burger options you should probably avoid. You can skip ordering this bun-less burger for a number of reasons, least of all is how it looks.

In fact, the Flying Dutchman is far more appetizing than it looks, but it's still scraping the bottom tier of the In-N-Out secret menu. This simple creation is just two beef patties with a slice of cheese in between them. It has been ranked by Insider as one of the worst items on the menu for its lack of veggies and iconic In-N-Out spread.

While the Flying Dutchman is moderately filling and flavorful, it pales in comparison to the other gluten-free options on the menu. If you are gluten intolerant and get to order one item, we recommend you make it the Animal Style Fries or even the Lettuce Wrapped Protein-Style Burger. Both of these popular options are gluten free and more glamorous than the Flying Dutchman.

3. McDonald's -- The Land, Sea, and Air Burger

This 1300-calorie sandwich has one of the mightiest reputations of any McDonald's menu item. By combining the Big Mac, the Filet-O-Fish, and the McChicken, you will be able to create the epic Land, Sea, and Air Burger. The name is clever, but the result is an overwhelming sandwich that has a mush of flavors. Despite the fact that it has everything you could want on it, the Land, Sea, and Air Burger often falls short compared to McDonald's other secret menu offerings. Plus, it is a pain to put together that leaves you with a bunch of extra bread. 

There is a long list of McDonald's secret menu items online and like a majority of them, this one requires some assembly. Making a Land, Sea, and Air Burger out of three different sandwiches will leave you with a fair amount of wasted bun that is just going to go straight into the trash. This is all to say if you are already getting each of these individual items and constructing them yourself, it's going to be better just to eat them separately and actually enjoy your calories.

4. McDonald's -- Grilled Cheese

We get it. Sometimes you just want a couple of slices of cheese between two plain pieces of bread. While the insatiable craving for a grilled cheese sometimes hits you at an unusual hour, we strongly encourage you to hit up the supermarket before ordering one at your local McDonald's.

First off, it is possible to order and receive a grilled cheese at McDonald's. This secret menu item can be ordered by asking for a grilled cheese, or even by requesting "just cheese and bread." What you will receive is a sad, bready grilled cheese that will at the very least be undoubtedly cheap. Still, there are many better items on the McDonald's menu for not that much more money.

Ranked one of the absolute worst McDonald's secret menu items by Thrillist, your grilled cheese is going to taste like what it is — too much hamburger bun surrounding one slice of American cheese. The melty and crispy elements of the best grilled cheese won't be found under the Golden Arches. Don't even try.

5. Burger King -- Quad Stacker

Also dubbed the Suicide Burger, this secret item will be enough to fill your daily caloric and nutritional needs — and more in some categories. The Quad Stacker from Burger King is almost exactly what it sounds like. This secret item you can order at Burger King has everything the BK Stacker does, only it's twice the size.

If you order a single, double, or triple Stacker from the Burger King menu you will get the number of patties you ordered, plus bacon and Stacker sauce. However, if you order a Quad Stacker, or call it a Suicide Burger, you might get some funny looks from the folks behind the counter. Just let them know you want an extra patty on your Triple Stacker. Or don't.

The Quad Stack is just 800 calories worth of bread and meat and for what you are paying for doesn't equal up to any more satisfaction than a Triple Stacker. So just get one of those and move along with your BK order.

6. Arby's -- Meat Mountain

If, for some reason, you hear the words Meat Mountain and come running, we urge you to turn around before it's too late. You see, the Arby's Meat Mountain is not an item meant to be eaten. It is meant to be a challenge. This monster of a sandwich is not recommended for consumption by the average human being. Save this one for the influencers and professionals, kids.

Arby's Meat Mountain is stacked sky high with roast beef, bacon, brisket, chicken tenders, corned beef, ham, and turkey — oh and a few cheese slices in there for good measure, but who can really taste that amid the pile of hot meats? The Meat Mountain truly has to be seen to be believed, but beyond giving it a look we don't recommend touching it with a four-foot pole.

Journalist Joe Froemming wrote a review of the Meat Mountain for the Off The Record blog entitled, "I Survived Arby's Meat Mountain Sandwich" where he compared the experience of eating the sandwich to being "hit by a truck that was followed by a clubbing by that barbed wire bat Negan uses in 'Walking Dead.'"

7. Taco Bell -- Double-Grilled Quesadilla

Here is an item you can skip not because it's overly indulgent or has plans to ruin your day. No, this secret menu item from Taco Bell is, in theory, a way to enhance a fan-favorite item from the Tex-Mex chain. We are talking about the double-grilled quesadilla.

Taco Bell's quesadillas are a beloved menu item, but did you know that you can ask to get them extra crispy by having them double grilled? While you will probably get an affirmative from the employee behind the counter, the truth is for the most part, you won't really see a difference between ordering this modified or getting the regular quesadilla. Whether it doesn't actually make the quesadilla crispier all the time or employees don't want to waste the time (or a combination of both factors), the results on the double-grilled quesadilla are often quite disappointing. 

Honestly, you can try this one. It won't cost you anything. But all signs indicate that you are wasting breath by ordering the double-grilled quesadilla at Taco Bell.

8. Starbucks -- Butterbeer Frappuccino

Of all the establishments on this list, Starbucks takes the cake for having the largest secret menu. The number of off-menu drinks you can get from Starbucks is astounding. Whether it be fan-made creations or old-favorites that used to be on the menu, whatever secret menu item you want you can probably get it at Starbucks if you ask. Obviously not all of these drinks are going to be hits, but one that is reported to be especially magical has turned out to be a bit of a let down. Enter, the Butterbeer Frappuccino. 

Based on the drink from the Wizarding world of "Harry Potter" that you can find at Universal Studios, this Starbucks secret menu item claims to have a butterscotch taste similar to what you can find in Hogsmeade. All you have to do to make this creation according to Hack The Menu is to order a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with two pumps of caramel syrup and two pumps of toffee nut syrup, followed by a caramel drizzle on top. That might sound like a lot of sugary syrup and it certainly is. Those four extra pumps are going to cost your wallet and count as one of your daily meals. 

9. KFC -- Poutine

It's hard to find good poutine in a lot of places, especially in America. If you have a good local joint that pulls off this Canadian delicacy, consider yourself lucky. If you don't, though, you can also find this item somewhere you are more likely to have nearby — KFC. Yes, that's right. You can get poutine, or at least an attempt at it, at your local KFC.

Basic poutine has three ingredients: fries, gravy, and cheese curds. Each is as important as the last. In order to get this specialty secret menu item, you are going to have to get lucky and go to a KFC that has cheese curds in stock. According to Hack The Menu, the further north you go (closer to Canada), the more likely you are to find this.

This secret KFC menu item will do in a pinch, but this poor man's poutine is probably not going to satisfy your cravings for the Canadian favorite. It's certainly not worth taking a trek up to Maine to try and find out.

10. KFC -- Triple Down

The KFC Double Down is currently on the menu. This fast food sandwich gives new meaning to the words epic sandwich, by putting slices of cheese and bacon between two pieces of fried chicken as the buns. If that doesn't sound extreme enough for you, the Double Down being on the menu also gives you the opportunity to order its older brother off the secret menu. We are talking about the Triple Down. 

This sandwich is basically a Big Mac made out of Double Downs. This means you have a chicken breast, a layer of sauce, bacon, and cheese, followed by another chicken layer and another cheesy bacon layer before you top the whole thing off with a third chicken breast. Apparently, you can also order it as a Double Down with an extra filet. Regardless of how you try and order it, we recommend you stick to the Double Down. Seriously, have you tried the Double Down? If you can seriously walk out after eating of one of those wanting more, just down some coleslaw and at least get some cabbage in your system. 

11. Wendy's -- Meat Cube

If there is one through-line to be found in these lowlights of the fast food secret menu world, it is that sometimes more meat is too much meat. That is typified in this Wendy's burger that is simply put, excessive. The Meat Cube is a pound of meat, in the form of four square Wendy's patties, topped with lettuce, onion, ketchup, and mayo on a bun. But as we all know with secret menu items like this, those veggies are purely optional.

Basically, this burger is a Dave's Quadruple, the four patty variety of the standard Wendy's cheeseburger. However, the Dave's Quadruple is not and has never been on the Wendy's menu. You are probably going to get fewer funny looks trying to order it that way than by saying "Meat Cube," but either way we recommend you just abstain from the order.

The Meat Cube is one of the worst fast food secret menu items because the balance of ingredients is off, aka there is too much beef and not enough everything else. It's certainly not worth ruining your night for it.

12. Chipotle -- Quesarito

While there might be some in your life who have sworn that the Chipotle Quesarito is amazing, we don't think it's worth it. This burrito wrapped in a quesadilla sounds like something Taco Bell would whip up. And while you can ask for it at Chipotle, we recommend you don't for a couple of reasons.

For starters, you are going to get one hot burrito since everything at Chipotle is made to order. This grilled and hot burrito shell may lead to some burnt fingers. And that molten cheese is sure to get everywhere.

You might be saying those aren't huge problems, but it is also worth noting how reliant the Chipotle system is on nothing slowing it down. Ordering a Quesarito won't just make you wait a long time for your order, but everyone behind you as well. It will also make the workers miserable.

"They bog down the line in an already faulty system," one employee said in a Reddit post. According to that Reddit post, Quesaritos "require a relatively large amount of time to prepare. Ordering one during a rush takes a worker away from the line that could be utilized elsewhere."

Static Media owns and operates Daily Meal and Mashed.