Dec 30, 2013

Top Five New Fast Food Items of 2013

2013 saw the introduction of a lot of new fast food menu items probably more so than previous years due to the landscape becoming increasingly competitive.

Since I've probably tried most of new items from the biggest fast food chains, here are my picks for the top five new fast food items I tried in 2013:

In no particular order:

1. El Pollo Loco's Mexican S'mores - While I'm not the hugest fan of s'mores in general, El Pollo Loco got it right, they basically took all the standard s'mores ingredients and wrapped it all neatly inside of a chocolate tortilla. It's all the must with none of the fuss (sorry, I just wanted to rhyme).

2. Carl's Jr. / Hardee's new Fresh-Baked Buns - Baking their premium line of hamburger buns in each restaurant, every day gives Carl's Jr. and Hardee's a nice cachet. More importantly, the buns are excellent and much better than what their biggest competitors are putting out.

3. Popeyes' Chicken Waffle Tenders - When I first heard that Popeye's was doing Chicken Waffle Tenders I was a bit dubious, but they pulled it off. They juicy, crunchy, and I liked them better than actual chicken and waffles. I think they'd be pretty nice dipped in honey or syrup rather than the honey maple dipping sauce provided though.

4. Burger King's BBQ Rib Sandwich - It wasn't amazing but Burger King's BBQ Rib Sandwich introduced this year is only $1 and sports a nice char from the flame broiler without being overly heavy on the barbecue sauce. It's simple like a barbecue sandwich should be with only pickles and onions for vegetable matter.

5. Wendy's Grilled Flatbreads - Wendy's came out with these to target customers looking for healthier options other than a salad (and they mostly marketed it towards women) similar to what McDonald's did with the introduction of McWraps this year. The difference is McWraps just feel like a giant version of McDonald's Snack Wraps, while Wendy's Grilled Flatbreads actually felt like a premium fast food product with quality produce (including spring mix with zero iceberg lettuce!) and a nice nutty multi-grain flatbread.

That's my list for 2013. If you felt I missed anything or want to share your own top five, feel free to post below in the comments!

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