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Foods you wish the big 'fast-food' drive-through would offer.

Remember the 'McRib'?
GOD those were tasty back in the eighties! I really did miss them. Now some 'Golden Arches' are serving them again but not around here.
Got me thinking about what fast foods I could go for.
The first comes to mind would be a 'McTurkey' burger. Same processed 'meat product' as the 'Mc Chicken'. They could offer it with mayo and cranberry sauce and some shredded ice berg lettuce.
How about a Wendy's 'Salmonator' burger? Salmon patty with iceberg lettuce/ lingonberry confit and a smear of cream cheese.
Any others you'd be willing to try if they were on offer?

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  1. I would love to be able to get authentic tamales in a drive through in my area of NC (hell, I would love to be able to walk in a restaurant and buy them).

    And, I know this won't happen, but I would love to be able to drive through a White Castle and get burgers, fish sandwiches w/tartar sauce and onion rings like they had back in 60's-70's,,,all change is not always from the better!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cherylptw

      Move to Houston and it's a done deal, tamales that is.

        1. re: carolinadawg

          Already happening around here in Virginia.

      1. A 'meaty' veggie burger. When I was in the UK, I had a really terrific Veggie Whopper at Burger King, and I dunno if it was Quorn or some other substance, but it was savory, juicy, and very satisfying -- a great burger. Back here in the states, the best you can hope for is the awful microwaved Gardenburgers at BK.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Boston_Otter

          If you're near a red robin their veggie burgers actually don't suck, and five napkin burgers is actually really good

        2. FYI, the McRib was around well past the eighties and it still makes an annual appearance, at least in the Chicago market.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ferret

            McRib also made an appearance in NE North Carolina in the last three weeks...

            1. re: Cherylptw

              McRib is still here in my part of the midwest.

              Starts after T'Giving and they run them until they run out.

              Usually about a week from now.

              I do one every other week which means it's McRib for 1pm NFL football game tomorrow.

              Yum for me.
              And I even own 2 smokers and did awesome smoked beef ribs over Xmas holiday.

              Time and place baybee. Time and place.


          2. I would love to see hot dogs and all the fixins ....McDog!!!!

            I do not understand why hot dogs aren't offered at burger joints.....

            11 Replies
            1. re: Raffles

              McDs has tried and failed at serving hot dogs in the past.

              Hot dog likes and dislikes are too regional for a national chain. The all beef garlic spiced dog preferred in NY is not going to sell in the deep south, just as the bright red colored dog wouldn't sell in New England.
              Beef/Pork/Chicken/Blend? Too many varieties, not like a beef hamburger sold all over the country.

              And don't get me started with toppings: Kraut, onions, Cney Island onion/tomato sauce, Chicago salad, southern cole slaw, relish....the list goes on and on

              1. re: bagelman01

                You are probably right about this. Still, I'd like it if I could get a decent basic hot dog anywhere in the country. One of the first things I miss when I'm away from Chicago is the hot dog stands all over the place. A national chain could offer a basic beef dog in a steamed bun with optional mustard, onions and ketchup on the side.

                Actually, come to think of it Costco and Sam's Club have become the de facto national hot dog fast food chains.

                1. re: RealMenJulienne

                  Dairy Queen offers hot dogs. Also some darn good onion rings.

                  1. re: James Cristinian

                    The Sonic Chili Dog will do for me in a pinch. I have really no other good option. I miss the Greek hotdog chili.

                    1. re: James Cristinian

                      Oh come on. It's a hot dog, not beef Wellington. There's a pretty limited way in which a hotdog can be "terrible".

                      We've had pretty good luck overall with Sonic's offerings, including the various dogs.

                    1. re: littleflower

                      Isn't Hardee's Carls Jr. out here?

                      I got an email from Carl's Jr. yesterday advertising 2 Chili Dogs.

                      1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                        Yes, Hardees is called Carl's Jr on the west coast. Same company and food but they offer a couple of slightly different menu options at each due to regional taste preferences. Ex: Hardees here in in the Southern states offers country ham biscuits, and the Carls Jr's in CA does not.

                    2. re: Raffles

                      James Coney Island, the dominant hot dog purveyor here, has had drive-thrus since the 1970s. Chili pies are great; their burgers and other sandwiches suck. Multiple locations.

                    3. I'd line up if McDonald's offered 'classic fries,' fried in beef tallow like they used to be when Julia Child liked them.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: fleenshop

                        That's a wonderful suggestion. Likely they would outsell the modern McD fries, though, which would be a headache for Ronald.

                      2. I've always wondered why McD's never made onion rings. Is there a reason?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: mucho gordo

                          Apparently they do in some other markets, like the UK.

                          I'm still convinced the best fast food onion rings are at all places Dairy Queen

                          1. re: Firegoat

                            White Castle also does a very respectable onion ring/petal.

                        2. Drive through bakery would be my ideal! Other than that, how about some kind of choose-your-own-toppings-drive-through-salad place?

                          1. I wish McDonald's would offer an extra-large (supersized?) Filet-O-Fish.

                            Short of that, I wish McDonald's would offer a "10:50 Filet-O-Fish" as a standard menu item.

                            10 Replies
                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              They occasionall offer the double filet but it's the wrong proportions.

                              1. re: ferret

                                I want double, or bigger, of everything. Fish, bun, tarter sauce, cheese etc.

                                  1. re: ferret

                                    I do.

                                    But that means unwrapping twice. Wasted movement.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      Are you a Therblig scholar? Frank Gilbreth would be proud.

                                  2. re: ipsedixit

                                    Order it with double fish etc. I do that at JIB, I order a biscuit with two eggs and two slices of cheese. I get what I want without having to buy two and I don't want the meat and two biscuits. Custom order also makes sure its fresh.

                                    1. re: paprkutr

                                      Double fish throws off the ratio.

                                      It's all about the perfect confluence of squishy bread, breaded fish product, a cheese product and tartar sauce.

                                      Too much, or less, of any vis-a-vis to any other creates an in balance in the Force.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        One of the very few times I've complained about food at McDs (because, really, it's a low bar) was when they failed to steam the bun for the Filet o Fish. The manager professed not to get why it mattered. Honestly. There are the 4 elements you mentioned....any one missing and it's awful.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  That would frigging kill it ipsy!
                                  Mine has to have a small fry squished with extra tartar sauce...yours with a hash brown.

                                  Devoted Filet O' Fish Chica

                                2. I haven't eaten McDonalds in years but back then I loved McDLT. I might consider revisiting if they brought it back.

                                  1. fast-food?

                                    well, i guess i'm a sucker for five guys. glad the closest one is half hour away, for the sake of my waistline.

                                    1. This isn't really responsive to your question, but I wish Five Guys would put in drive-thrus. Although maybe not, b/c then I'd probably get their fries a lot more often than I should!

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: HeyImBack

                                        The Five Guys in New Haven, CT had a drive thru for the first year after they opened (the location used to be a bank). It was closed down because customers grew impatient waiting for cooked to order food. Five Guys standards allow up to 6 minutes from order to delivery of burger and fries (compare to McD's under a minute goals). Couple this with state laws limiting idling your engine no more than 2 mi nutes and a Five Guys drive thru is a recipe for disaster.

                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                          A Burger King in the LA area tells you to park your car and someone will bring the food to you when it's ready. Rather than close down, that might have been a viable alternative for 5 guys.

                                          1. re: mucho gordo

                                            The lot wasn't condusive to a holding area. The drive thru was a very large covered area (formerly 2 banking lanes) and now is a shaded area with picnic tables for al fresco dining, if you don't mind gasoline fumes or 6 dgree weather.

                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                              No thanks. I wouldn't want to dine al fresco there but then, I wouldn't go to BK either. Their slogan is a big lie; you can't 'have it your way'.

                                          2. re: bagelman01

                                            Too bad they didn't come up with a way to send the food via pneumatic tube. Now that would be cool!

                                            1. re: pedalfaster

                                              Back in the early 80s they put a drivethru in the Wendy's location on Federal Rd in Danbury, CT. The kitchen was on the far side of the restaurant from the drive thru. They put in a conveyor system 12" wide. The kitchen put the completed bags with the order on the conveyor, it rode above the counters and walkway to the restroom and came down in an outdoor booth where there was an attendant with a cash register and a soda dispenser. The attendant pulled the bag off the conveyor and handed it to you thru the window.
                                              I remember an independent drivein in the early 60s in Westchester county, NY that tried a delivery system direct to the car, but it couldn't handle drinks without spilling.

                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                That conveyor system doesn't sound too appealing. How did it work out for them?

                                                1. re: mucho gordo

                                                  worked fine for about 20 years until the tore down the restaurant and rebuild from ground up with drive thru right off the kitchen

                                        2. I wish In-N-Out would offer a chili burger and a chicken burger.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: malibumike

                                            The charm, and really the genius, of In N Out is its simplicity and its admirable, even stubborn, insistence on a basic menu that says, you get burgers, fries, soda and shakes. And nothing else.

                                            Sure, you can mix and match, do some funky things (secret menu, anyone?), but at the end of the day when you come to In N Out you're basically going to be eating some form or combo of burgers, fries and a sugary drink.

                                            1. re: malibumike

                                              I wish In n Out would come to New England.

                                            2. Bring back BellBeefer / BellBurger, Taco Bell!

                                              1. Jimmy Johns drive thru. Or some good sub sandwich drive thru.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: venice4504

                                                  Huh, all the Jimmy Johns in Boise have drive throughs...

                                                  1. re: venice4504

                                                    Our Jimmy John's has a drive thru and it's the BEST!

                                                  2. This may surprise some, but why can't the major fast-food chains offer a chicken burger. Just a patty of ground chicken (both dark and white meat) instead of a hunk of white meat breaded and deep fried. Just chicken meat instead of beef would be a pleasant change of pace.

                                                      1. re: melpy

                                                        I thought about falafel, too. Falafel, gyros, kebabs. I'd love the takeaway curry that is served in England.

                                                        1. re: Tara57

                                                          There's a drive-thru gyro place near my work (in metro Denver). It's awesome.

                                                      2. Veggie Burgers!

                                                        I'm not much of a fast food chica except an In and Out yearly run and a Filet O' Fish craving with fries squished inside and extra tartar.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                                          Here in southern Connecticut the Duchess fast food chain has Veggie Burgers on the menu and available at the drive thru


                                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                                            Wow B-man..Duchess looks great and quite extensive for a drive-thru.

                                                            Being a So. Cal gal, I would love a place like this.
                                                            I have friends in Litchfield, CT, maybe I'll have to make a stop when I'm back in the area.

                                                        2. Far more choices, but in the hot dish category I'd love to get an eggplant parm or see a veggie burger on the kids menu or a broiled piece of fish instead of a fried patty. I'd be willing to pay for that.

                                                          1. Cold water lobster, broiled with garlic butter, and a shaved fennel salad with lemon dressing.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: Robin Joy

                                                              Boiled crawfish and blue crabs, toss the shells out the window. Biodegradable, right? Your car, not mine and while we're at it a dozen oysters on the half shell.

                                                                1. re: Tara57

                                                                  Already found in different places in New Orleans.

                                                                2. re: James Cristinian

                                                                  Crawfish City, Bellaire @ Sugar Land - Howell has a drive thru; not sure about the blue crabs or oysters.

                                                                  Eating them in the car is optional.

                                                                  And of course it's not a chain so I guess it doesn't count?

                                                              1. POUTINE.

                                                                I have NO idea which of the chains could pull it off, but they seem to do it easily in Canada. I suppose it's the cheese curds that'd be the hardest thing for a chain to do *well*.

                                                                Still haven't tried TJ's version, but it's getting good reviews. But it'd be nice to have SOME chain down here do it better than adequately, served hot and fresh.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: annagranfors

                                                                  KFC or Popeyes....places that already do fries and gravy....just have to add the cheese curds (which could also be sold separately, fried...)...

                                                                  1. re: annagranfors

                                                                    I had McPoutine in several Canadian McDonalds. They were... okay. Gravy on fries with respectable cheese curds.

                                                                  2. Eggplant or portobello mushroom-based entrees.

                                                                      1. re: Firegoat

                                                                        fwiw, Fazoli's has pizza by the slice in their drive through...limited selection though...only cheese and/or pepperoni

                                                                        1. re: Christine

                                                                          Is Fazoli's still even around nowadays?

                                                                          1. re: cornedhash

                                                                            I just read that Pizza Hut is trying pizza by the slice in two new locations. It's like they read mymind.

                                                                              1. re: enbell

                                                                                Fazolis used to have halfway decent pizza slices..
                                                                                tried them about sixmonths ago I think tthey changed the way that they make them and it tasted awful. Blech.

                                                                          2. re: Firegoat

                                                                            There was a drive-thru pizza chain here about 30 years ago, Bambolino's. Most of the locations closed after a short time, one hung on for years but added an outdoor deck and eventually moved to a larger place with a dining room. I think there's still a drive thru but nobody uses it. The problem with the one near me was turnover - pies sat under a heat lamp too long - or had to be re-heated and sometimes badly burned.

                                                                            All the original locations were kiosks.

                                                                            There's a new place opening up near a busy intersection with virtually no parking and will offer a drive thru - remains to be seen if the pizza will be any good.

                                                                          3. A couple of Mom and Pop's here are drive-thru boudin huts, but none close to me, unfortunately. Also boudin balls.

                                                                            1. I wonder if Wendy's used Arnold to advertise the Salmonator burger...?

                                                                              1. Pho. Good pho, though, not some chain crap.

                                                                                I most often crave pho when I'm sick or tired, so drive through would be perfect.

                                                                                1. I wish someone would carry buffalo burgers! I would happily pay a little extra for them.

                                                                                    1. re: Kat

                                                                                      There is a chain of low-cost sushi shops in San Francisco that was planning to change its name to McSushi, but apparently they received letters from McDonald's lawyers threatening action. So, they ended up calling themselves...
                                                                                      We Be Sushi

                                                                                      1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                        And You See Sushi over by UCSF on Judah!

                                                                                    2. A good fast food Indian cooking. I'd even go for McDonalds serving their Indian food here.

                                                                                      An homage to my bro: Bagna Càuda. A place called " Bagna Càuda Delight" would suffice.

                                                                                      1. Popcorn shrimp. Fried clams. Japanese pickles.

                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: rainey

                                                                                          Popeyes, Long John Silvers, and Captain D's have popcorn shrimp.

                                                                                          If you want fried clam strips, they're pretty easy to find at any seafood place (LJS has them, for sure). If you mean whole-belly clams, you'll need to go to a good New England clam shack :)

                                                                                          1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                            Sorry. Have never heard of Captain D's and haven't seen a Popeye's or Long John Silver in my area of Los Angeles in decades.

                                                                                            1. re: rainey

                                                                                              I'm not sure where you are but there's a Long John Silver in the Pacoima/Sun Valley area

                                                                                              1. re: rainey

                                                                                                There used to be three big seafood chains: Captain D's, Long John Silvers, and Arthur Treachers. The latter's long gone, Captain D's has very few locations left (I found one in San Francisco, that's the closest) and LJS has slimmed way down, too. So around LA, you're right, your choices are probably pretty hard to find!

                                                                                                1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                  You forgot about H Salt which is also almost nonexistant in the L. A. area. There used to be at least 3 of them and now I only know of 2

                                                                                          2. Thanks for asking .. this is something I think about way more than I probably should. I want a spicy grilled chicken sandwich...how hard can that be! All of the spicy chicken sandwiches I've ever found are deep fried and the only deep fried sandwich I eat is the deep-fried pork tenderloin sandwich when I'm in Iowa. Also, some chain should offer deep-fried pork tenderloin sandwiches like they make them in Iowa. Also, they should have Runza Huts in the Pacific Northwest and somebody needs to start offering Tuna and Cheese Frenchies.

                                                                                            1. I am generally antagonistic toward any recipe that sacrifices flavor for health. (Yeah, just so that's clear, I dislike recipes that taste less good than the original configuration so that the eater can enjoy the delusion that he/she is eating "healthy". Naturally healthy recipes that have not been manipulated by sacrificing flavor are another story.)

                                                                                              One exception, for me, however, was the McLean Burger from McDonald's. McDonald's burgers don't taste like anything anyways, so why not eat a burger that tasted like nothing but was delicious because all of the toppings put on it? That was the McLean Burger.

                                                                                              The patty was dry (due to the fat being removed from the hamburger meat with warm water before frying) and tasted like nothing, but if you put tomatoes, lettuce, ketchup, mustard, onions, and pickles on it, you couldn't detect the difference from a regular McDonald's burger, unless you really, really thought about it. The McLean burger was a great "place holder" in the sense that you needed something with some texture to fool your mouth and the burger did a great job of doing that.

                                                                                              Just putting all the toppings on a hamburger bun was not satisfying, but McDonald's ersatz burger did the trick and the caloric savings were impressive.

                                                                                              On the opposite end of the spectrum, I loved the deep-fried apple and cherry "pies" which Mc Donald's offered in the 1970s (?). This consisted a of dough tube which had been deep fried. The dough was crunchy and salty, with a the filling being a sweet contrast to the dough. It must have been about a million calories, but, boy, was it good!

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: gfr1111

                                                                                                FYI, they aren't quite the same, but the fried apple pies from Popeyes are a great throwback to the 'good ol' days'.

                                                                                                1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                  Many years ago I used to pick up a 'Wendy's burger'. The one with the square patty. IMO back then I thought Wendy's was the best burger in town.
                                                                                                  Had one the other day on a whim in a nearby town. It was awful! Thin gray patty. Dry tasteless bun. Barely any condiments. There is a 'last time' for everything.

                                                                                                  1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                    Er, okay! The ones I've had are much thicker than they used to be with lots of condiments; sounds like you had a strangely bad experience. But since I was talking about fried apple pies, I'm not sure how that relates anyway.

                                                                                                  2. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                    If you happen to live near a Rally's/Checkers, they sell hot apple pies coated with cinnamon sugar very similar to Hardees old apple pies. Hardees still sells apple pies but the ones now are crescent shaped and do not have that yummy cinnamon sugar coating. Come to think of it, the ones Hardees sells now may be pretty close in taste to the old McDonald's ones...worth a try!