Secret Menus: Where and What Are They?
Restaurants' "hidden" options gaining popularity
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: March 5th, 2013
ans of the burger chain In-N-Out are already privy to the eatery's so-called "secret menu," which involves adding variations of already-existing-in-the-restaurant ingredients to standard menu items. But last week, news of a Chipotle "Quesaritto" broke, and the idea of secret menus gained a little more speed. More restaurants have them than you may know of, and while they all offer strange, unique fare, the menus aren't exactly considered secret to many people. So where can you order "secret" stuff and what do those restaurants offer?
As previously mentioned, In-N-Out probably has the most famous secret menu. It's so famous, in fact, that the chain has started recognizing it on their website, under a link called "Not-So-Secret Menu." They offer things like a double, triple, and even quadruple cheeseburger, as well as the wildly interesting (NOT) grilled cheese. The burger joint is known for its "Animal Style" option, which involves adding a certain sauce to a burger (or fries), as well as adding mustard to the burger's beef patty while it cooks rather than after. The less-interesting "Protein Style" involves a burger wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun.
In-N-Out offers "Animal Style" burgers, Starbucks has secret Frappuccino mixes, and even Chipotle has a few tricks up its sleeve, like the "Quesarito."
As for Chipotle, its now infamous "Quesarito" is a burrito wrapped with a quesadilla instead of a plain tortilla. If you're looking for a way to get all of your calories for the day in one fell swoop, this is the way to do it, as the monstrosity clocks in at around 1,500 calories. Other secret items to be had at this taco emporium include--you may want to be sitting down for this--fresh cilantro. Which...already comes on most of their food anyways. Okay, then.
Starbucks has secret menu drinks, but they mostly involve combining pastries from the bakery case with their frozen, blended Frappuccinos to create intensely rich, likely-way-too-sweet milkshakes.
Panera has even tried its hand at secret menus, except unlike most restaurants' secret menus, which are created when a customer wants something unusual, asks for it, then it takes off, Panera created its own secret menu. They are working on figuring out a way to promote it without it coming across as, you know, a regular menu, but items include a "power breakfast" salad that are egg bowls with turkey, steak, and veggies, sort of like a deconstructed omelet. It's a little weird that Panera created its own secret menu, but we suppose everyone just wants to be in on the trend.
These are just a few places that have secret menus, and we're sure more will come. After all, if indie-rockers have taught us anything, it's that things are better and somehow more popular when fewer people know about them.
Do you have a favorite "secret menu" item?