Indisputably* the Best Value Menu Food Items

While cleaning out my minivan last summer, I was ashamed by how many Sonic mints were left in that little rectangular compartment in front of the cup holders. There were at least a dozen. I wasn’t ashamed that I had left them there or that I hadn’t cleaned my car for so long that I had allowed them to pile up; I was ashamed because I had cleaned out just as many the week before. My name is Jeff Postlewaite and I’m a fast food junkie.

I know that as we get older our favorites change from pizza to more dignified foods, but I think most of us are lying to ourselves. If I had to give up either cheeseburgers or steak for the rest of my life…sayonara, Ribeye. Nachos or chicken alfredo? Don’t expect me to give up stadium food for a night at Olive Garden. Crab legs or chili cheese dogs? I’d never touch another crustacean. Ok, so I’m allergic to shellfish, but my point still remains: Junk food is delicious and I would rather eat a good bacon cheeseburger than just about anything else on the planet.

——-Jeff, make sure you come back and insert a paragraph here about the dangers of eating too much fast food as it can lead to extreme obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other physical problems. You don’t want to be accused of negatively influencing all 30 people who will read this.——-

Since I have so much experience with fast food and am a self-proclaimed expert on the subject, I thought I would make a list of the best fast food value menu items. Here are the rules:

  1. My opinion is the only one that matters on this list. If you disagree with a selection or if I left off your favorite, leave a comment and I’ll tell you why you’re wrong. Who knows? Maybe I made a mistake, it’s happened before. (note to self- write a blog post about that time I was wrong.)
  2. To be included on this list, items must be 1 USD or less. Value menu items shouldn’t be $1.29 or $1.49. I realize this leaves off some great food (Sonic’s chicken strip sandwich is awesome but it’s over a buck).
  3. Regular prices only. Don’t try to sneak onto this list with specials. This list only includes items that are regularly found on the value menu
  4. Flavor and fill-up-ability both count. Some items taste great but the value version is so small it can’t be considered  a good value (I’m looking at you, Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait).

In no particular order, these are Indisputably* the Best Value Menu Food Items:

Taco Bell, Beefy 5-Layer Burrito. The five layers are beef, beans, sour cream, cheese, and more cheese. That’s right. Outside of the tortilla is a layer of nacho cheese then another tortilla. This creative, double-decker strategy ensures even cheese distribution and maximum flavor in each bite. The 5-layer burrito also holds the distinction of containing the most calories of any item on this list (540).

Burger King, Whopper Jr. The Whopper has been one of my favorite burgers since I discovered my love for fattening food, so of course I love this slightly smaller version at less than half the price. Flame broiled beef, lettuce, tomato, onions, mayo, and ketchup on a sesame seed bun—what’s not to love?

KFC, Snacker. This is a rather small chicken sandwich, but is just large enough to avoid being lumped in with the Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait. The great thing about this item is that it is really three as there are different varieties- Crispy (standard chicken sandwich with lettuce and mayonnaise), honey BBQ (pulled chicken smothered in BBQ sauce), and buffalo (crispy chicken in buffalo sauce). Buffalo is my favorite, but all three have their merits and would be included on this list on their own.

McDonald’s, McDouble. When the Golden Arches introduced this I was really skeptical. After all, it’s just a double cheeseburger with one instead of two slices of cheese. I thought Ronald was pulling a fast one over on the American public. But, after actually trying one, I realized I liked it better than Mickey D’s double cheeseburger. Believe it or not, the beef to cheese ratio is right for their fried burgers. Burger King tried to imitate it with the Buck Double, but their flame-broiled beef needs a slice of cheese per patty.

Wendy’s, Crispy Chicken Caesar Wrap. I’m a sucker for anything in a tortilla. This is a flavorful, snack-sized item for when you don’t quite feel like eating another burger but still want the high fat content.

Sonic, Jr. Breakfast Burrito. This is the only “breakfast” item to make the list and it only makes it because it is offered all day. My love for a tortilla is well-documented (see above listing) and filling it with egg, cheese, and sausage hits the spot. Make sure you ask for Sonic’s hot sauce because the carhop probably won’t offer.

Wendy’s, Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. You can get bacon, cheese, tomato, and lettuce on burger and it still only cost $.99! This one has a little sentimental value for me as it is the first value menu item I remember eating. The cool thing is that almost 20 years later it is still has the same ingredients and is still the same size and price. I have seen it for $1.29 at a few locations recently and wonder if it is being phased off of the value menu. Ok, I looked it up and the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger is no longer listed on the $.99 Value Menu on Wendy’s corporate website. I take back everything good I said about it! You’ll never get that extra $.30 from me!

Before I wrap this up, I must pay tribute to three of my favorites that are no longer with us: Taco Bell’s Tostada, Sonic’s Jr. Fritos Chili Cheese Wrap, and Dave Thomas—the founder of Wendy’s and creator of the value menu. All three of you have changed my life in ways you cannot begin to imagine. You are missed.

*In all actuality you may dispute by leaving a comment, emailing me, calling me, texting me, or coming to my place of residence or employment to debate the matter. I would prefer you just leave a comment, though.

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About Jeff Postlewaite

high school principal since '07, father since '04, teacher since '03, husband since '03, sound tech since '96, UVA fan since '92, gadget junkie since '89, Christian since '88, Giants fan since '84, golfer since '83, brother since '83, human since '81

Posted on August 1, 2011, in Food and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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