On April 12, 2010 a new product was released by KFC.
It began as an April Fools' Day press release. A joke, people thought, it must be a joke. The nation denied its existence. Then the billboards came, and somewhere, deep into the bowels of YouTube, a commercial appeared. The ad declared: "so much 100 per-cent premium chicken, we didn't have a bun."
That product was the Double Down: bacon, two different kinds of melted cheese, the Colonel's "secret" sauce all in between two fried fists of chicken. A challenge had been thrown down, and a year of terrifying fast food releases was born.
Of course, it may not have been that dramatic, but 2010 certainly has been a year of strangeness in the fast food world. There were some high notes (the release of the glorious Chik-Fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich), and some wickedly low notes (see: McRib).
So, we present, 10 of the more terrifying fast food and chain restaurant novelty foods of the year. Not all of them came through Texas, and some of them are yet to find a place nationally--but most will be available to you in 2011. Maybe the Mayans were right.
1. Friendly's Burger with Grilled Cheese Buns What might have started as some drunk person's dark wish, turned into a chain-restaurant reality. The picture and nutrition facts speak for themselves.
2. The KFC Double Down Answering the question "How Can We Replace Buns With Entrees?," KFC dropped this one in April, confounding foodies nation-wide. The Chicago Tribune refused to believe that this travesty was a "sandwich" and thus dubbed it a "meat glorb."
3. Burger King's "Pizza" Burger As we propel forward into the future, fast food ad agencies continue to find new ways to gently insert existing new food into pre-existing foods. This burger "pizza," however, is not an imagined. It's real, and it's at New York's Whopper Bar.
4. BK Ultimate Breakfast Retooling their morning faces, Burger King launched a spiffed-up their Breakfast Value Menu with some new Myocardial infarctions, including this platter of all things breakfast. It clocks in at a 1310 calories, and 455 mg of Cholesterol--all before you make it work. Congrats, BK.
5. The McRib (Returns) What more can we say about the return nation-wide of this pork-shaped, mind-baffling (why would they shape it to look like patty with bones when you're going to eat it?) "sandwich," when we've already blended it? (yes, that's what you see above).
6. Sausage Pancake Bites The scary thing about these Dunkin Donuts' little friends is you can pop them by the handful while you're driving. Now hear this: three of these dudes cost you 300 calories and 20g of fat. Happy morning!
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7. Burger King's Ribs Not yet nationally released, but tested: BK's ribs were declared a "success." So, look to see these babies soon at The King's place. Until then, dutifully block out the budding question in your mind--where the hell did Burger King get this pork?
8. Denny's Fried Cheese Melt Answering the OTHER question fast food agencies sometimes pose--"why not?"--Denny's decided to line some fried cheese inside a bed of melted cheese in this terrifying melt. That's pretty much it. Oh, that and the absolutely artery-coating sodium count.
9. Taco Bell's XXL Chalupa A note to Fast Food Company Exec People: food should NEVER come with the size label "XXL." Aside from looking like a boat of meat, this "Chalupa" has 1,300 mg of sodium. You'll need a horse trough of water after that.
10. Pizza Hut's Cheesy Bites Pizza You gotta give it to The Hut for finding another way to deliver cheese in the crust. If stuffed crust wasn't enough, this new creation allows you to tear-and-devour tiny cheesed nuggets of bread that were once a "crust." Somewhere, Mario Batali is crying.