However, these secret menus may have a dark side. According to a recent report by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, restaurants use secret menus to skirt federal requirements on calorie labels, putting consumers at risk for health problems.
One example the group gave was the Monster Mac at McDonald's, an off-the-menu item with nearly 1,400 calories, 2,920 milligrams of sodium and 92 grams of fat.
Google “fast food secret menus,” and some other extremely unhealthy options come up, like Chipotle's Quesarito (a burrito wrapped in a cheese quesadilla), a McDonald's Mc10:35 (an Egg McMuffin combined with a McDouble apparently only available during the breakfast/lunch menu shift at 10:35 a.m.) and In-N-Out Burger's 100x100 (a massive stack of 100 beef patties and 100 slices of cheese sandwiched between two buns.)
Sonic's Extreme Tots are no banner of health, either. The entree, served in a foot-long sleeve, includes tots smothered in chili, jalapenos, onions and ranch dressing — topping 1,000 calories.
Nutrition details aside, having a secret menu may boost a restaurant's cool factor and create buzz surrounding the brand, according to a USA Today article published March 11. It mentions examples from secret menus at Panera Bread, Taco Bell and McDonald's. Panera Bread's “hidden menu” can be viewed online and includes two breakfast and four lunch options, all high-protein, breadless meals.
So are these secret menus for real or urban legend? Depends on whether you can get your hands on a Pickle-O.
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