Sometimes what you see is much less than what you can get.
Secret restaurant menus aren't exactly a secret, but their contents can be, well, hidden. There are benefits to asking what's beyond the traditional menu, even if it means ordering a custom meal at a restaurant where you have a regular favorite.
Starbucks recently added Honey Citrus Mint Tea, also known as “medicine ball tea,” to its menu, but people have been ordering the formerly “secret” drink since October.
Medicine ball tea, regarded as the ideal cure for the common cold, is one of many Starbucks secret menu items. And Starbucks is just one chain with hidden options. Here are 10 more restaurants with meals you didn't know existed:
• In-N-Out Burger’s not-so-secret menu. While In-N-Out is transparent about the restaurant’s “secret” menu — which is just a list of popular custom orders — casual customers may not know you can get a 4x4 burger consisting of four beef patties and four cheese slices. Other popular orders include a grilled cheese, a “protein style” burger with lettuce instead of buns and the “Animal style” burger, which includes a mustard-cooked beef patty.
• Burger King. The restaurant goes big with the “Suicide Burger,” a four-patty cheeseburger with bacon and sauce. You can also order Frings — a combination of onion rings and fries, according to CBS News.
• Nando’s. While Nando's doesn't call it a hidden menu, there are multiple non-menu items customers can ask for, according to Nicola Davis, food manager for Nando's Peri-Peri USA. If you can't decide between the array of sauces, you can get multiple sauces split in halves or even quarters on your sandwich. Another non-menu option, which Davis said is "hidden in plain sight," is pineapple — on anything you order, whether it's a wrap or a salad.
• Five Guys. If the burgers and fries are getting old, treat yourself to the restaurant's very own patty melt. At Five Guys, you can add a beef patty to a grilled cheese sandwich for a spin on a classic, according to MSN.
• Taco Bell. If you ask your local Taco Bell employee to prepare “The Hulk” for you, they might stare blankly. It might be more effective to ask for a bean-and-cheese burrito with guacamole to transform a regular meal into, well, a green one. Other secret menu items include the Incredible Hulk — with even more ingredients — and a loaded Superman burrito, according to the Arizona Republic.
• Chick-fil-A. While spokesperson Amanda Hannah said in an email to USA TODAY that team members "may occasionally experiment with recipes in the kitchen," the company cannot confirm that chicken quesadillas — a commonly discussed non-menu item at Chick-fil-A — are available. Business Insider reported a list of non-menu items in 2015 including the quesadillas, buffalo chicken sandwiches and more. Hannah added that some customers like to combine iced tea and lemonade to create an Arnold Palmer.
• Chipotle. Typically, standing in a Chipotle line is an internal battle of burrito or bowl, but there are a few more options to throw into the mix, BuzzFeed reports. You can get a regular quesadilla from the menu, or you can fill a quesadilla with your favorite burrito fillings for a hybrid. The opposite option would be a quesarito, or a burrito that replaces the tortilla with a cheese quesadilla.
• McDonalds. If you're having a tough time deciding between a McFlurry and an apple pie, two classic McDonald's desserts, you can combine the two by ordering an Apple Pie McFlurry.
• Wendy’s. CBS News reports that the store secretly offers The Grand Slam, also referred to as the Meat Cube, because the burger with four beef patties resembles a cube of meat thanks to each patty’s square shape.
• Subway. The next time you have to choose between pizza or sandwiches, don’t. The “pizza sub” is available at select restaurants in the U.S., according to Subway spokesperson Lindsay Walker, but you can get one if you order a sandwich with pepperoni, marinara sauce and cheese, which is available at every Subway location.
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