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‘Secret’ menus give insiders more options

By Tyler Chung

This burger chain is well known for its secret menu items. Photo courtesy of
This burger chain is well known for its secret menu items.
Photo courtesy of

Secret menus have been around for over a decade now. They consist of food orders that are exclusive to only a restaurant’s “secret” menu, though in truth, many people seem to know about them.

Almost all big fast food chains have secret menus, some which are more secret than others. Chipotle and In N Out Burger, for example, are widely known for the food choices on their secret menus.

The website lists a great variety of restaurants’ secret menus. Chipotle, for example, offers to those in the know a “quesarito,” which is a quesadilla and a burrito. A worker will first toast a quesadilla with cheese and then ask you what kind of beans, meat, sauce and vegetables you want as if you were ordering a regular burrito. Chipotle also has an order called a “burritodilla,” which is also a combination of a quesadilla and a burrito only instead of looking like a burrito, it is cut up into a triangle shape making it look more like a quesadilla with meat, rice and beans.

For being such a popular food destination in Alameda, not many people have discovered the secret menu yet, until now. “I’ve only heard people talk about Chipotle’s secret menu. “I haven’t ever purchased anything from it but I want to soon,” senior Fernando Alvarez says.

Probably the most popular and least secret of these menus is In N Out Burger. Many folks love getting animal fries or animal style burgers, which are french fries and hamburgers with special sauce consisting of mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar. The restaurant also has an option of doubling, tripling, or adding however many slices of cheese and patties you desire.

Some less obvious options include “The Flying Dutchman” which is two patties and cheese in between them. In N Out also has grilled cheese sandwiches, veggie burgers, well-done, cheese and light fries, and the option of cutting a burger in half. Some popular secret drinks are the root beer float and the neapolitan milkshake.

Senior Carson Mulholland works at In N Out. “People always order 4×4’s. They’re the most expensive but they love ordering it,” Mulholland said. “Basically the more things you put on a burger, the more expensive it’ll be. We also have coffee, although most people don’t know about that,” she added.

While animal style may be far from a secret, other items are spoken in a kind of little-known code.  “The most unusual burger I’ve ever taken the order of was a 3×0, which is three patties and no cheese,” Mulholland said.

Another popular location for secret menus is Jamba Juice. Some of their drinks mimic candies such as Butterfinger, Fruity Pebbles, Now and Laters, pink Starburst, Reese’s Pieces, Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, strawberry cheesecake and Tootsie Rolls. One of their drinks is actually famous for its name not being family friendly.

Senior Crystal McKenna works at Jamba Juice. “Many people come in asking if the majority of the names of our drinks are inappropriate, and I ask them do you think Jamba Juice would really allow all their drinks to be called those?’”

McKenna said one item is a regular from secret menu customers. “Our most popular drink by far is the white gummy. The drink consists of all of our sherberts, mangos and vanilla soy milk. It’s really sugary but people love it.”

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