1. Olive Garden
Chocolate mints. Yeah, yeah, this technically isn’t on the menu and the breadsticks are the obvious choice, but those get adequate appreciation — it’d be like saying LeBron James is an underrated basketball player. Various pastas? Cool. Unlimited soup and salad? Groovy. BUT THOSE POST-DINNER MINTS? THOSE ARE WHAT GETS THE TASTEBUDS OFF THE WALL AND ON THE DANCE FLOOR. Tips can go up multiple Washingtons depending on the amount of mints that accompany the check.
Dipping sauces. From Tangy Barbeque to Sweet ‘N Sour to Creamy Ranch to Spicy Buffalo and every thing in between, they’re delightful. I’m not sure we realize how valuable these 1 oz. packets of joyous condiments truly are. They make mystery meat McNuggets taste like pure glory. Have you ever had a McNugget by itself? It tastes like a lot of unanswered questions.
Barbacoa. Sadly, folks are too busy raving about how remarkable the guacamole is and sure, it’s like an evolved avocado in final, elite Pokémon form, but the barbacoa is a moist, tender, shredded gift from the heavens that doesn’t even cost $2 extra and rarely gets the praise it deserves.
White chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies. The fact that you don’t have to go on a two-week waiting list to acquire these magnificent morsels of heaven is proof that they’re not fully appreciated.
5. Burger King
Chicken Nuggets. As I said before, McDonald’s McNuggets ride the coattails of the dipping sauces, but a Burger King chicken nugget actually tastes a lot more like… chicken. I’m not saying it is poultry, but if BK is doing a better impression of chicken than McDonalds for cheaper, that deserves a pat on the back.
Chili. The market for fast food chili might not exactly be thriving, but does it even exist without Wendy’s?
7. Taco Bell
Cheesy Gordita Crunch. If you’re looking to have your mouth’s life changed or something, look no further. (Honorable mention to Cinnamon Twists. Your taste does not go unnoticed.)
Spinach artichoke dip. Be forewarned, once you try this stuff there’s no going back. There’s life before trying Applebee’s spinach artichoke dip, and life after trying Applebee’s spinach artichoke dip. The latter is like having someone remove the wool over your eyes, and finally feeling awake.
Skillet Queso. This stuff is so good that one time a Chili’s waiter brought it to the table and said “Be careful, the skillet is hot.” and I immediately, involuntarily felt to urge to say “Don’t tell me what to do.”
Shakes. The list of things I’d do for a Klondike bar couldn’t ever be half as long as the things I’d do for a milkshake from Sonic.
11. Jack in the Box
Curly fries. Because curly fries.
Curly fries. Because curly fries.
13. Red Lobster
Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Until Red Lobster changes its name to ‘Cheddar Bay Biscuits And Other Seafood Or Whatever’ these things clearly aren’t getting the recognition they deserve.
More like IHUMS: International House Of Underrated Mozzarella Sticks.
Cinnamon Pancakes. Game. Changer. They taste incredible and they look some mouthwatering food porn you’d find on Pinterest.
16. Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr.
Waffle fries. Because waffle fries.
17. Panda Express
Beijing Beef. Orange chicken gets all of the mainstream press, but Beijing beef is the less well-known, equally talented sibling. Order it. Don’t try a sample like some kind of coward, trust me and make it one of your entrees.
18. Texas Roadhouse
Rolls & Butter. The bread aspect of this operation is phenomenal, but the rolls know their role and recognize that Cinnamon Butter is the real MVP.
Fruit Snacks. That’s right, fruit snacks. If you don’t know, now you know.
20. In-N-Out Burger
Grilled Cheese. Their menu only has like three options and everyone knows the secret menu burger situations for the most part, so the grilled cheese is most underrated by default.
21. Boston Market
Can I just say that Boston Market as a whole is underrated. That entire menu deserves to have Kanye West passionately yell into a microphone on live television about it. However, if ever there were a specific food that you and everyone you care about should be aware of, it’s their sweet potato casserole. I would legitimately love to buy each and every one of you Boston Market sweet potato casserole if I could, so if you ever see me, I’ll happily locate the nearest BM and fulfill that offer. It’s a dessert masquerading as a dinner side dish. I mean, I’m literally angry thinking about how I’m not eating Boston Market’s sweet potato casserole right this very second.