Have you ever been biting into your McDonald's Big Mac and wished there were six additional beef patties inside? Or imagined what would happen if you stacked the chain's Filet-O-Fish filet atop a McChicken cutlet and then, sandwiched both inside a Big Mac. Well, you're not alone.
An anonymous UK McDonald's manager made waves when he mentioned the fast food giant's "secret menu" during a Q&A session on the social networking site Reddit.
Although officially, McDonald's denies the existence of a secret menu, Jeanette DeBartolo, a company spokeswoman, did say "we know our customers are really creative and they tell us all the time that they enjoy customizing our menu."
So we put that to the test. Using the site hackthemenu.com, which lists so-called "secret menu" items that can be ordered at different chain outlets, we visited two Long Island McDonald's and ordered nine items not on the official menu boards.
With some direction, (and McDonald's employees who are patient and willing to accommodate) yes, it is possible to order "secret menu" items. Actually, it appears the real secret is that you can pretty much order whatever you want by tweaking and using combinations of McDonald's staples.
But should you?
Using the customized meal nutrition facts on the McDonald's website, we were able to do some rough calculations to figure out what a "Monster Mac" -- that's a Big Mac with eight beef patties -- a McPie, which is made of McFlurry ice cream base with an Apple Pie swirled inside, and other creative orders would do to your diet.
Land, Sea and Air Burger
Can't choose between beef, chicken or fish? Order a combination of all three. HacktheMenu.com calls this the "Land, Sea and Air Burger." It's comprised of a Big Mac -- which of course is made up of two beef patties with special sauce on a sesame seed bun and topped with melted American cheese, lettuce, onions and pickles -- a Filet-O-Fish filet and a McChicken cutlet. The diet damage? Cram all of this between two buns, and it packs a whopping 42 grams of fat and 810 calories.
A typical McDonald's McFlurry consists of some type of candy or cookie, usually M&M's or Oreos, swirled into reduced-fat vanilla ice cream. But HacktheMenu.com's "Pie McFlurry" thinks inside the box -- an Apple Pie box, specifically -- and combines two classic McDonald's desserts. Order this by asking the cashier to swap out the traditional McFlurry fixins for one of the pies. A 12-ounce version of this hybrid treat will run you 620 calories and 24 grams of fat. (That's comparable to the M&M McFlurry, which contains 650 calories and 23 grams of fat.)
Vegetarians, look away. The "Monster Mac" is for the extreme meat lover. To order this, Hackthemenu.com instructs asking for a Big Mac, which already comes with two beef patties, but tell the cashier to add six more. (Optional: Adding a slice of cheese to each slab of beef.) This version, which has eight beef patties but the same amount of cheese that comes with a basic Big Mac, is loaded with -- brace yourself -- 1,010 calories and 63 grams of fat. (Add 300 more calories and an extra 24 grams of fat to that total if you opt for the extra cheese.)
Hold the bread and substitute it with fried chicken. That's what the Big McChicken is, according to HacktheMenu.com. It's a traditional Big Mac with its two beef patties minus the buns and with three McChicken patties in their place. One brave Newsday employee took a bite of this one, and concluded that it did taste good, but then, added, "Now I feel like I have to go take a shower." This meat-on-meat-on-meat-on-meat-on-meat sandwich weighs in at 790 calories with 51 grams of fat.
The "Chicken McGriddle" used to be tricky to get your hands on, because you needed to hit up a McDonald's right around the time the chain was switching over from its breakfast to lunch menu. (At the Long Island location that we visited, that was between 10:55 and 11 a.m.) But thanks to the addition of McDonald's all-day breakfast menu, you can enjoy this concoction at any time. This savory and sweet concoction, according to HackTheMenu.com, consists of a McChicken patty between two McGriddles, which are cakes baked with sweet maple. We basically ordered a Sausage McGriddle, but told the cashier to swap the sausage for the fried chicken cutlet. This version will run you 410 calories and 16 grams of fat. If you were to add bacon, egg and cheese, those totals would rise to 610 calories and 30 grams of fat.) When asked whether it tasted any good, one Newsday staffer said, "Yea, but in a way you hate yourself."
If the Big Mac just isn't big enough, then order its stockier (and Irish?) brother, the "McKinley Mac." This is a Big Mac with quarter-pound meat patties instead of the regular-sized 2.2-ounce burgers. This super-sized Big Mac will cost you 810 calories and 48 grams of fat.
If you're craving a crepe from McDonald's, this concoction is as close as you can get to the French treat. HacktheMenu.com calls it a "McCrepe." There's some assembly required. You'll have to order a Fruit 'N Yogurt Parfait and a plate of Hotcakes. Scoop the yogurt, which has pieces of real berries, onto the pancakes and then curl them to create that signature crepe look. If you eat all three Hotcakes that come with a standard order and use all the fruit and yogurt in the 5-ounce serving, this meal adds up to 470 calories and 10.5 grams of fat.
HacktheMenu.com called this concoction the "Mc10:35," because until McDonald's introduced its all-day breakfast menu, you could only order this between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., making it one of the "most difficult to obtain 'secret menu' items." This "brunch sandwich" will require some assembly: You have to order an Egg McMuffin and a McDouble. Then, toss the McDouble bun and cram those burger patties inside the McMuffin. This mashup will run you 530 calories and 28 grams of fat.
Want to be able to say you've ordered off the "secret menu" without blowing your diet? Then just ask for a Grilled Cheese. It's one of the items on HacktheMenu.com's list, but it's really just a plain grilled bun with melted American cheese inside. This simple order amounts to only 200 calories and 6 grams of fat.