I'm a professional fast-food reviewer. Here are 8 things you should never order from UK fast-food restaurants.
I host a YouTube series where I review fast food. I've tried almost every UK fast-food menu item.
Some menu items are so unappealing to me, it made me wonder how they ever made it through testing.
Some items shouldn't be ordered because you can find better value elsewhere on the menu.
I'm Harry Kersh, one of the hosts of "Food Wars" and a fast food expert.
Alongside my co-host Joe Avella in the US, I've spent the past two-and-a-half years eating and talking about British fast food.
I love eating fast food and have discovered some delicious menu items I would never have thought to try in my daily life. But I've also found some fast foods which are overpriced, disappointing, or just outright bad in my opinion.
Here are some UK fast-food menu items you should never order, according to a professional.
The McDonald's Veggie Dippers are a miss for vegetarians and omnivores alike.
McDonald's added Veggie Dippers to its menu as part of a Veganuary push in 2020. They are patties made of red pepper, rice, sun-dried tomato pesto, and split peas, which are then breaded and fried.
While it's great that McDonald's is offering plant-based options, these are not worth trying in my opinion. The texture is mushy, they're under-seasoned, and don't hit the indulgent factor you want from a fast food meal. Drench them in McDonald's curry sauce to make them more palatable, or simply opt for a McPlant meal instead.
The McDonald's triple cheeseburger fails to improve upon an already perfect formula.
Pound-for-pound, I struggle to name a better burger than the McDonald's double cheeseburger. Everything about it is perfect; the ratio of bread to fillings. The balance of flavors between the meat, cheese, pickles, and sauce. The bargain price of just £1.99, or around $2.50.
Unfortunately, the triple cheeseburger flies too close to the sun. The addition of the extra beef patty and slice of cheese without any change to the amount of sauce and toppings throws the ratio off, meaning bites become dense and dry.
If you're really that hungry, order a double cheeseburger and a single cheeseburger on the side, enjoying them just as Ronald intended.
Domino's coleslaw doesn't travel well enough to be worth ordering.
There's a time and a place for coleslaw, and your Domino's order isn't it. The coleslaw itself isn't the best, too heavy on the mayo and lacking seasoning. But it's the logistics of a Domino's order that really cause its coleslaw to fall short.
While on its way to you, the coleslaw sits on top of hot pizzas inside an insulated carry case designed to keep your food warm. By the time your food arrives, the coleslaw has warmed to an extremely off-putting temperature and the vegetables have lost any semblance of crunch.
Subway makes a hash of its SubStack customization.
Subway's UK restaurants offer you the option to make any sandwich a SubStack. This just means adding hash browns, which on paper seems like it could be a pretty tasty addition to your sub.
In practice, the hash browns themselves are small, bland, and dense discs of potato which have often sat around for a while and gone cold. A quick blast in the toaster oven isn't enough to revive them, and they just end up sucking the moisture out of your meal. While the concept was good, Subway has made a hash of SubStacks in my opinion, and they'll leave you feeling browned off.
Subway also swings and misses with its attempt at nachos.
When we filmed our Food Wars Subway episode, my co-host Joe Avella described these as "an insult to nachos," "the most depressing plate of nachos I've ever seen," and "the second worst thing associated with Subway."
Subway takes a bag of Doritos then adds some chopped jalapenos, salsa, guacamole, and cheese before putting the whole thing in the toaster oven. Poor sauce dispersion means some of the nachos go soggy while others stay bone dry, and even on the few bites where you get a well-covered nacho, the flavors simply aren't there.
For a small extra cost, you can significantly upgrade your bacon double cheese XL from Burger King.
Moving away from items to avoid because they are bad, here's one to avoid because there's better value to be found elsewhere on the menu.
The UK's Bacon Double Cheese XL burger from Burger King is a solid burger in its own right. It contains two flame-grilled beef patties, topped with bacon and two slices of cheese. But for just a small cost increase, you can opt for a Bacon King Double instead.
The Bacon King Double has a similar composition, but uses Whopper patties instead of standard beef patties. These are thicker, juicier, and lend themselves to a much better overall burger experience in my opinion. You are royally messing up if you're opting for the Bacon Double Cheese XL instead of the Bacon King Double.
Papa John's XXL Original Sausage & Pepperoni has some alarming nutritional stats.
I love delivery pizza and will happily eat a whole large by myself over the course of an evening (and for breakfast the following morning), but some pizza options have some pretty shocking nutritional information figures.
A sausage & pepperoni pizza from Papa John's in the UK is one of the worst offenders. An XXL pie contains a total of 4,260 calories, more than double the recommended daily amount for adults. There's also 243% of your daily fat intake in there, and a toe-curling 417.4% of your daily sodium.
KFC's Dipped Bites don't get fast food logistics right
The KFC UK menu offers Dipped Bites - small pieces of breaded and fried chicken breast which are tossed in sauce and served in a small pot. There are usually two flavor options on offer, Kansas BBQ and Sweet Chilli.
All I can say about Dipped Bites is: there's a reason why chicken nuggets are almost always served with a dipping sauce on the side. The breading on the bites absorbs a lot of the sauce creating a slimy, soggy outer layer. They're also impractical to eat on the go or with your hands, as your fingers end up coated in sticky sauce. Stick to nuggets or boneless mini fillets with a sauce on the side.
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