Previous   Next

What is the worst fast food you have ever tried?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on April 20, 2010

Browse the archives

Photo of Lucie Goodhart

“McDonald’s pancakes … it had the consistency of cardboard, with syrup.”

Photo of Alex Hamilton

“The McRib sandwich, it was just inedible, and that was 20 years ago.”

Photo of Alicia Anderson

“Hardee’s hamburger kids’ meal … the bun was hard, and the burger wasn’t even a burger.”

Photo of Courtney Jehle

“The fish filet sandwich at McDonald’s because McDonald’s should not serve seafood.”


RoeDapple 8 years, 1 month ago

Anything from Arbies! Talk about FAST FOOD! That stuff goes through me like a bullet!

BrianR 8 years, 1 month ago

It's a trick question, there is no good fast food.

Tony Kisner 8 years, 1 month ago

Look at Lucie, Home Schooling may be the way to go. I had to google "consistency" myself.

gphawk89 8 years, 1 month ago

That reminds me of an old Steve Martin skit. He claimed that in the back of the McDonalds there was a big vat of this stuff. They'd just push different buttons to create different menu items. Squirt! - One Big Mac Squirt! - Side order of fries Squirt! - A large Coke Squirt! - Here's your change. Have a nice day!

Kelly Johnson 8 years, 1 month ago

Autie, if that stuff is designed to make people go "yuck," they're failing miserably as evidenced by the long lines in the drive-thrus, $$$ bein made in the fast food industry, and obesity epidemic in America! lol

If more people said "yuck" and demanded higher quality food, we'd be a lot healthier.

gccs14r 8 years, 1 month ago

So do they mean fast food ill prepared, or fast food ill designed? For bad prep, I have to go with g_rock on mall Chinese. For bad design, Spangles. I tried them twice, just after the name change. I tried it a second time because I couldn't believe they meant for it to be that bad the first time. Boy, was I wrong. Maybe it's better, now that 20 years have passed, or maybe it isn't. I'm disinclined to find out.

Danielle Brunin 8 years, 1 month ago

Spangles is the worst!!! I've only eaten there one time and the Hawaiian cheeseburger tasted like an ash tray with pineappple syrup. I had to throw it away. The fries smelled unnatural. shudders Not to mention that dreadful Rene Steven...

whats_going_on 8 years, 1 month ago

you meant Rene Schtevens? Yeah, I hope she rots right along with her disgustingness of a burger joint.

parrothead8 8 years, 1 month ago

I always feel sick after I eat Taco Bell. And then, like an idiot, I go back and try it again a few months later.

somedude20 8 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

somedude20 8 years, 1 month ago

What prude a-hole took away my remark? Is the word "tounge" bad now? I better alert homeland security and let them know that "tounge" is on the do not say list! This makes me so mad that I could kiss Janet Reno!!!

prude monkey work, kissing Janet and LJW live unprecedented

Lisa Rasor 8 years, 1 month ago

somedude, I didn't see your original post, so I can't comment on that, but "tounge" is not a word in English. Did you mean "tongue"?

It's generally not the words, but the context in which one uses them, that causes comments to be removed.

somedude20 8 years, 1 month ago

yes, thank you I did mean tongue and I had said that places like Spangles and Pizza Hut are so nasty that I would kiss a Janet Reno with tongue because that is less gross than those fast food places

Lisa Rasor 8 years, 1 month ago

For shame, somedude. You don't even know Janet Reno. How do you know kissing her would be gross? And what in the world has that got to do with the original question?

BruceWayne 8 years, 1 month ago

Buffalo Bobs...yes it is fast food. yes it is the worst food in Lawrence.

bruno2 8 years, 1 month ago

Ate there once, would never go back, what crap!

Flap Doodle 8 years, 1 month ago

The ham and lima beans in old-fashioned C-rations. Total horror in a can.

trinity 8 years, 1 month ago

anything's good for late night intoxicated fast food. but the regret lives on for days.

hip_gma 8 years, 1 month ago

Steak-n-Shake!!! No matter what time of day or night, terrible food. Even complained once, got coupons, went back. Even that was terrible. Can't believe they're still in Lawrence.

whats_going_on 8 years, 1 month ago

I agree, I'm not sure how they are still open, I've heard several horror stories from there, and I don't think I've heard anyone else going there since it first opened.

Kontum1972 8 years, 1 month ago

fishheads and rice on a banana leaf..."nookmam'..with a side of baked mongoose, and a big bottle of Tiger beer...and a zippo lighter.

Chu Hoi BB..!

SpeedRacer 8 years, 1 month ago

Actually, I have had all that without the mongoose..not sure what that was on the stick..and it wasn't that bad. Tiger beer is great ice cold.

hannahss 8 years, 1 month ago

Holy smokes, Father Guido Sarducci!!!! Haven't see you in years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BigAl 8 years, 1 month ago

Undercooked chicken from the Colonel. Not much worse than seeing red slimey meat inside a chicken leg.....

Tom's 'zit experience' is also pretty bad.

Mike Hatch 8 years, 1 month ago

A guy at work got a chicken fried steak to go from Set em Up Jacks and when he cut into it, blood oozed out. It was one of the most sick things I've ever seen.

Adrienne Sanders 8 years, 1 month ago

The only good fast food is Sonic. Everything else is gross.

Adrienne Sanders 8 years, 1 month ago

I tend to stick with the classics... cheeseburger and tater tots or cheddar peppers. Surely no one would mess with the cheddar peppers.

oldvet 8 years, 1 month ago

C-Rats... especially Ham and Eggs, and equally as bad, Ham and Lima Beans... ugh! You could get laid for 2 boxes of C's, but even they wouldn't take the Ham and Eggs...

volunteer 8 years, 1 month ago

KFC, which gave food poisoning to my family.

acg 8 years, 1 month ago

I also can't stand to eat at McD's anymore. It's so greasy and salty it makes me ill just thinking about it. I can't stand the food at the Sonic and BK in N. Lawrence (those are the worst stores, ever!). I hate Taco Bell, gross. The last two times we got KFC is was soggy on the outside and undercooked. The only place I even consider going anymore is 5 Guys. Is that considered Fast Food? They sure have one helluva burger. Mmmm.

KansasPerson 8 years, 1 month ago

This page should be required reading for someone trying to cut back on their food consumption. I think these descriptions would put you off your food for quite a while -- not just fast food, but anything!

I agree with whoever said all fast food was gross. I admit I have enjoyed the Chicken Berry Salad over at Runza, but it was more a matter of convenience -- I used to work in that area and don't now, and haven't had one of them since. The only thing I ever liked from McDonald's was the Egg McMuffin, but I haven't even had one of those for almost a year.

I guess I'm getting weirdly paranoid lately, because I feel a bit apprehensive about eating "raw food" (salads) in any restaurant (not just fast-food ones) these days. I just don't feel sure that it's handled correctly all the time, and I figure, at least the cooked food has had a chance to have its germs cooked out of it.

But all in all, we're eating at home more than ever these days, both for economic and general health reasons.

KansasPerson 8 years, 1 month ago

Whoa, who got removed?! I had just read them all and didn't see anything TOSs-worthy. Of course they're all nauseating, but that was the whole point of the question, wasn't it?

whats_going_on 8 years, 1 month ago

you should read "Fast Food Nation." It'll give you a WHOLE new insight into these companies and their seriously corrupt child advertising programs (not to mention their gross "food"). It's really disgusting.

whats_going_on 8 years, 1 month ago

Sadly, those companies aren't going away, especially with all the company bullsh*t sponsorships they do (McDonalds and the Olympics...a freaking joke).

It would take something VERY earth-shattering to get people to understand how messed up these companies are. If smaller burger joints like In-N-Out (I think thats the one) can get away with tainted, child murdering hamburgers and still be open today, I'm willing to bet McSh*t could just slaughter anyone who even tried to take them on.

whats_going_on 8 years, 1 month ago

lol, sorry, I need to get off my soapbox, it just makes me so angry.

George_Braziller 8 years, 1 month ago

Coffee at any McDonald's anywhere. It tastes burned and weak at the same time even when it's fresh.

parrothead8 8 years, 1 month ago

Agreed. And Dunkin Donuts, for all their "America Runs on Dunkin" best coffee advertising, is also some of the WORST coffee I've ever had.

Randall Barnes 8 years, 1 month ago

i go out of my way for dunkin coffee love it.

freestatehawk 8 years, 1 month ago

Krusty Burger, the Official Meat-Flavored Sandwich of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games

Mike Hatch 8 years, 1 month ago

Egg Rolls at Hardees. For some reason, for a brief time a few years ago, they thought that was a good idea. And for some reason, when driving thru Leavenworth to get up on I29, I thought it sounded like a good idea too. But it sure wasn't.

Spangles burgers (and Sonic too) have a funny taste to them.

Worst/most annoying commercials: Spangles. Have they really ever sold a banana milkshake? Who would order that on purpose? I think whoever writes the scripts tries on purpose to try to get as many words that start with "S" in the lines because the announcer sounds like Sylvester the Cat. "Stop at Spangles for the new Super Swiss burger with Seven Selections of Steak Sauce" Before they actually opened up shop in Lawrence, their commercials were run non-stop and made me really not want to go there. But their shakes are pretty good.

George_Braziller 8 years, 1 month ago

Spangle's commercials, aaaaaaggggghhhhhhh!

I have to change the channel or hit "mute" when they come on because I find them so irritating.

whats_going_on 8 years, 1 month ago

agreed, Pizza Hut is nasty. There are a million better places in Lawrence to get pizza. Pretty much everywhere minus Gumbys, Pyramid, and the Wheel. Which can't be classified as pizza as much as dog chow on bread.

DB Ashton 8 years, 1 month ago

A large orange juice from Lawrence Burger King. It had a huge green bug in it as large as my son's hand, there since it had been packed by an outside supplier. It didn't bother the store manager, nor the customers in line. I've not returned.

Randall Barnes 8 years, 1 month ago

kings drive thru there on 23rd then later turned to country kitchen

Deja Coffin 8 years, 1 month ago

Panda Express by the Legends.... I swear the sweet and sour pork was either meant to be dog food or came from one of those prepackaged meals (MRE's?) that hikers heat up on the fire.

parrothead8 8 years, 1 month ago

Agreed on the Taco John's potato oles. I ate there once shortly after I moved to Lawrence, got violently ill afterwards, and have never been back. I get food poisoning about once a decade...thanks, Taco John's.

Kontum1972 8 years, 1 month ago

Courtney baby..that is not fish in those McBunns

missmagoo 8 years, 1 month ago

Do I have to pick just one? I hate Bugger King. Okay, if I don't have to pick just one.. here goes. Panda Express, Burrito King, Spangles, 90% of the menu at McD's.. INCLUDING their coffee. McDonalds has the worst coffee on the face of the earth.. I'm really not a fan of the ice cream at Sonic, and A&W is nothing above average. I have high standards, what can I say?!

Mike Hatch 8 years, 1 month ago

I remember Sandy's better than Griffs, but do barely remember it. The Pad in N. Topeka had dime burger nights, maybe on Tuesdays. It was next to the tiny DQ that only served ice cream. You walked up to order right at the window. They may have had a few benches outside to sit on, don't remember.

It's been a few years since I've been there, but you still turn your lights on for service at the Bobo drive in. Which has very good food.

Jay Keffer 8 years, 1 month ago

Griff's was actually pretty good, as was Sandy's.

Was the other place called Smaks? I remember a place that started with an 'S' but didn't think it was Smaks.

These days, Wendy's is the most consistent and best quality if fast food has to happen. McD's is nasty. They never change their fry grease. Which even if they did, should stop all appetite right there.

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 1 month ago

Does Quinton's count? The last couple times I've eaten that cheese soup of theirs I've ended up catching up on my reading if you catch my drift.

I ordered lemonade there once too. Guess what I got? Water, ice, and sour about disgusting!

whats_going_on 8 years, 1 month ago

also, Pyramid Pizza when you haven't drank your weight in alcohol and can't taste it anyway.

whats_going_on 8 years, 1 month ago

Carol Lee Doughnuts for the WIN. I so miss that place. Our friend's parents owned it, so we were practically living on that stuff. My mom has their sugar cookie recipe...aaammmmazing.

And Vista is can still get it in Manhattan (I think?)

Adrienne Sanders 8 years, 1 month ago

That's not fast food... but yeah.

Of course I have no use for almost all national chain restaurants.

Mike Hatch 8 years, 1 month ago

Vista was GOOD. Is the one in Topeka still in business?

I liked the Green Pepper's pizza. When we first moved here, would go there after church for dinner a lot. It was a few other different pizza places before Valentinos moved in. One had all these big pictures of WC Fields on the walls. I don't think it lasted very long. We'd also go to Godfather's when you got free pop on Sundays. I know it was a Lawrence landmark for years and years, but the only time I've ever gotten sick after eating at a restaurant was from eating at the Chinese place that was in the Malls at 23rd & Louisiana.

Danielle Brunin 8 years, 1 month ago

No, but the one in Manhattan is. Of course, then you'd have to go to Manhattan.

bad_dog 8 years, 1 month ago

The old Sambo's in Salina could be a pretty nasty gastronomic experience.

The worst fast-food meal I've ever experienced was at a Chile's restaurant in Portland, Maine.

Literally everything we ordered, from chips/dip to drinks to burgers, absoulutely sucked for all three of us. I don't ordinarily respond to survey websites, but this was so bad we couldn't resist. To Chile's credit, they removed the charges from our credit card.

Richard Payton 8 years, 1 month ago

Tofu turkey never tried it and never will!

bruno2 8 years, 1 month ago

Chick-fil-a, basically inedible. Spangles, the commercials upset my stomach. Buffalo Bobs, just plain crap, making a decent rack of ribs is not hard Bobbie. Anything at KCI, you're a captive audience, I've tried them all.

Best fast food hamburger; In-n-Out Burger on the west coast. Actually pretty damn good and consistently voted the best fast food burger in blind taste tests, try one if you're ever in the neighborhood...

gccs14r 8 years, 1 month ago

OMG, the Chick-fil-a reference reminds me of my one and only trip to a Popeye's. I had blocked that memory. Worst. Food. Ever. The chicken was a hurl-worthy slimy mess, but what really got me was the fuzzy spherical lump of lard that passed for cole slaw. Absolutely inedible. Probably not biodegradable, either. It may have been useful as fifthwheel grease, though. I would have tried to get a refund, but there was a line out the door. Go figure.

whats_going_on 8 years, 1 month ago

In-n-out burger was the one that was killing kids with their burgers in the 80s, I think. No thanks.

Chick-fil-a needs to rot in h*ll. Nastiest food ever...forgot about that place. ICK.

parrothead8 8 years, 1 month ago

I never heard anything about that with In-N-Out. Even if it's true, it was 30 years ago. In-N-Out burgers rock.

Susan Lee 8 years, 1 month ago

The worst fast food I had was a sandwich at Jimmy John's several years ago. Oh my...the bread was petrified and the cheese was like a small slab of an unknown lard-like substance. Ghastly.

I've also seen my share of used bandaids, flies, unkown insects, rocks, dirt wads (one yesterday from Tres Mexicanos beans), bones, and the worst: weird things in meat. Sick. I haven't touched ham since I saw something like an octopus tentacle in a hunk of the beast when I was in third grade. Yikes! No wonder all 3 of my children are vegetarian! One of my daughters was always has been a restaurant ick magnet....the dirt beans yesterday were hers, of course!

On the positive side....I loved Campus Hideaway! Henry's! Old old old Joe's. Original Lamer's, and of course, Paradise Cafe and Cornucopia.

Does anyone remember the Italian restaurant Treados on Mass? Mid 70's.

RogueThrill 8 years, 1 month ago

I worked at a KFC in Hays, KS for a summer after my freshman year there.

DO NOT, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, eat KFC. You do so at your own peril.

ozzynbn 8 years, 1 month ago

If any of the pre-made food counts as bad "fast food", then the Merc wins an award. It's weird looking and weird tasting.

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 1 month ago

probably the last time i ate a big mac-- which was about 15 years ago. rubbery, the texture was the grossest thing ever. you shouldn't have to chew ANY hamburger that much. mcd's is overall mcnasty.

Graczyk 8 years, 1 month ago

I don't eat at McDonald's - except when the McRib is out. They should change the name to McCrack. I don't know why but I love that thing.

gccs14r 8 years, 1 month ago

Yes. We learned the hard way that a "made-to-order" burrito starts life as a frozen lump that they nuke the h*ll out of, then glop stuff onto. My wife got one that was cold in the middle, so we sent it back. The next one came out still frozen. The manager himself made the third one, which was heated through, but was the wrong meat. Being in Kansas, he couldn't comp our drinks, so he gave us a dessert coupon for out next visit. We haven't been back since.

independant1 8 years, 1 month ago

The worstest

Breakfast Sausage McDonalds style.

No small wonder it's the same size as petri dish.

Bruce Liddel 8 years, 1 month ago

Anyone over age 50 will have a hard time putting only one name to "the worst". It terms of blatant health violations (and consistently incorrect order preparation) by major national chains, the nod goes to Long John Silvers for raw fish still partly frozen. In terms of tasteless, the nod goes to Taco Bell. However, to this day I'll never forget the CBS 60 minute expose, with film of a fast food employee addressing a "personal itch" and not washing his hands afterwords. Nor will I ever forget the volunteer at Heartland Park racetrack putting hot dogs on the grill with her bare hands, and licking her fingers between every one. And to think I paid $4 each for those hot dogs, and had to wait 75 minutes in line for the privilege.

Brake 8 years, 1 month ago

You're right about Long John Silvers. The very first (and last) time I ate at one I got bad food poisoning (with action at both the North and South ends). This was back in the late 70s at the LJS on Fairlawn in Topeka. It had just opened. Still gives me the creeps to drive by one.

whats_going_on 8 years, 1 month ago

Not that I ever eat fast food to begin with, but...I think its safe to say that I'll be cooking at home for the rest of my life.

mdrndgtl 8 years, 1 month ago

I can't think of the name, it's that place where everything on the menu is a fish flavored sponge soaked in grease.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 1 month ago

hey there! Jenning's was great doughnuts! and just a wonderful place to sit and talk, drink coffee and see who else was there!!!

the Woolworth's diner was a very sweet little place and the last manager , she was a sweet little manager too.
had good pies. was fun to take my wife there. sad that woolworth's and jenning's are gone.

if the Colonel were alive today, he would be preaching against KFC on every corner!

the chicken sucks! it is terrible, has gone way downhill from 30-40 years ago.

and yes, ate one time at Boofalo Boob's, never I mean never went back. yuck! if he was gonna close one restaurant, it should've been that one and kept the Mass st. Deli going.

prairie room in the kansas union, yes not fast food, a wonderful sit-down restaurant with class and not too expensive. union should have something like that today instead of 58 different fast food/franchises.

A&W root beer downhill these days too.
you kids get off my lawn, ya' hear!

independant1 8 years, 1 month ago

if the Colonel were alive today, he would be preaching against KFC on every corner!

R'member when Colonel Sanders was a restaurant, one dressed to dine there?

independant1 8 years, 1 month ago

the last hot dog on rolling grill at gas station


Kris_H 8 years, 1 month ago

Nominees from Topeka:

Hardee's at 6th & Macvicar: While I was running in between jobs, with no time to go back or go anywhere else, made me a half-raw burger and grease-soaked fries. All the kids looked like they were on X or something.

Long John Silvers: Let's just say I don't eat there any more even though they are almost the most convenient place on my regular routes. One family get-together marred by food poisoning was enough.

McDonald's: Have never liked their burgers. WTF is in those things anyway?
Burger King: Ditto.

Taco Tico: Nothing is trustworthy. Nothing!

Spangles: OMG, salty to the point of inedible! They aren't getting a second chance, life is too short.

There are quite a few good places to eat in Topeka depending on what you like. I second the burgers from Cook's. But this was about bad fast food, so I digress.

sherbert 8 years, 1 month ago

I'd have to vote for the asian sweet/sour chicken bites at Wendys. They looked so good on the commercial, and they were just chicken nuggets with sauce poured all over them. Yucky mess and they didn't even give me a fork! Nasty.

Brad Maestas 8 years, 1 month ago

autie, I believe those special ingredients are preservatives, sugar and sodium.

independant1, wholeheartedly agreed! Many a day has been ruined by those little buggers.

My personal worst fast food experience was at a McDonald's in Mexico City. Holy s***. My high school swing choir (about 14 of us minus chaperons) went on a tour in Central America. We flew into MC and one of the first days, some of us decided to brave a McD's. My sandwich's bun was hard as a rock. The meat was cold, flat and tasteless. The produce was limp and wilted. It was the sorriest burger I'd ever seen. The fries were no better, having sat around long enough to soak up a bunch of oil and turn into mush. Since then (1996) I have eaten McD's only a handful of times.

Other contenders for worst offender are: Burrito King (used to be a staple but eventually wore me out), Jimmy John's (don't bother eating your sub if you leave it in the fridge overnight, especially if you got tomatoes!), Taco John's (usually okay but I've had issues), Taco Bell (tied with McD's for the worst), Long John Silver's and Spangles. Back in high school I had a girlfriend that would insist we go through the drive through at LJS so she could order a "free" meal consisting of a cup of water and an order of "batter," basically the leftover batter bits left in the fryer. Most disgusting thing ever!

I was up in Buffalo, NY last weekend and tried a new place for the first time called Jim's Steakeout. My bandmates (who mainly hail from Buffalo) told us we had to try their buffalo chicken finger sub so we did. Great after-drinking food but definitely not something I'd order sober. One of the guys ordered "The Stinger" which is basically the chicken finger sub married with a philly cheese steak. I was the only one that didn't seem to pay for it the next day.

Oh one more little tidbit, I frequented several of the infamous Jack In The Box's in the Seattle area in the early 90's. Somehow I didn't get the E.coli and I'm grateful for that. Be careful out there folks!

Tom Miller 8 years, 1 month ago

The hands-down WORST food I've ever tried to eat was at the Micky D in Morrilton, Arkansas...home to a pulpwood mill, which smells horrible in it's own right,, and seems to give ALL the food procured in that town a sort of rotting-turnips kind of flavor. Horrible!

Tom Miller 8 years, 1 month ago

...and one time I did the drive-thru at a place called "Taco Rio" (...river of tacos...?) and on the menu board was an "all beef burrito" and the next item was an "all meat burrito"...I grimaced, shuddered at the various possibilities, and drove away food-less...if I'm gonna eat potential roadkill, I'm gonna be the one that cooked it!

gccs14r 8 years, 1 month ago

My guess is that the "river of tacos" is the aftermath from eating there.

CHEEZIT 8 years, 1 month ago

Why all the hatin' on Mickey D's. Hands down the worse is Cici's pizza!!! Water with a little tomatoe for the sauce. I don't care if it's cheap. Its just bad!!!

independant1 8 years, 1 month ago

McD's only saving grace - those skinny fries. Can't mess up a potato.

Make mine super size!

kernal 8 years ago

When you go west of the Rockies, by all means avoid Jack in the Box. Gross, gross, gross. Not to mention they tried to pass off Kangaroo meat as beef in the burgers a few decades ago in California, then there was the big ecoli episode that sickened so many and killed some children in CA & WA. Do miss Campus Hideaway, Bobos, Cornucopia &above all Paradise Cafe. I'm trying to remember the name of that little burger shack that was on the South side of 6th St back in the 60's. It was between Illinois and Florida St. It had pretty good burgers; think it started with an "M". Joe's was THE place for donuts!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.