1. Breakfast waffle taco
> Chain: Taco Bell
The undisputed star of the chain’s new breakfast menu back in 2014, this was a pliable waffle folded around a sausage patty, cheese, and scrambled eggs, with a side of syrup to drizzle over the thing (or dip it into). It was phased out the following year.
2. Fish McBites
> Chain: McDonald’s
You had to really be paying attention to notice these battered and fried little pieces of pollock filet (also the basis of the Filet-O-Fish) — more or less a smaller ocean-going equivalent of Chicken McNuggets. Introduced in February of 2013, they barely lasted a month.
3. Popcorn chicken
> Chain: KFC
There’s still a version of these small pieces of breaded and deep-fried chicken on the KFC menu, called Popcorn Nuggets, but the original “popcorn” was smaller, giving the pieces a better crunchy-coating-to-chicken ratio, and they were available in a hot and spicy variation, which the Nuggets aren’t.
4. Acapulco chicken salad
> Chain: Jack in the Box
Jack in the Box has long been known for its American-style tacos (the Wall Street Journal reported in 2017 that Americans were eating 554 million of them a year), and in 2006 it introduced this Mexican-inspired romaine and spring lettuce mix topped with grilled chicken, shredded pepper jack cheese, grape tomatoes, cucumber slices, red onions, and cilantro-lime dressing. “Ethnic flavors, particularly Latin flavors, are becoming more popular with American consumers,” a chain marketing executive said at the time. Not that popular, apparently, as this item soon disappeared, reappearing in 2008 before vanishing again.
5. Chicken Caesar pita
> Chain: Wendy’s
In response to the wrap craze of the 1990s, Wendy’s launched four Stuffed Pita sandwiches in 1997. The ranch chicken, garden veggie, and classic Greek versions were okay, but the winner was this assemblage of white-meat chicken chunks, romaine lettuce, red cabbage, shredded carrots, shredded parmesan cheese, and low-fat Caesar dressing. It didn’t last very far into the 2000s, unfortunately.