Secret Off-the-Menu Items to Order at Your Favorite Chains

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1. Olive Garden: Half and half pasta sauce

This popular Italian dinner house chain is famous for its Alfredo sauce. Other house options, though, include mushroom, marinara, and bolognese-style meat sauces. Can’t decide? Ask for the chef to combine two (Alfredo and marinara work particularly well together, blending into a nice pink sauce), or order your pasta plain with two sauces on the side and dress it yourself.

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2. McDonald’s: Grilled cheese

No, there’s no official McGrilled Cheese at McDonald’s, but they’ll almost always make one to order. It’s just American cheese grilled inside a hamburger bun, and it’s been delighting kids for years.

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3. Sonic Drive-In: Extreme tots

Sonic used to sell these loaded potato tots but retired them from the menu. You can make your own, though, by enhancing an order of chili cheese tots (still available) with sides of jalapeño slices, sliced onions, and ranch dressing.

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4. Arby’s: Meat Mountain sandwich

One of the most famous secret menu items anywhere, this is a caution-to-the-winds creation that piles servings of virtually all the chain’s meat offerings onto one bun: sliced steak, roast beef, corned beef, brisket, ham, roast turkey, chicken tenders, and bacon. As long as you’ve gone this far, you might as well add Swiss and cheddar cheese.

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5. Starbucks: Dirty chai latte

Can’t decide between coffee and tea? Ask the barista for a chai latte turbo-charged with a shot of espresso.