> Classic Roast Beef
Arby’s has experimented with venison sandwiches, and offers a wide range of chicken, turkey, and pork options. The chain made its reputation with roast beef, though, and while it now offers such variations as Bourbon BBQ Barrel Stack, Bacon Beef ‘N Cheddar, and Jalapeño Roast Beef Slider, it’s the good old original Classic Roast Beef, with thin-sliced meat piled on a toasted sesame bun and anointed with ketchupy Arby’s Sauce or the horseradish-flavored Horsey Sauce, that continues to define the place.
17. Little Caesars
> Crazy Bread
This is basically a pizza chain, of course, so it’s not surprising that items like its Hot-N-Ready Extramostbestest Stuffed Crust pizza and other specialty pies are the main focus. It’s a non-pizza that has become most symbolic of Little Caesars, though: its Crazy Bread — soft breadsticks full of butter and garlic and sprinkled with parmesan cheese. These are best ordered with a side of Crazy Sauce, which is basically tomato sauce jacked up with various herbs and spices, perfect for dipping.
18. Jack in the Box
> Two Tacos
Some people think of Jack in the Box as a hamburger place but the chain’s take on tacos — two to a serving — is the most often-ordered item on the menu. The Wall Street Journal reports that Americans eat 554 million of them a year. While they’re filled with seasoned ground beef and shredded lettuce like the ones at Taco Bell, they get a slice of American cheese inside instead of that other chain’s shredded cheddar, and the taco sauce is already added. These tacos have been called everything from “a wet envelope of cat food” to “vile and amazing.” Whatever they are, it’s impossible to imagine Jack in the Box without them.
19. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
Popeyes makes good fried chicken and a credible version of Louisiana-style popcorn shrimp, among other things, but chances are that if you mention the chain to Popeyes fans, the first thing they’ll say is “Biscuits!” They’re unusually good for mass-produced examples of this classic American specialty — substantial but also flaky and light, with buttery flavor and a slight tang of buttermilk.
20. Papa John’s
> Cheese pizza
Papa John’s has come under fire over the past few years for founder John Schnatter’s racial comments and the subsequent departure of franchisee and spokesman Peyton Manning from the operation. It’s still the nation’s fourth-largest pizza chain, though, and while it offers numerous options — including a John’s Favorite Pizza with two meats and a six-cheese blend that has been described as “grease on top of grease” — it’s the cheese pizza that keeps a lot of people coming back. Hailed for its “solid-looking crust and glistening cheese,” it can be ordered with one of eight dipping sauces, from ranch to honey mustard to blue cheese.