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Some popular fast-food menu items will never go away, not as long as the human race is still around. You can count on McDonald’s Big Mac, Burger King’s Whopper, Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich, and In-N-Out’s Double-Double as sure as sunrise and sunset.
Other fast-food menu items are gone for good, like McDonald’s ill-fated Arch Deluxe burger (which many people miss), the KFC Double Down (to which we say good riddance), or the Macaroni Bites from Jack in the Box.
Then we have that third category: fast-food items that disappeared from menus only to return later in all their glory. 2022 turned out to be a good year for fast-food comebacks, as you’ll see, with these eight menu items that reappeared.
The McDonald’s McRib sandwich is the proverbial Prodigal Son on repeat. It shows up, everyone gets excited, then it disappears again. So in many ways, the sandwich’s return to the menu this fall was just business as usual. Except that this time, it was billed as a “farewell tour,” with the chain claiming the McRib won’t be back nationally for an indefinite but likely protracted time.
Arby’s first added a cheeseburger to its menu this spring. The Wagyu Steakhouse Burger was a hit, but it was always planned as a limited-time menu item, so it soon left the chain again. And sooner than expected because it sold out, which was enough for Arby’s to bring the burger right on back a few months later in the fall.
In 2020, when Wendy’s rolled out this new line of sandwiches, with meats served on pretzel-style buns and with toppings like beer cheese sauce, they were a hit. So, when they were pulled off the menu the next year, it was a blow. Fortunately, the line has been restored, and several Wendy’s Bacon Pub Sandwiches are on the menu again.
A favorite with many fans of Taco Bell, the Mexican Pizza consists of two layers of tortilla and seasoned beef, cheese, beans, tomatoes, and the so-called “Mexican Pizza Sauce.” It is a beloved item that left a hole in many hearts until it was brought back earlier this year, but, sadly, the return was temporary. Until it wasn’t. After a limited-time return earlier in the year, the chain restored the Mexican Pizza as a permanent menu item in September.
Taco Bell’s Enchirito was brought back thanks to popular demand. Literally. The chain organized a vote over which two menu items should make a return and the Enchirito, which is beef, refried beans, and onions wrapped inside a tortilla and covered with cheese and a red sauce, is the one that won. But it’s a limited-time return, so get yours ASAP if you were missing it.
On and off the menu in a process that played with the emotions of many devotees of this Southern fast-food chain, Zaxby’s Fried Pickles were finally restored to the menu this year. And not just for a limited run, either: they are to be a permanent menu item going forward.
The McDonald’s morning menu has been a point of contention in recent years, when all-day breakfast was retired during the pandemic. So too has the shifting of the menu riled some customers. But we can only assume that most of Mickey D’s fans will be glad to know that the chain’s Breakfast Bagel Sandwiches, discontinued in 2020, have returned in many market areas.