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Yeh, McDonald's voted "Best fries" |
The Best Fast Food in the U.S.
Posted Thu, May 17, 2007, 2:53 pm PDT
by Ed Levine
Zagat recently released a series of lists ranking the nation's top fast-food picks, a survey done in conjunction with TV's Today show. Zagat readers and Today show viewers sorted their experience into four subcategories: food, facilities, service, and "overall." There are overarching categories for "Mega-Chains," "All Chains" (large and small), and "Full-Service Chains" (think Outback Steakhouse, which placed first overall, or Chili's or Olive Garden).
The best-overall category pretty much breaks down along fast-food party lines. The best burger, for example, is Wendy's, which uses fresh, not frozen, meat, and which, in my burger-eating opinion is head and shoulders above McD's or BK. Best fries are McDonald's, which, in my book, are the standard when it comes to fast food spuds. Best shakes, Dairy Queen; and best chicken, Chick-fil-A.
It's in the All Chain category where things get interesting: The megachains take a beating by the smaller guys. For instance, Wendy's is the only mega to crack the top 5 (in the "food" category). Instead, the names here are Panera Bread Co., Quizno's, and Sonic Drive-In.
In Full-Service, Outback Steakhouse takes top food and top overall. And there's a surprise showing (or perhaps not) by Hooters in the "best service" list (sex sells, people), itself one big 5-way tie.
That I do not see a mention of Applebee's or T.G.I. Friday's (both of which make insipid burgers) on any of the lists bolsters my faith, as does the fact that I see Red Robin on there for No. 2 "top food" in full-service (it does make a pretty good burger).