Life Food


Sarah Hanlon says there are new ways to hack old fast food favourites like McDonald's pancakes. McDONALD'S

Sarah Hanlon says there are new ways to hack old fast food favourites like McDonald's pancakes. McDONALD'S


Last week, my friend Habib showed me a new way to eat a Chicken Snack Wrap from McDonald's.

If you ask them to hold the sauce and get some salsa packets to add to your wrap, you get a makeshift quesadilla. It is a whole different experience! If you're older than 35, you're probably asking yourself why this is relevant information, but if you are a millennial like myself who gets bored with absolutely everything and practically lives off fast food, I know I have just added this to your #FastFoodHack list.

If I am just introducing you to the concept of a "fast food hack," you're welcome - and I'm sorry for what is about to happen.

In fact, the Internet is filled with websites and forums devoted to food hacking and secret menu building.

People feel a sense of community by curating the most creative ways to eat the same old fast food we have been seeing since the inception of these restaurants in the 1950s and 60s.

Here are some of my favourite ways to change up the most classic fast food offerings: (And don't worry, I talked to my friends who work at fast food joints and they all told me asking for these types of changes is only slightly irritating but usually provides a break from what can be a typically monotonous job).

* McDonald's pancakes get turned into a crepe-style breakfast when you toss a berry parfait on top and roll it up into the perfect handheld sweet breakfast snack.

* Sick of the plain vanilla ice cream at the bottom of your McFlurry? Try adding a pie to your McFlurry to amp up the deliciousness. Right now, McDonald's has a Baked Double Chocolate pie and - for purely research purposes - I can confirm myself that this is a great hack.

* Turn old doughnuts into freshly baked treats. Next time you are at Tim Hortons ask for you doughnut to be put through the toaster or the microwave. This is a total game changer - especially on a fritter or sour cream glazed.

* If you're a fan of flavoured coffee drinks, Google Starbucks secret menu and brace yourself for the amount of zany options that await you.

* Remember when Subway used to hollow your bun to make room for your veggies and toppings? If you ask for your bun 'old style,' there is a high chance you can still get it made this way.

* At Burger King, you can always "have it your way" but have you ever thought of asking for half fries, half onion rings with your combo? Not a problem! Maybe that's where Drake got his Frings inspiration.

* Nostalgic fast food connoisseurs who remember Burger King's Rodeo Burger may rejoice at the news you can still order the burger that comes straight off the secret menu loaded with onion rings and BBQ sauce.

* For fresh fries and burgers without having to specifically ask for it and risk looking like a high-maintenance fast foodie, just ask for your fries without salt (and then add it after) or for your burger bun to be steamed (a sheer delight anyway). These simple requests usually result in food that doesn't live under the hot lamp.

* If you ask for a 'round egg' on your sandwich at McDonald's, you get a real grilled egg instead of the scrambled egg patty thing. And this is a good thing given McDonald's is already or about to serve all-day breakfast in select provinces in Canada.