Most abominable food items you can buy at chain restaurants

Let's talk about fast food. You've gotta love it, you've gotta hate it. Cheap, scrumptious and utterly disgusting, fast food — or the similar fare you're likely to find in slightly more upscale chain restaurants — is as fun as it is guilt-inducing; satisfying as it is utterly unsatisfying. We're not here to berate fast food — it's got its purpose.

You know what doesn't have a purpose? These things. These horrific, Frankenstein-esque monstrosities were introduced to our gastronomic culture for no good reason other than that the terrifyingly unhinged "food scientists" who come up with this stuff were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should. 

Olive Garden's Italian nachos

We've already told you before that most of what they serve at Olive Garden isn't actually Italian, but this is taking it too far. Yes, not satisfied with carefully blurring the lines between Italian and American cuisine, the fine people over at OG have taken it upon themselves to throw Mexican food into the mix..

Their nachos, officially called "loaded pasta chips" (did you just cringe too?) are made with fried lasagna noodles layered with Italian cheeses and a meat sauce, topped with cherry peppers and Alfredo sauce. It's like alien observers opened an Italian restaurant based only off what they'd been told about Italians by people from Uzbekistan. Anyway, whatever — they're available throughout the US for a bargain price of your own self-respect.

The Cheesecake Factory's mac and cheese burger

Good God, what do these people have against Italy? This affront to humanity is the work of the Cheesecake Factory's mad scientist division: fried macaroni and cheese balls in a cheddar sauce with all the trimmings of a normal burger. Include fries with your order for the ultimate in carb-loading heart-attacking anti-bliss.

Now, one might argue that (like loaded pasta chips), macaroni and cheese isn't strictly Italian, being an Italian-American dish, but that doesn't mean we need to do this with it.

The Cheesecake Factory includes this dish on their "glamburger" menu — we were too afraid to check, but it's probably a safe bet that they've got some other travesties cooked up under the same category. Enter at your own risk.

Del Taco's bun taco

Maybe it's time for a disclaimer: we don't think there's anything wrong with fusion food. Tex-Mex? Awesome. Yōshoku? Fascinating. Del Taco's bun taco? Come on, now. For the uninitiated (what is it they say about ignorance?), the bun taco is exactly what it sounds like: all the inner workings of the taco — meat, diced onions, cilantro, salsa, guac, shredded cheese or whatever — contained within a burger bun.

You won't find it on the menu at Del Taco anymore, but word is that they'll still make it for you if you ask nicely. Now, this does all actually sound pretty good, and we're under no doubt that it won't taste at least okay, but you try looking at the thing and telling us it was any kind of necessary. It looks like someone made the mistake of putting your most stoned friend in charge of organizing the snacks. No thank you.

Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Taco

Speaking of tacos, let's take a moment to delve into the history behind Taco Bell's worst war crime. Conceived in the wake of a midlife crisis by Taco Bell's CEO, the Doritos Locos Taco (roughly yet appropriately translated as the "Doritos Lunatic Taco") was an attempt to improve on hundreds of years' worth of Mexican culinary tradition by replacing the beloved taco shell with a big, cheese-dusted Doritos chip.

Everything went pretty well after that — the American public lapped it up and the DLT became one of Taco Bell's great success stories. We're not entirely convinced, though, subscribing more to the "that prototype should have been thrown into a black hole and then the black hole should have been burned down" school of thought. The company's food innovation expert, Steve Gomez, recalls thinking that "nobody had ever done this before" upon first seeing his new, ungodly creation. And we wonder why, Steve. We wonder why.

Applebee's quesadilla burger

Oh, for crying out loud. They're just mashing stuff together and seeing what sticks at this point, aren't they? Applebee's quesadilla burger is a bacon cheeseburger covered in melted cheese and a "Mexi-ranch sauce," served up quesadilla-style — so basically on a tortilla. Containing nearly twice your guideline daily amount of salt, this one is as likely to kill you as it is to satisfy your hunger.

But hey, at least as the end comes — the greasy, fat-soaked, cholesterol-heavy end — you'll be able to look back on your life and think to yourself, "hey, it wasn't all bad: after all, there were times in my life where I wasn't eating a quesadilla burger." And they, dear reader, are the good times. Cherish them.

Little Caesar's bacon-wrapped pizza

This might be controversial (although it really shouldn't be) but bacon doesn't really belong on pizza. Pepperoni, sure, and other types of sausage go just fine, but something about sticking bacon on top just doesn't seem quite right. We're not going to attack anyone for doing it, though. To each their own, right?

No. Not to each their own, because to each their own leads to things like this. In 2016, Little Caesar's announced the return of the bacon-wrapped pizza. And yes, it's pretty much what it says: a deep dish pizza "pie" wrapped in crispy bacon and topped with pepperoni and more bacon. Here's a fun bonus fact for you: each slice is reported to contain 410 calories (and who eats just one?) — so it's disgusting and dangerous!

Olive Garden breadstick sandwiches

In the interests of downplaying our own cynicism, we're going to try justifying this one. Okay, so you've got breadsticks. Now, Olive Garden's breadsticks aren't actually that much like proper Italian breadsticks — in Italy, they're pencil thin and crispy and generally aren't a particularly important part of any meal. At Olive Garden, however, they're thick and covered in garlic and butter and oil.

Many of the fillings you'll find in the Olive Garden breadstick sandwiches are basically totally inauthentic, too: be they meatballs, chicken Parm or what have you, there's a good chance the insides are as non-Italian as the outsides. In that case, an argument could be made that the whole thing is so audaciously fraudulent that it cancels itself out and actually becomes good. Right?

KFC's Double Down

We're not feeling quite so generous with this one, though. Brass tacks: KFC's Double Down is a legendary menu item which consists of bacon, cheese and barbecue sauce between two breaded chicken fillets. Presumably invented by someone who hates chickens, this particular burger seems to be to food what blimps were to air travel: a nice idea on paper, but somewhat flawed in the execution.

While we're at it, the Double Down is also a prime example of why you shouldn't trust fast food marketing campaigns: it may appear all juicy and delicious in the photos and the commercials, but when you get it in a box it's going to look like something you'd pull out of a blocked sink. For now, it's hanging out in the KFC vault — and that's where it'll stay until we all forget what an abomination it really was.

Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

In 2015, Pizza Hut launched a new menu item in Asia which slowly spread across the world. It hit Japan, China, South Korea, and then the UK, Australia and Canada, before striking the United States and finally succeeding where many virulent diseases have failed. This, however, was no bubonic plague — it was the Hot Dog Bites Pizza. Any pizza you ordered could have its crust invaded by 28 hot dog "bites", with the added option of including a pretzel finish to the crust and a side of mustard. In the end, your pizza ended up looking like something that would send any self-respecting Italian into a stress coma.

Pizza Hut described the Hot Dog Bites Pizza as "the most American of pizzas" and, frankly, we're not gonna argue with them on that point. Since Pizza Hut tends to rotate their strange crust creations, like garlic knots crust, bacon-stuffed crust, grilled cheese crust, and the current cheesy bites crust, hot dog bites are not available at the moment. But have no fear — seeing how it was the worst of the worst, we're pretty sure it'll make a comeback.

Burger King's Flamin' Hot Mac n' Cheetos

At the top (or the bottom) of the stinking pile, however, is this. Almost Biblical in the horror that they deliver, Burger King's Flamin' Hot Mac n' Cheetos are as much an affront to food as they are to the proper use of apostrophes. Described as a "portable snack mashup," they're basically mozzarella sticks filled with mac and cheese, coated with Cheetos. 

Burger King's North American president Alex Macedo admitted that they developed the menu item because their guests "loved" their basic Mac n' Cheetos, presumably as a way of explaining his sins while smearing the market researchers who allowed this to happen. The Flamin' Hot Mac n' Cheetos are available for a limited time only, meaning that they will, one day, disappear from the Earth. That day can't come soon enough.