Foods And Restaurants We Love (Even Though They're Kind Of Trash)

Nobody likes a food snob, but if we're honest with ourselves, just about all of us, at one point or another have seen a fast food item or gas station snack and thought, "Who would order that?!" Well, somebody is ordering these foods without reservation and today we're showcasing those food picks the world may call into question.

We won't call them "guilty pleasures" because frankly, we have no guilt when it comes to these delectable treats that may or may not be of the highest quality. Yes, the ingredients may be questionable. Yes, they may offer little to absolutely zero nutritional value. Yes, we may sometimes lock our bedroom door while we enjoy them — but that's only so we don't have to share.

If you have a favorite food that society may turn its collective nose at, have no fear, you're in good company here. And if you don't have a particular "trash food" you love, not to worry, the Mashed writers are happy to offer up a few items for consideration.

In-N-Out's fries - Suzanne S. Wiley

Defending In-N-Out's fries is somewhat difficult because they really can be bad if you don't customize them. The locations near me seem to have their regular frying time set at "charred," and the L.A. Times got it right when they called the fries "bland, crumbly little matchsticks." When I was younger, I actually stopped buying the fries for a while because I didn't like how hard and overdone they were. Growing up in the pre-social media age, all I knew was that you could get ketchup and mustard instead of the spread on your burger and that there was some sort of secret menu for the burgers. I had no idea that you could request changes to the fries, so I just gave up on them.

Once I learned about "fry light," where the fries are fried just a little less, that's when I started buying the fries again. Pulling the fries out of the fryer early was all that was needed to turn those over-fried shards of dead potato into actual, edible fries, even without ketchup (and no, they're not almost raw). I've heard other people complain about how In-N-Out's fries are too soggy, so "fry light" might not work out well for them; "light well" and "well done" might be better. But this is why In-N-Out's fries are actually worth buying and eating. When you find the level of frying that suits you, and you find the flavor (with ketchup, animal-style, lemon-pepper, etc.) that you like, those fries are delicious.

Sheetz bagels - Jennifer Goldsmith

With locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, you may have encountered a Sheetz to fill up your tank or grab a quick snack, but did you know the popular convenience store chain is more than just a quick pit-stop? With touchscreen ordering, 24-hour breakfast, and made-to-order sandwiches, there's something for everyone on the Sheetz menu.

For the breakfast lover who is in a hurry and is craving a New York-style bagel, look no further than this gas station pioneer. If you're feeling adventurous, there are a number of other spreads besides cream cheese that you can conveniently select from, like maple syrup, grape jelly, or butter. Toasted or untoasted, plain or seasoned, a few quick selections will have you out the door and back on the road in under $2.

If you have a few extra bucks, go ahead and splurge on the illustrious Shmagel, a breakfast bagel made-to-order with your choice of meats, fried or scrambled eggs, topped with whatever cheese your heart and stomach desires. There's no shortage of other toppings to add on, like guacamole, caramelized onions, or pepperoni if you're more of a pizza bagel person. Either way, the bagel or Schmagel at Sheetz is a crave-worthy road offering that takes gas station food to the next level.

Taco Bell's chicken chalupa - Crysta Coburn

Half of the time I go to the Taco Bell near my house, they are only accepting orders through DoorDash and refuse to take my order on site. Heaven forbid I place my order ahead of time through the Taco Bell app. I always have to re-order at the window and later contest the double charge on my credit card. If this is a DoorDash only night, I am completely out of luck.

So why do I keep going back? Two words: chicken chalupa. Specifically, the Two Chicken Chalupas Supreme Combo. The single crunchy beef taco that accompanies the chalupas is always soggy and falling apart. But the chalupas are perfect. The chicken is flavorful, the cheese is soft, and the puffy tortillas remain crispy. The fresh vegetables and tangy sour cream are icing on the proverbial cake.

Are Taco Bell's chalupas authentic? They are not. No one goes to Taco Bell for authentic Mexican cuisine. We go because it is strangely satisfying. And if Taco Bell ever stops selling chicken chalupas, it will likely become dead to me. Let us pray this never happens.

Gas station chili dogs - Crawford Smith

One of the great pleasures of road trips is that you're free to unleash the darkest parts of your id when selecting what food you want to eat. When I'm alone in the car on a long trip (and I can't stress enough that I must be alone to consume this treat), the hot dogs on the roller machine at the gas station start looking really good. I don't consume them plain, of course — plain hot dogs are for children. The experience isn't complete until the dog is sopping wet with chili and cheese sauce.

First, I select a hot dog from the roller. This is an art, as you don't want a lukewarm dog, but you also don't want one that's been sitting on the machine for so long that it looks like it fell asleep at the beach. Then, my favorite part: applying the cheese and chili. Different gas station chains have their own solutions for dispensing toppings, but for my money, the best is when there are two faucets that shoot hot cheese sauce and chili straight onto your dog. I'm not sure what you have to do to chili to turn it into a pumpable fluid, but whatever it is, I love it. This delicacy is best eaten in the secret corner behind the gas station where employees smoke cigarettes — you're away from the prying eyes of society, and there's no chance you'll stain the upholstery of your car with chili.

McDonald's Sausage Egg & Cheese McGriddles - Mary K. Cahill

Say what you want about McDonald's, but its breakfast game is strong. In 2003, the fast food giant released a product that was rather ingenious for its time: McGriddles. This breakfast sandwich was offered with the usual choices of sausage egg and cheese or bacon egg and cheese, but McDonald's flipped the script by serving McGriddles between two fluffy little pancakes (a.k.a. griddle cakes) studded with maple syrup and branded (in a cute way) with the McDonald's "M." It was the birth of a legend.

McGriddles had qualities the general public had yet to see from fast food breakfast. First, it rode the sweet and savory wave way before other chains thought it was cool (take that salted caramel!). Second, there was science behind its inception that involved actual scientists.

The beauty of McGriddles is that you get a ubiquitous maple syrup taste without having to deal with a side of sticky syrup. McGriddles' creator, Tom Ryan, the food scientist of Stuffed Crust Pizza and Smashburger fame, worked with a technology team to engineer maple syrup crystals designed to melt inside the griddle cakes at a certain temperature. Genius! Layer on a melted cheese slice, Mickey D's trademark folded egg, and a zesty sausage patty and the McGriddle has more flavor complexity than its drive-thru contemporaries. Of course, the nutrition facts scroll out like a highway to saturated fat hell, but that's what gives trash food its so-wrong-it's-right appeal when eaten on occasion.

Bojangles Bo-Berry Biscuit - Amy Bell

When you're ready to give into your craving for a true culinary masterpiece, head to your nearest Bojangles right away. That's because waiting for you in the back of its kitchen is pure, unadulterated, fast-food greatness. The Bojangles Bo-Berry Biscuit is a classic Southern-style buttermilk biscuit baked and smothered in a rich, ridiculously-sweet vanilla icing. It's chock full of delectable bite-sized blueberries, too. Are those blueberries real? Unlikely — and I don't even care.

"It's literally impossible to stop eating a Boberry biscuit after you've eaten a bite," said a user on Reddit, and we have to say that I concur wholeheartedly. Who cares that a single one is 370 calories and 49 grams of carbs? There may be no nutritional value whatsoever to be gained from these greasy, sugary morsels ... but I'm not ashamed to say I'd still happily eat a truckload from the Southeastern chicken chain. And if you want to make things even more interesting, take my advice and order a sodium-packed sausage patty on the side. Pop open your Bo-Berry Biscuit, and turn it into an innovative sandwich that is too sinfully delicious for words. Will your stomach complain later? Probably. But it was worth it.

Taco Bell Baja Blast - Jenny Kellerhals

Taco Bell is one of those guilty fast food indulgences that I don't often admit to. But the cold hard truth is that I would gladly suck down a Mountain Dew Baja Blast Freeze from the fast food chain any time of the day or night, every day of the year if given the chance. The only thing that stops me is the mounting delivery fees, which help me hold on to the very little self-control I have for the unnaturally teal blue-tinted drink in the first place. And I know that I'm not the only one. The original Mountain Dew Baja Blast hit drive-thrus in 2004, available exclusively at Taco Bell, and has been a fan favorite ever since. The frozen version of the drink didn't hit the menu until 2013, giving the drink's fans something new to obsess over, followed by other limited edition offerings like gelato, lip balm, and even a boozy version for 21+ fans.

The teal blue color roughly mimics the crystal clear waters of Baja California, Mexico, and the flavor profile is described as "a tropical lime storm"—although I can't say with any conviction that's what it actually tastes like, and I don't really care. If I could get it anywhere else, I would. But since we can only go to Taco Bell for a sip of this frozen paradise in a plastic cup, I might as well order a Nachos BellGrande Combo and Crunchwrap Supreme while I'm at it ... right?

Jack in the Box tacos - Kirstie Renae

There's no world in which I would say sliced American cheese belongs on a taco. Except, perhaps, when it comes to Jack in the Box tacos. A mainstay on the Jack in the Box menu, these tacos exemplify trash food. The meat mixture is mush, the lettuce and cheese are always haphazardly thrown on, and the shell falls apart very easily in the center. Everything about these tacos is seemingly wrong, and yet somehow they're just right. To me, Jack in the Box tacos and the hot sauce that goes with them are a must-have on road trips, during late nights, or when I'm out running errands and find myself snack-ish.

It doesn't matter if the meat in the tacos is a mystery. It doesn't matter if they look absolutely nothing like the Jack in the Box promotional photos. These tacos are deliciously satisfying every single time. Not to mention, Jack in the Box's deal of two tacos for $0.99 is arguably the best deal available on the fast food market right now. These tacos may objectively be terrible, but they are undoubtedly nostalgic not only in their flavor and presentation but also in their sheer act of existing in a day and age where dollar menu fast food seems like a thing of the past.