The Iconic Fast-Food Menu Item That's Never Been Duplicated

When you get big, you're bound to have imitators. People will want to copy your style. They'll want to dress like you, talk like you. Imitation, after all, is the sincerest form of flattery. This doesn't just apply to big-name celebrities, influencers, or whoever else fills up your social media stream: It also applies to food.

Consider fast food destinations like McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and any other restaurant chain that comes to mind. People have spent untold hours trying to imitate these brands' most famous products. Entire food blogs, such as Top Secret Recipes and CopyKat Recipes, are dedicated to this very craft, sharing everything from dupes for McDonalds' famous Big Mac to highly convincing copycat KFC chicken. To be clear, while these recipes are delicious on their own and certainly fun to make, they simply aren't the real deal. In the world of fast food, there are imitators, and there are legends.

To writer Andrew Pridgen, it seems that one special menu item has never been duplicated, entirely lacking a viable copycat version from ambitious chefs or other restaurants. In Bakersfield, California, lies the legendary Andre's Drive-In and its famous, "never replicated" French Burger.

Andre's French Burger is a massive classic

Described by Pridgen of SFGate as a "concrete and steel mid-century space ship that looks like it fell from the sky 65 years ago," Andre's Drive-In seems like a 1950s burger joint that's been stuck in time. Having been around even before McDonald's opened its first hamburger stand, Andre's is unique — so unique, in fact, that Pridgen says its signature French Burger is one-of-a-kind.

The French burger is composed of two side-by-side beef patties, American cheese, lettuce, and pickles on a buttery, oblong French roll, meaning it resembles more of an oversized sandwich than your typical hamburger. SFGate claims that the burger's selling point is that "it's unscalable" for others to copy due to its sheer size. This is confirmed by Google reviews sharing that the sandwich is two meals in one. A Facebook user, however, says the bread is the real secret. "Whoever thought of that famous French burger is a genius. It can only work because of the famous bread, which is amazingly made in Bakersfield too!!" they said.

While its appearance may bring to mind thoughts of the McDonald's McRib or even Burger King's obscure Meatloaf Sandwich, it does seem that Pridgen is right: The French Burger has never been replicated by a major restaurant chain. Augmenting the French Burger's exclusive status is the fact that there's only one Andre's in Bakersfield, California, making it the only place you can get a true French Burger. Of course, you could make one at home, but doesn't that make this whole thing moot?