Fast food is an American way of life, but these joints are taking it beyond the Happy Meal. Fasten your seat belt for the country's most extreme fast food.
Voodoo Doughnuts is Portland's first, and most extreme, independent doughnut shop. While the United States has over 6,000 stores selling glazed and Boston crémes, there's only one spot where you can order the Grape Ape, Arnold Palmer and Triple Chocolate Penetration. Their Portland Créme is now the official doughnut of Portland, and on a daily basis they offer up over 100 different kinds of doughnuts -- that's twice as many as other doughnut chains.
If you're looking to get a doughnut on the house, sign up for the Tex-Ass Challenge. The Tex-Ass doughnut is a glazed doughnut 4 times the size of a normal one. Eat it in under 80 seconds, and the doughnut's free.
Sonic Drive-In, open since 1953, is America's largest chain of drive-in restaurants with over 3,500 locations. In Tyler, TX, the Sonic is known for offering America's most extreme meals on wheels. After you place your order from the comfort of your own car, a Sonic carhop will deliver your food. On the way, they perform some serious skate tricks -- burning up to 2,000 calories in one shift. To put that in perspective, it's like burning off a Sonic bacon cheeseburger, a Corndog Coney, mozzarella sticks, a cherry slush and a banana split -- at once.
While at Sonic, make sure to try their ever-popular drink menu. Customers flip over personalizing their combinations of flavors, sodas, teas, limeades and slushies. All together, the options yield 168,000 thirst-quenching combinations.
From the drive-in to the ski-thru, we're heading to Vermont's Okemo Mountain. Waffle Cabin is the world's first, and only, mountainside ski-thru. Those of you who feel the lure of fresh powder and open trails know it's all about how much time you can spend on the mountain. Waffle Cabin allows you to avoid the cafeteria-style lunch lines at the lodge and grab your lunch without ever leaving your bindings.
Waffle Cabin dusts its waffles with an extra sweet sugar made from beets, deliciously imported from Europe by the ton. So carb up and carve down with a Waffle Cabin special in hand (mitten).
The Wiener's Circle
In Chicago, IL, a hole-in-the-wall hot dog joint has become a citywide sensation. At The Weiner's Circle, the workers are known for slinging out more than dogs and spicy mustard -- they are infamous for hurling insults at their customers. The curses are so insulting, so rude and so downright dirty, they would make sailors and truck drivers blush with modesty.
Insults and dogs and have passed over the counter for 26 years. Owners Larry and Barry originally thought their hot dog stand would be a simple late-night snack hut, but when drunk customers got a little carried away, they decided if you can't beat 'em, join 'em -- and the tradition began. Head to The Weiner's Circle late at night if you're feeling feisty, but those with weak stomachs and thin skins need not apply.
New York, New York
Everything's faster in the city that never sleeps; cabs race through red lights, sidewalks are packed with speed walkers and food is available without delay. At Bamn! Automat, the food is served in revamped upscale vending machines and you'll get the fastest service in the Western hemisphere.
From 1912 to 1991, automats were a Manhattan mainstay, where busy New Yorkers grabbed their food on the go. In 2006, Bamn! Automat's owner, Raymond Wong, decided it was time to bring back this fast-food tradition. And we're talking fast. The automat's 13 mechanical cashiers can handle 26 customers in a New York minute.
How's the food? Clear your schedule for a minute, and try the popular bacon cheeseburger or any Bamn! treat.
New Brunswick, New Jersey
In New Brunswick, NJ, you'll find an extreme location of the Cluck-U Chicken chain. For over 25 years, Cluck-U has been serving sports fans and hungry college students some of the hottest wings in the country. Orders go from a single wing to 10,000 -- that's more than 800 pounds of super-spicy wingage.
More intense than the sheer number of wings available for consumption is Cluck-U's collection of signature hot sauces. There are 23 finger-licking flavors running from mild to 911, named in honor of the first person who tried the sauce, and was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. Now that's extreme.
Corbin, KY, is home to the very first KFC, establishing it as half fast-food joint, half historical site. Harland Sanders, who spent hours in the tiny Corbin kitchen perfecting his fried chicken recipe, built it during the Great Depression. With 11,000 branches in over 80 countries, this is the place that started it all -- and the only one worthy of fried chicken field trip.
At Cowgirls Espresso in Seattle, WA, caffeine isn't the only thing that will get your heart going. The bikini-clad baristas will jump-start your morning with their fresh brewed java and daily themed, barely there uniforms. On the first hot July day that the ladies shed their shirts, sales skyrocketed 100%. Their menu is as extensive as their imaginations, so, make sure to stop by for the country's hottest cup of coffee next time you're in Seattle.