#1 Surprise of the Year
The Cantina Tacos from Taco Bell amazed me more than any other fast food offering this year. I'm not saying they're the best tacos I've ever had, but they're so much better than Taco Bell's original tacos that there's just no comparison. When I thought back on what got me excited this year, the Cantina Tacos came to mind first.
Talk about doing what you do well. Chick-fil-A took their top-notch chicken sandwich and made it spicy, leapfrogging ahead of Wendy's Spicy Chicken.
Most Hyped That Delivers
Burger King has promised a new breakfast with corny ads all year. All that promotion aside, the pancakes were by far the best I'd had from a chain restaurant, and the other offerings taste good even when the execs aren't watching.
When I think back on the Angus Snack Wrap from McDonald's, I feel slightly ill. It shows that the true McDonald's burger rests on the laurels of the bun, because the ingredients are pretty sub-standard, and putting them on a tortilla doesn't do them any favors.
Most Hype That Fails To Live Up
The McRib may have spawned one of the most memorable television commercials of the year. Sadly, it wasn't as good as I expected, or even remembered it being.
Most Hype That Leaves Me Confused
KFC's Double Down was the fast food item of the year—a "sandwich" with fried chicken as its bun. I likened it to Justin Bieber: hot now, gone tomorrow. Can it stand the test of time?