Slideshow: The Year in Fast Food: Highlights, Lowlights, and More Breakfast Sandwiches

McDonald's Maple and Fruit Oatmeal
McDonald's Maple and Fruit Oatmeal
Our Executive Oatmeal Editor rejects McDonald's claim that its Maple and Fruit Oatmeal, released in January of 2011, is "undeniably delicious." Erin called it "hurt-your-teeth sweet," and at a hefty 290 calories (for oatmeal without nuts!), she'd prefer a McMuffin.
Dunkin' Donuts Smokehouse Sausage Sandwich
Dunkin' Donuts Smokehouse Sausage Sandwich
This sandwich is a tastier new way to break your fast. The muffin's well-toasted and the split Hillshire Farms sausage link is very good for its kind, slightly smoky and suggesting kielbasa.
Dunkin' Donuts Blueberry Waffle Sandwich
Dunkin' Donuts Blueberry Waffle Sandwich
This was a mess. We don't know how you'd make a good breakfast meat, egg, and cheese sandwich using blueberry waffles for bread, but John discovered a few ways to make a bad one. The waffles were "flimsy and limp," the cheese was egregiously unmelted, and the maple sausage "tasted more like syrup than meat."
Jack in the Box Breakfast Pita
Jack in the Box Breakfast Pita
This stood out for being a fast food pita and also for being good. SE writer John found the ingredients to be fresher-tasting than those at McDonald's and Burger King, and he called the eggs "plentiful, fluffy, and moist." The bacon's crisper than the fast food norm, too.
Taco Bell's Triple Steak Stack
Taco Bell's Triple Steak Stack
This was a less successful instance of an old chain trying to learn new bread. The steak was better than expected, but the "bolillo flatbread" was limp, bland, and soggy; the cheese wasn't any good, either, so as impressed as we were with the meat and the concept, we couldn't give this three-ingredient taco departure a passing grade.
Burger King's New Fries
Burger King's New Fries
Burger King tried to get us fired up about their new and allegedly improved french fries. The Serious Eats team tried them (of course) and while they praised the fries for being "thicker and potao-ier inside," they said they lacked salt, and no amount of potatoieness can make up for an undersalted fry.