Jack in the Box
Order: Jack’s spicy chicken sandwich, combination curly and regular fries, two tacos, and some extra Frank’s RedHot
I decided to opt against anything that was strictly on the Late Night menu, even though I’ve only been to Jack in the Box twice before 11pm, and both times it was for one of these stories. But I have to say: the “bakery” buns on the Jack’s spicy chicken are pretty damn good, and if you ask for some Frank’s RedHot sauce to add to it, it has the necessary spice and flavor to make you feel OK about daytime Jack eating. Oh, also -- it’s basically a legal mandate that you get a couple of tacos whenever you go there. They’re not pictured above because I ate them in the car on the way home, as God intended. -- KA
Order: Chick-fil-A spicy chicken sandwich, Chick-fil-A nuggets, Chick-fil-A waffle fries, plus a bunch of Chick-fil-A sauces and one Polynesian sauce
There are two fast-food places that I consider stopping at whenever I see them: In-N-Out and Chick-fil-A. Maybe it's the dashes in both of their names. Or maybe it’s the fact that they both make a simple, superior product and have for a very long time. You know you’re getting chicken here, but my move is to do one of the spicy chicken sandwiches, and then settle down with very good waffle fries dipped in their regular sauce, and nuggets with that tangy Polynesian stuff that seems like it comes right from a Hawaiian luau-themed party in the '50s. Oh also: don’t go on Sundays. They won’t give you any food. -- DG
Order: Large Beef & Cheddar meal with curly fries and extra cheese sauce, plus a side order of four mozzarella sticks
Fact: Arby’s makes mozz sticks that are as good as, if not better than, most bars, and part of that allure comes from the fact that they’ve got a faint hint of that trademark curly-fry seasoning. The trick is to eat two before you dive into the Beef & Cheddar, then use the last two as a palate cleanser (skip the Jamocha shake... cheese sticks are a better dessert anyway). About that Beef & Cheddar: it’s a masterpiece of simplicity, with the onion bun and whatever the hell that sauce is adding punch to the salty beef and perfectly fake cheese, a neon-orange concoction that you should order in excess, as using the curly fries to sop it up from your foil (or your beard, if you’re me) takes something perfect on its own to brand-new heights. -- AK
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Kevin Alexander is Thrillist’s national writer-at-large, and wants a side order of jalapeños. Don’t follow him because he’s scared of strangers: @KAlexander03.