Everyone loves to hate on fast-food chains -- but even restaurant ratings experts like Zagat recognize their utility in a rundown now and then. The restaurant rating aggregator just released its third annual survey of fast-food faves:
While Colorado chains like Smashburger and Noodles & Company were (woefully?) neglected, local heavy-hitters Chipotle and Red Robin made the cut, each running away with some top recognition.
Notably, Red Robin received the "Best Burger" nod in the full-service chain category. Chipotle, meanwhile, won recognition for "Most Popular" and "Top Food" (in the "Large Chains" category), as well as "Best Value" and "Best Grilled Chicken."
"Top Food" honors in the "Large Chain" and "Mega-Chain" categories went to In-N-Out and Wendy's, respectively. Meanwhile, though McDonald's was mentioned in six food- and menu-related categories, it didn't even make the top five overall among mega-chains.
Curly fries and jamocha shakes aside, Arby's shockingly squeaked into the "Best Value Menu" category. Also, perhaps diminishing the credibility of surveyors, KFC and Popeye's occupy the number-one and -two spots in the "Best Fried Chicken" category.
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More than 6,500 fast-food fans voted in the online survey, which asked surveyors to vote on 97 major fast-food chains and 39 full-service chains.