I'm a brown-bagger at lunchtime and generally steer clear of fast food restaurants at nights and on weekends.
But sometimes I succumb to the siren call of the value menu. But that's not the only place to get fast food deals:
1. McDonald's: Two pies for $1. There's not pies like grandma used to make, but they're not too shabby, either. I don't care for the apple, but I like the cherry pies and especially the pumpkin pies in the fall.
2. Au Bon Pain: Half-price baked goods. I've never been at the right place at the right time for this, but I'm anxious to get a discounted creme de fleur. Look for a sign at your local Au Bon Pain. The discounts usually start an hour (or more) before closing.
3. Fazoli's: All-you-can-eat-breadsticks. A friend and former co-worker showed me during our lunch breaks at work that you can order from the kid's menu and get a soda instead of the toy. The ravioli is OK, but I'm really only there to eat those garlicky, buttery breadsticks.
4. Subway: $5 footlongs. Yeah, these are hardly secrets. But I like them even more since they sponsor one of my favorite TV shows, Chuck. When Chuck fans were scared the show wouldn't be renewed, they organized a campaign to buy $5 footlongs on the evening of the season finale and let the restaurant know what they were doing and why. In any case, Chuck was renewed. Ain't it grand when food mixes with entertainment?
5. Papa John's: $1 slices. It's possible that this is just at the pizzeria next to my workplace, but the $1 pieces of cheese pizza are popular at lunchtime. Worth a call to see if your Papa John's does this too.