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Cheap eats: Is this the best fast food deal right now?

Cheap eats: Is this the best fast food deal right now?
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Mike Timmermann |
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Fast food restaurants are fighting for your dollar, and the competition is really heating up!

Wendy’s came out swinging with its 4 for $4 special featuring a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger with chicken nuggets, fries and a drink. Not to be outdone, Burger King added a cookie to its offering, and the 5 for $4 deal was born.

But there is a Southeast-based restaurant that has been serving up deep-fried deliciousness for under $5 all along – and it’s called Cook Out.

Read more: Best and worst fast food chains

12 things to know before ordering from Cook Out

1. The menu is huge!

Unlike the national chains, there are no pictures on Cook Out’s menu. There’s just no room. This place serves up pretty much everything you’d find at a college dining hall: hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, barbecue and hot dogs.

Wait, no pizza? Okay, so not EVERYTHING from college.

2. The portions aren’t bad either…

One thing Cook Out doesn’t skimp on is portion size. Looking for the best bang for your buck? Regulars say you can’t go wrong with the chicken strips.

3. Give the tray a try

For just under $5, this restaurant is determined to make you go up at least one pant size. Order a tray and get one main, two sides and a beverage.

4. Where side items are more like main dishes

Where else is a corn dog a side item? You can also choose from favorites like a quesadilla or a chicken wrap. These are SIDE ITEMS. They do have fries if you prefer a more traditional fast food side!

5. You can ‘double up’ on your sides

Yes, a side of two corn dogs is really an option.

6. Speaking of side items…

The fries and onion rings are great, but how can you resist golden and delicious hush puppies? It’s a Southern tradition!

7. Fresh meat

Cook Out’s fresh hamburgers (never frozen) are prepared ‘outdoors style’ and just the way you like them. Ask for it Cook Out Style and get homemade chili on top!

8. You will not find a salad

Maybe they ran out of room on the menu.

9. Cheerwine!

Created in North Carolina, this non-alcoholic soft drink is a wild cherry explosion in your mouth. Just don’t confuse it with the cherry colas on the market!

10. Or splurge for a shake…

What better way to wash down all of that greasy goodness than with one of more than 40 milkshakes. Add one to a tray for $1. And look for seasonal flavors, like fresh watermelon!

11.  Double drive-thru

Apparently, there are a lot of people who are willing to wait in line for a $5 tray, but Cook Out has you covered with the double drive-thru! And they’re open late to satisfy any craving.

12. Extra napkins

Trust us, you’ll need them.