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I went to Checkers for the first time, and my $23 meal was some of the best fast food I've ever had

a bag, cup, and box from checkers
Checkers, also known as Rally's, is an American fast-food chain.
  • I went to a new Checkers near me shortly after it opened to try the chain for the first time. 
  • For $23, I got a double cheeseburger, chicken bites, fries, a medium drink, and a sundae. 
  • The portion sizes and great food made my first trip worth it, and I'll definitely be returning.

Fast food isn't my first meal choice, but it comes in handy when I'm on the go. When a Checkers opened near me recently, I knew I had to try it out.

The chain (known as Rally's in some parts of the country) has over 500 locations in the US, but I'd barely heard of it before the new location's grand opening.

Fast food is getting more expensive nowadays, so I'm always looking for the best value. I was excited to see if Checkers was worth including in my rotation.

Here's what my experience was like.

To my surprise, there was no indoor seating at the location I visited.
outdoor tables with umbrellas on the patio at checkers
Checkers has outdoor tables, but there's no indoor dining.

When I pulled into the parking lot, the first thing I noticed was the chain's outdoor seating options.

I thought this was a nice touch for a fast-food restaurant, but when I got inside, I realized that was actually the only seating. The restaurant had no indoor tables.

Checkers is a modern take on a traditional drive-in restaurant, so it's known for only having drive-thru and pick-up windows.

If it was a cold day, this might've been the chain's downfall for me. But since the weather was nice, I was excited to enjoy the meal outside.

Ordering my meal was quick and simple.
walk-up order window next to a big menu sign at checkers
I walked up to the window to order.

There were two walk-up windows inside, one for ordering and one for pickup. The menu hung right in between them, which made ordering quick and easy.

I wanted to try an array of items since it was my first time, so I got a Big Buford cheeseburger, a regular chicken bites and fries combo with a medium Diet Coke, and a cheesecake sundae for $23.

I thought that was a great deal for essentially two full meals and a dessert.

I started with the chicken bites and fries.
box of chicken bites and fries from checkers
The chicken and fries were all mixed together in the box.

When I opened the box of chicken bites and fries ($7.30), I was surprised by how much chicken was in it.

I got well over 10 pieces, so I was satisfied with the portion size. But if you wanted something bigger, there was also a ½ pound box for about $8.

The chicken was juicy, and I loved the breading.
hand holding up a pice of fried chicken dipped in barbecue sauce from checkers
I dipped my chicken bites in barbecue sauce.

I had the option of honey mustard or barbecue sauce, and I chose barbecue. It paired perfectly with the slightly peppery breading on the chicken.

At first, it seemed like the chicken might be overdone, but every bite was juicy. If anything, the extra crispiness added to the flavor.

Checkers’ fries were the star of the show.
hand holding up two fries dipped in barbecue sauce from checkers
Checkers is right up there with my favorite fast-food fries.

Checkers seemed to really hype up its fries on the menu. In fact, on the drink cup there's even a "Fry Bomb Guarantee" — if I wasn't satisfied with them, I could've gotten a coupon for a free large order on my next visit.

But I was far from dissatisfied.

The breading reminded me of Popeyes' fries, which are my favorite. The coating had a great seasoning and crunch that made every bite delicious.

Next I tried the double cheeseburger, or Big Buford.
hand holding up a cheeseburger in front of a box and a cup from checkers
I got the double-patty cheeseburger.

My friends recommended the cheeseburger to me, so I was excited to try that next.

The Big Buford cost $7.50 and came with two patties, but there was also a triple version for $8.50.

I liked all the options, especially because neither was that much more expensive than Checkers' single cheeseburger, the Cheese Champ ($6.09).

The meat was tender, but I’d opt for a single patty next time.
hand holding up a cheeseburger form checkers that has a bite taken out of it
There was so much meat on this burger.

The meat was surprisingly good — I'm picky about burger patties, but this one was soft and well-done at the same time. I also really enjoyed how soft and fluffy the bun was.

Halfway through eating, though, I got a little overwhelmed by the amount of meat.

The ketchup, mayo, pickles, lettuce, and other toppings balanced it out fine, but next time, I'd probably order a single cheeseburger.

After I finished my meal, I went through the drive-through for a sundae.
hand holding a strawberry cheesecake sundae from checkers
There were a few cheesecake sundae options on the menu, but I went with strawberry.

I was glad I ended up having enough room for dessert because the array of slushies, ice-cream cones, and sundaes on Checkers' menu caught my eye.

I didn't get dessert with my original order, so I decided to test out the drive-thru this time and opted for a strawberry-cheesecake sundae ($3.50).

The dessert ended up being my favorite part of the meal.
bite of strawberry cheesecake sundae on a blue plastic spoon
I was so impressed by the sundae at Checkers.

My sundae was delicious.

It had layers of strawberry sauce with real strawberries, vanilla ice cream, cheesecake filling, and graham-cracker crumbs that reminded me of Golden Grahams cereal.

I would've been satisfied with just vanilla ice cream, but the cheesecake filling was a nice touch.

This was one of the best fast-food desserts I've ever come across, and I will be returning to repurchase it.

Overall, I was very satisfied with my first experience at Checkers.
amena posing in front of a checkers location
Checkers kind of knocked it out of the park.

I didn't really come in with high expectations — it's a fast-food restaurant, after all. But every part of my $23 meal from Checkers was tasty and worth the money.

My only real complaint about the food was that the cheeseburger had too much meat, but that was more of an ordering error on my part than anything else.

I wish the chain had indoor dining options, but it's nice that there's outdoor seating, mobile ordering, and a quick drive-through.

My first experience at Checkers was extremely satisfying, and I'd definitely go back — especially for the delicious fries and yummy dessert.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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