I remember going to a decent place called Pollo Loco back in the 80s. No clue as to if they’re the same chain as EL Pollo Loco. I remember they had good soft chicken tacos- at least as good as the ones at TCs.
If I want fried chicken, Popeye’s is my preferred chain. As noted above, I wish they’d go back to some of their prior side dish offerings. Church’s is a sentimental 2nd place, though Chicken Express gets more of our business, simply because it’s closer…and many Church’s around here are near Popeye’s*. KFC has seriously declined across the board- the last time I went, the food was borderline inedible. 2 prior visits to other locations presaged that precipitous decline.
If I want a fried chicken sandwich, I almost always hit Chick-Fil-A, but Popeye’s is in second, and gaining ground.
For fast “Mexican”, I hit Taco Cabana. I’ve enjoyed certain things from other chains, but TC’s offerings tasted better, and many of their locations are 24/7.
Right now, my favorite cheap burger chain is Whataburger, eclipsing Sonic, Braum’s, McDonald’s, Wendy’s and others. Not even close. I used to enjoy White Castle sliders, but haven’t even seen one in 20 years after one opened near me and quickly failed before I could visit. Five Guys’ strength was French fries, but that’s not enough. As mentioned, I won’t be going back to In & Out.
Pizza Hut is my sentimental fave for chain pizzerias, but their dine in locations are rare. However, these days, if I’m getting pizza, I’m hitting a good small local place. Right now, that means either the Indian owned & operated takeout only place around the corner from me, or the “fast casual” place a few miles further out owned & operated by a Sicilian woman whose family has been in the restaurant business for over a century, and who imports some of her ingredients. (Note: it’s hard to find authentic thick crust pizzas anywhere anymore, and that’s my favorite kind.)
* there’s one corner near a cousin’s house that has to be among the cautionary tales of chickendom. There’s a fried chicken joint on each corner: Popeye’s, Church’s, KFC, and Williams’ ( a local chain).
I've only been to them around Chicago, generally when I was visiting for Adepticon (once for the 'Ard Boys final, and once driving back to the airport from a visit to WI). Love them and make a point of getting a Chicago dog or two at least once when I'm in the area. But they're still a sit-down, no-drive through place, right?