Monday, March 21, 2016

McDonald's

Somehow, I haven't ever published my review of regular old McDonald's. Sure, I've reviewed the slew of ridiculously sweet beverages from McCafe, and the decent holiday McFlurry, but somehow, I haven't ever told you what I think of McDonald's staples, aka, burgers and fries!

I ate my share of McDonald's growing up, but it certainly wasn't a regular thing. Mostly my memories are of birthday parties held in the placespace at the McDonald's, where they served that crazy orange drink. I remember collecting the toys from Happy Meals. But, I don't think I was ever a really huge McDonald's fan.

Then, in high school, I played field hockey. Our bus often stopped at McDonald's on the way home from away games. I recall really loving the fries then, when dipped in sweet and sour, bbq, and honey (yes, usually all three, often combined). I also liked the sundaes.

And then I didn't really go to McDonald's again for years. Even when on road trips (or, driving to and from college), I always just went to Dunkin' Donuts and got a muffin, no matter what time of day.

So now, McDonald's is a novelty to me. It is a place I go very rarely, and usually only when travelling (which, is even more fun when out of the country, because foreign McDonald's have some really unique menu items! Stay tuned!). Even then, it is never on the top of my list, but Ojan does sometimes get a craving for chicken McNuggets or a Big Mac, and thus, I go too, hoping to again enjoy it as much as I used to, but never succeeding.
 Quarter Pounder with Cheese.
"A quarter pound of 100% pure beef simply seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper, two slices of melty cheese, slivered onions and tangy pickles all on a sesame seed bun. "

To ensure I got a fresh burger, I ordered mine with extra pickles (and, because I love pickles!) and only one slice of cheese (for some reason, two seemed like too much).

I was really surprised with my first bite.  The beef was … seasoned.  It had some pepper and salt, just as described.  Sure, it was a thin patty, with no actual beefy flavor and a mealy texture, more akin to cardboard than beef but, someone did season the thing.  Points for that.

The patty, as always, was very well done, as in, cooked through.  Even though a quarter pound, it was quite thin.

The onions were sharp and there were too many, but they combined well with the mustard.  I did really like the mustard and onion flavors.

My extra pickles translated into two pickles … is normal just one?  I liked my pickles, and wanted more.

The cheese was nicely melted but pretty standard fake american cheese.

The bun was a little soggy, boring, and about as generic as could be.

This was a quinesential generic McDonald’s burger, pretty much exactly as I remembered.  I have no desire to have another.
10 Piece Chicken McNuggets. $4.59. Small French Fries. $1.39.
"Our tender, juicy, Chicken McNuggets are made with USDA-inspected white meat. They're tempura battered and cooked to golden perfection."

The nuggets were Ojan's, but of course I had one, mostly out of curiosity.  I don't like chicken, and I did not ever get nuggets as a kid, but Ojan was so excited by these, I had to try.  They had a great crispy breading, but the chicken was soo fake and ground up and just strange to me.  Meh.

"Golden on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. Made with quality potatoes and cooked in our Canola oil blend for zero grams of trans fat per serving."

Who doesn't love McDonald's fries?  (Or, at least, who didn't at some point in their lives?)

The fries were thin and crispy.  I didn't love them, nor hate them.  They were just ... fries, very fried, and clearly not fresh.  These have definitely lost their magic on me.

But you know I'm a sauce girl, so, what about those sauces?

The sweet and sour sauce always looks so horrible.  It is goopy.  Thick.  Nasty looking really.  But I still really like the taste, as unsightly as it is, and it is my preferred McDonald's dipping sauce for my fries.

The bbq looks a little better, but is always my second choice.  Really, the best is mostly sweet and sour, with a touch of bbq.  I dip first in the sweet and sour, and then do a quick dunk in the bbq afterwards.  My magic combo.  I've done it for as long as I can remember.

I enjoyed some fries, with my sauces, but I can't say I have any craving or desire to have them again.

A few months later, we went back to McDonald's, another time when traveling.  I again noted that the bbq sauce was only ok, but I loved the sweet and sour.  I found the fries flavorless and again not what I remembered.
Big Mac.
"A double layer of sear-sizzled 100% pure beef mingled with special sauce on a sesame seed bun and topped with melty American cheese, crisp lettuce, minced onions and tangy pickles"

If I thought the patty in the quarter pounder was thin, that was nothing compared to the Big Mac. Seriously, seriously thin patties. They were completely flavorless.

The lettuce is just standard shredded iceberg, but it really has its place on the big mac. But of course, the best thing going for it is the Big Mac sauce. Creamy, mayo-y, delicious.

I don’t particularly want another one, but for what it is, it was good.

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Hot Fudge Sundae with Nuts

"Reduced fat soft serve vanilla ice cream, smothered in chocolatey fudge sauce."

I love soft serve ice cream, and I don't get it often, as silly froyo has taken over.  Also, I kinda think soft serve ice cream just isn't as much of a thing on the West Coast, even before the whole froyo invasion?

Anyway, not that McDonald's is where I'd go for great ice cream, I wanted soft serve, and I know theirs is decent.  And it was.  It was perfectly creamy, although it didn't have much flavor to it.  The fudge was hot, thick, and pretty tasty.  I liked the crunch from the peanuts, but they were just generic peanuts.

Was this an awesome sundae?  Of course not.  But it hit the spot.
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