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Thursday, February 10, 2011

McDonald's here and there

Phil Hawkes of the AFMA Journal tells of some things about McDonald’s restaurants that I didn’t know and you probably didn’t know either.

If you eat at a Mickey D’s outside the U. S., don’t expect the menu to be the same as here. In fact, in some cases, don’t expect it to even be edible based on American tastes. Also, with all their success, the golden arches have fallen on their faces a few times. That’s hard to believe based on their success but nobody is perfect.

Here are some of the goodies you would find outside the good old USA:

In Germany, you may enjoy the “Big Rosti”: It’s a burger patty, potato pancake, bacon, cheese, and cheese sauce on a bacon cheese bun. You may want to have an ambulance waiting in the parking lot after eating that concoction.

In Taiwan, it’s the Rice Burger. It has a burger patty but instead of a regular bun the meat is placed between two rice cakes. It’s probably healthier for you but tastes as exciting as a can of Slim Fast.

In Canada, French fries are served covered in gravy and cheese curds. Once again, have the ambulance ready.

In the Philippines, you could order the McDon. It doesn’t sound disgusting, just boring. It’s a fried chicken leg on top of spaghetti.

In Japan, you can get a Baked Potato Pie. The best way to describe it is that it looks like the fried apple pie you get in the U.S except it has a filling of baked potato and bacon instead of apples.

As far as flops in the USA, you may remember some of these. If you don’t, be glad. You didn’t miss anything worthwhile.

Remember the Hulaburger? It was introduced in 1963 as an item for Catholics who didn’t eat meat on Friday. It was a cheeseburger except it had a slice of pineapple subbing for the meat. Yum!

The McLean Deluxe Burger was introduced as a low fat dietary item. They took the fat out of the meat and replaced it with water. To make the meat retain the water, they added seaweed. Double yum! There is no word yet on whether they caught the guy who invented this taste catastrophe.

Another flop was the Arch Deluxe. It was introduced in 1996 as a “hamburger for adults.” It was like a quarter pounder but it had bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, and a mustard-mayo sauce. It wasn’t bad but people were resentful of the high price plus there were numerous complaints from consumer groups about the health aspect.

McDonald’s has come a long way since founder Ray Kroc sold those malt mixers to the McDonald Brothers in San Bernardino back in the 1950s. They have had their successes and failures and I agree with most of them except the McRib sandwich. They keep bringing that thing back. I guess someone likes it!

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