The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Big Mac
As part of an ongoing effort to become the world's first McDonald's-compatible restaurant, Burger King recently introduced a hamburger called the Big King. A valiant try, but the gooey meaty mass fails to replicate the most important aspect of a Big Mac; its ineffable Mcness. I have a theory that all McDonald's food is actually made out of the same material -- McSubstance -- which is whipped, grilled, or frozen, and shaped into the various McDonald's foods and possibly Happy Meal toys. At any rate, without this McSubstance, no restaurant can hope to replicate Mcness to any appreciable degree. A

Remember this? The hot side stays hot, and the cool side stays cool? Lies! The hot side stays hot through the same cutting-edge heat lamp technology they use on everything, and the cool side stays, at best, room temperature, thanks to a thin layer of seagull-choking Styrofoam. The only real selling point for me was the tomato, which is a bit hard to come by at McDonald's, outside of the ketchup format. C+

My God, these are eerie. Look at them. Go, order some, and look at them. They come in, like, four distinct shapes! They're like anti-snowflakes. I have an ongoing ambition to scan all the shapes in and make a Tetris game out of them. B+

Sauce mini-Ratings: Barbecue: C-. Sweet and Sour: B. Hot Mustard: A-. Honey: C+.

Double Quarter Pounder
This isn't a regular menu item. They trot it out once in a while, like the McRib sandwich, to try and inject some novelty into the McDonald's experience. I wonder why someone who desires novelty would go to a McDonald's, but hey, I'm no Mayor McCheese. Anyhow, the problem with this burger is that it's hard to imagine someone looking at a Quarter Pounder and deciding that what it needs is more beef. I can think of a lot of things that would improve a Quarter Pounder, but an extra patty of meat that's taken a long drive in frozen form isn't one of them. D+

Filet O'Fish
This demonstrates one of the secrets behind the success of McDonald's: the food names. "Filet O'Fish" captures a sense of whimsy and adventure that you don't get with "Fried Cod Sandwich." Deep-fry a breaded fish patty and slap it on a white bun with tartar sauce and a half-slice of processed cheese at home, and you have a crappy old fish sandwich. Order the same at McDonald's and you have the venerable Filet O'Fish, part of our nation's gustatory and religious history. C

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