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+
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