We all do it.
We all have eaten it.
Some try to deny it, while others embrace it.
No matter what side you’re on, we all secretly love McDonalds.
As a college student, I have to keep a strict budget on my living expenses to ensure I do not starve half way through the semester. Today, even though I am traveling across Europe, I most certainly do not have the cash to feed my stomach the wondrous foods throughout this great continent, although I try.
For every other breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner that does not involve fish n’ chips or desserts from Paris, I find myself turning to the forever famous, Mcdonalds/McDanks/MacDaddy, or whatever you prefer to call it. Many friends of mine have shaken their heads or given me “the look” of dissapproval when I told them I just finished my lunch at McDonalds while overlooking the cobblestone streets of Dublin. I commonly hear the phrase:
“Why would you go to McDonalds in Europe when there are McDonalds in America?”
-Various Friends (you know who you are)
While normally I do agree with my dear, loving friends, I had to quickly address to them a shocking revelation. McDonalds in Europe is not the same as it is in the States. In fact, the experiences I have had are better than the 22 years of McDonalds I’ve been to in America.
And so, the purpose of this page. While I am crossing borders, I will commit myself to one McDonalds meal each trip and document my experience with it. I will order items that cannot be found in the states and pay special attention to the flavor, presentation, ingredients, uniqueness, and overall impressions.
On my third day in Paris, I was approached with three daunting words no traveler wants to see/hear: CREDIT CARD DENIED
At that moment, I went into survival mode and began counting every bill and coin that I had remaining. I spent the first two days on a foodie adventure and didn’t plan on any dilemmas along the way. With a day and a half left in my trip, I only had 10€ remaining and two granola bars in my backpack. So, I took out my phone and searched on google for the closest McDonalds within walking distance… only 0.3 miles away, PERFECT!
I brought my single 10€ bill with me and used the electronic cashier machine to take my order.
Taste: Aside from the basic Coca-Cola and salty french fries, I was pretty impressed with my first international McDonalds meal. What set this meal over the top was the sauces used on the burger.
Presentation: It was a busy Sunday night so I’ll give the employees a break, but the presentation was just like your typical McDonalds meal – Meh.
Overall Impression: Tasted better than in America, but still left that “what did I just do” feeling
Once the idea of going to a variety of different McDonalds, I made sure to make it apart of my next trip to Dublin, Ireland. This location was settled nicely into the Temple Bar Neighborhood and the outside building was still a preserved historical building – good job Ronald McDonald. Immediately when I walked into the establishment, I saw advertisements for, “Great Tastes of the World”, including:
- The Swiss Stack
- The South African Stack – my choice
- The Mexican Stack
- The Thai Special
- Spicy Nacho Cheese Wedges – my choice
- Belgian Chocolate Frappe
- Maltessers McFlurries
I was amazed by how diverse their menu in Ireland was. It started to make me upset knowing that the franchise originated in America, yet the Americans get the most basic, generic, and plain menu, and I’ve only been to two McDonalds at this point.
Taste: Amazing. Nothing gets under my skin more than when a restaurant advertises a menu item with bacon and I receive a piece of meat the size of a kids band-aid. This burger had not one, but two thick slices of bacon along with what seemed to be higher quality lettuce leaves than the chopped up pieces you see in the states. The Spicy Nacho wedges were fairly good, especially when paired with the Sour Cream and Chive dipping sauce, but they were not worth the 2.50€ that I paid for them.
Presentation: Once again, as soon as I saw the bacon, I walked to my table with a grin on my face. The bun was warmed up and the cheese was still oozing from the burgers when I sat down. After I finished I was full for the rest of the day, it hit the spot perfectly.
Overall Impression: Get with the program, America. Give us better options and more bacon.
On my one day trip to Brussels, I happened to stumble into a McDonalds while trying to dodge the rain coming down the entire day. The lines were long and the amount of people crammed in was almost annoying. As I was able to get around the corner to see the menu, I confirmed my beliefs that McDonalds in America is a joke. In Belgium, I decided to save a cow and order the Juicy Jane Chicken Sandwich. The other two signature items were the Generous Jack and the Amazing Angus.
LOOK AT THE PICTURE! Do you see how massive this sandwich is? When I picked up the bun it felt like I was holding up a small dog. The bun was very light and fluffy and really enhanced the flavor of the sandwich. The main components of the sandwich consisted of a 6-7 inch long fried chicken fillet, that’s right, measure that out right now in disbelief. On top of the chicken was, once again, two big slabs of bacon, shredded Parmesan cheese, and a handful of leafy green vegetables. I was very impressed with the presentation and ingredients of this item. Nothing on this sandwich is something you would see in the States.
Taste: Purely Amazing, especially the sauce on the burger and I was all about the buns 🙂
Presentation: When the cashier gave me my tray, he accidentally knocked over the fries container and they simply just fell onto the tray itself. I proceeded to take the tray, but they cashier insisted that he get me a new tray and order of fries. Excellent Customer Service!
Overall Impression: I’m debating whether I should go to any McDonalds in America again due to the disappointment I will have when I see that I cannot order another Juicy Jane…