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Mar 20, 2007 12:26 AM

Went to McDonald's today. A couple of observations...

My daughter just HAD to have a My Little Pony Happy Meal today, so what could I do? Anyway, I hadn't been to Mickey D's for a while and, although I didn't order anything for myself, I noticed a couple of things on the menu board worth mentioning:

1. The combo meal for each of the new 1/3 lb. Angus Burgers was $5.69, but a Double Quarter Pounder (i.e., 1/2 lb.) combo was $5.39. Less meat for more money - is the "Angus" designation legitimately worth it?

2. The McVeggie burger was nowhere to be seen, and the manager informed me that as far as she knew it is indeed kaput. It used to be a favorite of mine, as good (if not better) a soy burger as one could find at a fast-food chain. But McDonald's never put much into its marketing, instead focusing on the salad side of its "Healthy Menu," so few people bothered with it and now it's extinct. I think if they had offered a soy Big Mac rather than just the fairly drab cheeseless plain burger, it could have been huge. By all appearances, the corporate side wanted it to fail, so it did. Anyone else care to comment or eulogize?

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  1. I actually had tried that Angus burger last week and it's pretty good. It tastes more like a homemade birger than the quarter pounder

    6 Replies
    1. re: globlamega

      Is it just me or does the angus burger meat have a really odd taste? It almost tastes as though someone put some kind of broth or other liquid that tastes like salty beef, but not quite, in the burger meat to make it seem like a juicy burger. I couldn't decide whether I found it offensive, but it was definitely off-putting. My husband thought it was disgusting and wouldn't finish his. I hope it doesnt end up like the McRib sandwich, which tastes kind of OK the first time you eat it, and the second time it's not so great and the third time it's disgusting -- the syrupy sauce and the ground pork slabs. That's why they never keep in on the menu year-round IMO, because people realize how gross it is after a while.

      1. re: Fuser

        Fuser, dh noticed the same thing from BK Angus. He mentioned several x's that it definately has an "angus broth" or sauce of some sort to "disguise" that it is subpar beef. Not worth a revisit.

        As for McD, I did like their yogurt & fruit with granola cups for a time.

      2. re: globlamega

        I think for the same price, 3.99, the carls jr 6 dollar burger is better.

        1. re: malibumike

          No Carls Jrs here on the East Coast. Just Hardees, and precious few of those.

          1. re: monkeyrotica

            In a moment of desperation on a recent road trip, I tried Hardees Thickburger (East Coast version of a $6 burger from Carl's Jr.). Might be the closest thing to a real burger I've ever had at a fast food place. I'd get it on my next road trip.

            1. re: mojoeater

              We did the exact same thing on the way back from the beach once. And we were pleasantly surprised with the taste and quality of the burger.

      3. Yes, this is definitely a case of willed failure (re: the McVeggies). The only city that I knew these to exist was NYC. On a recent trip, my partner went into a few McD's looking for one for a quick bite, but didn't see it on the menu. Finally he asked at one location, and they said yes, that they had them, but not on the menu. To this I can only say... WTF??? Of course it's going to fail miserably if even the people who are seeking it out don't see it on the menu! Argh. While it would be nice to have more veg fast food options (especially at airports and rest areas and the like), I supposed McD's shouldn't be getting my money anyway.

        19 Replies
        1. re: spyturtle008

          This is weird, I was just talking with a co-worker this morning, and he was telling me that he is reading the book "Fast Food Nation". He wasn't real specific, but he said a lot of stuff in it is stuff "you wouldn't want to know" about the fast food and beef industry. : (

          1. re: aurora50

            The stuff you would'nt want to know is that there is Sh**t in the meat!

            1. re: serveitforth

              Perhaps, but then that's what our liver is for ...

              1. re: serveitforth

                I agree with uptown jimmy concerning the misperception of how these burgers---along with everything else---is processed. Lab rats make flavorings for everything and McDonalds happens to do most everything better (flavorings and soda dispencing systems) than anyone else for the price. I've noticed their regular burgers havn't been as dry (as they are kept warn in steamers) since 911. It may be a crazy thought but it seems like they keep them warm in meat fat, which is quite tasty. Or did they add more fat content to their 'meat'? My favorite passage in Fast Food Nation is the chapter on the french fry process after switching to
                %100 veg oil for frying back in the 90's. McDonalds was brilliant enough to spray a meat additive to the frozen potato strips!! Who would ever know besides the fact they produce fairly good tasting vegetarian dishes. Wonder what that veggie burger was made of.

                1. re: napolean

                  Why would they change the moisture level of the burgers after 9/11?

                  1. re: napolean

                    Their fries are coated with potato starch, I don't know where you got "meat additive". In the good old days they did cook them in lard.
                    And maybe their veggie burgers weren't vegan but I'm sure they were actually vegetarian. They don't have secret laboratories with evil scientists trying to trick you: I'm sure they got them from a certified supplier.

                    1. re: coll

                      their veggie burgers were vegan. they used the boca burger and steamed them separately, at least they did at all the locations i've visited.

                      there is a reason why people complain that it was dry; they didn't put cheese or mayo on it, only ketchup, lettuce and tomato. however, i've had good boca burgers at certain mcd's. That said, getting most vegans/vegetarians to try them was just about a lost cause. I saw a lot of forum posts that claimed that they fried the patties in grease along with the other burgers even though it's just not true.

                      1. re: coll

                        I think the "meat additive" in question is a reference to beef tallow, which MacDonalds used to (and might still?) put on their fries. It was a pretty big deal when people found out, since many thought they were eating a vegetarian product. The issue was even greater in India, where McD was also dipping their fries in beef tallow.

                        I think using beef tallow on fries is a fairly common phenomenon.

                        1. re: nc213

                          They fry them IN fat, but don't actually put it ON them, like ketchup: I'm not saying there's not some on the fry when it's done but only as a byproduct of the cooking method, not an actual additive. And very,very few places use non veg oil for frying nowadays.

                          1. re: coll

                            They did indeed coat the fries with beef tallow, prior to freezing and shipping to the various franchisees. That changed about two years ago when word got out in India. It caused an international uproar. They slowly phased out the beef tallow in all their stores. They have always fried in veg oil of some sort or other.

                            1. re: mojoeater

                              as far as i know, there is still meat flavoring used despite the whole shebang.
                              and to think as a vegetarian, i've been eating them for years. i was kind of pissed.
                              haven't ate them since, but do wonder if that is what makes them so damn good. drats.

                              1. re: lollya

                                Yep, they still list "natural beef flavor" as an ingredient in their fries. No clue what that is.

                                1. re: lollya

                                  As long as they didn't claim them to be vegetarian, I can't blame them for adding meat flavoring if that's what makes them so damn good.

                        2. re: napolean

                          Umm what do burgers have to do with 9/11?

                      2. re: aurora50

                        ...wouldn't want to know... Hmmm... I wouldn't call it pleasing information, but it wasn't a surprise.

                        1. re: aurora50

                          little jfood insisted her dad read this book. jfood complied. one of the worst books jfood has read. good fictions, some interesting passages and a few anecdotes for a poker game retell.

                        2. re: spyturtle008

                          The McVeggie was test marketed in L.A. I was hoping it would be good, but didn't like it at all.

                          1. re: slacker

                            slacker, the McVeggie may likely have been test-marketed at some early point, but after that it was around for a few years and I believe it was readily available all over the U.S.

                            1. re: Arthur

                              not that i frequent the place, i never noticed it in TX

                        3. A couple more:

                          - There is no better deal than the two double cheeseburgers for a dollar.

                          - I could eat about six double cheeseburgers per visit. Thats pretty good for $3.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Jimmy Buffet

                            If you like quantity, and they are nearby, check our White Castle!

                          2. The accouterments to the Angus Burgers make it more expensive than the Double 1/4-pounder.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Assuming that to be the case, it only applies to two of the three Angus offerings. One has mushrooms. (Is that a first for McDonald's?) Another has bacon. But the third is just a standard burger with lettuce, pickles, onion and tomato. And all three carry the exact same price.

                              1. re: Arthur

                                Well, from what I am told, the lettuce and tomato on the Angus burger is "thicker" than those found on other McDonald's burgers.

                                And perhaps the pickles are juicier, and onions more bitter and lettuce even more crisp ...

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  One rule I have when rushing thru the drive thru is NOTHING RAW. I'm sure management at McDonalds is top notch versus their competitors...but I guess it takes a lot for me to trust who handles my produce and salad trimmings...Easy access to bacteria, especially how they're processed and packaged. Spinach salad at McDonald's anyone?

                                  1. re: napolean

                                    Wait, so does that mean no Big Mac for you? It's got lettuce ...

                                2. re: Arthur

                                  A quarter pounder, to my recollection, which is spotty since I eat fast food about once a year, is that a quarter pounder does not come with veggies (other than the diced onions and cople meager, tasteless pickles).

                              2. FYI, there still is a veggie burger at Burger King....I never go there, and have never tried it, but have a vegetarian friend who swears by them when she is in the mood for fast food.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: nieves

                                  Yes, it's good as far as airport food goes -- when I'm stuck at a terminal w/ my tummy growling, I'm grateful for the option...

                                  1. re: nieves

                                    I use to work at BK. It was my first job. I won't get into details because I have tried to forget, but the BK veggie burger at that time was nothing more than a whopper, minus the meat, an extra slice of cheese, an extra slab of tomato and a couple more leafs of lettuce. With that said, it tasted pretty darned good.

                                    1. re: Nestra

                                      For the past few years there has been an actual veggie burger patty, which, if you ask them to nuke it, doesn't get cooked on the grill with other meat products.

                                      1. re: Nestra

                                        This is what I ordered the couple of times I went to BK in NYC. It was a very kosher, Jewish area and the people behind the counter were *never* surprised when I ordered this!

                                        1. re: GrillNextDoor

                                          they were marketing a black bean burger in europe a while back. i heard it was pretty good but it never came to the states.

                                          1. re: GrillNextDoor

                                            It's called a BK veggie and it's made by Morningstar Farms. Not the best thing, but if you are a veg and craving a fast food burger like product, no harm will come to you if you try.