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Aug 27, 2000 03:28 PM

McDonald's new Mexican sandwich: it's pretty good

  • d

Here's something truly shocking. In Southern California at least, McDonald's has started marketing some sandwiches geared towards the Mexican population, and shockingly enough, the new beef torta sandwich is pretty good -- really the only good thing McDonald's has created since its french fries. The following characterstics are somewhat surprising:

i) The bun looks and tastes as if it were made in an actual bakery.

ii) The beef actually has flavor and is really quite spicy.

iii) Overall, it tastes like something a Mexican person would make.

The guacamole and the fast food tomato are disappointing, but given the general forward nature of the flavor, it isn't very noticable. Incidentally, I tried it at the branch on Sunset and Highland.

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  1. In response to McD's new insidious marketing techniques (well, at least the product is a cut above), I heard a story on NPR last week about a Filipino fast food chain that is making its way in to So Cali. with pineapple burgers and the like. I forgot the name, but I think it's in Long Beach. It definitely sounded worth checking out. What an interesting world we live in now.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Jessica Ritz

      The Filipino place is called "Jollibee's" and I have never been inside, but I know there's one at Willow and Long Beach Blvd. They have a silly looking mascot and a drive-through. Since I'm in the area I may make a sacrificial visit just to quell my own mounting curiosity, but I have serious doubts that anything delicious actually resides in this place. My general impression from what I’ve seen is that it's a bastardization of Yoshinoya and a Filipino amusement park.

      1. re: Heather

        well, a couple of points. first, mcd's has already apparently cut the spice back in the beef torta sandwich - that didn't take long! well, it tasted good for a few days at least.

        as far as filipino (sic) fast food goes, i have to admit I'm not familiar with the place in question, but I can tell you that in the philippines, fast food is really really weird. at mcdonald's for example no one eats the burgers - instead they eat awful spaghetti with a ketchupy tomato sauce, and a very bad variation on fried chicken

      2. re: Jessica Ritz

        "In response to McD's new insidious marketing techniques..."


        I'm just curious about what you mean by the above.

        1. re: Dave Feldman
          Jessica Ritz


          I don't want to sound like a raving lunatic, not that Chowhound discourages such expression...All marketing by nature is insidious and we do live in a free market economy, but the way McDonald's and other corporations market their junk to specific ethnic groups strikes me as particularly predatory. Pushing the some of the worst aspects of American culture for the bottom line pisses me off, so maybe I'm just a cynic or a snob, or both. I can't say that I've never been to McDonald's abroad (those fries! and they are a *very* reliable and valued source for decent bathrooms, especially in Italy). My friends who went to the Latino Book and Family Fair this past weekend reported that some of the biggest booths were occupied by fast food chains and the like. The cultural power of these institutions just depresses me...It is fascinating, however, how this cross-cultural market competition between companies such as McDonald's and Jolibee's works. The mainstream wants to be on the edge, the edge wants to be mainstream. Ah, the conundrum that is popular culture...

          1. re: Jessica Ritz
            Melanie Wong

            Having just completed a major study of Latino health care needs and recommendations for specific product solutions, I'll mention that the Latinos who participated in the research and planning process felt that the attention of a major corporation to their unique needs had been too long in coming. They were also proud to be acknowledged for their power as an economic force, that they've arrived.

            1. re: Melanie Wong
              Jessica Ritz


              That's an interesting and valid point. Certainly it's an important reflection of our changing demographics and of recognizing emerging groups with spending power in the American "tossed salad". But it also shows how odd our priorities are.

              1. re: Jessica Ritz
                Melanie Wong

                Official stats from the State of California estimate that half the children under the age of 5 in the state are Hispanic. That is a huge age wave to be reckoned with in future years.

                I'm brushing up on my Spanish...

              2. re: Melanie Wong

                There's a difference between being targeted by a health care company and a company that contributes to health problems.

                Minorities are targeted for cigarettes, alcohol, and expensive credit. Is this something to be happy about?

        2. The original poster has their reality all upside down. The "torta" is not targeted toward Mexicans, but to "others" (whites and others) who might be "afraid" to go to Super Torta or other non-chain ethnic foodstands.

          The "torta" like their "hamburger" just barely resembles an authentic one. The spicing is uneven, and I got a very spicy one once, and a less spicy one another time.

          The bun tastes like a McDonald's bun. The meat is like shaved beef. And, overall, it tastes like something a Mexican would make, but only because the McDonalds chain employs the poor and exploited.

          1. d
            d.alton brown

            Their new beef torta is McNasty. At least they have the best fast food fries on the planet. In and Out would be the best if they did not freeze instantaneously.