Friday, December 7, 2007

Stealth Burger Reviews: McDonald’s 1/3 Pound Angus Burger

Stealth Burger Reviews provides a snapshot of the manifold configurations and in the crowded SoCal hamburger market.

Stealth Burger Reviews: McDonald’s 1/3 Pound Angus Burger

Pacific Coast Highway, El Segundo, 3:50 pm

Am I seriously reviewing McDonald’s? This is like reviewing the mass-manufactured teddy bears you win at the carnival, the ones that look amazing above the ski-ball but are filled with Styrofoam when you actually win one.

Actually, that’s fitting, because I feel like McDonald’s does manufacture toys — colorful, edible toys in the shape of fast food. Under-flavored and over-preserved.

When I founded Stealth Burger Reviews, lo, these many days ago, I didn’t envision writing about national burger chains. But I’ve noticed that all the chains are doing a variant on The Six Dollar Burger, boasting Angus or Sirloin or whatever it takes to set their sandwich above the dollar menu and beyond their competitors. And under the gun recently, I got some Mickey D’s. So I picked their contender, the 1/3 Pound Angus Burger.

The 1/3 Pound Angus Burger is clearly intended to go head-to-head with the other confabulations on the market. Same approach of building your backyard barbeque burger: real hamburger with thick pickles, tomatoes and leafy lettuce, sesame seed bun. There are only two real differences from Carl’s Jr.’s Six Dollar Burger: purple onion and lots of mayo. The purple onion is a nice touch, honestly, because you rarely get such an organic color in fast food. And the mayo, the gushing mayo, well, it would be a little much for a choosier palate. But perhaps that assumption is a prerequisite for this discussion.

I must say, the 1/3 Pound Burger is the first thing I’ve had at McDonald’s in a long while that is reminiscent of food. But it still had that lingering flavor of homogeny that plagues everything made at McDonald’s — that bland sameness that ensures you have a uniform experience worldwide. It’s a better burger than they’ve made in awhile. But it’s still McDonald’s, and it doesn’t measure up anywhere close to In ‘N Out, Five Guys in DC, or Dick’s in Seattle. Burgers made by hand daily have the one ingredient that an assembly-line meat product can’t: love.

Then again, I love Slim Jims…

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