Our New Feature: There’s a McDifference!
Introducing our New McFeature
One of our classmates at burgiatry school, Dave Foley, has developed a new burgiatric niche: rating McDonald’s. Not the restaurant chain in general, mind you, but each store individually. But the burgers are identical at every McDonald’s, you say? Tell that to the author of The Straight Beef’s new feature, There’s a McDifference!
I love McDonald’s. I have been eating McDonald’s at least once a week (recently on Wednesdays) for the last 30 years, and I order the same meal every single time: a Quarter Pounder With Cheese (no pickles) Meal Deal. Just the thought of my usual Wednesday McLunch brings joy to my heart. You may not be aware of this—and you may not believe it—but every McDonald’s tastes a little different. I have learned which McDonald’s are better than others.
During high school, I was trained and worked under some top chefs, learning how to prepare burgers at one of the fast-food giant’s competitors: Wendy’s. Although I learned how to craft a great burger, my allegiance was always to my first love.
My burgiatric colleagues have asked me to share my experience, and to help others find McDonald’s euphoria. I have eaten at almost every McDonald’s in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Garner, and Holly Springs. As part of this series, I will visit a different McDonald’s each time and share what I like and dislike about the restaurant and my meal.
There’s a McDifference!
Review 1: McDonald’s at 2010 Kildaire Farm Rd, Cary
I’m starting at this one because it’s consistently my favorite McDonald’s, and this is the one I eat at most often. The owner of this McDonald’s, who owns a few others in the area, displays a calendar advertising the special deal of the day. Quarter Pounder day used to be on Wednesdays, which was a double bonus for me, but they have moved it to another day of the week. I’m almost over my bitterness and won’t dock them for this inconvenience.
Quarter Pounder: This McDonald’s delivers the most consistently good burger with the best flavor. If you nibble the meat that sticks out of the bun before digging in, you’ll find the meat is not too dry, not too moist, and has just the perfect amount of seasoning. I love pepper, and the patty has a definite pepper flavor. On this visit, it almost tasted like eating a peppercorn steak on a bun. Yummy!
Fries: Their fries at this McDonald’s are also consistent good, with that nice crisp on the outside and moistness on the inside—with a minimum of the crunchy end cuts. The fries break apart easily while you’re eating them, rather than giving you the feeling you’re chewing French fry gum. They also do a good job salting. I always grab a salt packet but rarely do I have to use it here. If anything, they’re usually very skimpy on quantity in the medium-size fries.
Atmosphere: After a complete redesign—it’s now a “green” McDonald’s—the place is very informative about all the construction methods and “green” devices that were used, including the high-tech, low-energy hand dryers in the bathrooms. For you electric car drivers, they have an electric pump outside, though I have never seen anyone using it.
There are two flat-screen TVs in the restaurant, one usually showing ESPN and the other a kids’ show. There is no play area at this McDonald’s, but the interactive nature of the place makes up for this shortcoming.
Burger rating: 4.5 out of 5 Grimaces