Seeing a mid-week session of Avenue Q which started at 7pm made for a strange dinnertime. Monsieur Poisson and I had a light snack before heading into the city and heartily laughed our way through the show until it wrapped up around 9:30pm. Feeling peckish post-show and having my curiosity stirred by Angus burger posters through the week meant for only one convenient meal option…
I ate a lot of McDonald’s food during my teenage years, as expected, and definitely more than I have consumed in the past ten years combined. It was a rite of passage and borne out of familiarity, if not childhood nostalgia, for the bulk of people my age – to rely on McDonald’s as an economic staple and then to move away from it as tastes grew more discerning and palates more refined. But McDonald’s has done a lot of growing up in this time as well, and its menu has gone through many reinventions since. With the introduction of two Angus burgers to its fold – the ‘Grand Angus’ and ‘Mighty Angus’ – McDonald’s is definitely branching into the gourmet and aiming to appeal to a different type of customer.
Monsieur Poisson and I wander into the McDonald’s near the corner of the George Street and King Street, which is quite appropriate for our Angus burger tasting as it has a sandstone frontage, high ceilings and an upstairs dining area with upholstered seats. As McDonald’s says, “It’s a little bit fancy!”
We order one of the burgers as part of a meal set, the other on its own and take both to the upstairs section. We open both boxes and have a peek at what’s inside before we start devouring. We are met with pillowy soft burger buns dusted with flour which are much larger than usual, although I doubt they are true sourdough as billed. Next we lift the top bun off each to see thickly sliced rings of red onion; ones which are a bit too thick for my liking. I start picking off some of the onion when we notice something is amiss – where is the promised bacon and zesty relish on our ‘Mighty Angus’?!
So Monsieur Poisson wanders downstairs to the service counters with the offending burger and waits while the missing components are restored. When he brings it back upstairs we inspect it once again and, although there is now a juicy slice of bacon, the zesty relish is still missing but we can no longer be bothered pursuing it.
The Angus burgers have larger beef patties than standard McDonald’s burgers and are somewhat juicier, but still have that slightly squeaky McDonald’s patty texture. The round patties which are mismatched from the rectangular buns, are sandwiched between two slices of yellow, McDonald’s processed cheese and, with the relish remaining absent from the ‘Mighty Angus’, both burgers taste fairly similar. Of course the ‘Mighty Angus’ is the meatier option with not a piece of greenery in sight, but it has to be admitted that the selection of “gourmet baby salad leaves” on our ‘Grand Angus’ is dominated by iceberg lettuce which appears in hand-torn chunks, not even shreds.
Overall the burgers do not meet our expectations, partly because of the confusion over the ‘Mighty Angus’, but they are a good size for their price and taste less ‘fast food-ish’ than the usual McDonald’s fare. And for those of you who are still not convinced of McDonald’s sexy new image then you need to take a look at this post from A Table For Two. It is simply the funniest turn-on of a meal encounter I have ever read!
…located almost everywhere!