About the joint
Where does one start? McDonalds is not a burger joint. Not any more. It is a concept. A symbol of 20th century America, and in some sense, the very embodiment and ultimate expression of Manifest Destiny. Before Ray Kroc turned it into a poster child for Globalization, McDonalds surely possessed many of the traits serious derbists look for in a burger joint. The burger has been cemented in the fore of the world's culinary psyche, and for this much thanks is owed to Ronald & Co.
The intoxicating smell of McDonalds frites are kryptonite to even the most die-hard nutrition freak. The sight of a Happy Meal brings back waves of nostalgia to many adults. And who doesn't get a glimmer of hope that this will be the year they collect both Boardwalk and Park Place?
For all their tens of thousands of locations and billions served, it seems they can no longer turn out a hamburger that actually tastes like a hamburger. Go to any backyard barbecue in North America. Go to any local joint that uses half decent ingredients. Hell, cook up almost any frozen patty from almost any grocery store. All of those burgs will have a thread of burgness woven through them. Then eat a Quarter Pounder from Mickey Dees. What is that? What is that flavour? It certainly doesn't taste anything that remotely resembles a hamburger. It just tastes like McDonalds... but maybe that's ok.
by basil on March 27th, 2013
I can't say really ANYTHING good about this burg. Maybe that it's big. Sure, we'll go with that. Bigger than other burgers at McDonald's. The thing is that it tries too hard to be something other than a McDonald's burger, and it ends up being less than one.
All of the charm that McDonald's offers is in their intense, almost candy-like, condiment flavors combining with their extra sweet white bun. The Big Mac sauce, the ketchup and pickle of their regular burger, the onion on the cheeseburger. None of it is quality - but it all has that McDonald's "quality". This burger doesn't even have that. It's trying to be a grown up burg, and it ends up falling flat.
The patty tasted like it had had all the flavor boiled out of it, and wasn't even seasoned like one of their regular patties is. I got the impression that they were going for a "natural beef flavor" because of the whole "Angus" branding - but in order to taste like beef, beef actually has to be freshly cooked and ideally, never frozen. It had probably been sitting under a lamp for about half an hour (one of the drawbacks of ordering one of the lower trafficked burgs at a place that thinks a glorified easy-bake oven can keep food fresh). It was lukewarm at best, and the (admittedly real) slice of swiss wasn't the least bit melted.
Top all that off with the limpest, saddest mushrooms (that may or may not have been sauteed in a factory in China and sent to the store on an almost refrigerated boat) and some completely incongruous mayonnaise (way too tangy for the likes of mushroom and swiss, and probably engineered to provide SOMETHING that tasted like SOMETHING), and there you have the Angus Third Pounder - Mushroom & Swiss edition. Blech.