Thursday, September 27, 2012

Drunk Review: McDonald's Big Mac (tm)

After a good meal at Pachuco, I stopped by Sauce on the Danforth for a few cocktails (old fashioned, gin fizz and a Sazerac). The next few blocks after leaving reminded me that there may be too much liquid in my alcohol system so I repaired to the local fine restaurant to use the water closet. In order to be inconspicuous, I decided to try my first Big Mac (tm) since 1999.

That was the year I found myself in Florence, Italy on a Sunday. It turns out that that part of Italy is still fairly Catholic and the only "restaurant" open was the heathen Scottish restaurant. It tasted like home.

Ever since then, I have not availed myself of their culinary delights. Lately, I have been questioning my food snottiness. Is McD's really evil incarnate or have I hyperinflated its regressive and unholy tendencies? Full of alcohol and uric acid, I decided to find out. The sandwich that has generated ear worms of all beef patties lived up to my memories.

Before I launch into my review of the revered sandwich, I wish to let you gentle readers know that the first time I acquainted myself with this most North American of restaurants was on a field trip when I was in grade 8. That was the first time I had ever had McDonald's. We were travelling to Toronto for a big trip to the zoo. The highlight could have been the food or the blue footprints, I can't rightly remember which.

Anyways, back to the current time. Sponge like bread with accents of of slight creamy sourness gave way to crisp lettuce and salty granularity that was almost beeflike in flavour. A slight pause where my teeth break through the pickles and the saline vinegar that provides a break in texture.

Still there is something comforting about the consistency regardless of your location on the Planet Earth. There is no despair when eating the burger. There are calories, carbohydrates and sodium chloride. My mouth tingles and my nerves buzz with the final swallows. There is an aftertaste of unremembered onions. Maybe there are specially bread alliums to prevent sharp tastes or rather a quick bath in overhot water to remove their distinctive aromas and taste. Regardless, the pieces are too small to distinguish on the Mac and blend with all the other small bits of matter. Only the chlorophyll remnants of the iceberg lettuce fix themselves in my memory.

There is no satisfaction in completing this 'wich. Only the profound sadness of knowing that the 5.30 spent could have gone a long way to providing a more complete umami experience elsewhere. However, I remember my cold student days when three hamburgers could be had for two dollars. It feels that the slight incompleteness of the burger is what keeps you coming back. Each time, you wish that you could finally reach the promised land of the advertisements and the smell. However, each time, it will fall flat. Maybe it is the reminiscence of young unrequited teenage love walking back from a night on the couch with a nubile young woman with blue balls. McDonald's is just an immature cocktease. As I have gotten older, I have learned that there are more rewarding experiences with a more mature woman.

McDonald's on Urbanspoon

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