Yeah, I’ve been to Smash Burger (way overpriced) and Five Guys (good) and Carl’s Jr. (no scantily clad women to be seen; talk about issues with truth in advertising), In-and-Out (what’s the appeal?), and a hundred other chains and non-chains. Burgers were burgers. Big whoop.
Of all these, McDonald’s was way down at the bottom. I have never gotten excited about McDonald’s hamburgers. I worked for McDonald’s back in the early 1980’s, and the food wasn’t bad then, but the burgers have gotten progressively uninspiring as the company has turned to various methods of pre-cooking everything. To me McDonald’s has simply been the place you went for filler. Except for the Egg McMuffin, which I’ve always enjoyed.
But last week my daughter wanted McDonald’s, and since I’m not a totalitarian despot, I took her there. We went to the one by the Layton Hills mall. Inside, to my surprise, I found three, tall touch screen kiosks. I thought, oh, neat, a way to cut the ordering queue. But it was more than that.
McDonald’s has rolled out a new Make Your Own Burger offering that allows you to select the type of bun, cheese, and toppings you want with a quarter pound patty. And the toppings aren’t just the standard pickle, onion, and ketchup. Oh, no. There are three types of buns to choose from. Three or more types of cheese. You can get raw onions or grilled. Guacamole, sautéed mushrooms, two types of mayo, bacon, and more. The lettuce is a leaf, not some iceberg chop.
So I selected the artisan bun, sharp white cheddar, sriracha mayo, ketchup, pickle, lettuce, tomato slice, grilled onions, and sautéed mushrooms.
I was shocked. The beef was juicy. The onions were perfect. The mushrooms, perfect. The sriracha mayo gave it the perfect little zing. Folks, it was so good that within the week, I went back for another in Logan. I have never gone back with any sort of anticipation for a chain burger, anywhere. And the second sandwich was just as good as the first. I am now an official McDonald’s make your own burger fan.
If you’ve become bored with burgers, if you consider them last-resort filler, as I did, or if you’re just wanting to try something new, let me recommend you go to, yes, McDonald’s. You do need to be aware that not all stores offer this new option. So check to make sure the one you’re going to has it (in Logan, Utah you’ll only find it at the south McDonald’s), and then see if you don’t agree that McDonald’s hasn’t finally come out with a great new offering.