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Mickey D’s….one year later.

5 Sep

It was a test of willpower.  Where I live and just about every place I go, I am surrounded by McDonald’s restaurants.

That availability makes it very easy to just swing in for a quick meal as I run errands.

But about a year ago I got just burnt out (yes..the junk food critic got burnt out on junk food?!?!) on McDonald’s.  Bad service, bad food, I was just  tired of dealing with it.  So a friend bet me that I couldn’t go a YEAR without eating McDonald’s food. 

Now, if there was some new Mickey D’s menu item that I was DYING to try, I could have a BITE of it for review purposes.  But the rest of the time,  I was to swear off the golden arches at all costs.

AND I DID IT.   And it wasn’t easy.  At least at first.  I found the convenience of McDonald’s is what was the most difficult starting out.  I am always late, and the quickness of the drive thru is so tempting. 

The more I thought about it the more I realized that I would eat on auto-pilot.  Drive-thru, and eat mindlessly as I am hauling ass to my next appointment.  I wasn’t really enjoying the food or the experience.  It was just a blur.

I started looking around my area and made a switch here and there to other fast food places that were close to McDonald’s. 

But there are alot of fast food places that I am just not a fan of. 

Now my food choices were limited.   I had to start taking some chances.

7-11, local mom & pop places, and all these sandwich shops were popping up everywhere (which-wich, potbelly’s, etc…) so if I just took a minute and a chance- I found alot of new options. Most of these places offered something I liked better than Mickey D’s.

About a month into this, I was totally fine with NOT going to McDonald’s.  The thing I missed the most was the FRIES.  Man…those fries are good.

So good in fact, that at first  I started just skipping the fries whenever I would go somewhere else.  I mean if you can’t have the best, why bother right?

A trip to Jake’s put an end to my FRY-drought because those sweet potato fries are da BOMB!!!

Six months in, and I could still go to a McDonald’s (they were now offering kick ass drinks like Strawberry Lemonade or that new Pineapple-Mang0 smoothie…which I LOVE!!!!!) and not even be tempted to order food. 

….but that french fry smell would always linger in my nose, tempting me.

It’s a year later and I write this after just having a  Chicken Select Combo for lunch.

Funny how life repeats itself.  To be honest, I was STUCK.  I had NO option.  If I didn’t get something to eat, I wasn’t going to eat for 8 hours later.  So I broke down and gave in to the Mick.

 So????  Now that you have some distance…review it!!!  How was it? 

THE GOOD – Consistency.  That clown knows how to make some french fries.  The two things that stand out in my mind is the fries, the coke, and the basic hamburger.  All three of those taste EXACTLY the same for as long as I can remember. 

I LOVE that.  All too often, restaurants try to tweak their menu constantly and the sacrifice of taste is passed along to YOU.  I like that a happy meal tastes exactly the same as it did when I was a kid.  In fact, to this day it’s still my favorite choice at McDonald’s. 

Come on— burger, fries, a drink (too small tho) and a cool (usually) toy?!?!?  No brainer! 

THE BAD

I never really noticed how quickly fast food gets COLD.  I mean my order wasn’t fresh and hot to begin with, but it seemed that the four minutes it took me to leave the drive thru and pull over to eat, my food was almost already cold. 

I also found I had to drown my chicken fingers in sauce to give them any real flavor.  Over all I found myself regretting my visit.  

Why didn’t I just order  the Happy Meal???

Tomorrow, I start anew….

THE UGLY

Up until about a year ago (coincidence??? maybe) the first McDonald’s I ever went to in my life was still there.  Looking like I always remembered it, complete with playground. 

…and they tore it down.  Replaced it with the NEW MODERN McDONALD’S design.  Gone are the murals of Ronald and Friends.  Now it’s carefully designed and custom colored to make you hungry-

(did you know certain colors make people hungry and that is why most  restaurants choose reds and browns in their decor??)  

– and all the fun is gone.  And I think that is part of the problem.   Sure the food isn’t the healthiest, but they are making changes to the menu to offer better options.  But McDonald’s…as long as I have known it…wasn’t JUST about food.  The were the kid-friendly restaurant that was affordable. 

What I don’t like is the amount of pressure they have put on the company to get rid of Ronald McDonald.  What is the difference between him and Chuck E. Cheese?  

Sure, they entice kids to want to go there…but let’s be honest….what kid growing up wanted to go to either for the food? 

It’s like Hooters.  Do guys go there for the games?  NO, they go to eat and talk to the chicks.  

If Ronald is SUCH a wrong message to send, shall we get rid of all businesses that use an enticement to get business?  You can see where I am going here.

Maybe it is nostaliga talking, but turning McDonald’s into Starbucks (no matter how successful they have been with the coffee) is a wrong move.  Kids have few places where they can just go and be kids.   Why can’t we have both? 

I’m not saying Mr. McDonald is a saint, but as another clown might say to him….

why…so…serious? 

and this is coming from someone who is starting another one year sabbatical tomorrow. 

p.s. – I still like ya Ronald and I love that Pineapple/Mango smoothie – good show!

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