McDonald’s is one of my favorite fast food chains. I am well aware that this is not a popular position to take (both on McDonald’s and fast food more generally), but I love the two beef patties and special sauce, the french fries, the apple pies, the attempt at healthier foods like apple slices that nobody ever eats. Sure there are things I wish they would do better: be more socially conscious, purchase from farms that treat their animals humanely, the list could go on and on. But at the end of the day, sometimes a delicious fast food burger and some fries really hit he spot.
But this isn’t just a post about McDonald’s, it’s a post about travel and McDonald’s. You see, I have taken it upon myself to try to eat burgers in foreign countries that aren’t available in the U.S. So far, I have only done this in two countries: Greece and Japan. There was a burger in England (whose name escapes me) that I wanted to try, but the wife guilt-tripped me into eating at a “real restaurant” that didn’t serve “terrible food.” I will get back there some day, and I will eat the heck out of that burger. But back to the burgers I have tried:
The wife and I honeymooned in Greece. We flew from New York City, had an 8 hour layover in Amsterdam, and then arrived in Athens at about 4 in the morning. As we were walking in the airport, I spotted a McDonald’s. Seeing as to how I was really hungry, I decided to eat there. After browsing the menu, I noticed something that seemed gloriously amazing: the McFarm. I couldn’t really tell what it was based on the picture, but I ordered it. The first thing I noticed is that the Greeks have an extra utensil that I had never seen before. It was a tiny trident that I assume was used to eat the fries. It was a marvel of engineering, and let me tell you, it’s extremely fun to stab a fry with your trident and then dip it epicly in a pool of ketchup. The McFarm, meanwhile, was a huge disappointment. It was some sort of a sour pork burger, and I could only eat two bites before I tapped out.
The next time I tried a burger was in Japan. They had something called the Tsukimi burger, which seemed to be something close to a Big N’ Tasty with an egg ontop of the meat patty. And there may have been some special sauce or something. This burger was great going down, it was such a different experience from the McFarm that I remember shouting “this burger can’t beat me!” while I was knocking it out. Well, it turns out that this burger did end up beating me, because I really didn’t feel well for the next three to four hours. For those of you wondering, I was able to bounce back by dinner time, and the trip as a whole was a success. As you can probably guess for both cases, when things took a turn for the worse, I got that “I told you so” look from the wife.
My goal is to try to eat a burger at every country we go to. Then maybe someday I’ll break away from Drew and make my own travel blog, dedicated solely to eating McDonald’s in foreign countries. Even though I’ve had bad experiences in 100% of the times I’ve tried this so far, there is just something incredibly alluring about going to a fast food restaurant that I can find on every block of every city in the U.S. and find something unique and different on the menu.