I used to go to McDonald’s fairly often; when I worked at the Embarcadero Cinemas it would frequently be the cheapest, closest, or only place open in the area to get dinner. It was there that I acquired a taste for Oreo McFlurrys, but also where I vowed to never eat a double quarter-pounder with cheese ever again, lest I vomit. Since quitting the theater my visits to McDonald’s have been few and far between, and when I began making plans to hit up the one on Van Ness for this blog I couldn’t remember the last time I’d eaten at one. Perhaps that’s why I was so excited for it, I said that I was going to go in, look at the menu and just order every single thing that sounded good to me. Which is kind of what I ended up doing.
This McDonald’s location was recently remodled (in fact, what may have been my last visit to a McDonald’s was to this one during the construction, with Sarah, who accompanied me to this meal) but if you didn’t know that you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at it. It looks about as gross and “retro” as any McDonald’s you’ve ever been to, or any fast food restaurant at all for that matter. I was kind of bummed about that, I was expecting something more modern I suppose, and certainly more well lit.
The McDonald’s menu is confusing to me, I think they make it that way purposely to frustrate you into getting the value meals. Big bright pictures of big mac wraps and #3s dominate, while less popular menu items are smushed over into the corner in difficult to read little white letters. I managed to order most of what I wanted, though I misunderstood a handmade sign that said “NO MILKSHAKE” and tried to order a McFlurry. No dairy treats of any kind were available for the whole length of our visit, even though this scene
and the removal of the milkshake sign gave us false hope later in the meal.
Between me and my three friends, the range of the McDonald’s menu was pretty well represented.
I attempted to enjoy the simplicity of my southern style chicken sandwich, but was put off a bit by how much the bun looked like someone’s butt
and by the stuff that looked like spittle coming out of the chicken after the first bite.
It tasted ok, but was a little overmoist. I can barely remember the cheeseburger I ate
except that the cheese wasn’t melted enough for my liking.
Sarah ordered a McDouble
and Bryan got a double cheeseburger
and there was some dispute over the differences between the two, mostly that there weren’t any other than price. They seemed to be the same size and contain the same foodstuffs, but the mcdouble was cheaper by a bit.
Steph got the McTasty Big N’ Tasty. I don’t know how tasty it actually was, Steph said she enjoyed it well enough, but it certainly had the most appetizing looks of anything on our table that day, what with the pristine sesame seed bun and the frilly lettuce sticking out from the bun.
We all ordered fries. I only got them as a replacement for my McFlurry, I generally could take or leave fries, especially from McDonald’s, though I do have pleasant childhood memories of Happy Meal french fries. I would take the little bag out of the bigger bag and when I’d finished all the fries in there I would root around in the bigger bag and be thrilled by the hidden treasure trove of fries I would find. These fries disappointed though, everyone agreed that they were cold. There’s little worse than a cold french fry. I have to admit that most of mine went in the trash.
We also got a 20 piece Chicken McNuggets for everyone to share. Sarah really pissed off the peeps working the counter by requesting every nugget dipping sauce they offer. You should have seen this guy’s face as he slammed the honey down on her tray.
The nuggets were the best thing I ate that day. For whatever reason, I grew up with sweet n’ sour as my default dipping sauce, and it was as delicious as I remember. As an adult I began ordering my nuggets with barbeque sauce, which was still good, but I’d never tried the chipotle BBQ sauce before. It was tasty, as was the spicy Buffalo sauce, which was actually pretty darn spicy. I wasn’t crazy about the ranch or the honey mustard sauces, I’ve just never been a big fan of honey mustard, and they were both too creamy to stand up to the greasiness of the nuggets. I don’t think I tried the honey, it grosses me out a little bit.
I felt sick to my stomach pretty much immediately after finishing as much food as I could stand. My body’s just not equipped to handle an onslaught of fast food like this. It’ll be interesting to see how I fare at upcoming fast food establishments. For now, despite the semi-disappointing nature of this trip, I am still optimistic and excited to try out KFC/Taco Bell and Burger King in the coming months. I should be ok as long as I have a good posse to back me up. Oh, and I make sure to obey any posted time limits;
600 Van Ness