26 (Mon) December 2016
Quarter Pounder Cheese vs Spicy Avocado Burger
at the In-Laws’
Home for the Holidays, Day 6 (see previously 7.355 Stewed Babyback Ribs …).
In Seoul. Winter break. Going back to Manila on the 31st — can hardly wait.
Didn’t intend for a taste test. After getting the Quarter Pounder Cheese (QPC) to go — first one in over 6 years! (see most recently 1.329 Double Quarter Pounder Cheese) — I was on my way out, bag in hand. But before I could reach the door, the in-store promos — relentless to the point of facing/targeting customers on the way out, like “Aren’t you forgetting something?” — compelled me to turn back for a Signature Burger, and I eventually settled on the Spicy Avocado Burger (SAB).
The only commonality that makes for the comparison is that both are by McDonald’s : one classic vs one newfangled.
In terms of branding, the marketing folks didn’t think this one through. A “signature” dish is something that a restaurant/chef is identified by, associated with, famous for. None of these so-called “Signature Burgers” represents what McDonald’s is identified by, associated with, famous for. In fact, McDonald’s already has what is arguably the most identifiable/associable/famous signature burger of all time : the Big Mac. Accordingly, when the ad copy claims the Signature Burgers to contain “60 years of McDonald’s know-how,” the expectation would be revamped/reinterpreted/rescaled versions of that uniquely delicious, je ne sais quois artificiality that McDonald’s does best — imagine : the Ulti-Mac!! — not half-assed “premium hand-made” crap.
Hands down, QPC. Beefy and cheesy, with onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard, on a lightly toasted sesame seed bun — so seemingly simple, yet categorically impossible to replicate at home, even with same visible ingredients. It’s all about that magical McDo touch : i.e., uniquely delicious, je ne sais quois artificiality.
SAB, bullshit. So-called “Angus” beef : dry, flavorless. Pigeon-shit squirt of avocado mush : icky, wasn’t even purely avocado. Clumsy thick jalapeño rings, straight out of the can : overpowering, distracting, annoying. The bun looked like it might taste something like a bagel, or a pretzel, but not. Waste of money, effort, calories.
Say what you will about my occasional meal at McDonald’s — 28 occasions over the past 2,547 dinners isn’t so bad — but, personally, I find those posts quite fun to read back on, probably because the subject matter is so silly to begin with.