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 was dry, flavorless. Pigeon-shit squirt of avocado mush was icky, wasn’t even purely avocado. Clumsy thick jalapeño rings, straight out of the can, were 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.