I dunno McDonald’s, but I don’t think they smoke burgers in Carolina…

Now, I probably shoulda known better. But when I saw all those billboards for the McDonald’s Mighty Angus Carolina BBQ burger, I had so many questions. Is this supposed to be North Carolina or South Carolina BBQ? Do they know the difference between a mustard-based and a vinegar-based sauce? Would either of those sauces even taste good on a burger — much less a McDonald’s burger? And how long are you supposed to smoke a burger, anyways?

Well, after trying the Mighty Angus Carolina BBQ burger, I can tell you that it answered exactly none of those questions.

mcdonalds_carolina_bbq_burger (4)

Now, I’m not sure this is dramatically different from the Mighty Angus Alberta burger that they rolled out last year…although I never actually ate that one. There is nothing here that really screams Carolina, or BBQ, or Carolina BBQ for that matter. Yes, this is a slight upgrade from a Quarter Pounder; the patty is thicker and the bun has more chew. But now let’s break it down…

mcdonalds_carolina_bbq_burger (17)

What makes this different from a regular burger are the crispy onions, white cheese (they say it’s mozza but it tasted like nothing) and “golden Carolina BBQ sauce.” Now, to be fair, this is actually a thing…although I didn’t get any of the sauce until I was halfway through the burger. And while its namesake is mustard-based, Mickey D’s sauce was probably straight out of a packet labelled “tangy BBQ.” And no, it really doesn’t go good on a burger…especially not a burger from McDonald’s.

mcdonalds_carolina_bbq_burger (21)As you can see, they saved all the sauce till the end…

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THROWBACK THURSDAY: That time I ate poutine at McDonald’s

(Originally written December 19, 2013)

Now, one sign of a good poutine is a thick, meaty fry, so when McDonald’s announced it was adding poutine to its menu–following in the footsteps of Wendy’s, Burger King, and most other fast-food franchises in this country–it seemed like pretty much the worst idea ever.  After all, McDonald’s renowned salt-rockets are about as thin a fry as you’ll find in a cardboard pouch.  Dump a small bag of cheese curds and some not-warm gravy on top, and you get this:

mcdonalds_poutine (2)

You’ll notice that the curds aren’t remotely close to melting.  That’s cuz they took ’em straight out of a sealed plastic bag and pumped some cold gravy on top.  I mean, I wasn’t expecting sauce en canne, but at least Burger King keeps its poutine sauce warm enough that it actually melts the cheese.  All this stuff did was make my thin, yet deadly, fries soggy–which is kinda gross.  In any case, the curds had good flavour, but they didn’t exactly squeak in my mouth.  And what was up with that gravy!?  Man, I’d even take KFC’s artery-busting lumps of doom over this.  You can really tell that McDonald’s has never used gravy on any other menu item before, put it that way.

Of course, I didn’t have high hopes for this dish; I was really only trying it in the name of science.  Cuz hey, there are really only three types of people who buy McDonald’s: students, the homeless and parents of small children.  Let’s just say that if this serves as your kids’ first taste of poutine, they’ll probably never want to eat it again…

…which just means more crise cardiaque sur une assiette for the rest of us.

Next time, I think I’ll pass on the pulled-pork party…

(Originally written October 30, 2014)

Nowadays, it seems that the hottest trend in fast food is pulled pork.  Hell, even my local Longo’s grocery store is serving up pulled-pork pizza, and I’m pretty sure the second period of the last Flames game I watched was brought to you by Swanson’s Hungry-Man Pulled Pork Dinner.  Can I just say that I wouldn’t eat Hungry-Man Pulled Pork even if they were all out of Beer Battered Chicken & Cheese Fries.  But if you put it on a burger, well, I guess I’ll try it at least once.

wendys_pulled_pork

Wendy’s not only puts pulled pork in a sandwich, they also put it on poutine, and give you three different sauces to choose from.  To be honest, the pork sandwich wasn’t bad, despite the generic coleslaw glopped in on top.  The spicy sauce definitely gave it some kick!  But when you throw some pork atop fast-food grade poutine, and swirl in some BBQ sauce on top, well, it’s just about le bad trip du siècle.  And what’s with the red onions!?

harveys_pulled_pork

Do you even need to zoom in to tell that the pulled-pork product on top of this Harvey’s hamburger is definitely disgusting?  I dunno guy, but I’m pretty sure they only place they pulled this from was a plastic bag.  And I’ve even had better burgers at a food court–although, to be fair, I’m talkin’ bout the Urban Eatery.

Throwback Thursday: Studies find Canadians eat more fast food than they talk politics

(Originally written July 8, 2013)

mcdonalds_poutine (2)

What would you rather have, a big, juicy KFC Double Down or a big, hearty helping of foreign policy?  Perhaps it’s no surprise that most Canadians choose the former, according to a pair of separate surveys both released today.  As The NPD Group reports, “restaurant visits increased by 10 per cent between 2002 and 2012 (from 20 per cent to 30 per cent), while the share of grocery spending has had a correlating decrease (from 80 per cent to 70 per cent).”  The NPD study also notes that “Millennials have had an increase of 157 million [restaurant] visits in the past six years, while the combined visits of Boomers’ and Mature Traditionalists’ increased by 241 million.”  No word as to the increase of visits by Immature Traditionalists, but considering Rob Ford’s KFC diet, I’d assume that figure to be astronomical. 😉

But while Millennials might be eating more McDonald’s, one thing they’re not doing is discussing politics on Twitter.  A Samara study entitled “Lightweights”—clearly not in reference to this country’s eating habits—found that “Just 17 per cent of Canadians say they have shared political content via social media in the last year; 15 per cent blogged about a political issue; 30 per cent used email or instant messaging to talk politics; and 25 per cent participated in an online discussion group for such purposes” as per Postmedia.  On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that at least 17 per cent of my Twitter feed is comprised of pictures of poutine—some of which were posted by other people. 😉

So, how do we fix this?  As Dana McCauley, vice president of Marketing at Plats du Chef, told the NPD Group, “in order to cater to the vital Millennial group, restaurant executives need to make personal connections on the social platforms where they are seeking engagement.”  Perhaps the same could be said of politicians—who wouldn’t wanna receive a special birthday greeting from Stephen Harper?  Then again, perhaps the leaders of country could solve this problem by following the fast-food study.  After all, no political event has ever garnered more mentions on social media than that time Rob Ford was videotaped entering a KFC*.

 

*not including that time when Rob Ford was alleged to have allegedly smoked an alleged substance allegedly believed to be alleged crack cocaine.