March 17, 2002
7:25 PM   Subscribe

In the midst of your St. Patrick's Day celebrations, won't you please take a moment to consider the struggle to save one of our most beloved Irish institutions...
posted by jonmc (33 comments total)
Oh sure, next you'll want to bring back the McRib and the McDLT too. If you want to really get upset about something, consider the shame of the disappearing Classic Cut.
posted by yhbc at 7:46 PM on March 17, 2002

ummm... I just had a Shamrock Shake at McDonald's on Friday. So either this campaign was more successful than they could've imagined, or they were never gone in the first place.
posted by dnash at 8:03 PM on March 17, 2002

dnash- they have 'em in my neck of the woods too but apparently not everywhere..they mention that in the "news" section
posted by jonmc at 8:08 PM on March 17, 2002

posted by Wizzle at 8:12 PM on March 17, 2002

yhbc: you can get mcribs where i live, they're even on the dollar menu. mmm!
posted by o2b at 8:33 PM on March 17, 2002

Ohmigod. Do they still put pickles on them? I actually remember the weird things (slab o' pork, pressed into a 'rib' shape, on a bun with surprisingly tangy sauce) as a guilty pleasure - but who in their right mind would want PICKLE SLICES on a barbecue sandwich?!?

(sorry for the inadvertant hijack, if this is one)
posted by yhbc at 8:39 PM on March 17, 2002

No prob, yhbc,thred drift is cool especially in a joke thread...I think the ones on the dollar menu are McRib, JR's actually,good but not quite the same. Quite frankly, I stll hoping Wendy's will put the Monterey Chicken rach Sandwich on their permanent menu...and that Buffalo Busters would be available in the Northeast. Let's start a junkfood rights coalition and get somethin' started.
posted by jonmc at 8:49 PM on March 17, 2002 [1 favorite]

McDonald's menus are incredibly regionalized. When I lived outside of Chicago, we had the McJordan. When I lived in New York we had McPizza. Here in New England, we have McLobster in the summer (I assume that's a regional flavor). What else is out there?
posted by jpoulos at 8:51 PM on March 17, 2002

No lobster in my part of new england, jpoulos. Although, I do remember that when I visited Quebec City as a teenager the McDonalds served crepes(!) if I recall correctly. I figure it's only a matter of time before we see McSushi.
posted by jonmc at 8:56 PM on March 17, 2002

jonmc - Star Market here in Boston has the Buffalo Busters. They just started stocking them about six months ago. How do I know this? They took the Cheese Poppers that were one of my guilty pleasures and went and put Buffalo Busters in their location on the shelf. Damn them!

But I don't know if that's just a Boston development - don't know about Connecticut.
posted by Chanther at 9:03 PM on March 17, 2002

No kidding, jon? You're in Conn, right? I'm in eastern MA, and we've had lobster for at least 3 or 4 years now. I'd never try one, but I hear they're actually pretty good. I think they charge $7 a pop.

I forget what a McJordan was--I think it was just a bacon cheeseburger or something--but it was endorsed by MJ himself. This was early 90s. I bet they sold billions and billions of them...
posted by jpoulos at 9:07 PM on March 17, 2002

no kidding,jpoulos, we don't have lobster in Bridgeport, Long Island Sound is pretty much devoid of anything but 3-eyed bluefish.
posted by jonmc at 9:10 PM on March 17, 2002

I've had a McLobster, too - actually pretty good. Your basic lobster roll, with quite a bit of (probably phony, or at least 'pressed seafood product') lobster meat with a lot more lettuce on a hot dog-type roll. They are pricy, though.

No luck yet on McSushi, but what the heck is this?
posted by yhbc at 9:19 PM on March 17, 2002

I'll answer my own question. It was SUPPOSED to be a shot from the McDonald's Japan website. Didn't post right. Sorry.
posted by yhbc at 9:21 PM on March 17, 2002

McDonald's has changed their approach somewhat, dropping the traditional "burger slide heat lamp" device that would keep the food warm while waiting for someone to order it. Now everything is made "fresh for you!" and they've added the rotating menu of specials, some of which might be the same as in years past.

The main thing I want is for McD's HQ to realize that when the counter folk have to stand there waiting for your burger, it's impossible to know which lines are moving, which aren't, and which are people who've paid and are just waiting for food. For this approach they really should move to the single-queue approach like Wendy's and Burger King have in most restaurants. I shouldn't have to guess where to stand.

Also, remember that it's a franchised business. There are things that are standardized, but the menu can vary even in the same city depending on who actually owns the restaurant -- and different-sized stores might vary the amount of extra items they carry just on a space and logistics basis.
posted by dhartung at 9:28 PM on March 17, 2002

Back to the original topic: My wife just had a Shamrock shake a couple days ago (Chicago region). Now, I seem to remember some years ago when the SS was just vanilla with green coloring. She says they've always been mint. What say you? And does anyone else get Arctic Orange shakes in the summer?
posted by AstroGuy at 9:41 PM on March 17, 2002

dhartung - the "many-lines=McDonald's, single-queue=Burger King" dichotomy is actually integral to the identity of each chain. McDonald's works, and has always worked, on a "batch" system, where a batch of single-cheeseburgers, quarter-pounders, whatever, are made at a time. They then get processed with the required fixin's, boxed up, and put out in the bins to be picked up by any of the several counter persons who might need them at the time. This system depends on teamwork to be successful, which is why McDonald's has always stressed the "team" theme in hiring and company identity.

Burger King, on the other hand, uses a straight assembly-line. One burger goes through the process at a time, to be outputted at the end. Earlier in their corporate history, they used this system to their advantage with the "have it your way" promotion. Of course, it wasn't so hard to make each burger any way the customer wanted, since each one came out one at a time anyway. Wendy's probably uses a modified version of this process.

The drawback with the Burger King model is that you can only have one (or a very few) points of delivery, since the product is coming out sequentially, instead of in batches. It also means there's a lot less need to have a well-functioning "team" to deliver the goods, since they only come out on their own pace anyway. Thus, Burger King has never used the "join our team!" approach to hiring - anyone can stand out front and pick up the food as it comes out.

Both chains have been successful with their own models, though, so it's not likely that either will ever change. We'll probably have to keep bunching up in front of the McDonald's counter, certain that all the other "lines" are moving faster than our own.

And AstroGuy, I remember them as mint.
posted by yhbc at 9:46 PM on March 17, 2002

Now everything is made "fresh for you!" ...well, I'd dispute that, as the last couple of times I ordered a cheeseburger they looked like they'd been used as someone's seat cushions.

And I miss the green shakes, and the peppermint sundaes/shakes at xmas. I haven't seen a shamrock shake since I was a kid. sniff.

And as for regional items...when I lived in Idaho there was a superior mexican fast-food chain called Taco Time. Taco Time had these tater-tot items that went by the name of Mexi-Fries, and they had some sort of addictive seasoning on them which caused you to impulsively ride your bike to their nearest location (or your car if it was cold) and consume an order rapidly with their mysterious "fry sauce". The Local Taco Bell therefore had to offer their own version, which were withered little tater coins, very inferior. In other Taco Bell news, the stores closest to us have removed the chili-cheese burrito, my favorite guilty pleasure, from their menus in this region. We did just get the enchirito, though. Now if they'd just stock the green sauce...
posted by kittyloop at 10:00 PM on March 17, 2002

"when I lived in Idaho there was a superior mexican fast-food chain called Taco Time. Taco Time had these tater-tot items that went by the name of Mexi-Fries"

Taco Time's still around, at least in the Seattle area, and they've got the tater tots. One more thing I'm looking forward to when I finally move out there =)
posted by CrayDrygu at 10:58 PM on March 17, 2002

"when I lived in Idaho there was a superior mexican fast-food chain called Taco Time. Taco Time had these tater-tot items that went by the name of Mexi-Fries"

Oh, the fond memories of Mexi-Fries and the Wastelands (AKA North Dakota) version from Taco John's, Potato-Ole's. It was always a mystery to me as to why everyone I knew, myself incuded, would get insane cravings for these little mini tater-tots when consuming any quantity of alcohol. One of the bars I used to frequent had a Bat Phone to the Taco John's so that you could have your Potato-Ole's delivered. I never saw anyone order anything else.
posted by peterbaer at 1:21 AM on March 18, 2002

No luck yet on McSushi

Don't you even care about your internet hangouts? Decimated within a week or two.
posted by crasspastor at 2:52 AM on March 18, 2002

McDonald's marketing department, if you're listening...please give the McJordan burger another try here in Columbia, SC. I heart McJordan burgers.

To get back on topic, I heart Shamrock Shakes too.
posted by alumshubby at 6:15 AM on March 18, 2002

FWIW, I went through the Shamrock Shake search mission last March, and even got an email from McD's customer service (promptly, I might add) about it. Thank you for the reminder--I know where I'm headed at lunchtime!
posted by werty at 6:39 AM on March 18, 2002

What I want to know about tater tots is, why aren't there other kinds of tots? Corn tots, pork tots, apple tots, melon tots. The tot people are really asleep at the switch, in my opinion.
posted by rodii at 6:45 AM on March 18, 2002

I tot you might say that.
posted by yhbc at 7:03 AM on March 18, 2002

Wait - this is my favourite travelling game. No matter where I go in the world, I always go to the nearest McDonald's to see how the menu differs from the standard SoCal McD's menu. In Hawaii, they serve saimin (Top Ramen) and to be honest, I think they do serve sushi - or am I just nuts? I haven't been there in ten years. In London, no HUGE glaring differences, except the prominence of tea on the menu in addition to coffee. In Paris, I was too busy listening to the running Pulp Fiction dialogue in my head to remember what the menu differences were. And in Norway, there was this weird sausage thing on the menu, whose name I can't remember.

Anyway, I was mentioning all this to a friend the other day, when it occurred to me that I had never ordered anything at any of the outland McDonald's I visited - I was just the nutjob American, walking in to scan the menu, write it down in my notebook, and then leave. I guess everyone needs a pasttime.

Can any Hawaii residents confirm the sushi thing? This would have been on Maui about 10 years ago.
posted by annathea at 7:05 AM on March 18, 2002

I should correct myself. Saimin is not necessarily Top Ramen, but a ramen of any brand.
posted by annathea at 7:08 AM on March 18, 2002

Thick and green and cold
Verdant shake to wash down fries
Mint tinted upchuck.
posted by ColdChef at 8:36 AM on March 18, 2002

FYI, the original shamrock shake was not mint. The current incarnation tastes like Mylatna.
posted by plinth at 9:56 AM on March 18, 2002

"Canned blue rythmns hum the background"

-Micheal O'Siadhail
posted by clavdivs at 9:56 AM on March 18, 2002

I've not seen the McSushi on any of the islands, but the saimin is actually pretty good. Not just ramen, they do put some other goodies in there.
posted by scottymac at 10:38 AM on March 18, 2002

last year while visiting family in wisconsin, i was amused to see McDonalds billboards advertising the McBratwurst.
posted by modge at 11:08 AM on March 18, 2002

In Miami, they now have Dulce de Leche shakes, as well as a Cuban-style sandwich with sliced pork. I haven't tried one - since you can get a real Cuban sandwich for cheap just about anywhere in town.
posted by groundhog at 12:05 PM on March 18, 2002

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