In Germany, it’s a Royale with Cheese

Posted on 25.10.2009


Same as in France, apparently. The metric system.

On Wednesday night, Rene and I stopped at a Burger King on the way home from Budo. I’ve never been a fan of the BK Lounge. It’s kind of like Mac and PC: you’re in one camp or the other. I’m with team Micky D’s. And before I get into it, I do concede that overall YES, the fries are better at BK. The breakfast fucking sucks. Give me a Bacon, Egg and Cheese biscuit any day of the week.

I’m sure that my total love of McD’s is simply because we grew up close to one in Bel Air and it was totally where we were after every band performance, honor roll mention and softball game (after slushies, which was a ritual). I could probably live (badly) on Double Cheeseburgers and the BE+C Biscuit. Truth.

So. The story. We’re at the BK on the way home and I order their Double Cheeseburger option (death before dishonor, baby). Rene subs onion rings for the fries (same option as in the US), but I learn my first invaluable fast food lesson: if you want ketchup, you need to order it. You don’t get a million packets for free like you do in the land of opportunity. I’m sure that this reasoning is twofold: wasted ketchup probably gets expensive, and it keeps the place clean. I’m sure anyone that’s ever worked the sunday brunch in food service knows what I mean: you leave syrup and sugar packets on the table and you are ASKING, straight ASKING for a mess. Fucking babies and their just-outta-church, not-paying-attention parents. Don’t get me started. It’s the reason I left food service and why I respect servers so much.

The cheeseburger (double) ROCKS at BK. It tastes like something I’ve never tasted in fast food: clean. Like, I might actually believe someone if they told me it was good for me – clean. I got stuck eating whoppers when I was strapped for cash and working at Bombay co, and they never tasted OK for me. EVER. I just appreciated the lack of mustard. Not joking. I tell Rene this and he tells me about Germany having strict food standards. I say ok, but that I want to try it on something I actually know: McD’s.

Today: the scene: Wurzburg’s once-a-season Sunday when the stores are all open. For like 4 hours. Nice. It draws a crowd. Capitalists could learn a lot from this. We hit the McDonald’s on the way to meet Sid and Katherine. There was no double cheeseburger so I had to opt for my second dinner-time favorite, Le Big Mac.

My holy trinity at McDonald’s is the following: Bacon Egg and Cheese Biscuit, Double Cheeseburger, Big Mac. Following close behind is the 6-Piece McNuggets (extra points for honey packets). And the fries are good all around.

All I can say is, it was a cold day in hell. Not that the Big Mac was BAD, it just wasn’t the same. I’ve come to learn in the past 10 days that the Germans have a different take on the sauces than we do. Their mayo is called ‘sandwich sauce’ and looks kind of… dirty. I haven’t tasted it yet, because Mayo is definitely not dairy-free and to buy a full bottle of it would be murder for me… I can say that they’ve got the mustard down, and also that I’ll be experimenting with BBQ sauce for a while.

The Big Mac tasted about as clean as the BK double cheeseburger, but the major fault came in the form of the sauce: that was NOT the special sauce that people go apeshit over in the US. And I didn’t realize until today how much I actually appreciate the sauce. I know, I know. The special sauce is really only ketchup and mayo mixed… but it’s great. And it was not what was on the burger today. Is the special sauce SO special that the recipe didn’t leave the US? Or was something lost in the translation of McDonald’s brand standards booklet? Or maybe this the the strict German food code coming in to play? And if the last option is the case, then what the hell is in the sauce???

TBD. But for now, BK is in the lead until we can hit McD’s for breakfast.

So: important things to take away from today’s blog:
1 // if you like ketchup, pay for it.
2 // if you can’t live without the Big Mac, don’t come to Europe.
3 // BK Lounge might have an edge over McD’s in Europe.

Ciao for now

Posted in: food, life