April 29, 2004

How I Got the Hell Over Myself and Learned to Love McDonald's Again

Hip trendoid that I am, I was on the verge of getting sucked into that whole fashionable Fast Food Nation ohmigodourkidsarefatwemustblamesomeone!! kill the fast food establishments vortex, when something changed my mind, particularly about Mickey D's: Salad. Yep, that's right, salad. You may rightly be asking yourself, "Salad? But I thought all fast food establishments were firmly committed to killing us dead and raping the rain forests and giving us mad cow disease! Surely this "salad" you speak of is an abomination!"

Well folks, I'm here to tell you different. Gone are the days of the lame-ass "salad shaker" that Mickey D's came out with a few years back. The new McDonald's salad can no longer be referred to as "iceberg in a cup."

Take for example the grilled chicken and bacon garden salad, on display at the McD's marquee near you: fresh mixed greens, flavorful grilled chicken, a dash of bacon, cheese and Newman's Own dressing. It's a damn fine salad--better than I would make, mainly because I haven't the patience to find, shred and toss my 14 lettuce varieties and all the other crap that constitutes a happening "salad" nowadays--and it's Atkins friendly.

Today I tried the Fiesta salad, with Newman's salsa, ground beef, cheese and some of those little nacho chip strips--eeek! Carbs!--and it was also quite the tasty.

As one of The Boy's very favoritest occasional treats is a Happy Meal, it is good that McDonald's has diversified their menu. This way I can actually eat something I like when we go there, and not freak out about a) removing the bun, b)salt content, or c) immediately dropping dead from special sauce overload OMGWTFBBQ!

I suppose we actually have the sue-happy, "blame everyone but me for my own morbid obesity I had no idea that a steady diet of FRIED FOOD would make me fat" types to thank for this, since the culinary shift at the local Golden Arches seems to be driven in part by the time-honored capitalist desire to cover one's ass. So thanks, tort lawyers, greedy Americans, and food nazis!

Me, I'll be having the Cobb salad while The Boy plays on the slide.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at April 29, 2004 12:44 PM

I liked the reference to the film "Dr. Strangelove" in the post's title. It made me laugh. Was that intentional?

Posted by: teaching assistant at April 29, 2004 03:20 PM

Good catch! I thought the reference was appropriate given that some folks think fast food is a tool of the apocalypse...

Posted by: BAW at April 29, 2004 03:23 PM

My problem with McD's isn't the food... it's the dirt, and the sloppy, apathetic, painfully slow service.

Since I have no toddlers to entertain in the plastic balls and netting, I'll be elsewhere.

Posted by: Naomi at April 29, 2004 08:40 PM


The McD's near my former workplace featured incredibly patient and diligent almost-all-Chicano staff and incredibly rude and vicious mostly non-Chicano customers. It may be different elsewhere, but that particular franchise made telemarketing look good as a career option.

(You're right, though, it wasn't particularly clean — though half of that was again the clientele, who threw wrappers on the floor, thoughtfully decorated the tables with spare ketchup, did unspeakable things in the restrooms, &c.)

Posted by: Michelle Dulak at April 29, 2004 08:52 PM

The whole "Supersize Me" hype was based on the guy's eating himself into a stupor. National Review has a piece about a woman doing the semi-same stunt, but without the gluttony.
Me? I miss the chicken in the pita sandwich.
But, here in SoCal, In and Out has the best burgers (lousy fries) and they have a low-carb option ("Protein Style").

Posted by: Kate at April 30, 2004 10:10 AM

I had pretty much the same salad epiphany you did. Who knew they could actually do it right?; remember they’re the people who tested for 20 years the idea of tomato on a burger.
BTW I would like it better for $3.50 rather than $4. but hey, I’m just cheap.

Posted by: jim at April 30, 2004 10:46 PM

yeah, I'm happy to see the fast food places are going to offer food that those of us with an intolerance for deep-fat frying can eat. (Deep fried food makes me sick to my stomach).

But, there's a really weird McDonald's print ad out there- they claim their lettuce is so nice and fresh because it's "never frozen"

I'm sorry? Does that mean to imply other chains freeze their lettuce?

as someone who had a malfunctioning fridge thermostat, I can say from experience that no where actually FREEZES their lettuce; it becomes slimy and inedible.

Posted by: ricki at May 3, 2004 09:32 AM