Advantages The milkshake was OK but I'm not sure if that should be considered advantageous
Disadvantages Dirty surroundings, foul food, surly staff, food bears no resemblance to advertising photos
|Value for Money|
|Standard of Menu|
|Standard of Service|
Back in the mid 1970s, there was a buzz going around about the newest ‘culinary’ (for want of a more appropriate word) indulgence from the USA. The subject of this buzz was none other than our now institutional McDonalds, which was standing in line, all set to enthral, and replace the scampi & chips in a basket 1970s pub food culture.My dubious claim to fame regarding McDonalds was that my now late brother-in-law had installed the central heating system inside the newly built, shiny glass-fronted monolith with the huge yellow "M" outside, in the High Street of my then home town. The completion and opening of this new eating house was the first step down the path of architectural atrocity, culminating in the many ensuing eyesores that, over the decades, has turned the once rather elegant and tasteful High Street of my home town into a 10th rate conglomeration of depressing "pound shops", tatty "fun jewellery" outlets and penniless student buskers hanging around on street corners belting out screechingly awful renditions of old rock classics in the hope of earning a few pennies with which to buy their next Pot Noodle. Oh, silly me...I forgot to include the drunks snoozing in shop doorways, and the feral youths mindlessly skulking in droves on street corners, with the sole intent of making everybody else's existence as unpleasant as possible.
But, I digress...and explain that my digression resulted from a deep-seated belief that our throw-away culture, of which McDonalds seems to be an exponent.....even if only because their food is inedible and there aren't enough rubbish bins around, plays at least a small part in the mood of soulless and shallow desperation which has implanted itself in the consciousness of modern day society.Even though hordes of friends extolled the virtues of a McDonalds meal with an enthusiasm and passion that had quite likely not been seen since the D-Day landings, I didn't take their recommendations on board. At the time, I was satisfying my palate with the joys of my rather superb local Indian takeaway, and I wasn't yet ready to sacrifice my weekly indulgence of Chicken Madras with all the trimmings, for a thing in a bun which claimed to be a burger.
It wasn't until ten years later in 1987 that I entered the portals of the building in the High Street with the big letter ‘M’ swaying precariously in the breeze, and decided to for once and for all, find out for myself what all the fuss was about.I strolled through the ‘restaurant’ to the serving area, precariously picking my way across a floor covered with cigarette ends, squashed chips, overturned polystyrene milkshake cartons, slices of stray gherkin and tomato ketchup skid-marks. I looked up at the stunning photographs which advertised a very mouth-watering array of food, and despite my initial impression (the state of the floor), I began to wonder if I'd been missing out on something wonderful all these years.
My mind strayed back to the old fashioned style Wimpy Bar situated in the Woolworths of my early childhood - a toasted bun, a sizzling, juicy, meaty burger, lots of fried onions, liberally smeared with tomato sauce that was squeezed from a plastic tomato-shaped container, served on a china plate with a large helping of fat, home-cooked chips. With spirits instantly lifted at the anticipation of something like those long-lost Wimpy meals, I placed my order for a cheeseburger, small fries and a strawberry flavoured milkshake. In the space of less than two minutes, the spotty teenager who was serving me returned with two pale yellow coloured polystyrene boxes, and another polystyrene container in the shape of a cup with a lid on and a bendy straw poked through a hole in the middle. This, apparently, was my meal.OK....I thought....you can't judge a book by its cover, and I shuffled back through the debris littering the floor, to find an empty table. The only vacant seat available was one sharing a table with a heavily tattooed young woman, who seemed completely disinterested in the fact that her hideously screeching offspring were getting their kicks by systematically decimating the rubber plant display behind the table. Never mind......I shall ignore them, was the next thought in my mind, as I carefully unwrapped the first of the two polystyrene boxes.
On close inspection of the contents of the first box, I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from shouting...... "What the f*** is this s**t??!!!??", then decided to opt for restraint as I lifted the top off the burger bun, only to find something inside which resembled the aftermath of a stomach pump!Not one to be easily put off by appearances, I took a hungry bite out of this object, optimistically believing that sometimes the things which look worst taste best - but in this instance, pessimism would have been the better route to travel. My taste buds were assaulted by a lump of glutinous, greasy, chewy matter that resembled cardboard which had been boiled for years in a mixture of paraffin and swarfega, then liberally smeared with the contents of a very ill person's colostomy bag.
For some reason, dogs were at that time allowed in this branch of McDonalds (not a thing I have a problem with, as all dogs are far more pleasing than most people), and I noticed a little black mongrel sitting a few feet away from me, smiling, panting, and wagging his tail expectantly. After receiving permission from the dog's owner, I placed the horror-show contents of my polystyrene box on the floor - the dog took one sniff, then ran under his owner's chair, cringing as if I'd just beaten his head in with a cricket bat. So, even the little dog wouldn't eat this culinary offering which people had been ecstasising about for more than a decade.I stared around the "restaurant" and noticed that most people appeared to be enjoying their food orders, so I thought I'd explore the contents of my other polystyrene box.....maybe the burgers are crap, but perhaps their chips (fries!!) are heaven on earth? Could they be what people had been raving about for all those years? Well, a chip is a chip - but I thought (again rather over-optimistically) maybe McDonald's have discovered some sort of secret, and managed to mesmerise the world with a unique and mouth-watering potato creation.
Off came the lid of the second polystyrene box, and my eyes were assaulted by what looked exactly like soggy matchsticks with the heads cut off. Again I told myself not to be put off by appearances, and I scooped up a few of these objects, stuffing them greedily (I was very hungry by now) into my eagerly awaiting mouth. My whole constitution suddenly plunged into almost retching, neurotic overdrive, and I was thankful for the supply of a serviette into which I was able to spit the unholy mess.(Incidentally, the little black dog didn't find the offer of the box of fries too appealing either!)
Never one to dismiss things without giving the underdog at least three chances, I placed the straw poking from the lid of the polystyrene cup into my mouth and sucked hard.....thinking that surely, nobody could mess up a milkshake??? I wasn't entirely wrong, as it was reasonably palatable, but if I'd have been one of these people who does these sorts of things (and I'm not), I believe I could have taken McDonalds to the cleaners via the Trades Descriptions Act, as ‘thick creamy milkshake’ is a misinterpretation. What this description should read, is ‘slightly melted ice cream’. All the same though, I managed to finish my ‘milk shake’, then left the building, stopping off at the old faithful and trusty Indian takeaway close to my home.I have never since entered the portals of any McDonalds, and certainly don't intend to.
I do worry that McDonalds seems to be a favourite venue for holding children's birthday parties, and if I had children of my own, I'd much prefer them to have a traditional style birthday party at home - with fish paste sandwiches, jelly, blancmange, fairy cakes......and party games which teach them how to interact with one another, and instil an understanding of fair play. OK - maybe the fish paste sandwiches type fayre isn't much more, if at all, healthier than a McDonalds, but at least it bears a vague resemblance to something remotely edible.McDonalds - I re-name you MUCKDonalds, and give you a huge thumbs DOWN! Your food is worse than disgusting. OK, the mikshakes are tolerable, but not what they are purported to be. Shame on you!
The only reason why you receive one star, is that I can't award you none!~~ Also published on DooYoo under my GentleGenius user name ~~
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