Here's a quick post with some pics from the outdoor menu at a Paris McDonald's taken recently:
Yes, they have beer:
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On a recent visit to Barcelona I stopped by my neighborhood Burger King. The interior was nice and familiar. The menu had all the classics plus a number of interesting items. Sadly, my pics of the main menu didn't turn out, so all I have to show is this one for the side items and drinks:
My sad circle is pointing out something cool. In Barcelona, you can have a cup of beer instead of a Coke or water. Nice.
I tried the Steakhouse Burger. What a glorious piece of sandwich engineering this is.
Check out that magnificence. The bottom-up assembly is heel>patty>cheese>bacon>onion strings>tomato>lettuce>mayo>crown. Note they chose to put the mayo on top, rather than on the bottom as is customary for flavor (like on the Whopper.)
I found the sandwich hearty, meaty, and very tasty. A perfect blend of toppings in every bite, topped off by a satisfying crunch from the onion strings.
Above is a curiosity. I've never seen customer-accessible microwaves before. This one was right next to the drink machines. How cold could the food get 10 feet from where you pick it up?
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A trend with fast food Mexican restaurants lately is to take the standard ingredients and combine them together in what is often called a "combo" item. Combo burritos are the most common, taking up permanent residence at both Taco Bell and Del Taco. I guess "combo" is better than that other more hip term "mash up" which doesn't sound very good when applied to food.
Doesn't that look delicious? OK, maybe getting a "beauty shot" of the interior of a burrito isn't as easy as it is with burgers. Must be a real challenge to food stylists. Anyway, this Shredded Beef Combo Burrito from Del Taco is just what you'd expect: shredded beef, beans, cheese and sauce. The hook here is that Del Taco doesn't normally have shredded beef. So this is a "limited time" promotional item. At $2.99, this is considered a premium burrito. It was exactly what you'd expect a meaty, beany burrito to taste like. I did find it dry however, despite the default sauce and my addition of 2 packets of Medium (Del Scorcho) sauce. Nevertheless, a good alternative to the normal burrito offerings for frequent Del Taco visitors.
Ahh, Lent. The Catholic season leading up to Easter is a time when many fast from eating meat on Fridays, a tradition that drove the creation of the original McDonald's Filet-O-Fish, by the way. Now fast food is into fish in a big way. Could last year's drought also play a role? We knew beef prices were expected to rise, so perhaps pushing fish items is a way to try to "diversify the menu portfolio" a bit. In any case, some heavy hitters have released a number of fish items and only time will tell whether they catch on with the public. See what I did there? "catch"?
First up, the aforementioned McDonald's has apparently learned nothing from their lame Chicken McBites as they are doing the same thing with fish. The surprising lack of creativity starts with the name, Fish McBites, and works all the way down to the look and feel, which are as boring as their fowl counterparts. At least they are promoted by a fun singing fish interactive game on their website.
Carl's Jr., which regularly beats McDonald's in the chicken sandwich category (in this author's humble opinion), decided to go the quality route with a charbroiled - NOT FRIED - offering. Their Atlantic Cod sandwich looks so good even I am tempted to try it, and I don't like fish. But if you want to try it, Carl's is offering a $1 off coupon downloadable from their website.
Not to be outdone by the burger joints, scrappy Del Taco is casting a wide net for their fishy offerings. New Beer Battered Fish Tacos join returning shrimp tacos and burritos (original or Baja), making this the biggest fast food fish menu for a non-fish restaurant. Wow!
Like I said, I don't eat fish. So someone will have to report back on what's good and what can be let go.
McDonald's is rolling out new packaging with QR codes on everything. Scanned using a smartphone app, each code links to a different information page. Right now the focus is nutrition. Scanning, say, a Big Mac QR code will provide nutrition info on that sandwich. But I can see this becoming used for more things in the future, should it prove popular. For instance, imagine an "interactive" version of everybody's favorite promotional game Monopoly, with electronic game pieces you access by scanning.
It'll be interesting to see if this goes anywhere.
In the category of not really fast food, this sort of is though. Here is my first class offering on a recent Delta domestic flight, a nice big Angus cheeseburger:
This is the second time I have had a cheeseburger at 500 miles per hour. The first, a coach selection on United, was outfitted with a hot meat and cheese side and a cold pack of garden and condiments. Similarly, this first class selection from Delta Air Lines is worthy of any fast food fan. Juicy, tasty, with a bun that held up surprisingly well.
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