Wednesday, April 19, 2006

In Praise of McDonald's - Mostly

If you asked me to show you any of the McDonald's within a 10 km radius of my home. I'd be lost. I never go there when I am in Canada.

But on the road, that's the first place I go to -- for food that I know, for clean washrooms, and for directions -- there's most always someone on duty who speaks a bit of English.

Macau, Nanning, Beijing -- all great. Buenos Aires, Santiago, same thing. The burgers in Chile and Argentina were particularly fine -- must be the beef. And the avocado sauce. Separate expresso bars designated 'kid-free' were in every one. It was a delight.

But here in Hong Kong, I met my match. Yesterday I ordered a Chicken Fan-Tastic, grilled chicken on a special bun Assuming (wrongly) that McChicken is McChicken around the world, I unwrapped the small torpedo-shaped thing.

Inside, swimming in a white sauce that may have been mayo, oozing lettuce that had been warmed under the lights until it was yellow and slimy, was the chicken. The 'meat' was grey, and heavily peppered (which was the best thing about it), and of such a weird texture I found it disturbing to eat. I thought it may have been the slimy yellow hot lettuce, so pulled out most of it. But still the gelatinous texture.

Investigating further, I found that the chicken burger was a deboned but not de-skinned thigh that had been flattened with a very heavy object, then cooked in lots of grease. The skin wasn't crispy, nor were the blobs of fat -- just a gluety soggy mess.

For the rest of my time in Hong Kong, when at McDonald's, I will stick to Fanta.