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McDonald's Around the World: Austin, TX

Submitted by Bethany on Wed, 07/25/2018 - 04:31

I know what you're thinking, a blog post about McDonald's?  Really?  What could be more boring?  We have big plans to travel the world and enjoy exotic locales, and here I am writing about McDonald's.  But here's the thing.  I think this will actually be interesting.  McDonald's, while being much the same around the world, is also different from place to place.  There are items on the menu that you can't always get anywhere else, and that fascinates me.  I want to try all the things!

When I first traveled in Europe, I was in junior high on a school trip.  A friend of mine was, back then, a very picky eater (she has since broadened her horizons!).  At the time however, we often made trips to McDonald's so she could get some familiar food, something she would actually eat.  For her, it was about finding comfort in the familiar.   When I told Joel about this, he said that for us, our desire to eat at McDonald's is different.  For us, it will be about finding the novel in the familiar.  What is different about each place?  What makes it unique?  What food can we get here that we can't get in the states?  Do we like it?  

We came up with this idea on our own before we began our travels.  Funnily enough, as we told people about our plans to explore the world, more than one person has said to us - make sure you eat at McDonald's and tell us all about it!  It seems this might be fascinating topic for more people than we thought.  And so, without further ado, here is my first McDonald's blog post.  We thought we would start with one in the states, and sure enough, we found something on the menu that we have never seen in Iowa!

We headed to find the closest golden arches right after church on Sunday morning, and as often is the case in the states, we found one less than two miles away from our current location.  From the architecture to the inside decor this was a pretty typical American McDonald's.  It was quiet for noon on a Sunday, not a single person in the drive-thru, and we were the only customers inside.  We were greeted friendly and efficiently by someone behind the counter. 

McDonald's Full Menu

The new trend in American McD's at least, is the new-fangled rotating menu screens.  Rather than all of your choices staring you in the face that you can peruse at your leisure, everything is oversized and only a few items are displayed at a time.  This makes my indecisive self even more anxious to order, as I can't be sure I've even seen all the options.  Plus the dollar menu items and special deals always seem to be hidden, I suppose to encourage people to order the more expensive items.  

While normally this slows me down, this time I knew exactly what I was looking for - anything I had never seen on a menu in Iowa.  And I quickly spotted it - Texas toast!  Well how apropos.  Of course I could get a burger on Texas toast while in Texas.  

You don't see this burger in Iowa

We ordered the Bacon Smokehouse double on Texas toast, and decided to make it a meal as well.  Why not splurge - aren't things supposed to be bigger in Texas anyway? I mean, we really had to make our experience as authentic as possible.  We were given a number to put at our table, something I've never experienced at McD's before, and we sat down.  Our food was delivered to us in minutes!  This was actually a bit more customer service than I am used to at this chain, though I can't tell you if this experience is typical of Texas chains or just this one. 

My McDonald's smile

So how was the Bacon Smokehouse double on Texas toast?  Verdict - delicious!  The Texas toast was a nice change from rather bland burger buns.  I'm always up for variety in how I consume my carbs.  The burger also had some sort of special sauce on it that was delicious.  I was thisclose to asking for some to dip my fries in.  The fries were freshly cooked so they had that classic crispy bite to them that I love.  I miiight have even slightly more than my share of the burger, it was that good.  Joel grabbed the drink, I think he tried a new tropical Sprite flavor?  All I know is one sip determined it was too sweet for my taste so I stuck with water. 

All in all it was fairly typical US visit to McDonald's, if one with somewhat elevated customer service, and a somewhat elevated burger.  Of course don't you worry, that came with a fairly elevated price if you know what I mean.  

This was our first foray into McDonald's around the world, stay tuned for our next installment!  In the meantime, what's the most unusual item you've seen on a menu at McDonald's?  Have you tried one abroad or perhaps a local delicacy in the states?  Share in the comments!

XOXO, Bethany



Your thoughts?

One of my favorite things to do while traveling is to pop into a McDonald's and see the weird food unique to each country. Hope to follow along as you go. Good travels!

It is so fun, right?  Where all have you been?  What's the weirdest food you've seen on a McDonald's menu?  We are happy to have you follow along, thank you for reading! 

I think the most fascinating McDonalds I've been to was in Israel. They had a divided service/kitchen areas to keep it kosher. You could still get a cheeseburger but the cheese was oil based and created without any milk products. If you wanted a milkshake though, you had to go to the other side. 

Wow, Sarah, that is indeed fascinating!  How did the oil based cheese taste?  (assuming you tried it) I'm so curious about that.  It's so interesting how McD's adapts to whatever country/culture they are in, it's quite brilliant really. 

It was very similar in taste to a typical McD's cheeseburger, if the rest of the place hadn't given away the secret, I don't know if I would have been able to tell. McDonald's must have studied colonization because it's pretty seamless in offering it's own take with an american pulse around the world. I remember reading an interesting article about how McDonald's can single handedly manipulate the value of the pork market around the world with their McRibb. 

They certainly seem to do their research!  And that article does sound really interesting...might explain why the McRibb is always a limited time offer.  It's never been my jam but I know people who live for its return every year, lol.