McDonald’s ‘Create Your Taste’

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015

I know, I know. Another McDonald’s review? We were just there last week! Why would I do this to myself again? Who cares about McDonald’s whacky schemes to appear to be less evil? Is TwoThousand just going to become a collection of smarmy McDonald’s reviews now?

Last week I was rather unkind about McDonald’s much hyped new attempt at a cafe, The Corner. But did you know that just a few weeks before the launch of The Corner, McDonald’s launched another, infinitely better new stupid thing at two of their suburban franchises? It’s called ‘Create Your Taste’ and it allows you to punch a machine until it gives you the stupidest burger you can think of. Welcome to the future.

McDonald’s in Waitara is the Macca’s I used to come to when I was in high school. I definitely ate an Oreo McFlurry in the boot of my mates car here once, and that is not a euphemism. Along with the Castle Hill outlet, Waitara McDonald’s is now the home of ‘Create Your Taste’, which is a huge touch screen computer to the side of the ordering counter. The computer gives you options for every step of making your own burger. You want a brioche bun? Punch it in. Two beef patties? Tell the computer. Beetroot, tomato and an egg? The computer can make it happen.

I decided to make two burgers. First, a classic cheeseburger, to see how it stacked up against some of Sydney’s best cheeseburgers. Brioche bun, beef patty, American cheese, crispy bacon, caramelised onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard. Easy. I also decided to make the stupidest burger I could think of, just because I could. Lettuce wrap bun, beef patty, crispy bacon, colby jack cheese, grilled pineapple, guacamole, jalapenos, tortilla strips, red onion, tomato, chipotle mayo, extra lettuce, mustard. Very complicated.

My guess as to why you use a computer to order instead of ordering at the counter is so the staff don’t cause themselves bodily harm by rolling their eyes too far into the back of their head when you order such dumb bullshit. The computer sends your order to the kitchen and after a short wait your burger gets brought to your table on a wooden paddle.

The list of things that wooden paddles should be used for begins and ends with ‘rowing boats’, but the cheeseburger on the paddle looks pretty good! It tastes pretty good too, the brioche bun is grilled to a buttery crunch, the cheese perfectly melted and the pickles are big enough to be tasted with every bite. The ‘100% angus’ beef patty is no better than your average Macca’s beef patty though and lets the burger down a little by being the only thing that doesn’t taste that fresh. But it’s still a really decent burger.

Then the stupidest burger I could think of comes to the table, a big green lump of idiot on a wooden paddle. Once I’ve stopped laughing at it, I take a bite and holy shit, it’s actually not even kind of terrible. Like eating some weird pineapple nacho burger. Crunchy lettuce, crunchy corn chips, even the meat tastes better because of the spice from the chipotle mayo and jalapenos. Hopefully Macca’s put this on the menu in the future as the McStupid.

Enjoyably silly, pretty tasty and not a top-knot in sight. You shouldn’t go out of your way for this experience, but if you ever find yourself at a McDonald’s with a ‘Create Your Taste’ computer set up, have a crack. It’s fresher than regular McDonald’s and presumably healthier, without stooping to the cringeworthy levels of The Corner cafe. ‘Create Your Taste’ is pretty good, but you know what’s fantastic? While McDonald’s are trying strange new ways to make their menu appeal to the more health conscious, KFC are applying for a liquor license. There’s a fast food outlet that knows what its audience wants.

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