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Hamburger Diaries: McDonald’s Redux

Monday, 31 January, 2011

During the recent trip between almost Cincinnati and Austin, we visited two McDonald’s restaurants. One somewhere between Elizabethtown and Bowling Green, Kentucky along Interstate 65 and another in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. These visits were encouraged by my traveling companion who received an especially generous “Arch Card” for Christmas.

Both restaurants were functionally identical and unlike the 1970s-80s units I have visited in Austin, Texas. I shall repeat this sentiment: when traveling over the road nothing satisfies like the utter predictability of a McDonald’s breakfast. The more interesting stop was in Arkadelphia AR.

Service so fast, we didn’t realize it was our order and a conspicuous soda fountain. Most surprising to me was the food. My traveling companion had a double cheeseburger and I had the Big Mac. This was much more like the McDonald’s I remember from my youth with many distinct flavors and beef almost certainly derived from a bovine of some kind. The fries were crisp, quite hot and tasted of potatoes. This was unanticipated. I did not get the curious effects of flavor enhancement.

I can do without the McCafe and the TV, but I am comforted that perhaps McDonald’s is still McDonald’s.

Even if they are not so in my town.

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