640 Sainte-Catherine O.
Bus: STM 15, 61, 168, 420
Visit: September 14, 2011
My quest on this particular day had no intention of ending up the way it did. Recently, after reading a message board’s discussion thread, I learned that a particular McDonald’s location was offering the rather elusive lobster roll. Me, being the kind of person who likes to try fast food gimmicks, wanted to go after this really badly. After the McRib and the 1967 Burger, the lobster roll had to be the next thing on my list of trophies.
Alas, I set off on my quest, seeking out the more convenient locations that I knew of. I started off with the location that introduced me to another gimmick, the McPhilly Cheesesteak, years ago. The McDonald’s next to Snowdon was packed, so I entered and took a quick glance at the menu and saw nothing. I wasn’t about to stick around, so I went towards Atwater. Once there, I saw another large massive crowd and no lobster roll. I continued by walking east on Sainte-Catherine, as I passed another McDonald’s without what I was looking for.
Originally, I was only going to do 3 locations and then settle on my back-up fast food choice. Since I was in the heart of downtown and so close to at least 3 other locations, I decided to forge along ahead. Passing through Place Montreal Trust and Promenades Cathedrale turned out to be useless. My last hope, for the day, was the location right next to Phillips Square.
Looking from the outside, it seems like a very small location. But, once you enter, after making your way through the maze that is the decor, you’ll see that there is indeed plenty of room in this central downtown location. Now, I took a quick scan of the menu and saw that my journey had to come to an end. Being the indecisive person that I am with spontaneous eating choices, I decided to go with my back-up McDonald’s menu choice.
At that time of the day, I was worried about how long it would be before I would get served. I recalled my recent experience at the nearby Burger King at a similar time. That was a wait I didn’t want to repeat. I was lucky this time to have a line that moved extremely quickly, as the counter area moved like a well-oiled machine. The one thing that surprised me was that the order came out to an exact ten dollars, a rarity these days. The other thing that caught me off guard was when my order was filled with an empty cup. I don’t know of many McDonald’s that allow you to fill your own soft drinks. So, I went about filling my cup with ice tea and getting some over my tray, leading to a precautious eating situation.
Sometimes, the best feature of going to such a busy fast food place in the downtown core is getting to watch what happens around you. I watched as the two employees walked around, tidying the dining area. I noticed the water bucket had the logo emblazoned on it, which makes me wonder why. I watched as a party of three entered, with one woman who was clearly not caring about how much people got to see of her. Only in Montreal.
Here’s a picture of the above mentioned bucket, mostly because I can’t take pictures of the other item I wrote about.
Whether it be the 3 clearly visible flatscreen televisions posted all around, or the staff that work like soldiers, the experience was rather quick and painless. If only a person can say the same thing about the food.
Bacon Cheeseburger Angus Third Pounder Trio
Bacon Cheeseburger Angus Third Pounder
This burger contains pickles, ketchup, mustard, cheese, red onions and bacon.
My introduction to this burger came about 2 years ago as a take-out option. I never really go the option to give my thoughts about this burger until now. From the looks of it and the advertising done to promote it, one can believe that it is supposed to be competition to other non fast food burgers. Then again, since this is a fast food restaurant, it will never be able to top any “real” burger in a normal sit-down restaurant. What it can do is compete with the other fast food locations.
The first thing you notice when opening the box is that the burger is contained in a paper pocket, which is something I never saw in fast food until this burger. I know that other places do it, but for McDonald’s, it’s something that I’ve never seen there. The other glaring feature is how flat the burger is. It seems like no matter how good the picture looks, your burger will never be that photogenic. How about, the better the promotional picture, the flatter the burger?
The ketchup in this burger plays a big part in giving it the taste that it has. I’m of the philosophy of ketchup going on a burger only if the “chef” places it there. That’s why I don’t take any sort of condiments when ordering regular burgers. If it has to be there, it will come that way. Plus, I usually like to have my meals stand on their own merits.
The Angus beef is what brings this burger closer to what you’ll get in a more pricey restaurant. However, on this particular day, I got to really try the beef by itself. Without all the condiments, cheese, and bacon, I felt the meat was somewhat tasteless and dry. It’s a feeling that doesn’t really compare with other McDonald’s burgers. When you get a Big Mac or a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, you know what you’re getting, no matter how iffy its origins are. This is supposed to be highly touted beef that just doesn’t really belong in a fast food place.
The burning question is whether or not this is a reasonable meal. For the price, one can say that it is. For my taste, I would probably go for something else on the McDonald’s menu. This was the third or fourth time I had this burger and each time I consume another one, my feelings about it tend to decrease. This burger belongs in the gimmick category because if it was not like the McRib or the lobster roll, it would be more consistent. They wouldn’t have to be advertising it so hard. I always say that if something is really good, no advertising is needed.