Value Menu Burgers Part 1 – McDonalds

5 03 2010

Every fast food chain worth their mettle has a “value menu” of some sort. This sub-menu usually consists of various items priced around a dollar each. I will be posting an entire philosophical discussion on value menus soon, but for now, I want to focus on just value menu burgers.

The hamburger is an American tradition – and the personification of fast food. Food service industry titans such as McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy’s all offer value menus that include burgers. So if you are out looking for a hot, fresh cheeseburger and only have a few dollars to spend, which restaurant is your best option?

Today I will be discussing what McDonalds brings to the table –

1. McDonalds – Double Cheeseburger

McDonalds is world-renowned for their Big Mac, which unfortunately is too expensive to make their value menu. One of their prominent dollar menu offerings however,  is the double cheeseburger. This sandwich consists of two hamburger patties, two slices of cheese, pickles, onions, ketchup, and mustard. Now you might be thinking – two hamburger patties for only a buck, what a deal! Unfortunately, the two patties included on this burger are among the smallest in fast food; they are pathetically tiny. If you added four of these patties together on a sandwich, it still would not compare to some larger burgers.

McDonalds’ hamburger patties are 100% beef, in an 80/20 lean-to-fat ratio. This would be bargain bin ground beef at your grocery store – considering 20% of it is fat. They are prepared on a special electric griddle that allows McDonalds to take the burger from frozen state to ready to eat, over the counter in less than two minutes. Unfortunately, what McDonalds enjoys in cost savings and efficiency has the side effect of producing lackluster burgers.

The toppings on the double cheeseburger are relatively unexciting as well. No fresh tomatoes or lettuce here – just processed cheese product, pickles, and diced onions. I am not a fan of the ketchup + mustard combo either. I apply the hot dog condiment rule to burgers as well – never mix ketchup and mustard on the same sandwich (and for hot dogs – leave the ketchup out all together – it is heresy). when you bite into a good hamburger, you should notice the juiciness of the meat, its texture, and the spices it was cooked/grilled/marinated in. Covering the burger in ketchup and mustard ruins this, although, with McDonalds, I can see why they may want it covered up.

Overall, the double cheeseburger is a decent offering for only a buck, but you get what you pay for. I believe there are better value menu burgers out there, which I will be discussing soon.

What do you think about the double cheeseburger from McDonalds?




2 responses

21 03 2010

What do I think about the double cheeseburger from McDonalds? Well, I would much rather have the cheeseburger than a McChicken. They overdo the pepper on the McChicken and I always end up getting heartburn.

24 03 2010

Do Carl’s Jr and Jack in the Box have a dollar menu?

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