The Golden Archives: McDonalds Sandwich Hall of Fame
While perusing the internets looking for McDonalds commercials the other week, I also found some cool information on weird sandwiches that McDonalds either used to serve, or serves in other countries that we don’t know about. McDonalds foreign and regional menus can bring a decidedly different feel to the American so used to the menu here in the states. First, lets take a look at a few sandwiches that have come and gone from the mostly static McDonalds menu. After these forgotten sandwiches, let’s take a look at some regional/foreign Mickey D’s delicacies you may not know about. It’s fascinating what people in other places love to eat.
Yes, this was actually on the McDonalds’ menu in the mid-1960s. Ray Kroc noticed that he was losing lots of sales on Fridays. When he realized that Catholics don’t eat meat on Fridays, he decided he needed to come up with a non-meat replacement for hamburgers. His first choice? The Hula Burger. It consisted of a bun, a piece of cheese and a slice of pineapple. That’s it. Sounds kinda kooky, and it was. Unfortunately, people wanted real food and not just toppings on their sandwich so the Hula Burger flopped. A popular phrase during the time was, “I love the Hula, but where’s the burger?” Lou Groen, owner of a Cincinnati based McDonalds, created the Filet-O-Fish and when the Hula-Burger crashed and burned Kroc had to try it on the menu. The fish sandwich was a winning success and has been there ever since.
Ahh, the McJordan. When MJ was shilling for McDonalds in the early ’90s there wasn’t anything they wouldn’t slap his name on. The McJordan burger was the most famous. A quarter-pounder with cheese, BBQ sauce and TWO onion rings adorned this artery clogging heart attack machine. That silence you hear is the stopping of many people’s hearts upon eating this chunk of meat and cholesterol. Yikes. I remember my friend Steve got this one time and he snuck it into the movie. When he opened the bag the overwhelming smell of BBQ sauce and beef nearly made me hurl…that would then have caused a chain reaction of ralphing not unlike the pie-eating scene in Stand By Me. Luckily I have a strong gag reflex.
The McJordan brings to mind the 1993 promotion between McDonalds and the movie Jurassic Park. McDonalds added the “Dino-Size” your meal option to its menus. The Dino-sized version of the quarter pounder with cheese was the DOUBLE quarter pounder. My friends and I called it the McDeath, because to eat it would cause immediate cardiac arrest. I actually ate it once, and was sick the rest of the night. Oh the memories. This was actually the first time I remember seeing the Double Quarter-Pounder with Cheese on the menu. Did you know that at one time you could order a McDonalds POUNDER? It’s was 4 quarter pound beef patties on one sandwich. Tell me your arteries didn’t clot just reading that sentence.
I know you remember this one, the McDLT (McDonalds Lettuce and Tomato). The funky styrofoam container is a dead giveaway. It keeps the hot side hot and the cool side cool. Interesting gimmick for a burger with just lettuce and tomato. Check out a very-80s commercial for it starring Jason Alexander (George Costanza). I don’t remember ever eating it, but it looked like it was good.
The entire line of Deluxe sandwiches was a complete disaster for McDonalds. This line included sandwiches that had been fancied up with mayo and nice sesame buns. Although most of the sandwiches were good, the lack of difference with any of the other sandwiches on the menu created confusion. I, along with many other people, couldn’t justify paying any extra money for a fancy bun and some mayonnaise. Check out a really dumb commercial for it here. Also in this line was the McLean Deluxe. A “healthy” alternative to the regular burgers (it had fewer calories and fat than the regular burgers). The way Mickey D did it included adding fake meat to their hamburger mix. Not sure how much “healthier” that is. I, consequently, never ate it.
How about some regional sandwiches that you may not have ever heard about? These can be ordered today somewhere in the world.
France/Belgium Mcdonalds have the Croque McDo. It’s McDonalds take on the classic sandwich, Croque-monsieur. Steph and I had a Croque-monsieur when we visited France earlier this year. It’s a fried cheese sandwich with either ham or chicken on it. Very good. Mcdonalds version has 2 slices of cheese and ham toasted on a hamburger bun.
The McLobster sandwich is an interesting animal. It’s really like a seafood salad sandwich with bits of lobster instead of whitefish. You can find this up north in Maine (along with other Northeast states). I think it looks pretty good, I’d like to try it but, what do I know, I tried Garlic Seafood Pringles.
Japan’s Mega Mac is a double Big Mac. Yes, in case you weren’t incontinent enough, it has 4 Mcpatties on it…..and the children cried. Japan also has the Tamago Double Mac which includes two beef patties special sauce, bacon and a fried egg. Yes, a fried egg. It’s like the Egg McMuffin and the Big Mac got drunk one night and got biz-ay (if you know what I mean). How do those Japanese stay so thin? My heart is seizing just reading about some of these.
McShoarma is a flat-bread turkey delicacy found only in Israeli McDonalds restaurants. Not crazy in and of itself, however the commercial for it is a classic. It’s a re-creation of the “Royale with Cheese” scene in Pulp Fiction.
Worried about what to drink to wash down some of the above culinary insanities? If you are in Europe, order cups of beer. Nothing like getting completely bombed to work up the courage to try a burger made of pre-processed shrimp meat.
Want to see some awesome McDonald’s commercials from the ’80s and ’90s? Check out my look back at vintage McD’s commercials here.