Wednesday, April 8, 2015

let's talk about McDonald's breakfast.

I have a weakness for McDonald’s breakfast.

Believe me when I tell you that there are very few things at McDonald’s that I want to eat. Their fries? Sure. A McDouble? Once in a while. But I will gladly stay away from everything else on the menu.

Except for their breakfast.

For years, fast food breakfast meant that something exciting was going to happen. If I was going to spend the day with my grandparents in Watertown, our first stop would be McDonald’s or Hardee’s breakfast. If I was going on a road trip with my family, McDonald’s breakfast would always kick it off.

When it comes to fast food, I tend to find one or two things that I like and stick with them. As you well know, fast food is a series of hits and misses – I have found that the misses outnumber the hits. Therefore, if I like the ham and cheese sandwich at Hardee’s, I will probably order just that for the rest of time.

McDonald’s breakfast was no exception. With the exception of the single time I tried a McGriddle (never again), I would always order a sausage egg McMuffin. I wasn’t too fond of the gelatinous egg patty, but who is? McDonald’s eggs are WEIRD: perfectly circular with the consistency of rubber and never completely cooked through. However, I was willing to suffer through it for the sake of eating the sausage. I did go through a brief period when would ask for a folded egg (like they have on the McGriddles) instead, as the folded eggs were at least thoroughly cooked. My folded egg phase didn’t last long because it was a.) too much hassle, and b.) not very tasty either.

It didn’t occur to me until many years later that I could just order a sausage McMuffin and skip the egg altogether.

Life really got grand when I began to enjoy espresso drinks. Before the advent of McCafe, I ordered milk to go with my McMuffin. Like everything McDonald’s offers, the McMuffins are quite salty. One little kid-sized bottle of milk just didn’t cut it. So I moved on to McCafe. The McCafe drinks can be a hit or a miss, depending on whether or not the staff knows what they’re doing. I’ve had a few drinks where they forget to put the coffee in altogether.

If you decide to venture into the world of McCafe, be aware that it’s no Caribou or Starbucks. That said, stay away from the flavored lattes and frappes: they’re so sweet that my teeth hurt just thinking about them. Your best bet is a plain old mocha. They’re hard to screw up, and somehow, McDonald’s manages not to overdo it on the chocolate syrup. (However, they do tend to smear chocolate syrup all over the sides of the cup, so beware.)

I’ve lived in Luverne for almost two years now, and my consumption of McDonald’s breakfast has drastically increased in that time. After all, my commute to work is four times as long as it was when I lived in Sioux Falls, so I have to eat breakfast that much earlier. If I were to have my pre-Luverne usual breakfast (a glass of Instant Breakfast), it would wear off less than an hour after my workday begins. I needed something with a little more substance, so my breakfasts now tend to involve something with protein that I can microwave and eat in the car.

As much as I would like to eat McDonald’s breakfast every single morning, I restrain myself. I only get McDonald’s breakfast on mornings when I need it most, like when I’m working on a Saturday. I am unfortunate to have a stomach that growls when I’m getting hungry, but McDonald’s breakfast can save me from that particular embarrassment. If I have some kind of meeting or training or will be somewhere quiet around the time my stomach would start growling, I take preventative measures and eat McDonald’s for breakfast. That will keep my stomach quiet until at least noon.

Sadly for me and my propensity for breakfast, the McDonald’s in Luverne is TERRIBLE. They have the slowest drive-through of any fast-food restaurant in existence: if there is one car in the drive-through line ahead of me, I can be reasonably certain that I won’t get out of there for another ten minutes. The person who works at the first drive-through window is one of my least favorite human beings ever. She’s ALWAYS working the drive-through, and when I pull up and place my order, it’s followed by an inevitable “uh… what?” I order my sandwich, and nine times out of ten, she’ll type the wrong thing. (Thank goodness for those display screens.) “So… you want a burrito?” “No, a sausage McMuffin.” “An egg McMuffin?” “A sausage McMuffin.” “A sausage egg McMuffin?” “A SAUSAGE MCMUFFIN.”

And you can imagine the rigmarole when I ask for skim milk in my mocha.

But I’m willing to forgive all that – not because I’m a particularly kind and understanding person, but because McDonald’s is my only option in Luverne. So I will continue suffering through the infernal Luverne drive-through to get my sausage McMuffin. Beggars cannot be choosers, after all, and anything is better than my stomach growling.

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