America’s Most Romantic Breakfast
In early October 2015, McDonald's announced their All Day Breakfast policy and menu. This came much to the pleasure of fast food lovers, breakfast fiends, Ronald McDonald, potheads, and the McDonald’s CEO, Steve Easterbrook — who implemented the plan, as reboot of sorts. The once almighty leader in fast food had been subject to an alarming two year earnings slump, facing formidable competition in the industry and a reckoning amid a more health conscious America. Following successful and small trial runs in select cities across the states, the fast food juggernaut proclaimed, on October 6th, 2015, a nationwide All Day Breakfast bonanza. Mike Andres, President of McDonald’s USA, succinctly remarked (in presidential fashion), “The people have spoken and we are responding.” In the September of 2016, McDonald’s expanded their All Day Breakfast menu, which was apparently “long awaited.”
Personally, I often don’t resort to fast food when it comes to eating. I enjoy consuming healthy foods because they simply make me feel better. Having said this, though, I’m the first to admit that a good cheat meal serves everyone mentally well. If I were to indulge and curb the health for lunch, I’d go to a buffet. If I were to disregard healthy choices and reasonable portion sizes for dinner, I’d go for the carbohydrate trifecta: Spaghetti, pizza, and buttered garlic bread. When it comes to breakfast, however, I cannot help but think of an item whose very name strikes emotion and recalls memories quite like the McDonald’s McGriddle. Although I’m more of a McMuffin guy myself, it’s an undeniable fact that its cousin, McGriddle, is far more sexy. It is, without a doubt, the most romantic breakfast one can eat and experience.
When I say “romantic,” I mean accepting and warm. I mean sensual and passionate and aromatic. I mean arousing, selfless, and occasional.
In today’s culture, romance is portrayed between two lovers. It can be embodied by a dark, attractive figure. It is the lipstick left on someone’s cheek. It is the smooth, coruscant champagne flute, glowing in delicate light. It’s the flickering candle that sways to the beat of a slow tune on the record player, late in the night. It’s the trail of rose petals. Who’s to judge that it cannot be the greasy paper bag that holds a breakfast sandwich? What was once considered the quintessential road trip fuel (to accompany Little Debbie desserts, a bag of Cheetos, and Poptarts), is now the new face of romance. Move over. It’s time to reconsider the box of chocolates.
A McGriddle has it all, a surprising Rolls Royce of food. It ticks all the boxes of specific taste: Sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami.
The pancake like bun contains a pocket of perfectly heated syrup. This section of the sandwich alone competes with all the best of French pastry (e.g. the éclair).
The choice between bacon and sausage is yours, to compliment the protein in the egg patty.
And the golden slice of American cheese, that perfectly matches the brand’s color, rounds out the sandwich in a half melted ooze of goodness. There are, in fact, few things more American than American cheese. Sure, there’s craft beer; there’s the Liberty Bell; there are Chevy trucks and Super Bowl commercials. But Kraft Singles American cheese is a standout. It’s a staple at every cookout. A backyard burger is considered insufficient without it. The cheese is a mashup of questionable and hard-to-pronounce ingredients and chemicals. The flaccid quality is consistent from slice to slice. The smell of plastic reminds you that it’s mass produced and much more a product of America itself, rather than a cow. Somehow, it’s still a hit. And it all but raises the McGriddle to heights only known to the stars and stripes and bald eagles.
A McGriddle is almost too romantic for breakfast. It’s like starting one’s day with a luxurious bubble bath. It can make you ask yourself, “Do I deserve this?” All questions of doubt are rendered trivial the instant maple syrup cascades from the bun and meanders its way down the crispy bacon and velvety eggs. An ambush of flavor swiftly assaults the palate in a concerto of butter, salt, dairy, and meat. Suddenly, there’s a whisper of poetry in your ear. The pain in your back subsides. The sun shines with more promise. I do deserve this. And the cost was a simple $3.29, before tax. Save the lobster omelette and overpriced weekend brunches. The drive-thru is more practical, and somehow more ardent.
Hugo is an actor and a freelance writer. He’s sometimes funny. Follow him on Twitter (@hugosaysgo) for random thoughts and on Instagram (@hugosnaps) for photography. Happy reading.