August 26, 2009

McDonald's Angus Third Pounders

For years I've needed a burger slotting between McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese. All those times when I'm too hungry for the single and not hungry enough for the double have left me calling for something else ... something like a "Third Pounder with Cheese."

OK, not really.

In fact the first time I saw an ad for a Angus Third Pounder I thought it was the answer to a question no eater asked. Between the Big Mac, Big N' Tasty, Quarter Pounder variants, McDouble and original cheeseburger offerings, I thought the golden arches had stretched all-beef patties to their sesame seed bunned limits.

The house that Ronald built disagrees, it seems. And so we have the Angus Third Pounders, with seem to target a higher class of burger eaters who prefer mushrooms, crisp onions or high quality buns. While I don't like mushrooms, I do like a bolstered bun, so I reached out for the Bacon and Cheese Angus Third Pounder.

Actually, in the interest of "thirds" I reached out for it three times at three different franchises, giving us a little more in-depth look at the item.

My first impression was that the burger is very good but the bun is lacking. All those promotional materials had me ready for a chewy bun that would soak up all the burger grease and still leave me gnawing after each bite. Instead I got a slightly higher class bun that's still overall low in quality.

The meat might be of a slightly higher grade than regular Micky D's, although I have no doubt it isn't actually certified Angus quality. And the bacon is a step up from what I usually expect at the arches.

The red onion garnishing it all is where this burger earns its keep, however. The rings are crispy and full of flavor that will leave you burping for hours after eating -- just what you want out of an onion!

My second Bacon and Cheese Third Pounder was essentially the same, but with a brutally disappointing onion. I don't know if the second McDonald's ran out of onions or if they mistakenly cooked the red onion, but it was neither crisp nor flavorful. Nor was it good, for that matter. A few limp pink strands sat on top of the burger. They might as well have not been there.

Even so, the rest of the burger was still decent, if a little expensive.

My third third pounder was back to the level of the first one, giving me the belief that the poor onion showing was an aberration. I ate just before noon and burped onion until about 7 p.m. Perfect.

If not for price, these would be a quintessential McDonald's food. Unfortunately, though, $3.99 is just a tad too high for an imitation high-class burger that's completely greasy and has a bun that's better to look at than it is to eat. I might accept $3.49 in a pinch if the onion continues to be high class, but for $3.99 I at least want lettuce on my bacon cheeseburger. So it will have to settle for four sporks out of five.

Which is still a pretty good showing considering I wasn't convinced the burger had cause to exist until I'd eaten it. Maybe McDonald's will start rolling out all sorts of fractional burgers to capture market niches I didn't know exist. If that's the case, next year at this time I'll probably be trumpeting the virtues of the "Eight Twenty Sevenths with Cheese."

1 comment:

  1. Funny stuff! I can appreciate your restraint, by not writing a review until you have dined three times, that's very professional. That's what the pro's do too. Keep it up, I'm a fan!