A Week of Indian Food: Day 7 – McDonald’s

And on the seventh day, we took a break from Indian food. On our last night in Delhi, T-bone was craving a Big Mac, and no amount of naan would pacify him. We headed over to the McDonald’s in Connaught Place (Delhi’s central shopping area), where we discovered that half of Delhi had the same idea. This meant that we’d be waiting forever, because Indians simply do not line up – they shove their way to the front at all times and in all places. Depending on your perspective, this can be really fun or really irritating. The best thing to do is to shove back, or follow the advice of my friend Jenny and bark “Mind the queue!” I sometimes got into a good shoving spirit, but Todd found it frustrating at all times.

The McDonald’s line had its usually cheery effect on Todd, but when he finally made his way to the cashier, he had an even worse shock: McDonald’s in India serves neither beef NOR pork. No Big Mac, and no bacon to make the chicken burgers palatable.

Instead, you can enjoy a large crowd with a side of anger!

This way, they avoid offending Hindus (holy cows) AND Muslims (unholy ham). Not sure where this leaves Brahmins (no meat and no garlic) or Jains (no meat, no garlic, no onion, and no root vegetables), but I guess you have to draw the line somewhere. Instead, McDonald’s offers chicken, paneer (soft cheese) and egg options. We both went with the chicken.

They do not lie – the McSpicy chicken was plenty spicy

Todd’s “burger” was the usual mound of compressed chicken bits. Mine actually contained real meat, but instead of the widely advertised breast meat that North American McDonald’s uses, this one trumpeted its THIGH meat. So this is where all the non-busty bits go to die!

It’s enough to make a grown man cry

It was a pretty sad experience overall. We clearly didn’t learn our lesson, though, because the next day, I tried to purchase a coke at the airport McDonald’s. After shoving my way to the cashier, I asked for a coke. He informed me (and I am not joking), that McDonald’s does not sell fountain drinks that are not part of their combos. I asked if I could buy a canned drink instead, and sadly, those too were off limits. So strange…

Lesson learned: always eat curry instead of McDonald’s. Curry will never let you down.

It may, in fact, make you feel very “up”

6 thoughts on “A Week of Indian Food: Day 7 – McDonald’s

  1. McDonalds is a chameleon! Its very essence is not available? Not that I know much about it firsthand – I haven’t eaten McD’s many times – but really! Big Macs ARE McDonalds (by reputation).

    • From what I’ve seen, McDonald’s tries to provide a similar experience at all of its restaurants, but it adjusts its menu slightly based on the local culture. For example, McDonald’s in Thailand offers most of the standard burgers, but it also sells chicken and rice, tuna pies, and corn sundaes. India had the most different McDonald’s that I’ve experience so far.

  2. We were in Spain over Christmas and went to McD where Kyle was sadly disappointed by the ChicknCheese. Nobody had the courage to try McIberica, a pork sandwich. I just wanted to leave a comment mainly to tell you how much I’m enjoying your blog!

    • Ooh, Spain! Nice! But the McIberica sounds like an abomination! I’ve found it eye-opening to visit McDonald’s around the world – it makes me wonder if people from other countries would be disgusted by some of the combos that Canadian McDonald’s offers (I’m having a vague memory of three or four patties with double bacon, but maybe that was from A&W). Thanks so much for the compliment re the blog – I really appreciate it!

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