the happier meal

I'm pretty impressed by McDonald's. Yes, that chain of restaurants. Granted, it's not the best venue for a candle-light dinner date. It's hardly a place for unique gourmet experiences. Their wine list is the shortest available on the market. Then again, they never claimed to be everything to everyone.

But the restaurant is clean, their opening hours are generous, the staff is friendly, the food is not expensive and - in spite of what we've been told and unless you're a vegetarian - they have plenty of dishes for a nutritiously balanced menu.

As far as I'm concerned there are three simple rules:

* avoid the soft drinks - we eat too much sugar anyhow
* stay away from the desserts - same reason
* nothing from the deep fryer

My respect for McDonald's goes way back. I'm old enough to remember those days when it was all but impossible to find a restaurant without guests smoking at their tables. Guess who were the first among Swedish restaurants to ban smoking? Yep. And that's what you would expect from a leader in quality, isn't it?


Jenny said...

Wow. Where do you visit McD? The restaurants I've attended don't quite fit your description... "Clean" - well maybe as long as you don't need to use the loo... *eek*
"Friendly"? Too stressed-out to act any more personal than robots. Not their fault, but I wouldn't call it friendly - and they're KIDS, one can imagine what the stress does to them, that a 'grown-up' might be able to distance themselves from.
"Inexpensive"? I'd say cheap, straight up. You get what you pay for, and snobbish or not - I'd rather pay a little more to more bang for my bucks.

I'd even rather pay double for a burger in a "real" restaurant. Back in the day when I worked in Kista, we'd go to Lewinskys - they had GOOOD burgers...! ;o)

But I'll give them the non-smoking-pioneership. That's a good one.

But for me - McDonalds is all about the milkshakes. Mmm-hmm! McD has killer milkshakes - so, I guess staying away from desserts "går fetbort" for me, when I actually do visit McD!

(Kul att du uppdaterar, förresten!)

stromsjo said...

...also, their black coffee is the best in town. Not referring to all that lattopressojavamoccachino and stuff. Real coffee!

Speaking of which, that is sort of an interesting story these days. When I order black coffee I always get the same question in return: with or without milk? Go figure.

Yes well, I've also had a few encounters with stressed kids and toilets slightly below mint condition. But the same goes for those "real" restaurants. I keep getting lousy coffee, bad service, filthy toilets and tasteless food in quite a few of those joints who have decided to put themselves in the other price range.

As for particular restaurants - Nybrogatan, Akalla and Madenvägen in Sundbyberg are among those visited.

I'm the frequent kind of guest, always looking for a meal. Of course, many others visit less frequently and aim for the sweet stuff. It all depends and - as they say - your mileage may vary.

(Klart man uppdaterar! Varje år, åtminstone... ;)

Anonymous said...

Umm... I love their french fries, although I haven't had any in a long time. Maybe it's time. ;-)


stromsjo said...

Ah, those fries are not good for us Paz. But wait! If there's one place on Earth where I might want to try some it'd be NYC. I'm hearing that your local authorities are introducing stricter rules on what kind of oil can be used in cooking them.

Thanks for stopping by.

VP said...

This is something I usually kept secret, but I share much of your ideas and respect about McDonald's. I traveled much in Eastern Europe in the 90's and their restaurants were the only place in town where you could find a decent public toilet. You are right about smoking, now is a bit different everywhere...
I rarely eat fried food so, when I am abroad, sometimes happily allow myself a McChicken, some fries and a Diet-Coke as a quick and cheap alternative to a meal.
How much clean the McDonald's are depends by size, management and location.
Smaller venues a bit away from the tourist flow are always better. Even if I don't eat there, I always try to guess how they are from the outside or just peeking.
Most of you have really to fear and wonder what happens in other real restaurants, more than the known issues of the poor McDonald's.

stromsjo said...

The state of affairs regarding smoking has certainly changed for the better.

And I do so agree about our need to worry about those other upscale restaurants as well.

I happened to have dinner with a friend at an Indian restaurant in Solna just the other day. Seemed like a nice and quiet place and the food tasted fine. We were quite a bit discouraged though to notice one of those larger-than-life rats criss-crossing their terrace just outside the window. Yuk. Expensive isn't always better.

Thanks for stopping by, Vogon Poet.