Takeaway Truth: McDonald's Son Of Mac And Angus Mac Burgers

Takeaway Truth is an occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: McDonald's new Son Of Mac and Angus Mac Burgers.

Fast food restaurants have been known to gild the lily when it comes to accurate depictions of their menu items. Far too often, the mouth-watering feast on the poster turns out to be a limp and oily morsel. In a bid to keep the fry-jockey overlords honest, we've decided to document the reality of fast food — it was either that, or go postal like Michael Douglas in Falling Down.

The Big Mac is probably the most iconic fast food burger on Earth. As recognisable brands go, it's nearly up there with Coca-Cola, Mickey Mouse and McDonald's own golden arches. Hell, it's even got its own slogan (“two all-beef patties, Special Sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed bun”) and advertising jingle.

And yet, we've never featured it on an episode of Takeaway Truth before, which tends to focus on new and limited-edition menu items like the KFC Zinger Pie, Domino's Chef's Best range and exotic overseas offerings.

The only real exception we've made to this rule has been the Hungry Jack's Whopper Deluxe burger — but only because we wanted to point out how hideous it looked.

This month, McDonald's launched two new versions of the Big Mac burger: the premium-styled 'Angus Mac' and the snack-sized 'Son of Mac'. In other words, it was the perfect excuse to put McDonald's flagship brand under the microscope.

The Angus Mac is essentially an amalgamation of two of its most popular menu items, or as McDonald's puts it: "It's out special sauce on our special, juicy Angus Beef patty." I tried building one of these of myself the other month and the results weren't pretty — you can see the DIY abomination here. To keep things less messy, McDonald's has chosen to limit the Angus Mac to just one beef patty and two bread buns. Despite this, it still contains more energy than a regular Big Mac, clocking in at 2680kj, compared to 2060kj.

The Son of Mac, meanwhile, is a single-patty version of its big daddy which the company is classing as a snack. Fast-food junkies with long memories will recall that this burger has featured on McDonald's menu in the past — we believe the last time was 2007 or so. As its name implies, it comes with the same ingredients as a Big Mac but on a smaller scale.

Lets take a look at how both burgers stack up in reality. We purchased both burgers from a Blaxland outlet in NSW and took the photos within five minutes of purchase.

Here's what the Angus Mac looks like in McDonald's adverting compared to the real thing (click to enlarge):

As you can see, the Angus Mac is a sorrier sight in reality. The worst offender is probably the bread which is noticeably flatter and also skimps on the sesame seeds. They also got the positioning of the cheese wrong, which seems to be an unofficial company policy.

On the plus side, the burger's mid-section does seem to have roughly the same amount of ingredients as the poster — the Angus patty is suitably thick and the lettuce is almost as green as the advertisement. All in all, we'd call it a mild disappointment, which is pretty good going for a Takeaway Truth review.

Here's the Son of Mac in its marketing and natural forms (click to enlarge):

Oh dear. Someone appears to have sat on our burger. This is unacceptable.

Angus Mac Truth Rating: 6/10

Son of Mac Truth Rating: 2/10


Comments

    In these tests I would love to see a picture of how the burger was inside the box. I find McD's to be one of the worst for ending up with more lettuce inside the box instead of in the burger. Closely followed by KFC. Perhaps also good to record down how thick the wad of napkins you were given was.

      Haha! Yeah, when I go to Maccas I always either get a huge wad of serviettes or none at all!

    The son of Big Mac's parents might have been a little too related......They should have cross bred a big mac and a cheeseburger and try and avoid the birth defects

      Damn it, I wish I'd thought of that zinger! Bravo.

        Hahah, Zinger. Not sure if intentional or just epic accident.

    LOL @ your son of Big Mac. Where _is_ the McDonalds that you lifehacker guys frequent?

    The only McDonalds where I've seen such badly built burgers as you guys keep picturing is at Melbourne Airport.

    I recently ordered the Son of Big Mac at Maroochydore and it's presentation was much better than that.

    Seriously, your McDonalds staff need some better training.

      We don't always go to the same store but those ones came from the Blaxland McDonald's in NSW.

    Yeah, Pitt/Park Street McDonalds in the Sydney CBD is better, and my local at Waitara is also a lot better than those pics, always.

    Anyway, I love my McMac family of burgers!

    The truth about the Angus Mac is that it is amazing.

    At 3:30PM on a Thursday afternoon, this just makes me hungry.

      This ^, might have to have a cheeky buy on the way home from work.
      Hopefully the missus does not smell mc'd's on my breath, again.

    You must pick the worst restaurants, I've never seen food that bad!

    It's also hard to ignore the professional lighting and probably the components were assembled cold so they would not sink into each other. A dimly lit low resolution real life photo does not whet the appetite.

      I have to agree. Clearly the burgers are bad, but a little more sharpness in the photo would help make your point.

    You know, I remembered this very article yesterday after I finished work down at Browns Plains in Brisbane. I went to the shopping center and tried an Angus Mac. I bought one and sat it in front of me and looked at the picture. My Angus Mac straight from the Maccas (eaten in the food court mind you not takeaway of Grand Plaza shopping Center) looked EXACTLY like the picture? I mean *exactly*. It was outstandingly well presented so I don't feel this article is a good representation of it. I have to ask, you're doing takeaway right? So is the time spent in the bag, where steam and moisture can affect the burger... a fair way to judge this? As the burger I had fresh at the store, was amazingly representative of what they're indeed selling?

    Tasted ****ing incredible too!

    Last edited 05/09/13 5:32 pm

      Yeah, I had one the other day. Presentation was neither here nor there, but it tasted great!

        Hey in my books, if they can take the regular Big Mac off the menu and replace it with this? I'm *all* for that.

    Who cares about the presentation... it all ends up looking the same after you eat it.

    Keen to try the Angus Mac though... Only time I eat McD these days is on way home from airport if I get in late and it's the "only thing still open".

    Looks like maggots in both of those.

    NO THANKS.

    I think the Son of Mac may be depressed, it seems a little low.

    Oh dear. Someone appears to have sat on our burger. This is unacceptable.
    Maybe someone saw you and decided to give yours the extra special treatment. With extra special sauce :p

    Lol - maccers is maccers - it never looks the way it does but it always taste the same - and then u get hungry again after 30 minutes.

    The only strange thing is that they have a combo that would get U a Big Mac and a mini mac (which was the old name)(which sounds better if you ask me) for 9.95 but why would u want a Big Mac and a mini mac - a mc chicken and a mini mac would be better?! Lol

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