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.