[UPDATE: According to @thatpeskyfeminist onion rings aren’t a permanent menu item anywhere, which is a DISGRACE]
I’m very fortunate to live about a five minute walk away from the Aberystwyth McDonalds and despite the fact that my recent McDonalds experiences have been marred by their atrocious sweet chili sauce this evening I was craving a spicy bean burger. Everyone’s favourite fast food chain likes to keep me on my toes and when I order a veggie burger meal it seems to be about 50/50 on if I’ll get a sandwich with sweet chili sauce and tomatoes or a burger with mayo (which is what I actually want). I asked for onion rings to go with it and was told “that promotion is over”, so we can add onion rings to the list of things that you’d expect to be on the standard menu that are inexplicably absent from Aberystwyth (along with Domino’s sweet roquito chili peppers and large double decadence bases).
Aside from my onion ring woes, when I got home and opened up my bag I was delighted to discover that today my gamble had paid off and I had indeed come home with a burger and not the sandwich slathered in weird sweet and not at all spicy sauce that doesn’t deserve to share a sentence with the word chili. I was so delighted, in fact, that I forgot to take a photo to put up with this post before I gobbled it down right into my tummy, alternating between mouthfuls of burger and undignified fistfuls of chips. Speaking of which, before we get on to the burger I feel the need to spare a sentence or two in defense of McDonalds chips, those delicious sticks of carby goodness so often compared unfavourably to your common or garden household cardboard. Let me tell you now that if cardboard tasted like these little golden slices of heaven I wouldn’t have half the problem I do disposing of my pizza boxes, which are extremely unappetizing even if you do salt them.
And so we come to the burger. Vegetarian burgers can be incredibly hit and miss. I’ve payed £10 for a veggie burger and chips in a nice pub and received a bland, burned patty made of mushed up carrots and peas in a dry roll without so much as a token lettuce leaf or smear of butter. This evening I payed slightly less than £5 for the delicious vegetarian feast that is the Spicy Bean Burger meal. The lettuce was crisp, the mayo tangy, the roll soft and the Spicy Bean Burger… well I wouldn’t go as far as to call it spicy, but it was definitely made of beans and joy. I’ll take the McDonalds veggie burger over the 500th gastropub whose only vegetarian option is a mediocre goats cheese salad any day, and fuck the haters who want to tell me about the ten billion calories in each piece of lettuce. You know what else the burger has apart from calories? DELICIOUS BEANY GOODNESS.