Dear Hamburglar: The New McDonald's Hamburgers Are Terrible

I would like to address the Hamburglar. Hamburglar:

It has come to my attention that you’re back, for some reason, and I wanted to check in with you. There are only a few times a year I’m at McDonald’s. Most often, I order it at the airport. Somehow, a two single-cheeseburger meal, hot mustard, fries and a Coke work together just fine in recycled air. It’s probably healthier than most things at the airport. Anyway, I have a lot of questions.

I have literally no idea what’s happening in your new McDonald’s campaign. I have no idea why the Hamburglar lives in the suburbs, is apparently very late to get a cake (are you ducking out of a family birthday party?), why you look like a failed Sin City Character test, and what any of that has to do with burglaring hamburgers at myriad McDonald’s locations.

Are you still hoarding hamburgers, then? Do you have secret closet, accessed by pressing the spine of The Da Vinci Code, which reveals an endless wall of bronzed burger trophies? If you're escaping a family birthday party, why did you stop at McDonald’s to make a video when you’re supposed to be getting a cake, and why are you the worst person? Why would we want to tweet at you to help you keep your family “off your trail”? IT’S LITTLE HAMBURGLAR’S BIRTHDAY, FOR GRIMACE’S SAKE. Maybe you can bring everyone home an “Daddy's so, so sorry” meal?

Here’s a major issue, aside from the clearly fastidious marketing campaign: The new burgers are terrible. In the realm of fast food guilty pleasures, these three entries have fallen through the ladder rungs and crashed onto the concrete floor, dead in a growing pool of heavy mayo. They are also a product of a campaign that feels so lumberingly tired with risk-averse, corporate wholesomeness that it makes Taco Bell’s new campaign look like it came from the producers of Gravity.

You know this, Hamburglar, but for the readers: The new line of McDonald’s “premium” burgers are three “100% Sirloin” third-pound burgers, featuring the “Steakhouse” (mushrooms and cheese), Bacon & Cheese, and Lettuce and Tomato. They’re $4.99 each, and they come with a smell that clings to you longer than any known chemical encountered on Earth. Here are in-the-moment thoughts on the burgers:

The Bacon & Cheese - Comes with bacon, red onions, pickles, white cheddar, ketchup and mustard (810 calories)
  • This tasted like a gamma-ray mutated version of their regular, bacon cheeseburger.
  • Why is the “premium” sirloin burger the most overcooked piece of meat of all time? The meat was chewy and dry as a cough. 
  • Was it cooked in a volcano, 4,000 years ago? Also, bacon and ketchup are not great bedfellows in this sandwich. Harsh, red onion was the dominating flavor. 
  • The bacon was so barely bacon that a few letters should be removed from the title: “Con and Cheese” is a suggestion
The Lettuce & Tomato - Comes with “crisp leaf lettuce,” tomato, red onion, melted white cheddar, mustard and all the mayo ever (750 Calories)
  • Thick, heavy mayo was pumped over this one. It made for dense eating, and my heart gave me the middle finger. 
  • The sirloin was so bland that it actually numbed other senses. I couldn't hear high-pitched sounds for the remainder of the night.
  • I now have a psychological aversion to Mayo. Mayo scares me in the night. It is in my closet, scratching against the wood
  • The white cheddar gave it a salty, bolder kick, but I was decidedly not loving it. 
The Steakhouse - Comes with sautéed mushrooms, grilled onions, white cheddar, and a “creamy peppercorn sauce” (730 Calories)
  • I accidentally tasted a bit of saucy paper with a mushroom, and it was better than 2/3 of the burgers
  • Wet dish towels. That’s what the mushrooms texture was like. 
  • If I had to pick, Steakhouse was the best of the three burgers*. The mushrooms and grilled onions ended up imparting the actual flavor of mushrooms and onions. After a few bites of melted cheddar mixed with the creamy peppercorn sauce, my brain pleaded with me to run 4,500 miles.
    *Shame spiral not included
When the burgers are bigger at McDonald’s, the flaws are magnified. I feel like these 100% Sirloin burgers would be best used in another format, Hamburglar. Can you help us with that? Maybe the burgers can be laced with Dawn detergent for a nice, soapy and coarse kitchen counter cleaner once added with water. Or made into little desk clocks! It's worth noting again that no human-made soap can annihilate the concrete-cling scent of three nearby cheeseburgers. 

Hamburglar—I’d advise, take it or leave it, heading home. Or, at least, get to together with that big purple thing and The Clown over boozy McFlurries and hash out a new scheme. You’re cool to burglar my burgers, by the way. I don’t want them.
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Nick Rallo
Contact: Nick Rallo

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