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McDonald’s

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Willy-Brandt-Platz 4 69115 Heidelberg

‘Ich liebe es’ – ‘I’m loving it’ in German.  If you’re a big fan of McDonald’s, you will certainly be saying this catch phrase in whatever language while you’re here.  After all, the food at a German McDonald’s tastes quite similar to its equivalent in the United States.  Sure, some of the items have different names and there are a few discrepancies in terms of service and restaurant layout.  But the most important aspect – the food – is markedly similar in sight, aroma, and taste.

Starting off with the appearance of the restaurant, the exterior looks exactly like any McDonald’s would in America.  Of course, there aren’t any drive-thru windows or a huge children’s playground due to the size of the building and given the location near the main train station in Heidelberg.  Step inside through the doors and the place is remarkable in the eyes of an American.  Clean, modern, stylish, and posh.  The walls are artsy and a sight to see.  There are different styles of tables and chairs.  The bar stools aren’t your typical type – they are artistic and unique.  The main color scheme in the restaurant is the traditional McDonald’s yellow and red, but also a touch of brown reflecting the McCafé influence.  Surprisingly, there are two counters at this Heidelberg McDonald’s location – one for the McCafé and another for the actual McDonald’s fast food.  Two different menus, two separate cashier areas.  McCafé is itself a café, serving up coffee and hot drinks, along with scrumptious cakes and cookies.  It’s as if there are two eateries in one.

 

 

As stated above, there aren’t any surprises when it comes to the food.  Well, maybe a couple, but the American menu has, for the most part, made it to Germany.  German McDonald’s restaurants have value menus called ‘McMenus,’ in which you can choose from a number of items to make up your meal.  As an example, you could get a Big Mac, a Filet-O-Fish, a McRib, 9 pieces of Chicken Nuggets, or a Hamburger Royal TS (similar to a quarter pounder with cheese), an order of fries or a side garden salad, and a soft drink.  The large portion costs 5,59 Euros, which is a tad expensive.  Even the concept of the dollar menu has traveled over the Atlantic, albeit it is of course termed the Euro menu.  On this inexpensive menu, you can find cheeseburgers, hamburgers, chicken burgers, a garden salad, McSundaes (with chocolate or caramel), a small soft drink, small cappuccino, or an apple turnover.  Notable items missing from the German menu are the Angus burgers and Chicken Selects chicken strips.  For breakfast, biscuits are nowhere to be found.  Some unique items found here in Germany are curry chicken sandwiches, a burger called the Big Rosti (Rosti being a large hash brown patty), and curry dipping sauces.

The McRib features a pork patty, slathered in a thick, delicious BBQ sauce, topped with white onions and a couple of pickles, and sandwiched between two sandwich rolls.  Although it’s easy to tell that it has been previously frozen, the McRib sandwich tastes pretty good.  Again, it’s what you would find in America.  The French Fries at McDonald’s are also characteristic.  Unfortunately, though, you are only given one condiment packet (usually ketchup or mayonnaise with fries) – each extra one costs money.  Although the packet is larger than American ones, it’s still not enough.

 

The Chicken Nuggets taste slightly different than those found in the United States.  Maybe it’s due to the chicken or the breading, but there is a minor difference in taste and texture.  Regardless, the breading is crisp and the chicken is juicy inside.  Again, you are only given one dipping sauce with your nuggets, which can be problematic for those heavy dippers.  Even the BBQ sauce, with its sweet and tangy flavor, tastes American.  A six pack of nuggets will set you back 3,29 euros, so it’s nothing to laugh about.

 

A new item on the German menu is the Veggie Burger.  Priced at 1,10 euros, it’s a great value for vegetarians or health conscious individuals.  The patty appears to be made up of potatoes and carrots, bound together by egg.  There are also some corn kernels inside as well.  By itself, the veggie patty has an unusual taste.  However, topped with a slice of cheese, shredded lettuce, and a good amount of mayo, the veggie burger is good overall.  Not spectacular, but decent for the price.

 

Unexpectedly, the apple turnover (Apfeltasche) is ten times better than the American McDonald’s apple pie.  The German version has a crisp, flaky crust and is freshly baked with a warm apple filling.  Think Kentucky Fried Chicken apple turnovers, but larger.  Clearly, it tastes a lot better than the cardboard abomination of an apple pie found at an American McDonald’s.

If you’re looking for American tasting fast food in Germany, McDonald’s is the place to go.  Essentially all of the menu items taste more or less like the American counterpart.  While you may have to pay more than you normally would for a McDonald’s meal, it is enough to satisfy that one month long craving.  ‘I’m loving it!’  Or better yet – ‘Ich liebe es!’

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Summary:

McDonald’s is an internationally recognizable American fast food chain serving up burgers, fries, salads, chicken products, and desserts.  McCafé coffee and sweets also served inside, with a separate cashier and counter.  Stylish, modern dining area.  A bit expensive in comparison to American McDonald’s restaurant chains, but tastes similar (with a few exceptions).  Free drink refills at this location.

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • McRib – 4.5/5
  • Chicken Nuggets – 4.5/5
  • Veggie Burger – 4/5
  • French Fries – 4/5
  • Apple Pie (Apfeltasche) – 5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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www.mcdonalds.de/

Written by geschmack

February 18th, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Mandy’s Burger

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Mandys Fastfood Center  Mandys Burger

Speyerer Straße 1 69115 Heidelberg

It has been nearly three months since my plane touched down in Germany and I have yet to touch a single burger, let alone be in the proximity of one.  Until today.  On a Friday night.  A cold winter day.  Here in Heidelberg.  At Mandy’s Fast Food Center.

 

Mandy’s Burger is more than a typical fast food eatery.  Sure, they have a service counter typical of fast food restaurants.  But enter the dining area and you will notice that the seating and design is stylish and chic – a stark contrast to the greasy food being served up.  The place has several arcades and a couple of slot machines, which makes the place confusing.  Is it a family friendly place?  Or an upscale diner?  Maybe it’s a mix of both.

Like pretty much all major fast food chains, Mandy’s Burger has special value meals that can be easily ordered by saying a single number.  For example, order Menu 1 and you will get a double burger (your choice of a double patty hamburger, double cheeseburger, or double Heidelberger), a small order of fries, and a small drink.  8 your lucky number?  Then that will you get a Heidelberger with cheese, fries, and a beverage.  Size wise, think kid’s meal.

 

The burgers are a disappointment.  A Heidelberger comes with a hamburger patty, 1 slice of tomato, lettuce, Heidelberg sauce – an orange-red sauce reminiscent of In-N-Out sauce – all in between a sesame seed bun.  The side ingredients are entirely let down by the main component of the burger – the meat.  The beef patty is made up of what appears to be minced meat, rather than ground beef.  The texture is odd, tasting more like Salisbury steak that came from a TV dinner.  In fact, one bite and you can tell that the meat has been frozen.  Simply upsetting.  Overall, the taste of the burger is okay, but it’s hard to get over the soft texture.

However, the other items on the menu, particularly the chicken nuggets, are marvelous.  The fries are rather thick and lightly salted.  Good flavor, reminding me of potato chips.  The chicken nuggets are surprisingly delicious.  They aren’t your typical fast food nuggets.  These are made with real chicken breast meat with crunchy breading.  Unexpected is the type of coating used – it tastes like crushed corn flakes.  The nuggets are not uniformly shaped, so that is also a good indication that they aren’t made up of processed meat.  Get the nuggets hot and crispy and they will remind you of hot wings.  Absolutely appetizing.

 

The service here is excellent.  The female cashier taking my order was patient and kept a smile despite some communication problems.  Upon service, the cook declared it was his first day on the job.  Despite forgetting some items that needed reminding, the fact that the nuggets came piping hot and delicious earns him an A+ in my book.  Even though the menu lists prices for dipping sauce, I was given Heinz barbeque sauce without any cost.

Overall, the food is satisfactory and the prices are reasonable – Menu 8 will set you back 4,90 € while an order of chicken nuggets (9 pieces) 3,80 €.  Add on excellent service and an odd, but hip dining area and you have a fine establishment.  Even though Mandy may make her burgers differently, she knows how to make her chicken nuggets the right way.

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Summary:

Mandy’s Burger, located inside the Mandy’s Fast Food Center in the southern part of Heidelberg, is a quality American style burger joint featuring various types of burgers, fish sandwiches, chicken items, and sausages.  10 % Student Discount Available.  Service with a smile.

Hours: Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 11 AM – 3 AM
               Friday, Saturday: 11 AM – 4 AM
 

Overall – 4 stars

  • Heidelberger with Cheese – 2.5/5
  • French Fries – 3/5
  • Chicken Nuggets – 5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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http://www.mandys-burger.de/

Written by geschmack

November 20th, 2009 at 11:19 pm