We’ve been listening to the absurdly brilliant “Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s,” a podcast that dares to ask the question: “Whatever happened to pizza at McDonald’s?”
It’s a hilarious pretense, delivered in complete deadpan style by host Brian Thompson, and it is really interesting to listen to someone try and figure out how you get a simple question answered by a gigantic, faceless empire like McDonald’s. But you already know all of this, because you don’t spend your days obsessively documenting junk food.
In episode 16, Brian calls an impatient McDonald’s employee in Australia, who directs him to visit the Australian corporate site for information. So we thought: Saaaaaaaaaaaaay, what is happening over there in upside-down McDonald’s?
In short? You’re not going to believe this.
They’re holding fast food cheeseburgers to a whole different standard Down Under. The menu reads much more like what you’d find at the gastropub in your town that was cool three years ago, or at an Umami Burger, where truffle oil gets doused on everything. To wit, check out the…
Gourmet Angus Truffle and Cheese Burger
“Delicious Angus beef, rasher bacon, shaved parmesan, spinach leaves, and a hint of truffle.”
Sweet Chili and Sour Cream Loaded Fries
“This may be Australia’s greatest match, iconic golden fries smothered in zesty Sweet Chilli and tangy Sour Cream. Make your mouth happy and try them today.”
Tomato Relish Brekkie Roll
“Fried egg and two rashers of bacon, topped with baby spinach, tomato, and zesty tomato onion relish on a gourmet bun.”
“The delicious BLT McMuffin with tasty bacon, lettuce and tomato in our famous McMuffin.”
Frozen Pine Lime McSpider
“Refreshing Frozen Fanta® under our signature soft serve.” (Note that there is not a thing about the name of this product that makes a lick of sense.)
Gourmet Chicken Caesar
“Grilled or crispy chicken, bacon, egg, lettuce, parmesan and creamy Caesar sauce.”
If nothing else, we’ve learned three important facts about Australia, which at least triples the facts that we already knew about Australia:
First, that Australians call McDonald’s “Macca’s,” with enough frequency that the company has trademarked the term.
Second, that Australians love parmesan cheese and putting eggs in unexpected, unorthodox places.
And finally, that McDonald’s AU is getting way, way, WAY better, more interesting food than we are here in the States.
To explore more, check out McDonald’s Australia site for yourself, but don’t be surprised if it’s a little sluggish…think how many miles of internet tubes your clicks have to go through to get all the way to the other side of the planet.