McDonald’s has been an innovator from the beginning. By controlling almost all of their stores operations, a burger you get in Elk Rapids, MI should taste almost exactly the same as one you would get in London, England. They have also tried many creations to extract every corner of the fast food landscape. Some were big hits (the “McRib”), while others were utter failures:
McBeefsteak Sandwich – debuted in 1980, it was basically an elongated hamburger placed on a bun with chopped onions and served with steak sauce. It was only available from 4pm-9pm as a part of their “dinner menu” and disappeared after about a year. The concept was tweaked a bit in 1981, swapped beef for pork, added pickles/BBQ sauce – the McRib was born. The McRib was pulled from the regular menu in 1985, but has seen a “limited time offer” resurgence each year since (from what is be believed, the McRib comes about when pork prices are at their lowest).
McPizza – Yes, in 1989 McDonald’s tried to get into the pizza game. There were apparently 3 offerings, a full-size pizza, a personal pizza, and what amounted to a Hot Pocket-type calzone. The items were pulled from stores in 2000 due to the fact that the pizzas took too long to make (they were “made to order” like a genuine pizza restaurant). There are still 3 locations (as of 2015) that still offer it – Pomeroy, Ohio, Spencer West Virginia, & Orlando, Florida.
Mighty Wings – Now these hit the market in 1990 and were sold as a side item until around 2003. Then they made a comeback in 2013 for a limited time due to a rise in popularity at chains like Hooters & Buffalo Wild Wings. They disappeared because of the cost ($1 a wing) & the complaints on the spiciness of the breading. Eventually they were sold at a loss to get rid of inventory.
Hula Burger – Back in the 1960’s, an Ohio franchisee complained to the company that his sales declined significantly at Lent because of Roman Catholics being forbidden to eat meat during the religious observance. Ray Kroc unveiled the “Hula Burger”, a grilled slice of pineapple with cheese on a bun with ketchup & mustard. The franchisee developed a fish sandwich & the two items were offered with the winner becoming a regular menu offering. In 1963, the Filet-O-Fish was born.In 1984, Australian McDonald’s restaurants tried the grilled pineapple again for their “Gold n’ Grill” sandwich that added a beef patty, onions, & lettuce to the “Hula Burger” concept.
McDLT – A neat concept, to keep the cold items from wilting and the beef patty hot they incorporated a 2-compartment styrofoam container that separated the cold side from the hot side. It did well initially, but environmental goons claimed the large styrofoam container wasteful & harmful to the planet. The sandwich was discontinued in 1991 because of the environmental outcries. The sandwich did come back with another name – the Big N’ Tasty
Big N’ Tasty – Similar to the defunct McDLT, it was actually modeled after Burger King’s Whopper in the hopes of getting some of their market share. Sans grill marks & mayo, it debuted in 1997 and was pulled from the US market in 2009. It can be found today at some McD’s in Europe & Asia.
McSpaghetti – Yes, this was a thing. In the late 1970’s/early 1980’s, McDonald’s was trying to compete with “fast casual” restaurants in the evenings so they unveiled a dinner menu with more “dinner-type” selections such as pizza, lasagne, & pasta. The dinner concept failed & most of the offerings were pulled from the menu, however, you can still get McSpaghetti in the Philippines where it is often paired with Chicken McNuggets…
McLean Deluxe – Hoping to cash in on the the “health wave” in the early 1990’s, the MLD boasted of using 91% lean beef with a seaweed extract as filler to make it a low-calorie alternative. It looked similar to the McDLT & Big N’ Tasty, but apparently tasted horrible. It was discontinued in 1996.
Onion Nuggets – This is exactly what they sounded like, chunks of onion that were battered & deep fried like Chicken McNuggets. They were marketed alongside the McBeefsteak sandwich as a part of their dinner menu and discontinued around the same time.
McHot Dog – Way before Burger King tried it, McDonald’s was there first. McDonald’s sold hot dogs back in 1937, but when Ray Kroc bought the business he discontinued them as “unhygenic”. In 1995 they were reintroduced, and as of today you can find them in certain markets in the US (mainly Pennsylvania) and around the globe.
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Until next week Junkies