Friday, December 11, 2009

Fast Food Friday - Breakfasts @ McDonald's: The Hash Brown Chronicles

Wanted to share some quick breakfast meals I've had over the course of the year at the fast food mega chain we all know as McDonald's. For whatever it's worth I have to say I enjoy their hash browns.. Eating one is like devouring a giant Tater Tot.

Sometimes I would even order two but this particular morning I indulged in the strange practice of actually being charged less for more food. The advertised special price of the Deluxe Breakfast ($3.59) was cheaper than the Big Breakfast.

I knew I wanted to focus on the hash browns when I finally got around to work on this post but I didn't know I would be encountering a small twist along the way. My photo at top is McDonald's Hash Brown Exhibit-A taken early in the year, aka "the way I like it" with a hot golden crunchy outer, rough chopped texture and nice potatoey flavor.

I never were a big fan of pancakes but as far as I can tell this is the main difference between the Deluxe vs. the Big Breakfast. In any case to me essentially deconstructed versions of one of their breakfast sandwiches. The container is kinda cute though (and the butter with the "M" logo as well).

The pancake and English muffin double carb whammy of the DB proved too much for me so I stuck with a classic Sausage McMuffin with Egg (combo) on my next visit a couple months back.

I never cared to give one a lot of attention but I now realize that I enjoy the strong sage flavor of these sausage patties. They are also not too sodium laden.

And here on this momentous day I was given a special Hash Brown Survey to fill out. How excited and special I felt. ;)

So naturally it made me take a closer look at my hash browns to wonder why. Below is Hash Brown Exhibit-B from that day..

It may be hard to tell visually but it was noticeably different. The outer was still done a nice golden crisp but it was a finer/mashier texture. Not quite as good as the original for me, falling way short on the devouring a giant tater tot experience. Dutifully stated my preference in the form (where the questions were mostly of circling A, B, C, or D, which included preferences in cooking temperature and seasoning strength) and sent it out in the accompanied self-addressed, stamped envelope. Anxiously waited for my gift coupons which turned out to take another eight weeks.

So in the meantime I had a Sausage Egg and Cheese McGriddle.

You gotta love the pancake buns with crystallized maple syrup.

Pure genius. And the protein vs. carb ratio is just right Imho.

The hash browns were unfortunately the newer mashy version and also too light in color and therefore too greasy. A double bummer.

I mean, they were ok....., just not as good as the original. And I had even purchased two this day. So make that a quadruple bummer. :(

Couple more weeks pass and still nothing in the mail.. So in the meantime I had a Sausage Biscuit and Egg combo.

The same tasty sage spiked sausage patty and scrambled eggs between a starchy biscuit. What's not to like. If I had to rank these breakfast sandwiches though, the McGriddle would be top, the Sausage Biscuit second, and the McMuffin last. Though I really like the unscrambled (hockey puck) whole egg of the McMuffin.

I had asked for a regular Iced Coffee (black) but I got an iced latte instead. Oh well. These are quite watered down btw so you kinda get what you pay for. Latest news is that the gift certificates had finally come but I've yet to use them..

And the Hash Browns has returned back to the original! Yay.

The guilty pleasure to start my day devouring a giant Tater Tot may once again commence. Yippie! Christmas has come early for me this year..? :)

McDonald's, 4260 Nobel Dr, San Diego, CA


KirkK said...

Hey Dennis - You know, I was just thinking about how long it's been since I actually ate something from Mickey D's.... too bad they don't serve Portuguese Sausage, Eggs, and Rice like back home in Hawaii!

Dennis K. said...

That's funny Kirk. You know my first experience of Church's, Jack in the Box and Burger King were all in Hawaii. My first taste of the big U.S. of A, haha. I was also shocked how on television one food joint would bash the other. In Japan comparisons on commercials were always with "Brand X"..
Oh, Thanks for the coffee btw!! Happy Holidays. :)

Anonymous said...

Heehee. I love hash browns at McD! I hardly get a chance to indulge in their breakfasts though. I had a chance on Thanksgiving morning before I left for the Bay Area and they were closed! Oh well. Great post!

K and S said...

I love the sausage mcgriddle, little sweet, little salty. :) miss the portuguese sausage though (like Kirk)

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kirbie, I'm getting ready for a road trip myself but hopefully I won't have to stop in here too many times as much as I enjoy the hash browns. New fast food experiences await! :)

Hi K&S, it's too bad I'm committed to a road trip this winter break. I'm now very curious in documenting this Hawaii limited McD breakfast!

Sawyer said...

i loveeeeeeeeee mcdonald's breakfast! it's rare when i can get it, but i just got it a few days ago...sausage mcmuffin meal w/ iced vanilla coffee. i'm ashamed to say it but i still haven't had the mcrib or mcgriddle. i read they gonna have a $1 breakfast menu next year (or do they already have something like that? )

have a good trip!!

Anonymous said...

Ha, we just had Sausage McMuffin with Egg this morning while running errands and were starving! I typically get the sausage biscuit when the Mister wants to stop by but they had a special 2 for $3.50 on the SM w/Egg so I had my first one in over a decade. They are better than I remember.

I'm soooo glad they changed the hash brown back to the original. Love those!

Have fun on your road trip!

Dennis K. said...

Hi Sawyer! I don't think it's a shame to not have tried the McRib at all, he he. Hey the dollar breakfasts would be perfect for my certificates.. But I hope the hash browns they were testing is not a glimpse of things to come. :O

Hi CAB, that sounds like a good bargain! Next time I'm going to see if I can get the hockey puck egg that's in the McMuffin with the biscuits.. I'm such a rebel, haha. I'm glad they switched back the hash browns too. I'd like to think I helped contribute.. :)

caninecologne said...

hi dennis - oooh hash those! especially when they're nice and crispy.

a 10 pack of frozen hash browns is about $2 or so at fresh and easy....mmmmm

ha ha, the word ver is:

sounds like a new taco joint. roberto's? gilbertos? adalberto's? why no noperto's?

Dennis K. said...

Hi CC, funny you mentioned Roberto's I had my first ever Cali Burrito there a few days back! Anyway breakfast visits to McD's are pretty rare for me actually (but when I do I enjoy their hash browns). I used to buy them by the pack at Trader Joe's but now if I'm at home I've been into making home fries with the mandoline. Next time I'll take pics! :)

caninecologne said...

hi dennis - wow, your FIRST EVER Cali burrito? omg, those are soooo good!!!!

i hardly eat at fast food places but if i do, i love mcd's fries!