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Admit it if you've eaten American fast food overseas

Admit it if you've eaten American fast food overseas

Old Sep 30, 08, 6:18 pm
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Admit it if you've eaten American fast food overseas

LapLap's post in the McD's thread prompted me to post this...

I remember being in Italy several years ago and almost disowned my brother for stepping foot in the Siena McDonalds. I couldn't imagine, with all the great food at our disposal, why he'd want to eat at McD's, but he wanted to see if the cheeseburger tasted the same.

Then there was the time that GoodKarmaGuy made us all stop so he could go into the KFC on the Ramblas in Barcelona. We were mortified, until we tried the croquetas he brought out... they were probably the best I had that trip.

Now, generally speaking, I don't seek it out, but I'm no longer horrified at the idea. Sometimes a girl needs to have a really large diet coke, and the best place to get that in Europe is at Mickey D's.

So I've had:

Pizza Hut in Paris (at the home of a Parisian Friend)
Starbucks in Paris
KFC in Barcelona (mmm croquetas)
McDonalds in Croatia (some sort of McGyro thing)

So.. do you darken the door of american fast food places while traveling abroad?

Do you order familiar items, or do you try the "local edition".
missydarlin is offline  
Old Sep 30, 08, 6:27 pm
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Hmmm....off the top of my head, I've had McDonald's at LGW and KFC in both Geneva and Amsterdam. Those were in my traveling on a shoestring days. I try and find something a bit more local now.

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Old Sep 30, 08, 6:28 pm
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I ate at the McDonalds in Monaco. For SHAME. But I was much younger and much poorer back then, had been in Europe for two weeks, and just wanted a darn Big Mac. Must say it was the poshest McDonalds in the world. Marble everything, nice views of the sea.

I've eaten McD's in Amsterdam and Ireland, too...but those were more hangover remedy situations where it was the only thing I thought I could keep down...

Pizza Hut once in Scotland for lunch. Corn on pizza...amazingly good!
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Old Sep 30, 08, 6:35 pm
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I try to make a point to visit a foreign Starbucks (to collect a city mug) as well as a foreign McDonald's to try the local fare.

I've had Fish McNuggets in the UK and a wasabi-flavored fried chicken sandwich in Japan.

Seems silly; but it's usually cheap and easy to find.
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Old Sep 30, 08, 6:37 pm
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Of course I have, but less and less as I get older and wiser. These days it is very rare that I venture into such establishment's.

I must admit that I love cart food in Europe. I still to this day crave the chicken sandwiches from a certain cart in Prague. Weird, I know.

Truth be known, fast food in other countries is far healthier than its American cousin. Men's Health quoted a study where they took a KFC meal from the U.S. and the very same meal from The Netherlands, and the fat content was 50% less in the meal from The Netherlands.

For some stupid reason, a McDonald's cheeseburger has always been my hangover food regardless of the country that I am in, lol. Sick I know !!!
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Old Sep 30, 08, 6:42 pm
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McDonald's in London. Came out of the theater *starving* and it magically appeared before us. For some reason, bangers and mash didn't have the same appeal for a late night snack.
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Old Sep 30, 08, 6:53 pm
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Darkened the door and then some!

When in need of a loo, particularly in Italy or Spain, could there be a more comforting image than the Golden Arches?

Big Macs after 3 weeks in rural Romania eating oily cabbage soup at home stays were pure heaven!

The interesting and delicious toppings at Pizza Hut Thailand were winners to me.

But there was nothing like burgers at the HRC Shanghai after my 5th month of living in rural China.
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Old Sep 30, 08, 6:54 pm
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McD's in Auckland

Shocked the hell outta me since I can't recall the last time I've eaten at McDs here in the US but between the McD TV ads during the Australian Open and iirc, an interview with Venus Williams where she mentioned a Big Mac the next thing I knew was I just had to have one

bk (a slut to the power of suggestion )
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Old Sep 30, 08, 7:01 pm
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Starbucks in London! After several days of instant coffee in England on our honeymoon, I was so desperate for "real" coffee that when I saw a Starbucks, I about bent down and kissed the ground! I convinced Mr. Kipper that I *had* to have Starbucks, and he agreed, as long as I'd order "coffee flavored coffee." I ordered, "the largest coffee flavored coffee that you have," and gladly paid whatever the price for it. What I wanted to say was, "Just give me the entire urn. I don't even need a cup. I'll just put my head under it and drink all of it!"
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Old Sep 30, 08, 7:03 pm
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Back when my wife was pregnant and she really really needed 'normal' food, we did Burger King outside Hamburg and the Hard Rock in Berlin.

On my own I've had BK in Amsterdam.
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Old Sep 30, 08, 7:10 pm
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Mickey D's in Amsterdam, all the time, at the worst restaurant in the collection, on the Nieuwendijk near the Crowne Plaza.

It's lucky that it serves delicious McDonald's food, and that it's the only place open (aside from the shoarma joints) when I return to my apartment around 10:30pm after a day or two on the road.
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Old Sep 30, 08, 7:13 pm
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My food crimes include a Big Mac in Hong Kong, and a Whopper in Kuala Lumpur.
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Old Sep 30, 08, 7:13 pm
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I'll admit, I've had McDonalds in almost 20 countries.

In fact, I make it a point to try it at least once. Typically, these snack-stops are combined with a much needed bathroom break....

To be honest, I find the quality and taste to be much better than in the US... and I'm a junk food junkie in any case.

I got exceptionally weird eating habits and typically don't variate much in what I eat. I've been to China 4-5 times and eat it a lot when I'm there, but I almost never eat it at home. Maybe once every 6 months.
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Old Sep 30, 08, 7:13 pm
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I've probably tried McD's in 25 or so different countries. Sometimes they'll do market-specific stuff only for the country at hand; one of the grossest things I've ever partially eaten from them was a McKroket sandwich in Utrecht, Holland. They also seem to test a lot of stuff in Japan that'd seem unusal anywhere else.

McDonald's definitely tries harder than the other U.S. chains, IMO. They're known for being very fussy about quality and will import stuff if they can't find a good-enough source locally. Not everyone does that. Wendy's pulled out of Thailand (and is still in the Philippines), and the burgers I got at the overseas branches were just AWFUL, far below U.S. standards. Whenever anyone from the U.S. tastes anything like that it damages your brand and creates an indelible negative impression that lingers everywhere. KFC generally does OK (though some side items overseas aren't good), while Burger King has too much of a lingering freezer taste. Pizza Hut in some countries also has to rely heavily on frozen ingredients that negatively affect taste.

As for need, the U.S. franchises are most useful in places where costs are otherwise very high. Hong Kong and Tokyo are good examples there; in Hong Kong it seems as if everyone else is twice as expensive as McD's, probably due to real-estate costs.
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Old Sep 30, 08, 7:14 pm
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Last edited by birdstrike; Jan 6, 09 at 9:33 pm
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