Revisiting a Classic: The McDonald's Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese

Categories: Fast Times

McDQP1.jpg
Photos by Christina Uticone
I love the camera on my new Samsung S4. Also--CHEESEBURGER.
Call me a masochist, but I like to read the comments you guys leave on my stories. I get a lot of great ideas on where to eat and what to order; this is particularly true for Fast Times, since I don't often sample widely from fast-food menus.

A few weeks ago, commenter tiltingwindmills wrote that s/he has given up on "special/promotional/limited-time-only/artisan burgers" in favor of sticking with the classics. And while I understand the sentiment (these promotional things are often underwhelming), I usually don't pick standard menu items to write about, simply because you guys probably already know if you like Big Macs, Whoppers and the like.

But that idea stuck with me, and finally I decided to just go for it -- order up an old favorite and see how it holds up to the "cherished" memory of how much I enjoyed it as a teenager. Enter: McDonald's Number Four Value Meal.

The Number Four has morphed since it first became my favorite, back when I was in high school. In the early 1990s, my local McD's Number Four consisted of two regular cheeseburgers, french fries and a drink. Eventually the Number Four morphed into a double cheeseburger, and I continued to order it until I went off to college; unlike other people, that's when I stopped eating so much fast food because, well, dining hall.

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Anyway, these days -- at the McDonald's on Kirby -- a Number Four is a Double Quarter-Pounder with the requisite fries and drink. I have to admit, I was kind of excited -- I felt like a kid again when I was ordering. As I waited in line (and then for my food), I reminisced about how much fun my high school friends and I had making the trek to McD's. As seniors, we were allowed to go off-campus, so once a week I would escape the yearbook room where I spent my lunch period and grab a bite with my girlfriends. (You can say it -- I was a huge nerd. AND YEARBOOK EDITOR. IN CHIEF. Suck on that.)

Of course, time moves on and old favorites stop being favorites for a reason. Is the sandwich different, or am I? This is the deep, existential question that I am left to ponder after my first Double Quarter-Pounder with cheese in who-knows-how-many-years. My burger was big and had all the elements I remember: the heavy double patty, the melted cheese, the raw onions, the pickles, the smear of ketchup, the sesame seed bun. But the burgers were bland (where do they put the sodium, anyway? How does 1,280 mg of sodium taste so dull?), the cheese flavorless, and even the pickles lacked any trace of tartness or zing. It was, quite possibly, the most boring thing I have eaten in months -- and I had just eaten oatmeal for breakfast that morning.

How about you guys -- any sentimental favorites you would like to recommend? Horror stories to share? Leave me a comment...'cause I read 'em!


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31 comments
Mike Grimsley
Mike Grimsley

Get it with Mayo added to the mix. It's a game changer.

dfbrav
dfbrav

McGangbang--$ menu Spicy Chicken mixed with the $ menu McDouble so that the two beef patties sandwich the chicken patty, and the buns are tacked on haphazardly to optimize cheapness of meal and amount of food.

theadamkomar
theadamkomar

Smokehouse Beef'n Cheddar from Firehouse Subs.
Buffalo Chicken from Subway.
Meataball Sub from Jason's Deli.
Steak and Egg Burrito from Jack in the Box.
Triple Meat/Triple Cheese from Whataburger.
Baked Potato Soup and the Gun Show Burger from Brickhouse Tavern.

Jim Rassinier
Jim Rassinier

Lies! The Quarter Pounder will always be... adequate.

del.martinis
del.martinis topcommenter

Between the Fish Filet at McDonald's and the Big Mac, of which I occasionally crave, they can sometimes taste like cardboard nothing, or actually satisfy something deeper, yet comforting. Too many variables are at stake, from where you get it and how fresh it is. All and all, it never lives up to the craving you're trying to satisfy.

John_Atwell
John_Atwell

Haven't had that one since 4 or 5 years ago. I was surprised that the two pieces of meat put together were smaller than the single 1/4 pound patty at Fuddrucker's. I also got the Mc Stomach Ache afterwards, and last but not least - pimples a day later and I am in my late 30s, so I guess I hit early puberty there :)

bibulb1
bibulb1

I haven't had a Quarter Pounder (single or double) in almost two years, and I'm kind of afraid to try it again. I used to love them in a "Plan Nine From Outer Space" kind of way (I mean, LOVED them), but I suspect that having gone off them for so long, they'll JUST taste like the dreck that they are and not like a guilty pleasure. 


Ah well, at least I'll always have the pump cheese on my burgers at Fuddrucker's for "oh my god, I can't believe I'm putting this in my mouth…"


TXKathy
TXKathy

I like them. They're not the best burgers on Earth, but they're comforting and packed with nostalgia. Gotta order extra pickles though.

Schittphaiç Magü
Schittphaiç Magü

I still prefer a Krusty Burger w/ Cheese and washing it down with a Krusty Partially Gelatinated Non-Dairy Gum-Based Beverage.

Susan Fehrman Garcia
Susan Fehrman Garcia

I'm sorry to the healthy people but I love them. Never had the double but not saying I wouldn't! ;P

alldway
alldway

The Big Mac us to be a favorite of mine. I'm talking about way back in 1987. Now the meat taste different the bread taste old and I always get sick afterwards. They just don't make fast food the way they use too. Bring back Burger Chef.

Brazos
Brazos

Agree.  No flavor at all.  Nothing like it was back in the 70's.  Used to be a little bit moist and lot's more flavor.

erichenao
erichenao topcommenter

In the 1990's I was consuming Annie's Hamburgers Mom and Dad wouldn't take us to the "real" fastfood joints. I am so glad now.

kimmyog
kimmyog

I haven't had Jack-in-the-Box's bacon cheddar potato wedges in at least a decade. The memory of them lives on as a gooey incredible explosion of fatness in my mouth. I don't know if I'd tempt fate and potentially ruin the memory of them by trying them now...

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

I had a McDouble yesterday and it was pretty darn good.  Well worth the $1 price tag.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

Go back and try the habenero 1/4 pounder.

conebaby
conebaby topcommenter

@alldway The same day I ordered this my husband ordered a hangover-killing Big Mac. He loves em!

John_Atwell
John_Atwell

@Brazos it used to have meat in it back then, now it is a meat-like concoction, possibly 30% meat and the rest is soy and other crap, pretty much like they caught Taco Bell doing to their "meat".

Aggie_Kelli
Aggie_Kelli

They actually don't sell those anymore :(

john1914
john1914

@FattyFatBastard I tried that a couple of weeks ago. Somewhere along the way with the "new" Quarter Pounder, the meat became dried out hockey pucks. For a chain so obsessed with consistency, either the new fancy Quarter Pounders suck or the franchise by my office can't cook.

TXKathy
TXKathy

The habanero is decent. Dammit, now I'm hungry.

conebaby
conebaby topcommenter

@FattyFatBastard I wavered between the double (above), whatever that "homestyle" burger thing is, and the new habenero. Wondered if it was any good--I'll give it a go soon!

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

Oh, and as long as you get their fries, ask for some hot mustard for dipping.  So much better than ketchup.

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

@John_Atwell

McDonald's uses 100% beef.  And the Taco Bell thing has been resolved.  They use beef and spices.  Not sure if you're goofing around here or if you are just that gullible.  Probably the latter.

TXKathy
TXKathy

What? I just had some within the last 6 months. Good post-bar food.

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