griddle

I am thinking of McDonald’s McGriddle breakfast sandwiches. That is the proof in the pudding of good marketing; To see a word and immediately associate it with a product without even trying. The definition of the word is no longer important as the product, which it describes. I have maybe had a McGriddle once in my lifetime, if that. While Happy Meals were a part of my childhood (and mainstays, for sure), McDonald’s breakfast was not as common. For whatever reason I remember getting breakfast at McDonald’s with my dad, perhaps around six-years-old. I’m not sure if it was his idea, or my young pestering and asking, but we ended up dining in at the Broad Street location. I recall eating subpar pancakes with gooey syrup in one of those disposable dipping cups (similar to the shape of the dipping sauces’ containers). Perhaps there was bacon or sausage, or biscuit. But it’s the pancakes and syrup I remember. They were so bland and doughy and white; No color to these pancakes. And I remember being sorely disappointed. And perhaps that’s why I’ve never gone back for McDonald’s breakfast since. I don’t even go to McDonald’s anymore. Coffee shops like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are the closest I get to fast food, and even now that’s not even true. McDonald’s and other chains have a fat, salt, sugar formula to make their food more appealing and addictive. And as someone who cares about her health and well-being, McDonald’s just isn’t my brand like it used to be as a child. Sure, I’d allow for a rare indulgence. Why not? But it is never in my list of choices when I’m looking for a meal. Reflecting back on McDonald’s breakfast, the options I recall were so tasteless it’s a travesty that the items have so many calories. But the calling card of a good burger, that formula of sesame seed bun with ketchup, mustard, mayo, and pickles? Classic. I crave that concoction every time I have a burger. I remember the heavenly smell of grease and salt and fries when the bags would enter the car from the drive-thru window, going to Nonna’s house to eat it. Feeling giddy and impatient, and then disappointed and depressed when it was all gone. I remember how psyched I would get about the toys in the Happy Meal. Always wanting more fries than I was given. These were special times that I do hold dear as a child. Burger King and Wendy’s just didn’t hold as much promise at the end of the day.