Amurica. Home of the weird, the wild, the oversized. Nothing is more American than the golden arches of McDonald’s, a company that has been going since 1940 and was originally a BBQ restaurant. Today the golden arches stand for fast food, consumerist America and excess in so many ways. But let’s forget the gluttony and saturated fat for a moment and celebrate some pure American excess, with a trip to the world’s largest McDonalds’s…
Yes, the BIGGEST McDonald’s in the world. Seriously. Based in Orlando, Florida, home of Disney World, SeaWorld (or picketing SeaWorld), there is the biggest McDonald’s in the world. It has a bowling alley, a 500 gallon aquarium, arcade games, gift shop and chefs serving you tailor-made pizza and pasta dishes. Plus an ice cream bar. So, we tasted tested, of course.
The pizza was big and cost around $9. “The sauce was a little sweet,” said Ade, our fearless taster.
The pasta was good, and the garlic bread perfectly done.
The meal in all its glory.
Followed by a snack from the ice cream counter.
We mentioned it had a bowling alley right? It’s small, but still…
So many arcades, so little time…
Then there was a grand piano!
You get a “fun card” where you can load up cash to play the games. A McDonald’s fun card, yo.
And when you get tickets, you can swap them for swag!
There’s a giant Ronald outside that waves goodbye as you leave!
Richard Barreto, corporate chef of the Orlando branch, is the mastermind behind the food offerings. His background is in catering – making dishes for Disney, the Marriott and other chains. He wasn’t sure about joining the staff of McDonald’s when he was first approached.
“It seemed odd to me, a big adjustment from working behind the scenes. But I really liked the concept and the interaction with people is great,” Barreto said.
Now Barreto finds that he likes the fast food approach.. though not all customers get it.
“There’s always challenges,” he said. “Customers think this is going to be a speedy process like in “regular” McDonald’s. We try to do it fast but everything is made fresh so it takes a little longer.”
We asked some of the servers at the counter what’s some of the most ordered.. and they said it was the big mac and fries. I guess you can take the pizza into Mickey D’s, but you can’t make them eat it….
The novelty of the McDonald’s is definitely part of the draw.. but this store won’t be around for long. Barreto shared that they are tearing down the McDonald’s to build a bigger, three story building in the current building’s parking lot, and turning the site of the current residence into the new site’s parking lot.
I’m Loving it.. maybe.