28 July 2008

Chef Eric Ripert, with three stars from Michelin and four stars from the NYT, says Big Macs "taste okay"

In developing that (great American) burger, my research took me to a couple of places that might seem unexpected: McDonald’s and Burger King. I didn’t grow up in the U.S. and had never really visited these chains before, so I wanted to see what they do with their burgers to make them so popular.

Just looking at the basic burgers at each of these chains—particularly the Big Mac—showed me a couple of very key things: First of all, the burgers are a perfect size. You can grab them in both hands, and they’re never too tall or too wide to hold on to. And the toppings are the perfect size, too—all to scale, including the thickness of the tomatoes, the amount of lettuce, etc. In terms of the actual flavors, they taste okay, but you can count on them to be consistent; you always know what you’re going to get.
Ripert's burgers are (drumroll) $18 a pop. Depending on your location, that could get you 2.5 to 12 Big Macs, which, it bears repeating, "taste okay." Now I'm hungry for burgers.