All good things must come to an end, so last weekend we bade a fond farewell to the Idaho Burger, (with hopes that it was sufficiently popular to be brought back at some future date) and greeted the newest offer in McDonald’s insane line of American themed burgers—The Miami Burger.
As the Idaho burger was hilarious for it’s heavy-handed obviousness (Hmm…potato = Idaho, derp!) the Miami Burger is hilarious for it’s misguidedness. In fact, its even created some controversy here on the internets, and in Miami itself. But as Eminem said, maybe we need a little controversy. After all, no press is bad press, and the attention garnered by this silly burger is all the better for the burger giants.
Maybe a little. Its main crime is that it operates under the assumption that all Spanish speaking people are culturally homogeneous. Now, Japan is not culturally homogeneous, but often seems to think that it is, projecting the idealized image of the “small island nation.”
So perhaps that’s why they don’t really see the difference, or didn’t think there would be a difference between different cultural groups that fall within the same check box on the census.
Thus Hispanic = taco/nachos, at least according to McDonald’s Japan. And this ain’t no Taqueria taco, this is a straight up Tex Mex, Old El Paso, crunchy corn tortilla shells and spicy sauce taco. It’s nothing like a Cuban sandwich, there’s no mango, black beans, plantains, or anything of the like. This is definitely not “Floribbean” cuisine. (Side note, how ridiculous is the word Floribbean? Seriously.)
Essentially, the Miami Burger tastes like an unholy union between Taco Bell and McDonald’s.
Recently one of our awesome readers attempted to make his own Idaho Burger in the States, but this one is really easy. Go to Taco Bell, buy a taco, and put it on a Micky D Quarter Pounder. Squirt a packet of taco sauce on it and bam, the Miami Burger is born!
In fact, the bun is one of the best parts—it’s the cheesy sprinkled bun they bring out once in a while. Oddly enough though, the bun is way too small for the burger, resulting in what is sometimes called “Fat man in a little hat” syndrome.
The oversized patty, a selling point of the series, hangs of the edges and at times has no topping whatsoever. I fixed this problem by tearing off the over hang and putting it back inside the bun, creating a double-decker effect, and saving me from nibbling on a naked patty.
There is cheese and lettuce, and a spicy tomato sauce (basically ketchup) that tastes just like the taco sauce from Taco Bell. No fresh salsa here!
On top of the burger is where the crazy lives. There is “taco meat”, thus giving the amusing experience of using beef as a burger topping–hopefully it has more beef than Taco Bell’s taco meat! It’s not bad (way better than the Texas2 burger’s ‘chili’) and tastes primarily of cumin. Then there’s the best part of the whole burger: The tortilla chips.
This may in fact be better than the hash brown of the Idaho, both in texture and amusement factor. It adds a delightful crunch, and you can’t help giggling at the sheer stupidity of it with every bite. It’s reminiscent of the joy of adding potato chips to your sandwich.
The overall taste is pretty good—a little kick, a little cheese, a lot of beef. And after the Idaho burger it feels surprisingly light—I didn’t want to die and/or sleep for a week after finishing it! For that alone I might actually like it better than the Idaho, amazingly enough.
What do you think, does it sound tasty? Does it sound better than the Idaho? I’m torn between the two, but I’m leaning towards the Miami. Of course, there’s still one entry left in the America series—the Manhattan burger is coming up next, and will apparently include pastrami and sour cream sauce. That actually sounds surprisingly accurate for evoking a cultural experience (Manhattan deli, I choose you!), but I’ll wait to see how McDonald’s messes it up next time.
More importantly than the taste, do you think this burger is racist? Or perhaps just culturally insensitive?
Maybe if they’d named it the Tex Mex or the South West Burger, or even just the Nacho Burger, it would have made more sense, but there definitely isn’t much Miami flavor to this Miami burger—unless you’re talking about the Taco Bell on Biscayne Boulevard.
Read more about McDonald’s Big America 2 series: