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Gobsmacked! McDonald’s Testing English Pub Burger

Continuing the globalization of its menu, McDonald’s is testing a sandwich it is marketing as an English Pub Burger. On the menu in Algonquin, Ill., the burger was first reported by the blog Within the Empier (source of the trayliner at right). 

Essentially, the English Pub Burger is a tarted up Angus Third Pounder burger, to borrow a saucy English expression. The top-heavy build includes the 1/3-lb. Angus beef patty plus hickory-smoked bacon, white Cheddar and American cheeses, grilled onions, steak sauce and smoky Dijon mustard sauce on an “artisan roll” that differs from the current Angus bun. 

The English Pub Burger is priced the same as Angus Third Pounders: $4.49 for the a la carte sandwich, $6.49 for the meal with fries and beverage. 

Marketing material promises “It’s so tasty, you’ll be gobsmacked” and provides a translation of the British idiom as “astonished or astounded.” 

This is the first item in the U.S. that McDonald’s has branded as “English,” but it’s only fitting given McDonald’s history of marketing American-themed menu items outside the U.S. For example, the chain just concluded its now-annual “Great Tastes of America” promotion in the UK and Ireland that featured the Miami Melt, Chicago Supreme, Texas Grande, New York Classic and New Orleans Deluxe sandwiches. The NYCrispy burger, a tribute to New York City, has made the rounds of McDonald’s menus in Europe and currently is on offer in Belgium. And last year, McCafes in Germany added cupcakes named for New York City neighborhoods.

Burger King has joined the ‘round-the-world trend, too, having recently  offered the Spicy New Orleans burger in Germany and the Whopper Texas BBQ in Portugal. By the way, Burger King’s aversion to using the word “burger” is such that its most recent menu addition in Austria is the “Grilled Beef Siciliano.” It’s ground beef topped with mozzarella cheese and “a fruity sauce”: i.e. a burger.

9 comments to Gobsmacked! McDonald’s Testing English Pub Burger

  • I like the idea but, hickory smoked bacon, steak sauce, dijon mustard…c’mon that’s hardly English!

  • What is the reasoning behind always falling back on Cheddar and American in this country, and not experimenting with some of the cheeses we see McDonald’s offer in other countries? Is it an issue over just streamlining products already offered, or is there some R&D out there which doubts that another cheese (say, even Provolone) won’t sell in the U.S. markets?

  • French mustard, steak sauce, “artisian” bun and hickory smoked bacon? And American cheese? How on earth has this got ANYTHING to do with an english burger? Christ, burgers are an american thing anyway.

    What I’d be expecting is a 2cm thick burger, the size of a CD (8cm? across) and extra strong cheddar melted on it…

  • Colin

    For those not in the know, English food has undergone a major transformation in the last 20 years. For example, London has more MIchelin star restaurants than does Paris, and the Fat Duck in Berkshire (about 35 miles from London) is considered one of the three top restaurants in the world (along with El Bulli in Spain and the French Laundry in California). Chef, author, and now TV host Anthony Bourdain’s favorite restaurant is St. John in London.

    However, I agree that American cheese is disgusting and should not be on there.

  • chris

    Well McDonald’s currently uses Swiss cheese, and has used pepper jack cheese multiple times…
    McDonalds being a billion dollar business serving 52 million people a day out of 33,000 restaurant in 120 countries, i am not qualified to thinks better just go with what works!!! McDonald’s is the biggest and best at what it does for a reason…

  • Aussie Burger

    They should consider an Aussie Burger. One that has a slice of beetroot, cheese and lettuce.

  • Candace

    I just think it’s great that the US gets an English pub burger while the UK gets New York, Miami, Texas, New Orleans and Chicago “burgers”.

    Now I’m waiting for the mid-Atlantic burger that plays it neutral.

  • sarah evans

    I wish you would promote the kiwi burger fried egg, beets, lettuce tomato onion, that used to be my favourite in new zealand have never seen it anywhere else just a thought

  • Shredward

    Oh dear, Colin seems a tad defensive … the plethora of fine eateries in England does not stop him from dining with hoi polloi. The commentary consensus that the Pub Burger is good, and I agree, and that its goodness has nothing to do with England, which is also true. I should not want to indulge in England bashing, even if the all the overcooked pasta I have eaten in the last 20 years was served to me with a smile on Albion isle … Maybe Colin has forgotten that Anthony Bourdain is a dope-addled moron !

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