As with gas, U.S. food prices are high unless you look at what the rest of the world pays. In Israel, McDonald’s has introduced two “Big America” half-pound-plus steak burgers priced at $9.25 (31.50 Israeli New Shekels), according to YnetNews.com. Want fries and a drink? The combo meal is $14.66 (49.90 Israeli New Shekels).
Ynet says McDonald’s is using a 250-gram (.55 lb.) patty made with prime rib and entrecôte (rib steak) meat that is 90% lean. The hefty burgers required installation of new cooking equipment and an overall retrofit investment of $2 million. The chain says the Big America burgers were developed to compete with local burger chains such as Moses, Agadir and Burgus.
The 639-calorie Big New York burger is topped with lettuce, tomatos, pickles, onion and Royal Sauce. The 698-calorie Big Texas burger gets barbecue sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and fried onions. No cheese or bacon, of course, because neither would be Kosher.
Meanwhile, McDonald’s/Israel says the vegetarian McFalafel ground-chickpea item has left the menu. “It was an experiment and we realized that falafel doesn’t belong in McDonald’s,” McDonald’s/Israel CEO Omri Padan told Ynet. McFalafel was introduced in January, priced at $2.80 or $4.75 for two or five pieces of falafel (a Middle East staple), respectively, plus tahini (sesame paste) and salad in pita bread.