Fast food places need to keep their menus fresh and unique to differentiate themselves from the competition. McDonald’s has had its fair share of unusual offerings throughout the years, some we’d like back more than others. Here is a handful of McDonald’s treats you may or may not have enjoyed during your childhood.
7 – Onion Nuggets
Always the innovator, McDonald’s skipped onion rings and went right to… onion nuggets? In normal circumstances, I’d be all over battered and deep fried onions. McDonald’s Onion Nuggets were another story, however. Instead of soft crispy dippable rings, McDonald’s served up chunks of onions, or nuggets, if you will.
6 – McPizza
The McPizza had been around for quite a while, first emerging in test markets in the U.S. in the late 1970s. These were available as personal sized pizzas and as family-sized pizzas (Canadians were served at the table in the 1990s). While the concept was around for years (1992-1999 in Canada at least), it never truly caught on. I know when I think pizza, I immediately associate that thought with McDonalds.
5 – McDLT
The burger stays fresh and the environment stays polluted.
The McDLT is one of McDonald’s most missed creations. It was a gimmick, but it worked. The burger was served on two separate halves that the customer would assemble themselves—the cool ingredients (lettuce, tomato, top of bun) stayed cool and the hot ingredients (burger, cheese, bottom of bun) stayed hot. The lettuce stayed crisp, the cheese melted, and it was a harmonious eating experience—it just poisoned the environment with its toxic Styrofoam packaging. Oops. Introduced in 1984, the McDLT finally met its demise in 1991.
4 – Arch Deluxe
But I wanted a toy!
Back in 1996, McDonald’s was working feverishly to re-brand themselves as an adult establishment—or at least one that caters to adults just as much as they do to children. Thus, the Arch Deluxe was born. The sandwich was advertised (heavily) as having a more adult taste and consisted of a quarter pound beef patty, peppered bacon, leaf lettuce, tomato, American cheese, onions, ketchup, and a secret sauce (mustard and mayo) all on a split-top potato flour sesame seed bun. The ads went so far as to show children complaining about the burger, just to emphasise its adult-ness. The high-calorie and expensive (for McDonald’s standards) sandwich never caught on, wasting a reported $300 million that McDonald’s spent on research.
3 – Salad Shakers
It’s probably a good idea to offer vegetables on the menu, but this flop proves that you can put salad into a Slurpee cup, but that doesn’t mean anyone will buy it.
2 – McLean Deluxe
Mmm… seaweed burger.
Always attempting to offer something on the lighter side, McDonald’s introduced the McLean Deluxe in 1991—the burger boasted a reduced fat content. The McLean Deluxe, originally a replacement for the McDLT, was composed of 91% lean beef and carrageenan (otherwise known as seaweed). It survived five years on the menu, finally dropping off McDonald’s offerings in 1996.
1 – McRib Sandwich
That was a mean combo offering! Totally stocking my freezer up with these once it’s McRib season again.
Ah, the McRib—one of the tastiest and more notorious fast food sandwiches in existence. McDonalds takes advantage of the “limited time only” scheme to market this bad boy, which makes customers go mental. The McRib is a boneless barbeque pork sandwich with barbeque sauce, onion, and pickles. Pure delicousness. The McRib first hit the McDonald’s menu in 1981, but most of us sank our teeth into one in the summer 1994 when the McRib came back as a tie-in with the theatrical release of The Flintstones. The nice thing about the McRib is that it is seasonal and does come back into our lives every few months, mostly when the price of pork is down so McDonald’s can produce the sandwich cheaply.