Foreign Fast Food

Jan 28 2013 @ 5:14pm

Jeb Boniakowski dreams of “McWorld,” a place in Times Square that would serve all the world’s variations of the McDonald’s menu:

Everyone talks about how globalization “McDonalds-izes” the world, but the funny thing about a place like New York is that you can get basically every kind of food *except* whatever they serve at the foreign outposts of our proud American chains. I would say I know more people who have had a lamb face salad from the Xi’an Famous Foods in the Golden Mall in Flushing than have had the poutine from the Montreal McDonalds, never mind something you really have to travel for, like a Chicken Maharaja Mac.

Frequently, when I travel outside of the USA, my trips to the local McDonald’s are the most genuinely foreign-feeling and disorienting part of the trip. I went to Paris last year. There are probably ten restaurants within walking distance of my old Williamsburg apartment that are varyingly obsessive imitations of Parisian bistros, Parisian bars, Parisian brasseries. If they were hung in museums, the wall texts next to them would say “School of Keith McNally.” But there is not a single place in New York that serves a Croque McDo.