There was something particularly depressing about eating at McDonald’s in Vietnam. I’ve only been here a few days, but it’s already clear that this country has some of the best food of anywhere I’ve visited so far. It kind of sucks to waste a meal on McDonald’s, but I’ve come this far. No point in turning back now.
The menu at McDonald’s in Hong Kong is kind of boring; nothing particularly jumped out at me. But I’m way too deep into this McDonald’s around the world thing to stop now, so yeah — I got a couple of things.
I’ve eaten some pretty awful stuff at McDonald’s over the last few months; McDonald’s in South Korea has single-handedly made up for all of it. It was actually kind of bizarre how good everything was.
There’s something about the simplicity of really well-prepared fries that’s kind of irresistible. I mean, ultimately they’re just potato sticks, but that crispy/creamy contrast can’t be beat.
And the fries from Vleminckx Sausmeesters in Amsterdam are some of the best that I’ve had in a long while. They’ve got that crispy/creamy thing going on in spades. They’re lousy with it.
I’ve had some pretty great fish and chips back home. Plus, it’s a pretty simple dish, so how much better could it be over here?
It turns out: substantially better.
Le Relais de l’Entrecote is so admirably single-minded about its dedication to steak frites that there’s literally no menu. The only questions from the waitress are what you want to drink, and how you want your steak cooked. That’s it. If you want to eat something other than steak frites? Get the hell out.
Despite the fact that France probably has the best food of anywhere I’ve visited so far, their version of McDonald’s has a surprisingly boring menu. It’s pretty much just the classics (and yes, the Quarter Pounder really is called the Royale with Cheese, so it’s got that going for it at least).
There are certain dishes that are popular in one country but virtually unheard of in most others, yet they’re so approachable and tasty that it just makes you scratch your head. Like, why does the whole world eat stuff like pizza or tacos, but not this?
Currywurst is one of those dishes. It’s absolutely everywhere here in Berlin. I doubt you can walk more than a block or two without stumbling across a place that serves it.
I have a thing about people lining up for food. If I see a line, I feel a very strong compulsion to stop whatever I’m doing and get in it. Because what do those people know that I don’t know? Following the mob isn’t always the wisest of choices, but seriously, what’s at the front of that line and how do I eat it?
So when I saw a line for a place that specializes in fries called Las Fritas when I was walking around in Barcelona, I was in that line almost instantly. I had never heard of this place, and French fries don’t exactly scream authentic Spanish food, but look at that line. It must be good!
If you were under the impression that over-the-top gut-busting meals are the sole domain of the United States, prepare to be proven wrong, sir. Because here in Porto, there’s an insane sandwich that’s just as artery-clogging as anything you’ll find at the carnival.