It's nothing too scandalous, really. But it is something I sometimes feel compelled to keep hidden away, out of sight from the prying eyes of food purists.
Here it is: I like McDonald's food.
Yes, you read that correctly. Of course, it's not something I would want to eat every day -- or even every month, for that matter -- but sometimes I feel the urge for a Big Mac and those salty, soggy fries. And with The Man out of town on a business trip, my time has come. I shall wait for the cover of darkness and slink up to Notting Hill Gate where my love will be consummated (or consumed).
Like any North American child, my love affair began when I was a child. McDonald's was an after-church treat sometimes, something to salivate over during the sermon. When I turned sixteen, I even got a summer job at a branch in my hometown. I hated working there, but there was one big perk -- we could eat for free. Yup, even my summer scoffing everything from McLobster's (a lobster roll, available only in the Maritimes) to McChicken's didn't turn me off the food. Nor did the rats in the garbage-composting room.
Notting Hill Gate.
London McDonald's make me laugh with their up-scale attempts. My local at Notting Hill Gate has fresh flowers on the tables, sofas in the window and Wi-Fi access. The restaurant at Edgware Road has a funkier interior design than many of the restaurant surrounding it. And Princess Diana's former McDonald's on High Street Kensington is one of the poshest ones I've ever seen.
But I don't need the added accessories. My love for the Big Mac is, and shall remain, pure and unsullied.
Holborn, Central London.