In einer McDonalds in Mexiko

A report from deep inside the McDonald’s at the Karlsplatz in Munich:

"The food is American, but if you say, ‘McDonald’s,’ I don’t think America," said Jan Bastel, a 16-year-old German student eating at a refurbished McDonald’s in Munich. The branch occupies the first three floors of a neo-baroque building in front of a modern fountain in the middle of Karlsplatz, the historic old city entrance where hordes of shoppers, commuters, and tourists converge. It’s busier than any McDonald’s in America.

The whole place has an international feel. Green and yellow balloons festoon the spacious entranceways, which are decorated with white McDonald’s signs in Arabic, Japanese, Russian, English, and German. Behind the counter, more than a dozen McDonald’s employees ring up 9,000 customers a day from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m., serving them items like "Los Scharfos," a fried snack made with gooey cottage cheese and jalapenos, and "El Pikante," an oval beef patty in a pita dressed in picante sauce, and a "big bacon" burger topped with jalapenos. (McDonald’s executives say Germans are fascinated by Mexican culture and love spicy foods, thus the jalapenos.)

8 thoughts on “In einer McDonalds in Mexiko

  1. It’s “In einem McDonalds (-Restaurant)”.

    (I think you thougt of “In einer McDonalds-Filiale”, you can say that in german but if it’s standing alone (means without the “Filiale”) it’s wrong).

    I’m sorry for klugscheissing ;).

  2. I wish Germans were fascinated by Mexican culture. Then we might get some decent tortillas in this country, and abominations like “Los Wochos” (McDonalds’s Mexican Weeks) would be heaped with the scorn they deserve.

  3. You can say that again, alala. What passes for Mexican food here is a glimpse into the abyss of culinary incompetence. Rather unusual for Germans, who are often quite talented at cooking dishes from other cultures. The salsa is straight out of a can, nobody has the faintest idea how to make a tortilla, and they never, and I mean never, make it spicy enough.

    You’re right, cjn, that since “McDonald’s” is a restaurant, which is neutral gender in German, the dative would technically be “In einem”. However, I wanted to preserve the allusion to that 1970 high point of German-Mexican cultural synthesis, Heino’s “In Einer Bar in Mexiko.” Since “McDonald’s” technically isn’t a German word at all (yet), I figured taking a little poetic license, and assuming that one could be talking about a “Filiale” (feminine), would be in order. I’ve matched you Klugscheisserei for Klugscheisserei.

  4. British and Italian attempts at doing Mexican are no better than those you describe, alas. The only decent Mexican food I’ve had in Europe was in Amsterdam.

    There is a branch of the US ‘Chilis’ chain at Canary Wharf which does a decent job of being a Chilis. Alas that isn’t Mexican either. But it’s still probably the best ‘Mexican’ place I’ve visited in the UK.

  5. Maybe it has_something_to do with the fact that Europe lacks one key condition to prepare good Mexican food: Mexicans. Fascination with Mexican culture does not suffice. As long as that is not an option, we’ll continue to indulge in our modest attempts at copying it. In a way it’s also soothing to know that despite all the globalization, there are still things you can’t get everywhere.

  6. Andrew: “However, I wanted to preserve the allusion to that 1970 high point of German-Mexican cultural synthesis, Heino’s “In Einer Bar in Mexiko.”

    Said establishment certainly is home to the German people’s most beloved Mexican, none other than “Der Puppenspieler von Mexiko”.

  7. “I wanted to preserve the allusion to that 1970 high point of German-Mexican cultural synthesis, Heino’s “In Einer Bar in Mexiko.””

    LOL.. very good Andrew!

    hdggdl! 😉

  8. Essentially, this reflects McDonald’s aptness to adapt to their customers wishes – if needed, that is. In Mexico city I was surprised to see a display of about dozen jars of funny sauces I never had seen in McDonalds back home. After probing carelessly–and nearly dying in the act–I can confirm that the managers didn’t allow for any watering down of what the genius loci demands.

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