If you’ve been reading Suburban Scrawl for a while, you may recall that I have a special place in my heart for the McDonald’s brand. My first job was at McDonald’s and for two years I worked at the brand new location just steps away from my high school, with many of my friends. We had a BLAST.
One of the benefits of working there was the food, obviously. Break time was easy because the food was RIGHT THERE. I have always loved the traditional menu but back then we would create our own custom creations, too, to mix things up. We would make sloppy joes with chopped up burger and barbecue sauce…salads made from the shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and Big Mac special sauce (way before salads were actually sold there!)…cherry pie ala’mode, and all kinds of other crazy combinations.
Knowing that history, I bet you can understand why I was super excited to get an invitation from McDonald’s to check out their brand new Create Your Taste menu. It was like they heard my friends and me all those years ago! We love to creatively customize!
The Create Your Taste (CYT) menu is testing in markets around the country right now. Here in Chicagoland you can find it at the McDonald’s location in Downers Grove (2535 Ogden Avenue). When you try CYT, you’re experiencing an innovative ordering and dining experience, with twenty-two (!!!!!) premium topping options to choose from for your freshly grilled 100% USDA inspected beef patty, which is truly made-to-order.
Exhaaaaaaale. (That was a lot to get out in one sentence!)
We headed to Downers Grove last week to check it all out, and—spoiler alert!—I’m a fan. When we walked in, we were handed the extensive menu of toppings to choose from. We sat down for a few minutes to take it all in and make some decisions.
Once we were all set with our choices, we headed over to the Create Your Taste kiosk, which looks like an oversized iPad. A McDonald’s crew member was there to walk us through our first time; it didn’t take long to figure out that ordering couldn’t be easier. Tapping your selections (and increasing the quantities if you want, say, extra pickles) on each screen eventually gets you to the end screen where you can choose to pay at the counter or at the kiosk with a credit/debit card or an Arch card.
After your order is complete you get a numbered table tracker and in about seven or eight minutes, your meal is delivered to your table. I have to say I was pretty thrilled with my CYT burger, which was topped with American and white cheddar cheeses, grilled onions, lettuce, and garlic sauce. It came with a drink and, of course, fries (which were served in the most adorable miniature wire basket). It tasted even better than it looks here, which if I do say so myself is pretty darn good!
The traditional menu isn’t going anywhere, of course, but I am thrilled that McDonald’s is adding something new. After all, keeping things fresh (pun intended!) is one of the reasons why they’ve been around since Ray Kroc opened the first franchised location right here in Chicagoland back in 1955. If you live around here and enjoy delicious burgers and the best fries in the universe, I highly recommend that you high-tail it to Downers Grove. (I might see you there.)
Oh! And I have something that could help you enjoy your McDonald’s experience even more! I’m giving away a $25 Arch Card to three of my readers, woo hoo! All you have to do in order to be eligible is look at the picture of the CYT menu (above!) and then leave a comment letting me know what YOUR perfect sandwich would look like. I will choose the three winners randomly; you have until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, January 26 to enter. You do not have to live in the Chicago area to participate, by the way, but you do have to live in the United States. Good luck, and I can’t wait to see what toppings you’re going to pile on your burger!
This post was created in partnership with McDonald’s. I was compensated for writing this post; all thoughts and opinions are my own.
EDITED on 1/27/15: Congrats to Sandra, Michelle, and Steph! You each won a McDonald’s Arch Card! I will be emailing the company and they will contact you for mailing instructions. Woo hoo!