“Are you crazy!?!” screamed my posse of spies, moles and operatives (it sounded strangely rehearsed…) when I announced that I was going to write about a particular McDonald’s. “Think of the avalanche of emails you’ll get from the Chronic Complainers! They are watching, you know.” Well, don’t tell anybody, but I love the Chronic Complainers. They visit the site regularly, fill my in-box with huffy emails, whine about everything I like, and pretty much keep me on my plump little toes. So there. “But there’s a million of ’em! [McDonald’s–not Complainers] and they’re all the same!” Ahhh, not so, cautioned the Foodie, sagely wagging a finger splattered ever-so-slightly with secret sauce.
The same ingredients might arrive daily at every McDonald’s loading dock, but what gets delivered across the counter (not to mention the overall experience) depends on the skill, dedication and attitude of everybody from the franchisee to the manager, from the grill people to the guy who checks the bathrooms. And sometimes, against all odds, these things can actually come together to deliver the franchisors intended concept to the customer. It’s rare, but it happens. And it’s happening at McDonald’s #7959 in Bethany Beach.
The first impression of this installation is that it is clean. No trash on the floor; tables/counters wiped clean; windows clean. I’m sure every McDonald’s has procedures for doing this, but apparently they do it a lot more often in Bethany Beach. The second impression is the attitude of the counter person. Is that a smile? Is he (or she) looking me right in the eye? How strange! But, yes, it happens in Bethany Beach. Impression #3 is the food. It actually looks like the pictures! Hot, fresh, almost like they made it when you ordered it. My own experiences (they’ve never had any idea who I was, and probably couldn’t have cared less anyway) takes us back to impression #2: While I was eating my chicken tender wrap, one of the counter people actually caught my attention and asked me how I liked it. Now, I am a child of the ’60s, but the hallucinations have been a lot less frequent in recent years. Gadzooks! This was actually happening.
According to The Foodie’s little black book, there are many who quietly move among us — daily — who love McDonald’s food. In fact, The Foodie knows personal trainers, self-proclaimed vegetarians, award-winning professional chefs, prim and proper grandmothers, even several award-winning Iron Man triathletes — all of whom occasionally visit McDonald’s on the down-low. I won’t out any of you, I promise. But … the Foodie’s watching and he knows.
The Bethany Beach McDonald’s is on US 1 (Coastal Highway) at 1 Addy Road, just south of the Sea Colony buildings. Their hours might vary in the off season, so call if you must: 302-537-1226. Just in case you’ve never heard of the place (!), click here to see the menu. (B., L., D.) Price range: Inexpensive -.