I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Milkshake Fail

As much as I gripe about how the Beach has turned too plastic and homogenized, plastic homogenization isn't all bad.

Take, for example, McDonald's. My mom and I were talking the other day, and I inadvertently admitted that McDonald's might be my favorite restaurant. It was one of those blurted out confessions that's only caught after it's said. It felt dirty to say, and it's filthy to write. And I'd never number it in a list of my favorite restaurants in a conversation with someone who wasn't genetically obligated to love me, but McDonald's may be my fave.

There. I've admitted it. It's as much of a relief as when I told my parents I was gay and they were like, "Yeah. We know. Let's have brunch."

I demarcate my year by certain McDonald's traditions. Christmas is the Eggnog Shake. February and March is the Shamrock Shake. April brings Monopoly. The long n' lazy summer months are a bit of a McDonald's desert. And then November brings the McRib.

When I lived in Madison, I was in HEAVEN, because it was a test market for new products, and in the autumn, there would be Johnsonville Brats sold at McDonald's and late January was McChicken Parmesan Sandwich season. (BLISS!)

I even kind of mark periods in history based on what I was eating back then. There were the early nugget days until '86 when I found a bone in my Chicken McNuggets; then there was the McDLT, which was, in my opinion, a fantastic representation of the excesses of the '80s. The early '90s were the McLean Deluxe days (made with seaweed!) and the late '90s were the Arch Deluxe years. I remember when my grandmother was dying in 2000, all she would eat were Chicken Fajitas from McDonald's... Now I'm a Big n' Tasty or Quarterpounder guy...

But the point is, McDonald's is part of the fabric of my LIFE. And the nice thing about that part of the fabric is that, reliably, anywhere in the the good old U.S.A., I will reliably be able to get certain things at McDonald's. Like a Big Mac. Or Coke Products. Or a green, mint flavored, terrible milkshake in the St. Patrick's season.

Which brings us to St. Patty's day.

On March 16, 2010, I nonchalantly cruised up to my local McDonald's at 16th and Alton, and ordered a medium Shamrock Shake.

"We don't carry the Shamrock Shake, sir," was their response.

"Uh... what," was my dumbfounded response, "Okay, do you know of any other McDonald's that DO carry the Shamrock Shake?"



And with that, for the first time ever, I backed out of a McDonald's drive-thru without buying anything. Although my world had been shaken, I would recover. That McDonald's at Alton and 16th sucks anyway. It must be run by Nazis or something. No matter, one of my other nearby McDonald's would carry it, no doubt.

I drove over the Tuttle to the McDonald's at 35th and Biscayne, and ordered a Shamrock Shake. "We only have chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry," was the response. Again, I asked if that guy knew where I could get a Shamrock Shake. "No."

Who drinks fucking vanilla milkshakes? That's what I want to know.

With a mounting sense of panic, I drove up Biscayne, over the 79th Street causeway, and went to the McDonald's in Mid-Beach. They would have to have a Shamrock Shake. I parked my car, and ran in, fiercely determined. It was now almost 11:00 p.m., and I wasn't going to continue this quest forever, but the Milkshake HAD to be nearby.

"Do you have the Shamrock Shake," I asked the pockmarked troll behind the counter.

"Chammraw Chay?"

"Yes. The green milkshake? For St. Patrick's Day?" (Stella Comedy Quote: "JELLY REMOVER?! FOR PHOTO ALBUMS?! SPEAK-A-DA-ENGLISH!?!)

"Ehhhh. I theen we get dat for Semana Santa."

"No. It's sold for St. Patrick's day."

"When dat?"

"It's tomorrow."

"Ohhhh. No. We no hab it."

"Fine," I spat, as I stormed out of the McDonald's, defeated.

On St. Pat's, I called all of the local McDonald's around where I work. There are a mind-blowing number of McDonald's in Doral. Alas and alack, not a one had Shamrock Shakes. (Office eyebrows were raised at my fervor and intensity at finding this milkshake, but it was the one vestige of my white childhood that I was determined to find and claim in Miami-Dade, and I would DO IT, GODDAMN IT.)

The website www.shamrockshake.com delivered the potentially bad news that they were NOWHERE to be found in Miami-Dade. Which couldn't be possible. Because a Shamrock Shake is a MCDONALD'S PRODUCT, and they're supposed to be THE SAME. EVERYWHERE.


It's not like I was after an effing McLobster McRoll outside of McMaine - I just wanted a green, mint-flavored Milkshake to satisfy my yearly need for one. The Irish are all over America, McDonald's is a restaurant with a Scotch/Irish NAME, for crying out loud, how was it possible that in a county with over a MILLION people, there weren't enough Irishmen to warrant one restaurant carrying the shake? I would eventually learn, as St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland, so too, apparently were the Irish driven out of Miami-Dade.

My friend Carrie mentioned that she had once gotten one at a McDonald's on LeJeune below the Airport. So I found it and called it. And after having called 10 McDonald's and visited three, in response to my question, "Do you carry the Shamrock Shake?" I got this response, "Yes."




I slammed down the phone, giddy.

My boss buzzed me laughing, "Oye, chico, estas loco por ese Milkshake!" "Yeah, but I FOUND it," I exclaimed!

I made a plan to detour far out of my way home that night, to get my mythical milkshake. On the way home, I stopped by another McDonald's to see if I could cut the trip, but they didn't have it, but that was okay, because I had found the One. McDonald's. In Miami. That had it!

I pulled in to the McDonald's just south of Calle 8 on LeJeune and walked up and ordered a Medium Shamrock Shake, please.

"We only have Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry."

"What? But I called! A lady said you had them! The green shakes! For St. Patrick's day!"

"No. Sorry."

Other patrons continued ingesting their sesame-bun encased despair. I wore mine on my face, as I slumped out the door.

Crushed, I drove to the McDonald's on US 1 by UM. That McDonald's HAD to have it, right? I mean, it's a college campus!

No shake.

My last attempt would be the McDonald's at Coconut Grove. I walked in, head down, defeated, and asked, "Do you carry the Shamrock Shake?"

"You know, you're like the 5th person today that's asked for that! No, we don't."

After some playful dissapointed banter, I bought a McDouble, and left.

I wish I could end this post with some modicum of success, but I can't. I went shakeless this year. McDonald's corporate was less than conciliatory or helpful when I called today, raving about the absence of this food product in all of Miami-Dade County.

And I'm sad. Because not only will I have to drive to Boca Raton if I want to get this item (I'm not that crazed) but it's shaken my faith in an unshakable institution (PUN!).

And also, I failed. But what hurts even more than the failure? Is that some crazy bitch at a McDonald's (the one at LeJeune and 8th) LIED to me about a milkshake!

I mean... what the fuck, right?!


Blogger Jessica said...

She prolly didn't speak English. Or understand someone
smart. Point is- the first mcds I went to in Tampa,
as part of YOUR quest, not only had, but gave me the second free. Tampa? Some weekend? This one? I've got
2 shakes in my freezer with your name on them...

8:11 PM

Blogger SuperBee said...

I can't believe you've got two. You're a golden goddess, whose toast always lands butter-side up.

6:07 AM

Anonymous Silver said...

I was born and raised in Miami and never even heard of a Shamrock Shake til now. (although my affinity for McD's is not as great as yours)

Now I feel like I've been missing something all these years and I feel so deprived. Thanks.

8:55 AM

Blogger Rootietoot said...

I love a QPw/chz, and the Big n Tasty, and for some reason their coke is better than anyone elses and God knows their fries are. But the milkshakes? Are you serious? They make your mouth feel like it's coated in plastic! Which is it, after you drink one! Bleh!e

1:17 PM

Blogger Yono Senada said...

here on 8th Street you can order Guanabana Shakes ... forget the Irish, you're in Miami for God sakes!

8:39 AM

Anonymous Adrienne said...

Too bad the McD's in Harper's Choice (which was, sadly, the closest one to mine also before the one in River Hill was built while we were in college) is the most ghetto one ever. Still, I have fond memories of eating there every day when my mom would go out of town, since my father has ZERO idea how to cook. Oh, and Little Caesar's pizza was there too. That place was awesome when we were young. It's pretty awful now.

1:48 PM

Blogger SuperBee said...

Silver - I'm sorry for your deprivation... They exist in Boca!

RT - Their coke n' fries among the best ever (Five Guys, however, does have WONNNNNDERFUL boardwalk-style fries, and I must admit I'm also partial to Wendy's fries alone, or dipped in Frosty.)

Yono - 1) Guanabana creeps me out - I've tried mamey and no me gusta. Gritty and icky. And also... 2) I'm part Irish...(for realz)

Adrie - Best worst McDonalds, EVER. Before they re-did it, when it was still the old pale blue one with the "glass room" on the side facing Harper's Farm, and the leaded glass booth partitions, we had homecoming dinner there in 10th Grade, I think, to be ironic. We were so ahead of our time... you know. Being ironic and all. I also have many fond childhood memories of eating at that one, and later in high school (when it was re-done), eating there every Tuesday night with my parents. Mem'ries. I think there was also a McDonald's in Dobbin Center that we'd go to when my mom reached her saturation with the horribleness that was Harper's Choice.

And Little Caesars - I think it was always pretty bad. I also didn't like Ledo's either. I know, I know... blasphemy. I think later in life I liked it... Oh, but the WORST?! Pizza Boli's. Guhhhhh.. Worst. Pizza. Ever.

2:57 PM

Anonymous Adrienne said...

Sweets, I feel badly for people who have never experienced Ledo's. Every time I go home, I insist on having:
A) double cheese melt bagel from Bagel Bin
B) Ledo's pizza well done with mushrooms
C) crabs

I also usually bitch until someone takes me to Mezze in Fells Point as well. Have you ever eaten there? It's the same owners as Kali's Court. It's delish. Greek tapas. Yum.

Now I want the Spanish Tapas that we ate in Miami with my brother 2 xmases ago. Yumness.

2:27 PM

Blogger SuperBee said...

Adrie -

Every time I go home, I insist on having a BLT bagel with mayo on an everything Bagel from Bagel Bin; and I require a visit to Ricciuti's (now Luna Bella).

I've never been to either Kali's, nor Mezze, but Kali's was owned by and named for my friend Meaghan's sister.

Was that TWO Christmasses ago?! Holy. Fuckarella. You'll just have to come back down here ASAP w/ Aaron, and we can go back to Tapas y Tintos. : )

3:53 PM


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