A Chicago dad goes off the menu: Conquering McDonald’s “Land, Sea, and Air Burger

This week’s blog post is by WDP co-host Matt Rocco, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood  of Chicago with Professor Foster (his “Brown Mom” wife), and their daughter Viva, who wants Daddy to put down the giant burger and come home.

When you’re a husband and Dad, there are a limited number of ways to be “naughty” without jeopardizing your family — most of them involve food. Defiling oneself via gluttony is one of the only ways to be selfish and “bad” without truly being detestable.

And that’s where “Secret Menus” come in.

You may have heard rumblings about these things – off the books items at fast food chains only available upon request, or contractible by enterprising souls. Check them out at hackthemenu.com.

Most of the items on these Secret Menus are indulgent and fairly disgusting… mashed potatoes and gravy on sandwiches, chicken where bread should be, octuple the beef patties.

One such item at McDonald’s is the informally (and salaciously) named, “McDicken,” which is a $1 McChicken stuffed inside a $1.15 McDouble. That’s a pretty decadent stack of food-like substance for $2.19. My co-hosts at the WDP podcast each consumed a “McDicken” this week and a number of our listeners have followed suit, taking pics, audio, or video of themselves eating the abomination of a meal and sending it to us at whitedadproblems@gmail.com. We encourage you to follow suit, but accept no liabilities for your long-term health issues.

Not to be outdone by my friends, I decided last week to consume another “Secret Menu” item from McDonald’s, the infamous “Land, Sea, and Air Burger” featuring, what else?, a McChicken stuffed in a McDouble stuffed in a Filet of Fish. It’ll run you about $6.50 with taxes (it’s the Filet of Fish that gets you). It’ll also ruin your day.

“I shall fight it on the land, sea, and air. I shall never surrender.”

The McDonald’s I visited (in Naperville) didn’t know what I was talking about when I asked for a “Land, Sea, and Air,” but when I started asking for stacks of sandwiches, my money was green.

Assembling the burger was the most fun part, although other parents were shielding their children’s eyes from my inelegant display. Full disclosure, I jettisoned two buns, leaving me with a four bun, three meat, many cheese gastrointestinal nightmare.

Getting it into my mouth was a bit of a chore – luckily it squishes down (and my jaw opens like a snake for occasions just like this). After a few bites it was mangled enough to stuff down my gullet. I had it put away in no time.

And the taste? Well, unfortunately the Filet of Fish overpowers the whole affair, giving it a fishy, cheesy, mushiness throughout. Is it unpleasant? Not really. It’s a pile of McDonald’s sandwiches, what’s not to like? But is it mushy, bland, and shameful? Oh, yes. Yes, it is.

The nutritional breakdown? Well, the “Land, Sea, and Air” burger* provides its victim with:

1,140 calories (46% of a 2,500 calorie diet)

44g of fat (73% of one’s daily recommended fat)

15g of saturated fat (115% of saturated fat)

17g of sugar (164% of the new lowered recommended daily sugar)

2,240 mg of sodium – 97% of one’s daily recommended sodium. (Brown Dads beware – it’s 150% of the daily recommended intake for African Americans, as well as diabetics, high-blood pressure sufferers, and people over 51.)

In one minute I’d eaten all my sugar and saturated fat for a day and a half, and enough salt to soak up and retain my large Coke Zero right under my chin.

Was it worth it? Well, I didn’t drop dead on the floor of the McDonald’s, so I think it was worth it for the fun. I’m just glad my wife and child didn’t see me defiling myself like that.

If you’ve had the McDicken, the Land, Sea, and Air, the Mega Mac, or any other Secret Menu item, let us know what you thought in the comments below or at whitedadproblems@gmail.com!

* I’m neither a dietician nor a mathematician, so forgive me if my numbers are off.

If you enjoyed this essay, subscribe to the WDP podcast for free on iTunes! You can also listen at whitedadproblems.com. (Do note that the show has a potty mouth and is definitely for Over 17 Only.) And follow the Dads on Facebook and on Twitter: whitedadprobs.

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