Thursday, March 3, 2011

Itadakimasu! Reconstructing the Miami Burger

Last year, McDonald's decided to go BIG in Japan by launching a series of burgers that were supposed to resemble the BIG tastes in America. Advertised as the "Big America" series, customers could order quarter-pound burgers that catered to tastes in Texas (fried shoestring onions on top of a BBQ bacon cheeseburger), New York (Monterrey Jack and bacon on a cheeseburger), California (bacon cheeseburger with spicy cheese and a red wine BBQ sauce), and Hawaii (fried egg patty, bacon, and a special gravy on a cheeseburger).

In general, it was a variety of bacon cheeseburgers with some sort of kick to them. Well, Japan liked the kick so much that they decided to give it another shot, releasing the "Big America 2" series of special burgers. So far, the company has provided two new monstrosities.

Texas Burger 2
  • Cheese-dusted triple-layer bun
  • Bacon
  • Onions
  • Chili beans
  • 1/4-pound burger
  • Cheese
  • Spicy mustard relish
Idaho Burger
  • Split-top onion bun
  • Mustard relish
  • Bacon
  • Onions
  • Hash brown patty
  • 1/4-pound burger
  • Cheese
  • Spicy pepper sauce
With two burgers down, the American Burger series entered a third stage. While the first two may have been reasonably close to approximations of the regions, the third completely missed the mark when McDonald's introduced the "Miami Burger".

The Miami Burger recycled the cheese-dusted bun to use with the quarter-pound burger and cheese, but this time the burger itself had a full hard-shell taco resting on top of it. Between the burger and bun rested lettuce, tortilla chips, taco beef, and a spicy chili sauce. Apparently, if you speak Spanish in a region, your ethnicity is ignored to the point of assuming that everyone loves tacos and nachos. Then again, I cannot, for the life of me, imagine a Cuban sandwich being converted into a burger.

Now, believe it or not, but someone had tried to make their own Idaho Burger before. Sounded cool. As much as I would love to experience chowing down on the Miami Burger, I decided to do my best by mimicking the abnormality. Naturally, some things (the cheese-dusted bun) were unobtainable, but let's see what we can do with a Taco Bell hard-shell taco.

Step 1. Obtain a quarter-pounder with cheese from your local McD's. Easier done than said.

Step 2. Purchase the Taco Bell hard-shell taco. Easier imagined than done. Seriously, the thing was practically a used sponge before I got home. Even worse, I forgot the fire sauce from the restaurant. Looks like I had to be creative.

Step 3. Goodbye, pickles, mustard, and onions. Come to think of it, there isn't much in terms of pickles, onions, and mustard when you remove them. All this on a cheeseburger, McD's?

Step 4. Gotta leave a little of the ketchup on the burger, just so I could mix some Tiger hot chili sauce into it. Sort of my ode to Charlie Sheen this week. At this stage, WINNING.

Step 5. Lettuce from the taco goes onto the burger itself. This was probably the best part of the burger, to tell the truth, but I don't think I could taste it between the beef and less-than-35% beef.

Step 6. Cheese melted onto the burger's bun. I decided to get more creative than the cheese-dusted artisan bun allowed. Oh, well. Maybe next time I stop at an Italian restaurant and steal some parmesan.

Step 7. Here come the tortilla "chips". Actually, all I did was crumble up the taco shell. Not a great idea, as they were not only soggy, but totally devoid of any crunch. Should have gone with the store-bought tortilla chips, but that would have likely killed me from the sodium.

Step 8. The taco "meat" was reheated and placed atop the burger itself. Not a pretty sight at all. If you're going to use taco meat, MAKE IT YOURSELF.

Step 9. The bun goes on top of our Frankenstein monster of a sandwich. Right now, I'm pretty sure it was telling me it was afraid of fire.

Step 10. And here is our finished product. Looks pretty much like anything I'd make at home. I'm certain that Japan could do a much better job at putting a taco on a burger than I did. At this point, I'm pretty sure I was LOSING.


The "homemade" Miami Burger is, indefensibly, the worst idea I could come up with. Seriously bad idea, seriously greasy constitution, and seriously upsetting after-effects in the stomach. It felt like I had swallowed two rocks, one of which was chipped away from the picturesque mesas in Arizona themselves.

If you want to try this in Japan yourself, you're too late. The last "Big America 2" burger is going to be the Manhattan Burger, complete with pastrami, mozzarella cheese, and something they label as "sour-cream sauce". If you think I'm going to eat that thing, you got another thing coming. No way does that thing look geschmak at all.


  1. This is brilliant! We salute you! :D

  2. Man...may not have been good, but the pictures are making me hungry. My kingdom for a Taco Bell.

  3. @superhappyawesome, brilliance comes with a price. Pretty sure I can't even look at a burger and/or a taco without regretting it. Gt someone else to do the Manhattan.

    @Blue Shoe, I would save your kingdom for a Dairy Queen.