Inspired by the Cambridge Globalist’s recent foray into restaurant criticism, The Porter’s Log asked Trinity student Marcus Atherton for his reflections on the city’s gastronomic scene.
McDonald’s in Cambridge is the most overpriced and obnoxious restaurant I have ever been to – and I have been to many restaurants. I am a student (at Trinity) and have been there four times, each more awful than the last.
I first visited McDonald’s on its opening night, back when I was involved in the Cambridge Union (let me take this opportunity to deny once again the allegations which led to my suspension and the end of my romantic relationship). The décor is rather banal, with conventional furnishings like walls, tables and chairs. Nevertheless, I stayed for food, and also for drink.
The menu offered few heavy options besides burgers, though I think they’ve now added ossobuco. There were some breakfast options which were unavailable for dinner. I ordered a ‘Big Mac’, which turned out to be some sort of meat salad chimera, rather than the lobster macaroni which you can order at the Ivy. Because I was in a rush, rather than send it back, I ate some of it, paid, and left.
The second time I went to McDonald’s, a friend of a friend had booked it for lunch. It was too late for me to object. Unlike the Ivy, the waiters made no effort to check up on us. They were also rather rude. When I ordered a bottle of Chutes d’Echo, we were brought a ‘Double Sausage and Egg McMuffin’; when I complained, I was informed that the restaurant did not even have a wine cellar.
The third time I went to McDonald’s, a friend of a friend of a friend had booked it for lunch. Despite twenty minutes of pleading, the idiot insisted on seeing it through (nowadays, he also begs people not to go to McDonald’s). I was surprised to see that whereas my girlfriend’s flat white was half-full, mine was half-empty. We both had one sip and sent them back. Although my girlfriend said she was proud of me, I could tell from her expression that the experience had left her unsatisfied. I am still amazed that I didn’t have the nerve to refuse to pay.
The fourth time I went to McDonald’s, a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend had booked it for lunch. This individual, who had previously been my girlfriend, had acceded to my desire for ‘closure’ after I accosted her during my Tripos examinations (in which I got a first with distinction). Unbeknownst to me, she had booked McDonald’s. Imagine my shock when the maître d’hôtel informed me that, since I was a carrying a bottle of Vallée Sauvage, I was not allowed onto the premises.
This would never happen at the Ivy, or any of the several hundred restaurants I have been to. I would rather shoot everyone I love than revisit McDonald’s. DO NOT GO.