Review No. 46: Bonus! Check In at McDonald’s-Dave Ward
1400 Dave Ward Drive
26.3 percent finished reviewing Conway restaurants
Note: We post bonus reviews as we check in to various chain restaurants around Conway for which we have already done an initial review. We reviewed McDonald’s on Oak Street in May, and we’ll check in to the other Conway McDonald’s restaurants as we proceed in our quest to dine at every restaurant in our fair city.
She Said: For our check-in with McDonald’s, we were excited to have breakfast, because we officially love Mickey D’s morning repasts very, very much. Sometimes I’ll let myself eat it on road trips, but we never have it in daily life. I selected the Dave Ward restaurant because it’s a likely source of fast-food sustenance for all the commuters who travel by here each morning. He Said was still not feeling great, soI got in the car with This American Life on the Podcaster Machine and cruised down to Dave Ward.
Here’s a pro-tip for access and egress from this drive-through: You can get to and from the Golden Arches from South German Lane via the Mr. Brake and Lube. The advantage here is that you have a light to help navigate the speeding traffic on Dave Ward. Yes, I am a cautious driver (never had a ticket or an accident). You’re welcome. At 7:30 a.m. there are a lot of people going through for food from these specific drive-through windows, so they operate both lanes. Remember: ZIPPER people! ZIPPER is the rule: Your cars should fit together like a zipper, going into the main line by taking turns from each lane. It’s not hard. Just watch what’s going on and you’ll pick it up. But even if you jack up the line like the very-busy-and-important pick-up driver ahead of me, these professionals will keep everything ticking along like a fine watch.
My order of one meal deal and several single items was a little random, so I expected it may have something left out or wrong, but we got everything exactly as I had stipulated. They had the A Team out on point that morning.
Some notes on the food, eaten on plates at my dining room table:
- I chose my go-to McD’s breakfast, the Egg McMuffin, hash browns and coffee with cream. It was all I had hoped it would be, the strange, is-this-what-astronauts-eat texture of the egg, the unusual feeling I have of eating ham, the English muffin (a personal favorite in the bread-flavored-food-products category). This breakfast sandwich is actually not outlandishly caloric, clocking in at 300 calories and only 12 grams of fat. It does have 30 grams of carbs, which is my personal downfall.
- I couldn’t wait to eat until I got home, so I ate half my hash browns (hashbrown? It does seem like one unit) in the car. It’s the smell of that fried-potato goodness that made me hungriest of all. This side has 150 calories, with 16 grams of carbs. So, the numbers are starting to add up to the outcome of not eating much the rest of the day.
- The coffee from McDonald’s is always really tasty to me, and they add just enough cream to soften the bitter edge of black coffee but still allow the strong flavor to come through. This is one thing I’ll let myself get from this chain on a “normal” day. My dog Lavinia also likes McDonald’s coffee and made off with the last third of my cup.
- In order to try some of the “healthier” choices, I also ordered the yogurt and fruit parfait for He Said and me to try together. My daily breakfast at home is vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt with almonds, pecans, blueberries and blackberries mixed in, so this seemed like the closest thing to my usual routine. This has 150 calories, so it’s pretty light, but it has 30 grams of carbs, which is higher than what I eat at home. With 22 grams of sugar, I had a sugar headache before I got up from the table, and I only ate half of it. The granola comes in a separate package to keep it crispy and the fruit is semi-frozen. In the sweet yogurt, it tastes a lot like a sundae. It was good, but too sweet for me, especially if it were the only thing I were eating first thing in the morning.
He Said: Well Jones has hit on pretty much everything to say here. Let me emphasize a few things and expand on them. If you are at all concerned with eating healthy, you really ought to take a look at nutrition information about fast food places you plan to go.
Most of them are pretty good about posting such information online. It is true that the Egg McMufffin is not a bad choice as a breakfast sandwich. Its 12 grams of fat are pretty low in the scheme of things. Some of McDonald’s other breakfast sandwiches contain somewhat higher amounts: The Sausage McMuffin has 25 grams and 400 calories, and with egg it is 30 grams of fat and 470 calories, and the sausage biscuit with egg is 34 fat grams and 530 calories. If you want to go with the hotcakes and sausage, you’re getting 35 grams of fat and—wait for it—790 calories.
The good news on this front is that the hash browns contain only 9 grams of fat. Obviously the frying isn’t all that healthy, but you can go with hash browns with some confidence that you won’t be sent into a pancreatic episode, especially if you have it with the oatmeal (only 4 grams of fat) or the yogurt (2 grams). Of course, there is that sugar issue with the yogurt. The yogurt and the oatmeal are fruity and comparatively healthy choices for breakfast. But they aren’t going to make up for that Sausage McMuffin you might have been craving. You just have to decide what’s more important. If you decide it’s your health, you might cheat a little with the hash browns and not feel too guilty.
What We Got and What We Paid: Egg McMuffin meal with hash browns and coffee, yogurt and fruit parfait, oatmeal, hash browns and orange juice for $12.37.
She Said: Go to McDonald’s for their go-to breakfast strengths, hash browns and sandwiches. And don’t forget the coffee!
He Said: Stay healthy. But you don’t have to resist the hash browns.