A fellow member of our tennis club and a frequent partner of my husband, owned all the McDonald’s restaurants in town, and when we first met, while the men were comparing old “school ties”, he said he had gone to “McDonald U.”
My puzzled sports-minded husband said he had never heard of it, and did they have a football team. Our friend laughed and said “No, dummy, that’s for McDonald’s hamburger restaurants!”
Later when he told us that he was the creator of the Quarter-Pounder hamburger, we laughed in disbelief. figuring that since it was such a well-known icon of the restaurant chain it had been there from the beginning. Our small-town provincial minds had trouble believing that someone we actually knew was responsible for this, and it was too much to accept.
However, hanging in the restaurant was a large framed picture of him holding one of these “culinary delights”, with an appropriate credit printed at the bottom, and later we watched a television special about the restaurant chain, and there—right on the screen in front of us, was proof that Al Bernardin was indeed the inventor of the famous “Quarter-Pounder hamburger”. They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
Now, I don’t know if you have ever sunk a tooth into one of these hamburgers, and I am not one to ever praise or discredit another’s product, and it is better to let you decide for yourself anyway.
My experience with hamburgers started when I was a small child, who went with my grandmother to visit the “Pike” in Long Beach, California. The “Pike” was an entertainment boardwalk in the 1930’s, though I never understood why it was called a “Boardwalk”, since the walkways were cement sidewalks.
The shop we went to was named “Wimpy’s”, which was a salute to a character in the Popeye comic strip. The hamburger was called a “Wimpy burger” obviously. The word “wimp” had not yet attained the definition it received later as a derogative term among the young people for a weak, ineffectual person.
In my recollection, the hamburger cost a nickel, but it could have been a dime. A fair price in those days for a meat patty between two bun halves. I’m sure the ice cream cone which always went with it did cost a nickel!
Dr. Advice and I do love a good hamburger, though today we have been known to frequently spend $8.95 for one. But today’s burger comes with fries, and sports a leaf or two of lettuce, a slice of tomato, a pickle slice, and cheese. Mayonnaise of course, and catsup on the side. The sloppier the better, and a glass of cold beer to wash it all down.