The McDonald’s McDLT gets mentioned on it’s fair share of fondly remembered foods list, and for good reason. Of all the great, and horrible, things to ever grace the menu of McDonalds, the McDLT was one of the best items they created.
It was a burger in similar size as Burger King’s Whopper sandwich, and featured mostly the same ingredients. A quarter pound beef patty, lettuce, tomato, mayo, cheese, pickles, and ketchup on a toasted sesame seed bun. The beauty of the McDLT though was it’s packaging. It came in one of McDonald’s signature styrofoam containers. But this one was slightly different. It featured two separate compartments instead of one.
On one side, the bottom bun and burger patty rested, while on the other was the rest of the toppings and the top bun. This allowed the hot parts to remain separate from the cold parts until you were ready to put it together and eat. And that was the brilliance of it all. A fresh tasting McDLT when the hot patty met the cold toppings. What I could never figure out though, was why the slice of cheese was included on the cold side. To me it would have made much more sense to put it on top of the patty on the hot side so it could get all melty. But apparently, I’m not a genius like the burger builders at McDonald’s.
It was released in the early 80’s to much fanfare, but was eventually pulled in 1990 due to pressure from environmental groups protesting their use of the styrofoam containers. Once the divided container was gone, so was the magic of this burger. It was later re-released as the Big ‘n’ Tasty burger, but without the separated ingredients, the burger fell flat.
More McDonald’s | A Visual Guide to McDonald’s Styrofoam Containers
As a kid, I was getting a little old for Happy Meals, and found the McDLT to be a perfectly acceptable replacement for it. I’m guessing it was basically the novelty of it that turned me on to it, but it was a great burger in it’s own right so that kept me coming back for more.
As a side note, McDonald’s lost a little luster to me with the fall of those original containers. Each container was a different color to represent what was held inside, and even the McNuggets had a little compartment built in to hold the sauce cup. I understand the environmental impact and agree with the decision to stop using them, but dang, they looked cool, and figure prominently in my memories of McDonald’s and childhood in general. As a matter of fact, we did a whole post just on those old McDonald’s containers, and you can check that out here.
Now I know a lot of you reading this remember the McDLT, so we wanna hear from you. What did you think of the concept? Let us know in the comments. And if long gone McDonalds food items is your thing, check out our post on the fabulous McDonald’s McPasta from the early 90’s.