Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


It's the burger everyone's been talking about.

After all, the mere idea of fresh beef in a McDonald's burger -- albeit only a Quarter Pounder for now -- is enough to make fast-food aficionados sing arias of anticipation.

Or, according to the burger chain, make them ascend into a stunned silence, once they've tried it.

So, not 24 hours after getting off a transatlantic flight -- and the experience of another allegedly fresh McDonald's burger of a totally different kind -- I made the pilgrimage to my local McDonald's emporium.

It's a somewhat dowdy place, full of slightly miserable employees who look as if they wish they worked at Starbucks.

Still, the signs for the fresh beef Quarter Pounder abounded, so I cheerily ordered one.

No, I didn't hear squeals of joy from the man who took my order. 

I also didn't hear cowbell sounds from the kitchen.

Some employees have been complaining that this sound -- created to tell them an order for a fresh burger is in -- annoys them to pained levels.

The burger, though, came within 60 seconds of my ordering.

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This, I confess, made me suspicious. 

The promise is that the burger won't be fired up until you order it. Could it be that it takes less than a minute to cook a fresh burger?

Or might this one have been, well, warmed up a little earlier?

In the early versions of this burger, customers were complaining how long it took for it to arrive. What was going on now, then?

I cast these dark thoughts aside and rejoiced that I'd accompanied this new creation with some fries and a Fanta orange. 

The total was $8.49, which didn't seem entirely cheap.

How, though, was the freshness? Well, the patty definitely didn't have the slightly gray look that I associate with many McDonald's burgers.

The first bite suggested that it did, indeed, (look and) taste a little juicier and fresher. Even though it wasn't entirely as hot as something that was supposedly cooked just after I ordered it should have been.

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It did still have a very distinctive McDonald's taste, all pickle and ketchup with a tinge of meat. 

Personally, I'm not loving it. But I respect the millions that may do.

There's an In-N-Out within yards of this McDonald's. Would I suddenly switch from that fresh offering to this Quarter Pounder? I'm afraid I wouldn't.

Will it be the springboard from which the burger chain will rise above, well, the constant mockery of Wendy's? 

I suppose the next quarter(-pounder) results call might give us an answer.