Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Al Bernardin, RIP

Al Bernardin, inventor of the McDonald's Quarter Pounder, recently died of a stroke. He was 81.

When it comes to McDonald's, I've always been a Big Mac man. However, I appreciate Bernardin's culinary creation and the lasting impact it's had on fast-food dining.

Al Bernardin's impact on McDonald's didn't stop with the Quarter Pounder though. Oh, no. He also was instrumental in developing McDonald's patented french fries, which might be the best-tasting item, overall, on the McDonald's menu.

More from the Chicago Tribune:

Mr. Bernardin's claim to fame came in 1971, when, as a franchise owner in Fremont, he introduced the Quarter Pounder, with the prophetic slogan, "Today Fremont, tomorrow the world."

"I felt there was a void in our menu vis-a-vis the adult who wanted a higher ratio of meat to bun," he said in 1991.

Mark Bernardin said his father's other important contribution to fast-food fare is the frozen french fry.

Mr. Bernardin moved to Fremont in 1970 after buying two company-owned franchises. At his height, he owned nine franchises and became a philanthropist.


Chris said...

I don't eat at McDonald's much, but the Quarter Pounder is my burger of choice there. Meat and cheese -- a decent basic burger.

The Big Mac tries to do too much -- it's like an expensive movie with a lot of special effects but has a storyline that goes nowhere (with apologies to Seinfeld fans).

Mister Jimmy said...

If you think McFries are good today you should have had them back in the day. My first job was at a McD's and the fries were real potatoes that we prepped each day. The taters would come in big 50 pound burlap bags. We had a machine, kinda like a washing machine, that had a serrated surface. You'd put the spuds in there and get most of the peel off. Then they got washed again. Then we hand cut 'em using a manually operated slicer. Stand the tater up in it and pull down on the lever. Then they got blanced in water for a few mins to shorted cooking time. And only when they were needed - and during rush hours - were they dropped in the hot oil. Those were some real french fried taters my friends. And the tartar sauce for the fish sandwich we made in store as well. To quote my friend, Joe T., "So there!"