john_locanthi_hauteIt's finally happened. After years of complaints and bad movies bitching about McDonald's shutting breakfast down at 10:30 am, the venerable chain is making the breakfast menu available all day, every day. So get some damn hot cakes to go with your McFlurry and have a hashbrown with them McNuggets. You've earned it, America.

Breakfast at McDonald's is one of the few unimpeachable institutions of fast food. This may be due in part to breakfast being the meal where expectations are at their lowest, but that might be underselling it. While McDonald's officially began selling breakfast all-day but the nearest location to my Fortress of Solitude has been serving it for about a week already. Roughly half of all patrons were ordering breakfast when I arrived.

The all day breakfast menu is truncated. Alas, you'll still have to show up before 10:30 am for a McGriddle, but the classics are all here:

  • Egg McMuffin ($3)
  • Sausage McMuffin with Egg ($3)
  • Sausage McMuffin (cheaper than the ones with egg)
  • Hashbrown ($1.15)
  • 3 Hot Cakes ($3.30)
  • Breakfast Burrito ($1)
  • some oatmeal, fruit, yogurt and shit (who cares)

A few things might stand out to you at first, like the Sausage McMuffin with Egg costing the same as the McMuffin without egg and salted, deep-fried potatoes costing the same as a burrito with sausage, eggs and cheese. (It does make one wonder exactly how McDonald's is paying for the sausage.) But beyond confusion over the pricing, there really isn't much to say.

Eggs, sausage and hashbrowns form a gustatorial triad. Between the three you have everything a person craves after sliding out of bed in a hungover stupor: saltiness, sweetness, savory and whatever it is that eggs contribute flavorwise. Many home-cooked meals replace the sausage with bacon, but both pig-based options have their merits. Since bacon is now on everything, I am happy to be able to consume breakfast sausage in the afternoon and evenings. The house salsa, which comes in ketchup-esque packets, is a decent edition for those who like a little zing in their fast food breakfast food.

Sausage McMuffin w/ EggI could write a review, but we've all had these things before. The soft, golden hot cakes which serve as little more than a sponge for syrup and butter. The hearty melange of eggs, sausage, English muffin and fake cheese that is the McMuffin. The greasy goodness of the oval-shaped hashbrowns. To many of us, McDonald's breakfast is something that predates our fast food cynicism or interest in farm-to-table, eco conscious artisanal foodstuffs. (McDonald's now serves cage-free eggs in an attempt to appeal to the latter.) We had our first Egg McMuffin long before the Waffle Taco or Cinnamon Swirl French Toast breakfast sandwich.

McDonald's, which has been struggling for most of this column's existence is banking on the leftover goodwill the American people have for its breakfast. It's probably also trying to get it on the brunch fad. Making the breakfast menu available all-day isn't revolutionary thinking. In my limited experience, having to manage two different meals led to one of the longest waits I've ever experienced at a McDonald's. But you know what? Being able to have a hash brown or two instead of fries with your burger is a wonderful thing.