Oatmeal Throw Down: Burger King vs. McDonald's

Full BK McD Oatmeal.jpg
Erica O'Neil
BK v McD. Two will enter. One will leave.
As much as we love the hand-crafted croissants from Essence or the crepes and coffee from Jobot, these one-of-a-kind breakfast joints tend to be few and far between. Sometimes we have to slum it at the mega chains.
 
Unfortunately, those deep-fried dens generally do better at scrambling rubbery eggs and rock hard biscuits that look more plastic than palatable. Thankfully, these joints have started serving up oatmeal,a lighter alternative to those big-ass (in more ways than one) breakfasts. McDonald's has been around for a while; Burger King's just hit town.
 
See who sows the not-so-wild oats better after the jump.
McD Oatmeal.jpg
Erica O'Neil
A cup of oats studded with fruity bits from McDonald's.
In One Corner: McDonald's Fruit and Maple Oatmeal, available at McD's located on just about every street corner in the Valley. Costs an even $2.50 after tax.

Pros: You get about double the amount of oatmeal for the same price as BK's, so if you're hungry this is the better bet. The fruity bits include chunks of red and green apple that make this oatmeal at least look fresher, and a cranberry-raisin blend that plumped up nicely when re-hydrated. 

Cons: The oatmeal was more soupy than stick-to-your-ribs, and it was mega bland despite the fruit medley. And there wasn't a hint of maple flavor despite the claim. We're also skeptical of the ridiculous number of polysyllabic ingredients than we ever thought we'd see in oatmeal. Stearoyl lactylate? Carrageenan? These things frighten us.

BK Oatmeal.jpg
Erica O'Neil
Hearty oats with a blend of dried fruity bits from Burger King.
In the Other Corner: Burger King's Quaker Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal, also with fruity bits and available on just about any street corner in the Valley. Costs about $2.75 after tax, because fruit costs an extra 50 cents.

Pros: The dried fruit blend included cranberries and raisins, just like McD's, but also had some tasty cherry and blueberry gems. Plus it's Quaker brand oatmeal so you know what you're gettin'.

Cons: It's freakin' Quaker oatmeal. We could have bought a box of Maple & Brown Sugar oatmeal for about the same price and gotten an extra week of breakfasts out of it. It was about half the size of McD's more substantial offering so you're not gettin' all that much bang for your buck. Plus the oatmeal was tacky and paste-like in texture, with dried fruit that failed to plump like McD's counterpart.

The Verdict: Despite giving more bang for your buck, McD's oatmeal was bland as bland can be. And even though we saw the BK drive-thru gal mixing up our Quaker oatmeal pack with hot water--just like we could at home--the taste was miles ahead of McD's. We would recommend making your own instant oatmeal packs for a fraction of the price, but if you're pinched for time and on-the-go, visit the creepy BK King for a hearty cup-o-oats.
Empty BK McD Oatmeal.jpg
Erica O'Neil
Quaker oats and dried blueberries win over watered down gruel with soggy apple bits.
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3 comments
Joel LaTondress
Joel LaTondress

Stearoyl lactylate and carrageenan scare you? The former is an emulsifier, the latter is a gelling agent derived from seaweed.  I'm not too sure what else is in there, and I certainly won't be ordering them to find out, but a little research will show that these ingredients aren't harmful, for what it's worth.  Talk to some vegans and find out if carrageenan scares them...

Cinderellaschair
Cinderellaschair

Does bland mean less sugar to you? Plain oats are yummy w/fruit and no additional sugar added. My kids luv the Quaker Oats packets with LOTS O'sugar w/o fruit added though. Go figure.

geep bopeep
geep bopeep

my daily need for real oats already well-documented, i'm happy to have read this "just in case".

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