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Old 06-24-2016, 06:21 AM   #41
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Good to know. Do they typically have waitstaff or is it more commonly counter service?
Waitstaff.

One of the really cool things about Europe is you never need to worry about finding someplace to eat or drink. Restaurants, cafes, and bars are everywhere, including inside museums. They are for a relaxed stop - no rush. People sit back and chat or people watch or read their paper or personal electronics. To go is really easy too - bakeries, on just about every block, inside train stations no, etc., have a selection of freshly made sandwiches you can grab for the train or for a picnic.
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:41 AM   #42
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DH and I don't spend a lot in restaurants when we travel- food is basically fuel to keep us going and we frequently pick up prepared foods at the local grocery store and relax in the room at the end of the day. We spent a week in Reykjavik and had restaurant meals twice (beyond breakfast at our hotel). Both were in museums.

As for McDonald's: I head for them outside of the US for the same reasons others do: to see what's different (I've had Chicken McTikka in India!), to use the restroom after a purchase, to get early-morning coffee when nothing else is open, and for the Wi-Fi. I love my Ting plan on my phone, which is usually $18/month because my data usage is minimal, but it does mean I'll have to buy a SIM card when we go to Reykjavik in August. Free Wi-Fi helps keep the cost down.

While it has its advantages, I do hate to see our bad eating habits exported. Last year in Reykjavik we were in the city on a national holiday and there was a line outside Dunkin' Donuts. We avoided that and later went to a local bakery for some really good pastries.
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Old 06-24-2016, 08:56 AM   #43
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It is just on the right hand side when you leave the cathedral of Cologne.
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:29 PM   #44
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I like that at McD's (or really anywhere without wait staff) you can sit for an hour or two and never be bothered or rushed to free up the table.
That is SOP in most European restaurants and cafés.

In fact, in one is in a rush, it is good to ask for the bill well ahead of time or risk being late.
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:43 PM   #45
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I do hate to see our bad eating habits exported. Last year in Reykjavik we were in the city on a national holiday and there was a line outside Dunkin' Donuts. We avoided that and later went to a local bakery for some really good pastries.
I agree that european pastries are quite delicious, but saying donuts are bad "eating habits" and euro pastries are good, well, I beg to differ.

Same ingredients: flour, sugar, fat, and a touch of flavoring. Neither is more nutritious than the other. Both are treats, not to be everyday foods.
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Old 06-24-2016, 02:35 PM   #46
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I agree that european pastries are quite delicious, but saying donuts are bad "eating habits" and euro pastries are good, well, I beg to differ.

Same ingredients: flour, sugar, fat, and a touch of flavoring. Neither is more nutritious than the other. Both are treats, not to be everyday foods.
Oh no - the European treats have real butter in them!!!
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Old 06-24-2016, 03:01 PM   #47
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I have found there is a real difference between American scones and most European scones. The European ones are far less sweet and seem chewier. The same with pastries, less sweetness, more flavor from the dough and whatever else is added (cheese, fruit, etc.).

That said, I don't think donuts are 'bad', but they certainly are different. To each his/her own.
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Old 06-24-2016, 03:11 PM   #48
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I agree that european pastries are quite delicious, but saying donuts are bad "eating habits" and euro pastries are good, well, I beg to differ.

Same ingredients: flour, sugar, fat, and a touch of flavoring. Neither is more nutritious than the other. Both are treats, not to be everyday foods.
Neither is good for you, but the ones from a bakery generally have fewer artificial ingredients and, as Audrey pointed out, real butter. And don't get me started on the fake croissants they try to sell in the US. I also think that when these indulgences are cheap because of cheaper ingredients and processing, more people eat them more often. It sure hasn't worked out well for the American population.
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Old 06-24-2016, 04:12 PM   #49
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i really don't care where other people eat.
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Old 06-24-2016, 04:26 PM   #50
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Having lived in Germany for a year now, food and drinks are generally cheaper than in the US (at least compared to DC area), and typically you get better quality. Service can be quite slow sometimes in Germany, although it is markedly better in the Netherlands, Italy, and most of the rest of Europe. But the beef here...just not quite right. When we have Europeans over for dinner, I make a steak (from the US commissary), and tell our guests to pick out the wine. Best of both worlds!

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Old 06-24-2016, 05:03 PM   #51
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Oh no - the European treats have real butter in them!!!

And less sugar. Most of what you find in the US is too sweet.
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:34 PM   #52
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We have been in many McDonalds.

The most beautiful one so far for us one in Porto, Portugal. Historic building, fabulous stained glass.

Never eat the food. Strictly for the restroom, coffee, OJ, water, or beer depending on where we are.
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:39 PM   #53
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We have been in many McDonalds.

The most beautiful one so far for us one in Porto, Portugal. Historic building, fabulous stained glass.

Never eat the food. Strictly for the restroom, coffee, OJ, water, or beer depending on where we are.
Hopefully, no beer in Porto. Taylor Fladgate 10 yr Tawny Port, please!
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Old 06-24-2016, 08:03 PM   #54
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We do the Apple Store tourism overseas rather than visiting foreign McDonalds.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:30 AM   #55
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Not being the world traveler that some here are, I don't have experience with McDonalds anywhere but Japan, and, of course, the good ol' USA.

Granted, most fast food places are pretty generic, and I rarely visit one except while on the road. Hotel-provided breakfast buffet, then lunch at some fast food joint, and I've spent less than $10, and can then justify a nicer dinner.

Somewhat related amusing anecdote: a Facebook friend, really a casual acquaintance from my university days, lives in Italy, and was recently discussing eating at McDonalds in Rome. She commented how much she missed Whataburger (a Texas thang, I guess). I'll begrudgingly admit that Whataburger is slightly better than McDonalds, but only slightly.

Nearly every casual dining place, like TGIF or Chili's, plus most pubs/bars, have real burgers. Fast food "burgers" are for cheap, quick, "fill the pie hole" meals. To describe Whataburger as "better" than McDonalds is like saying one old muddy boot tastes better than the next...
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:27 AM   #56
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Whataburger is definitely a Texas thang, LOL!

I don't eat there either. Mom loved their jalapeño cheeseburger.
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:39 AM   #57
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She commented how much she missed Whataburger (a Texas thang, I guess). I'll begrudgingly admit that Whataburger is slightly better than McDonalds, but only slightly.
Only slightly? Get a rope...
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:47 AM   #58
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Whataburger is definitely a Texas thang, LOL!

I don't eat there either. Mom loved their jalapeño cheeseburger.

Even a muddy old boot tastes better with jalapeños, the state fruit of Texas!
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Old 06-25-2016, 01:00 PM   #59
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Actually hamburgers have proliferated throughout Europe now, with pubs and cafes offering them because they're popular to tourists from all over.

But they're often $10 or $15 and they're not that good.
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McDonalds next to the Duomo in Florence?
Old 06-25-2016, 03:46 PM   #60
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McDonalds next to the Duomo in Florence?

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Actually hamburgers have proliferated throughout Europe now, with pubs and cafes offering them because they're popular to tourists from all over.

But they're often $10 or $15 and they're not that good.

Yeah, DH ordered steak tartare in Paris and they didn't even cook it! ;-)
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