I’ve never had a Shamrock Shake. For years, I’ve heard how good they are and have been chastised by both friends and strangers — strangers who felt compelled to speak out in the shake’s defense when I declined to add one to my order — for missing out on one of life’s greatest, greenest pleasures. But that all changed yesterday.
With the announcement that Burger King had launched their own riff on the famed minty concoction, it was decided that I would launch an investigation into whether BK’s Mint Oreo Shake (formerly the Oreo Irish Mint Shake) was truly the Shamrock Shake killer we’ve been waiting for. A daunting task, but one I felt sure I could handle. After all, I’ve eaten 12 pounds of candy, made the chocolate pasta from Elf, and drank a full gallon of Egg Nog since I’ve been at UPROXX, so what could a few harmless seasonal shakes do to me? Nothing, that’s what.
So I called a Lyft (because don’t use Uber!), locked in my coordinates (a foolish task as you will soon learn), and embraced the green minty future.
Criteria 1: Availability
McDonald’s: It turns out that all those memes about McDonald’s shake machines constantly being out of order are true, because I had to hit two McDonald’s to get one shake. The first Golden Arches I hit enthusiastically accepted my order, but the manager returned two minutes later to inform me that the machine was broken. Then she changed her story and told me the machine was on something called “heat mode” and wouldn’t dispense shakes for at least 30 minutes, but that I was welcome to wait. No way, man, those are minutes I’d want back at the end of my life — picture me on my deathbed rasping out “if only I hadn’t waited for that shake” — so I hopped back into a Lyft (my driver was disappointed because I had promised him a strawberry milkshake) and drove outside of San Francisco’s city limits to get my hands on some cool lime-green comfort. (The machine was fully operational at the second location).
Burger King: The machines at Burger King were not broken, so I only had to wait about thirty seconds to get two Mint Oreo Shakes and the aforementioned strawberry shake that I’d promised the driver — he preferred Burger King anyway, although he told me he greatly admires McDonald’s advertising tactics. There was one moment of suspense before the shakes were dispensed because the cashier informed me that “no one orders a shake this early, man, so I don’t know what to tell you,” but it all came right in the end. (Plus, I got to watch several senior citizens bicker with the manager over how many coupons they could use to get a free coffee).
Winner: Burger King. If you’re really in the mood for a shake and want one right now, heading for BK and hoping for the best proved to be the correct choice.
Criteria 2: Presentation
McDonald’s: The Shamrock Shake in the ad and the Shamrock Shake that’s handed to you after you’ve paid and can no longer ask for a refund are almost the same color. While it’s true that the ads present a more sophisticated and refreshing vision, if aesthetics are important to you, you’ll be pleased to learn that the colors match in a nearly identical fashion and the cherry on top is very, very real. There’s also a lot of whipped cream, which is always a plus.