You guessed it, McDonald’s! The first thing we see when we arrive in Kutaisi are the Golden Arches. And the marshrut’ka stop is right in front of it. Needless to say, we went in.
It’s a surreal thing eating in a restaurant so familiar as McDonalds here. It kind of feels like a hoax. Like any second someone is going to jump from behind the counter or rip the burger from your hands and say, “Just kidding, sucker! Did you really thing an American fast food restaurant would be here… in Georgia!?!” So, I took it slow. Went to the restroom first. Then looked at the menu behind the counter for what had to seem like forever to the waiting register worker (who by the way had on the iconic McDonald’s uniform.) The menu wasn’t in English, but they had pictures of Big Macs and Fries and… could it be… Chicken Nuggets! The store was run like a flagship restaurant in the States. The managers were smartly and impeccably dressed. They were running here and there ‘managing’ the iconic store. So I apprehensively walked up to the counter still not knowing what to order (as I would have in America). And I realized the problem encountered on a daily basis with me here in Georgia. I know what I want, but how to I translate to them what I want? I think the attendant knew what I was thinking. She whipped out an English menu. YES!
I kept it simple: a double cheeseburger, medium fries and a Coke. My friend got a Big&Tasty burger. It was so much bigger than a States Big&Tasty. The food tasted just as it would in the States. Actually, the fries were a bit better. I think it has to do with the oil they cook it in.
Now I rarely ate McDonald’s in America, that usually being on road trips. I one of those people who kinda turn their noses up at Mcdonald’s. But I’ll be damned if I pass on McDonald’s because it’s simply ‘not Georgian’ or ‘not authentic’. I’m going to be here for a long time. I have PLENTY of time for authentic. It was nice and comfortable and familiar. And when Wendy’s comes, I’ll be all over that, too!
Oh, they had a room for kids’ birthday parties! Remember those?