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All posts tagged #McDonalds

McDonald’s Is Set To Reopen In Bolivia After A 13-Year Absence (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[FoodMatters]

[FoodMatters]

Though it might seem next to impossible that an entire country could be without a single McDonald’s, that’s the way it’s been for the last 13 years in Bolivia. Driven out by low sales and low interest, it seemed like Bolivia would remain free of the giant fast food company for the foreseeable future. However, Página Siete reports that after a new round of investment, Big Macs and chicken nuggets are set to make their return next month. 

[image: Como Sur]

The Friday Fix: Battling For Chain Coffee Supremacy In Santiago

By Patrick Hieger

[image: Como Sur]

[image: Como Sur]

Just a few short years ago, going out for coffee in Santiago left with you few options.  There were cafés scattered across the city serving mediocre espresso and espresso-based drinks, as well as the ever-ubiquitous ‘café con piernas’ shops that are more known for their servers than their quality.  However, just as gourmet tastes have begun to spawn a whole new crop of restaurants that are gaining both national and international attention, while at the same time changing Santiaguinos’ tastes towards a more refined palate, the coffee scene in Santiago has adapted as well.  Shops like Colmado, Coffee Culture, Fix, and more have taken coffee to a whole new level, still serving typical espresso drinks while bringing in a whole new slew of equipment from Japanese infusers to ChemEx glasses and more.  Simply going out for a coffee in Santiago now has many more implications than it ever has.

However, leading the pack of coffee shops that have increased Santiago’s appetite for the exclusive, the exotic, and the high-end, is a trio of chains all vying for supremacy in this ever-expanding market.  Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and McDonald’s are the three leading chain coffee shops serving up elevated brew and a whole new outlook on getting the day started.  With a combined total of nearly 10o outlets across the city, their dominance is unmatched.

Starbucks leads the pack with a whopping 50 stores scattered across Santiago, and more than a few outside of the city in upscale markets like Viña del Mar.  Knowing that breakfast pastries and coffee are a staple for Santiaguinos on their way to work, Starbucks has positioned themselves in key locations around the city, and they’ve even adapted their culinary offerings to match.  A cortado and an ave con palta?  No problem.  For Apple-toting hipsters to gentlemen in their hats out for a retirement coffee, Starbucks has become the new resting place for a culture that’s more interested in good coffee than ever.

In second place it’s Dunkin’ Donuts, with at least 30 stores scattered across Santiago.  Playing to a slightly less sophisticated, or simply less picky crowd, Dunkin’ Donuts locations are most often found in food courts, in malls, and on significantly less conspicuous corners.  With an array of donuts not too different from their brethren in the United States, Dunkin’ Donuts has become an all-day stop for Chileans looking to fill their sweet tooth.  The coffee’s nowhere near as good as Starbucks, nor is the variety.  Then again, anyone scouting for bear claws or cream-filled long johns might not be overly concerned about the quality of their espresso.

Rounding out the trio of chains with less stores and, based strictly on walk-bys, is McDonald’s attempt at gourmet coffee, McCafé, with only 15 or so stores in Santiago.  Like a hybrid between Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, the McCafé’s over the warm dark wood and comfy couches you’d expect at the former, with the crap selection of both coffee and pastries you’d expect from the latter.  Serving, by far, the worst coffee of the three, McCafé keeps its stores full with very little effort–the golden arches and a little whipped cream do all the work.  As with any chain, brand loyalty goes a long way.  If you’re opting for a cheeseburger, chances are their coffee will look pretty good, too.

Like most anywhere, Santiago can expect the proliferation of these shops to continue as more one-off gourmet spots like those mentioned above continue to open.  The real gourmands will always opt for the best, while the toe-dippers, or those not quite ready to commit to a syphon-filtered cup of joe, will opt for the easy out.  At least it’s better than my local corner shop, right?  Maybe.