It’s a well-documented fact that President Donald Trump loves fast food.
And as attested to in a new book written by two of his former campaign aides, his go-to from McDonald’s is quite the tall order.
The president’s typical order at the Golden Arches is two Big Macs, two Filet-o-Fish sandwiches, and a large chocolate shake — malted, according to the book. That’s a lot of calories for one meal — 2,430 in all.
I’m a big fan of McDonald’s myself — my shameless love of the Big Mac is public knowledge. It’s my go-to order at McDonald’s, no less. Of course, I only order one, but who’s counting? I’m assuming running a global business enterprise takes a lot of energy, never mind leading the free world.
So, I decided to try Trump’s beefy and brash lunch choice to truly immerse myself in the down-to-earth culinary tastes of one of the most powerful men in the world.
Trump is a man of controversial tastes. From well-done steaks to gaudy gold Louis XIV chairs, his choices in food and aesthetics are polarizing. But, his favorite fast food is much more approachable.
Two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fishes, and a large chocolate shake — this is no casual snack. This is a powerful and intimidating meal.
This spread would have cost nearly $30 at a New York City McDonald’s. Luckily, the current McPick 2 deal covered both the two Big Macs and the two Filet-O-Fishes, making all four sandwiches cost only $10. Now that’s the art of the deal.
Trump is a steak man, so I decided to start with a Big Mac. Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun — what’s more American than that?
It’s a big sandwich, there’s no doubt about that. But a combination of naive confidence and love of the burger propelled me forward, and it wasn’t long before the first Big Mac was gone.
To get a bit of a surf-and-turf vibe, I go for a Filet-O-Fish next. The Filet-O-Fish is admittedly not on my radar when ordering at McDonald’s. The chain may claim to use wild Alaskan pollock, but all the same, I do not deign to call it proper seafood.
The first bite is fine — no more, no less. The tartar sauce is fun, but the lack of crisp in the fillet is unsettling. Also, it’s a surprisingly messy sandwich, with the tartar sauce often jumping ship.
Used napkin count: 1
In about 12 minutes, I’m halfway through. I could really use some water, but I’m sticking with the shake on principle.
Since the shake’s the only beverage allowed in this experience, I’m using it to wash down the last few bites of the first Filet-O-Fish. The flavor combination is disturbing at best. I’m beginning to feel the weight of the food in my stomach, and I haven’t even begun the second Big Mac yet.
Onto the second Big Mac. Once into it, you realize how much bread is really in a Big Mac. Three pieces of bread is a lot of bread. Does bread expand in the stomach? I swear I heard that once.
I could really, really use some water. I crave it. But drinking the heavy, dairy-laden shake is all I can do to quench my thirst. It’s only a third of the way done, which shakes my confidence. A large shake is… well, large.
Used napkin count: 2
My left thumb begins to twitch, but this could be unrelated to my current dietary journey. I’ve noted it, regardless.
Once more into the breach. I entered a fugue state for approximately 10 minutes and forgot about the last Filet-O-Fish. It was a devastating discovery upon my re-entry to reality.
It took 25 minutes to eat the first three sandwiches, but I’ve clocked nearly 45 minutes trying to down this last one alone. It’s not nausea that plagues me, but a deep-seated feeling of inertia. I have no momentum; I’m adrift in the Sargasso Sea, with schools of little fried squares of Alaskan pollock darting in the murky, still waters, taunting me.
But my damaged sense of pride blows some wind in my sails, and I finish the mediocre fish sandwich. At last, it is over. I really, really, really need a glass of water.
Used napkin count: 3
I did it, but at what cost? I find it hard to focus on any task at hand, and I feel rather sweaty. That is a vastly unhealthy order. Such an order is monumental; such an order is bombastic folly; such an order is… well, Trumpian.
As big a fan of Big Macs as I am, I cannot recommend this meal to anyone. It’s wildly unhealthy — and on a note of personal preference, the lack of fries is unorthodox and strange.
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