Costanza Loves the McDLT

So one of my friends e-mailed me yesterday to tell me that he had just moved to St. Croix and that they are so far behind the times over there that you can actually still get a McDLT. Yes, the McDLT… possibly the best sandwich to ever come out of the Ronald McDonald School of Culinary Arts.

The McDLT hasn’t been seen in America for about 15 years, but you remember it well: The hot stays hot. The cool stays cool. One half marketing genius, one half environmentally-unfriendly styrofoam waste.

Upon hearing of the McDLT sighting, I immediately hit Google to feed my nostalgic lust. There isn’t much current McDLT news to speak of, but I did find this gem of a commercial featuring George Costanza, circa 1985, who in the words of the site’s author “seems to love the HELL out of the McDLT.”

The spot is great. Extra points for the white Miami Vice jacket with the rolled-up sleeves and the kooky mid ’80s “Fame” dancing.

48 comments on “Costanza Loves the McDLT”. Leave your own?
  1. Man, I miss that burger. I haven’t bothered much with McDonalds since they got rid of it.

    Am I the only one sitting here repeating “McD [clap] [clap] LT” over and over?

    I am?

    Oh, crap.

  2. Mike D. says:

    No, you’re not alone. I’m sitting here repeating “Lettuce and tomato on the COOL COOL side, and the COOL [clap] [clap] stays crisp!”

    And yes, I really soured on McDonald’s after they got rid of that burger too. It was almost as bad as when KFC got rid of Chicken Littles (undoubtedly the BEST fast-food item of all time).

  3. Andrew says:

    As a 15 year old I was working flipping burgers at MCD back in the day when the McDLT was around in this country. I have to tell you, it was the most disgusting thing that we served, by far, which is saying a lot (see Super Size Me, in case you want to see the gory details). As for the cool side stays cool, the hot side stays hot business, the whole thing was a joke since we put the entire box under the heat lamps. Ah, such fond memories.

  4. Tom Clancy says:

    I’m glad someone else remembers. The McDLT’s tag line has been a perfect punchline a couple times, but all it gets is blank stares. Somewhere out there, a McRib is being served.

  5. Don says:

    Funny … and to think of all the George food episodes on Seinfeld. “Get me the big big salad” for example.

  6. Zara says:

    Wow, I don’t remember that thing at all. Although, then again, I guess I was 5.

  7. Wow! That commercial is freaking me out! They’re like a bunch of demented cyborgs, claping and dancing! Also, Jason Alexander had hair! Weird!

  8. Chris says:

    Did I just dream that.

    I love living in the UK.

  9. Chris S. says:

    Wow, I miss that sandwich. That was my favorite McDonald’s item and am glad to see that it’s still available on this planet!

  10. Jeremy says:

    One weekend night in high school I was out cruising the mean streets of my home town with friends. After several Lucky Lagers and a few Schmidts, we stopped at the Golden Arches. I ordered, as Miami Vice Jason Alexander so cheerfully told us, the best lettuce and tomato hamburger ever: The McDLT.

    The friend who I was riding with was super anal about his 1982 burgundy Datsun station wagon, especially the plush black vinyl interior. So, I had to assemble my McDLT inside the McDonald’s bag. If anyone remembers the long, styrofoam container that the McDLT came in, you can appreciate that this was a pain in the ass. Adding a dark, moving car and many beers in my belly to mix made it as hard as getting to the second Pie Factory in Donkey Kong.

    I don’t like tomatoes on a burger. So, during the assembly process, I removed the tomato, pulled the finished product out of the bag, and began to enjoy my McDL.

    About three quarters of the way through it, I thought to myself, “This burger blows.” I’m not a picky eater (except for tomatoes on burgers) but this damn thing had little flavor. It just wasn’t up to the high standards of the other items on the McDonald’s menu. Nonetheless, I bucked up and finished my food.

    Again, if you remember the McDLT, you’ll recall that it was a messy burger. Something about the cool side and hot side coming together just before eating time produced higher-than-average burger juices. Those juices were on my hands, creeping toward my wrists, and threatening my Generra sweater. So, I reached into the bag for the napkin. Suddenly, my hand ran into the tomato I discarded. But it didn’t feel like a tomato. I investigated further and discovered that in my drunken stupor, I pulled the damn beef patty out instead of the tomato! I was eating a McLT.

    Several lessons were learned from this experience, but I’ll share the two that are most important:

    1. That special container is bogus. The hot side didn’t stay hot and cool side didn’t stay cool. Both sides were kind of luke warm. If the patty was really steaming, as in the commercial, I would have scorched my hand and avoided my mistake.
    2. No fast-food restaurant should force the public to build a meal. We want fast food because it is fast and convenient. Also, the cheese should have been on the hot side so it can melt. Bad market research, Ronald.

    For these reasons, the McDLT was destined for failure – except in St. Croix.

  11. Wow – this took me back! The McDLT was McDonald’s best sandwich to me. I haven’t really liked any of their burgers since.

  12. Blake says:

    What’s even scarier is George has a thick nest of hair. Good Lordy Lord!

  13. Tony says:

    Why not just go get a “Big ‘n Tasty”? To my recollection, it isn’t materially different than the McD.L.T. Other than the packaging.

  14. Brian says:

    My favorite McDLT quote: from David Letterman “Let me get this straight; lettuce and tomato on a hambuger?”

  15. Dan says:

    McDLTs were innovative because the meat was a mixture of “beef” and kelp. I’m not kidding — google it. I’m not sure what McDonalds was trying to do: save on the cost of “beef” or market a healthier burger. I forgot what the spin was… 20 years ago is hard to remember.

  16. Tony says:

    McDLTs were innovative because the meat was a mixture of “beef” and kelp. I’m not kidding — google it. I’m not sure what McDonalds was trying to do: save on the cost of “beef” or market a healthier burger. I forgot what the spin was… 20 years ago is hard to remember.

    Are you sure you aren’t confusing that for the McLean Deluxe?

  17. Dan says:

    Tony, you’re totally right! The McLean was the kelp burger.

  18. Robert says:

    McStuff aside, I grew up in Saint Croix (late eighties-early 90’s) and everything there is behind the times, not just the fast food.

    Hell, I left around 1995 and I remember disco.

  19. Bjorn Robertson says:

    Guys, Enlighten me. I’m from a tiny island somewhere in the mid- Atlantic. Where is St Croix? I swear I will be going to get my McDLT as soon as I can get Stateside! Also, are there any other utterly obscure McDonalds’ branches that serve utterly obscure products from the past. Tell you what……there was a McDonalds sandwich called the McFeast in Sweden in the mid 80’s does anyone remember that? Also, does anyone remember the McAfrica in Norway?


    Manchester, UK.

  20. Mike D. says:


    St. Croix is in the (British?) Virgin Islands. Nice vacation spot from what I hear.

  21. theboxer says:

    i thought the mcdlt was their crowning glory as well.

    oddly enough, it’s the only burger that i’ve ever had from mcdonalds that doesn’t have that odd “mcdonalds” flavour to it. it actually tasted like real food.


  22. Bjorn Robertson says:

    I agree…..The McDLT was something else. Does anybody remember the McArch Deluxe? Do they still sell that in the US?


  23. Ryan Martell says:

    Actually Mike, St. Croix is one of the US Virgin Islands, along with St. Thomas and St. John.

    St. Croix is about 30 miles south of St. Thomas, and that makes it odd- all the other Virgin Islands are north and east of St. Thomas.

    I am surprised that they still sell the McDLT down there though, since it is a US territory. It isn’t sold at the St. Thomas McDonald’s (as of February 2004), and St. John doesn’t have a golden arches…

    Maybe there was a surplus of the syrofoam boxes and the owner of the store down there was able to get a good deal on them….

  24. Bjorn, McDonald’s was selling the McFeast in the USA back in the late 1970s. I didn’t realize it had made it out to other countries. But anyways, it was McD’s massive burger, and it only lasted a year or two, and then they yanked it.

  25. Bjorn Robertson says:

    Oh man…..someone remembers!!!

    Bizarrely enough the McFeast is STILL going strong in Sweden. I checked out the McD’s in Jonkoping Sweden this July and there it still was.

    I think it might be time for us to set up a web site detailing where various products can be found.

    If anyone can locate an ArchDeluxe or a McAfrica….let me know.

    Cheers all,


  26. Corra says:

    Anyone tasted the McPink in Spain? The POP advertised in spanish that it was made from 100% pork. A re-assuring thought, but why didn’t the hamburger signs say, “100% ground beef?”

  27. dave says:

    Got a McDLT in 1999 at a McDonalds somewhere in North Carolina on Highway 64 about 50 miles east of Raleigh. They still had them, including the double styrofoam container, and boy, was it good!

  28. dave says:

    P.S. the Costanza McDLT commercial is now located at

  29. Bjorn Robertson says:

    Ah!! The McDLT debate rages on and on!!!

    Brilliant…the TV commercial for McDLT on is sheer bliss!!!

    Challenge for you McDonalds freaks out there…….who can find the oldest TV commercial for McDonalds.

    Also…..for UK viewers…..if anyone can find the “Day in a Life at McDonalds” commercial from the late eighties/early nineties in the UK then you are an utter genius!!!


  30. KG says:

    My favorite David Letterman quote was he was talking about all the progress the country has made and then he’d say “they figured out how to keep the hot side hot and the cool side cool”.

    Anytime I got a McDLT the hot side wasn’t hot and the cool side wasn’t cool. Like someone else mentioned, it was more lukewarm.

    I liked it!

    I never saw the McFeast, by the way.

    I always thought the McDLT was an effort for McDonald’s to have a burger with Tomato. We used to talk about why McDonald’s didn’t have a burger with Tomato and people I know who worked for McDonald’s in the early 80s said it was because Tomatos were too expensive for McDonald’s.

    I also thought McDonald’s was trying to catch up to Burger King’s Whopper, maybe even catch up to the best National franchise burger, the Wendy’s Single – Double – Triple. That’s just my opinion.

  31. David S says:

    All I want to know is where to find a McDLT today. If someone can verify the McDLT is sold in St. Croix or N. Carolina, I will fly out there just to eat one again. I can still taste the McDLT today after 17(?) years off the market.

    Never ordered it off the shelf, so I did get the hot side hot and the cold side somewhat cold. Ordered with no onion, extra mayo and the cheese on the hot side. What was with putting the cheese on the cold side anyway? I usually ate one a day (was usually all I ate at 17 years old). Sure that made my arteries happy.

    I have to agree with KG about the Wendy’s burger (double my fav).

  32. Celeste says:

    In 1985, I was a 17-year-old working at a McDonald’s in suburban Philadelphia, and I remember it well. I thought it was their best-tasting burger. I like the fact that the patty was moist, not dry like the patties in McD’s other burgers, and the fresh lettuce and tomatoes were nice complements. I thought I was the only person out there who still remembered it!

  33. P Rae says:

    This blog is hilarious…

    So you all seem to remember Jason Alexander in the commercial.. but nobody has mentioned the OTHER McDLT commercial (it was on my Beta video as a commercial for the movie Annie aired on tv in some time in the 1980). Anyways.. the other McDLT commercial was amazing.. featured dancers wearing red (for the ‘hot hot side’) and blue (for the cool crisp side). Great dancers. Can’t find it anywhere online. Keep me posted if you do!

  34. Nodrog says:

    I must correct Andrew:

    I also worked at McDonalds during the heyday of the McDLT, and the sandwich had its own special heatlamp on top of the normal bin that only kept the hot side hot. A standard Sandwich had a ‘hold time’ of 10 minutes in the bin, but the McDlt had a shorter hold time, 5 minutes as I recall. The problem being of course that people did not always pay close attention to the hold times.
    Anyway, if the hold times were correctly followed, the hot side would be hot, and the cold side would be cold.
    There was nothing like getting one freshly made when the burger was piping hot and the lettus tomato and mayo were nice and chilly. I really miss that sandwich.

  35. jim says:

    the first thing i ate after losing my virginity was a McDLT. come to think of it, that was the best day of my life. i’ll miss you McDLT…and i’ll miss you whatever your name was…

  36. Jodi says:

    The McDLT was also different in that the burger patty was bigger than any other McDonald’s patties. It was thicker AND wider. McD tries to say that the Big N Tasty is just like the McDLT, but it has those tiny patties, so it sucks, lol

    I still miss the McDLT…….I used to eat one every week. Why can’t they bring it back now and then like the McRib?

  37. Bjorn Robertson says:

    Could we not start a ‘fan’ campaign to bring back the McDLT????

    I miss those goddamn polystyrene containers!


  38. I would return to McDs if they brought back the McDLT.
    God Bless the Feasterville PA Mickey D’s and that long sidewalk outside with the metal coping and the little wheelchair ramp.
    McDLTs and long slippery grinds!
    I think I worked there for about two weeks in 86.. ate approx. 300 warm toasty hamburger bun tops fresh from the toaster and gave away several hundred dollars worth of food to friends. Good times.
    Shout out to all my peeps from back in the day!

  39. Aerowid Ocþason says:

    Isn’t a Big Xtra / Big’n’Tasty(for the Yanks) a McDLT in new packaging?

  40. Dacob Aurora says:

    The Big Xtra / Big’n’Tasty beef has a similar flavor, but it smaller and the lettuce is different (kind of gross if you ask me). McD’s has not had a burger as good as the McDLT since they discontinued it. Maybe the the larger burger by McDonalds will have a similar flavor. One can only hope!

  41. Thom says:

    Hot Beefy McD
    Cool Crisp LT
    They should bring it back
    I’d starti eating at McDonalds Again

  42. anonymous says:

    Sign a petition to bring back the McDLT here:

  43. Christine says:

    I remember the day i went through the drive-thru to order my standard McDLT, and i was received with, “I’m sorry ma’am. We no longer carry that item.” I about went through the speaker, gave them an earful, and have been emotionally scarred ever since.

  44. B says:

    I use to get a McDLT at least 3 times a week, I believe it was 1987 or so when they came out. Even my Dad, who hated Mc D’s, would eat the McDLT, it was wonderful!! A couple of guys at work would give me a hard time because I would throw out the pickles, they would say, “Why bother getting a hamburger with all that stuff if you just throw it out!” After that day I would stuff the pickles in their tool boxes.

  45. joni says:

    Well, I remember the McArch and that was the very best sandwich ever and one day it just disappeared. I even called Mcdee’s corporation today to see if they would ever bring the best sandwich back and they had never even heard of it. They were going to have to research it and get back to me. Isn’t that funny. I don’t remember the McDLt though.

  46. Mee says:

    I thought I was the only one to remember this burger, it was the best burger ever. They need to bring to back ASAP. I remember every Friday as a kid ordering one of those burgers and then it was gone, I am still hurt over that.

  47. Sparkster says:

    The great thing to me about the McDLT was that everything wasn’t just smashed together, people who had to make the sandwich actually had to make it look a little better because we (the consumer) actually got to “see” inside the sandwich. It seems with a hamburger today, they just sort of throw everything on the bun, smash it down, and hope we don’t notice that we have a pile of pickles or all of the ketchup is in one spot, while the rest of the sandwich is missing any at all or that the burger covers half of the bun. In the end, the real great thing about the McDLT was dang tasty! I have to admit, I miss it much.

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