a la carte vs standalone (McDonald's)

peter199083

Senior Member
Mandarin
I was having food at McDonald in Hong Kong. I noticed that a hamburg with French fries and drink is collectively called 'meal', usually priced lower than separate items combined when the order is made. On the contrary a hamburg alone is called 'a la carte'. I think that a la carte, as opposed to table d'hote, is supposed to be used in a restaurant where waiters serve tables, but not in a snack food shop where there is only a counter or reception. Instead, I prefer the word 'standalone', for example:
May I have a Big Mac, standalone, please?
Do you think 'a la carte' is properly used here? Which word do you used in America or Britain?
 
  • Miss Julie

    Senior Member
    English-U.S.
    I was having food at McDonald's in Hong Kong. I noticed that a hamburger with French fries and drink is collectively called a 'meal', usually priced lower than separate items combined when the order is made. On the contrary, a hamburger alone is called 'a la carte'. I think that a la carte, as opposed to table d'hote, is supposed to be used in a restaurant where waiters serve tables, but not in a snack food shop where there is only a counter or reception. Instead, I prefer the word 'standalone', for example:

    Do you think 'a la carte' is properly used here? Which word do you used in America or Britain?
    Yes, "a la carte" is used correctly here, although I personally wouldn't order a hamburger that way. I definitely would not say "standalone."

    I would probably say, "I'll have a Big Mac--just the hamburger."
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Neither of those is idiomatic in the US.
    It's "May I have a Big Mac, please?" (If you really want the meal, you would say "May I have a number one, please?" - The meals are numbered.)
    The cashier may reply "Do you want the meal or just the sandwich?" You say, "Just the sandwich."
     
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