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April 1, 2010


MARC Way to tick off MARC commuters: promise free caffeine; don't deliver.

"MARC Train and McDonald's invite you to a Spring McCafe promotion. MARC train riders at four stations will receive free samples of McDonald's frappes, mochas and hot chocolate as they arrive for morning departure."

That good news was followed by bad. "The McDonald's McCafe promotion scheduled for several MARC stations has been canceled."

No mochas. No free morning sugar-caffeine buzz. No explanation. 

My MARC-riding tipster offered his take: "judging by the girth of the bureaucrats who board the train at Odenton, they don't need any more McFrappes, especially with the new cramped seats."

I called the Maryland Transit Administration to find out what happened. It seems Ronald McDonald and the MTA couldn't quite come to terms.

The Golden Arches doesn't have to pay anything to give drinks away at MARC stations, but the restaurant does have to sign a right-of-entry agreement that includes provisions for insurance in case of, say, a freak frappe accident. Or a multi-million-dollar scalding.

The MTA and McDonald's have come to terms before, but for some reason, the paperwork couldn't get finished in time for this promotion, Maryland Transit Administration spokeswoman Cheron Victoria Wicker said.

They'll probably be able to work out another giveaway down the line. "We did it last fall and it was hugely successful," she said.


Jilted MARC train riders want their free coffee. Sun photo by Amy Davis

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 5:32 AM | | Comments (11)


Well, it is April 1st.

Your tipster is mean.

That could have turned into a McRiot.

captcha: nipped assess.. people without their caffeine have been known to bite; serious fail to assess risk.

Here's another chance to get a FREE coffee at the Village Cafe later this month.

Here's an even BETTER idea - use the MARC Halethorpe station and you can buy coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, tea, mochas, hot OR cold, plus real fruit smoothies EVERY DAY of the WEEK from 4:30 am to 9:30 am! We are just 40 ft from the boarding platform. Use our frequent buyer card, and every tenth visit, your drink is FREE!

MovingGroundsCafe, I hear you. Next thing you know, the vegans will be milling around in front of your truck giving away free donuts.

When are they going to start running trains that fit in with my lifestyle? Where is the Cross Keys Express to Grauls in Ruxton? Or a cross town train over to Big Bad Wolf BBQ in Hamilton?

RoCK needs to find the same chauffeur that I have. Wait a minute...

RoCK and Colonel T.--don't you know that Ruxton made sure the trains would not stop there. Have to keep out the riffraff, y'know ...

And Lord knows, they don't want any of that Cross Keys riffraff in Ruxton.

And Lord knows, they don't want any of that Cross Keys riffraff in Ruxton.

Or vice versa.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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