I have good news and bad news for those of you thinking that McDonald’s new Premium McWraps are just the same old pathetic looking McDonald’s chicken snack wraps with a prefix attached to the front of their name and a whole bunch of marketing buzzwords thrown into their description.
The good news? They’re not.
They come in futuristic packaging, taste pretty good, and demonstrate a degree of wrapping that most men in this country will never be able to achieve when wrapping birthday and Christmas gifts.
The bad news? They still kind of look pretty pathetic, all things considered.
Each wrap, including my Sweet Chili with Grilled Chicken, comes in an oblong container that looks kind of like an unlit lightsaber. It’s been a while since I was required to read directions to open something with the prefix “Mc” in front of it, but I eventually managed to separate the top part of the container to reveal and handy-dandy and convenient oh-God-why-would-I-need-this base container that attempted to defy gravity in holding my McWrap upright (ultimately, it failed. For you teachers, consider it the next time you teach Newton).
As seen below, the wrap didn’t exactly live up to advertising expectations. With a good inch and a half of tortilla “dead space,” my first bite was about as disappointing as the series finale of Seinfeld. A lone cucumber stared me straight in the face like a cyclopes, but since I was eating something called a “McWrap” and not facing down an actual Cyclops, I didn’t exactly cower in fear. Like I said, it looked pretty pathetic.
The tortilla itself isn’t bad on its own, but for $3.99 I really expect something composed of more than just enriched flour and hydrogenated soybean oil in foldable form. Fortunately, a quick cut through the wrap’s abdomen yielded insides stuffed with chicken and other vegetation.
Regarding this vegetation, the McDonald’s website tells me that my McWrap may have contained some or all of a catalogue of designer greens including Baby Green Romaine, Baby Red Romaine, Baby Red Leaf, Baby Green Leaf, Baby Red Swiss Chard, Baby Red Oak, Baby Green Oak, Lolla Rosa, Tango, Tatsoi, Arugula, Mizuna, Frisee, and Radicchio.
Basically, I’m going to venture to say it just contained a little more than the standard iceburg lettuce that’s usually thrown in as an afterthought. I may not know how to pronounce Tatsoi, and the last time I saw Tango I was falling asleep watching Dancing with the Stars, but I think I’d know for certain if they were in my wrap. The greens add a little bit of flavor and bitterness, but mostly, they’re just kind of there like the third string quarterback on a football team.
The chicken is juicy and plump and has a nice faux chargrill flavor that could compete with most fast casual chains. Thanks to what I’m guessing is the “prepared with liquid margarine” part of the ingredients list, there’s a buttery and slightly sweet taste that conjures up images of meat basting on the grill.
The Sweet Chili sauce, while seemingly isolated in the wraps southeastern quadrant, was actually applied in just the right restraint. It’s not overpowering or cloying, although, as anyone who has ever drowned their sorrows in a 50 pack of McNuggets can tell you, it’s not very hot. Basically, they should call it Sweet Red Pepper Sauce.
While the wrap gets its name from Sweet Chili, it’s the Creamy Garlic Sauce which pleasantly caught me by surprise. It’s got a mild milky flavor with a certain lightness but also a sweet roasted garlic element to it. Think of it as yummier and healthier than mayo, but simple enough to not confuse your taste buds, maybe like an aioli-for-dummies or something like that.
Enjoyable, no doubt, but worth the 3.99 price tag? That’s where I’m going to have to say ‘no.’ While there’s certainly some heft in the 360 calorie, 27-gram protein McWrap, the truth is that it just doesn’t feel as substantial as a “Premium” sandwich. Sure, the tastes are all there, but the wrap itself leaves something to be desired in terms of the amount of ingredients offered, as well as their proportion. Too much Tortilla and not enough crunch set it back, as does a bells and whistle packaging design that screams trying too hard.
In addition, there seems to be something missing in terms of the vegetables offered within the wrap. Discounting wrap physics, I would have preferred a few chopped tomatoes or perhaps crunchy carrot or pepper strips to compliment the two sauces. As someone who had the chance to try the line of McDonald’s flatbreads the chain tested in the Baltimore region some three years ago, I can say I enjoyed those flavors — and price tag — much more, and hope that the Golden Arches hasn’t put that idea on the back burner and decided to replace it permanently with the new line of Chicken McWraps.
(Nutrition Facts – 360 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 1030 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fiber, and 27 grams of protein.)
Other McDonald’s McWrap reviews:
Man Reviews Food
Item: McDonald’s Sweet Chili Premium McWrap with Grilled Chicken
Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 9.1 ounces
Purchased at: McDonald’s
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Bigger and better than a snack wrap. Good, ‘premium’ tasting grilled chicken. Excellent wrapping that doesn’t fall apart. Good balance of sweet and savory. More greens than just iceburg. Creamy Garlic Sauce is a great change-up from mayo. Eating a non-pickled cucumber at McDonald’s. Pretending to be a Jedi with the container. 27 grams protein.
Cons: Size doesn’t justify the price. Could use another vegetable crunch factor. Tortilla dead space. Doesn’t look as pathetic as a snack wrap but still kind of pathetic.