REVIEW: McDonald’s CBO (Canada)

McDonalds CBO (Canada)

McDonald’s Canada is pushing the CBO pretty hard. Where I live, at least, there are billboards all over town proudly proclaiming this sandwich to be “the next legend.” Obviously, McDonald’s has high hopes.

I should probably note that the Canadian CBO is, oddly enough, different than the CBO introduced in the States a couple of years ago. This one is a chicken sandwich, topped with CBO sauce, lettuce, bacon, and crispy onions, served on an onion bun.

The most noteworthy thing about this sandwich is probably the weirdly hard time I had ordering one.

At the first McDonald’s I visited (yes, there was more than one), I ordered it, sat down, opened the box, and found that a few of the crispy onions had fallen out of the sandwich. They were green, which I found odd; even odder was how spicy they were. Clearly, these were not crispy onions at all, but crispy jalapeños.

I brought this to the attention of the confused-looking girl behind the register. A manager emerged from the back. Eventually, he told me that they ran out of crispy onions and decided to sub in the jalapeños instead.

That strikes me as an odd decision, since crispy onions and jalapeños taste completely different, but hey, I don’t run a McDonald’s. What do I know?

He offered to make me another sandwich without the jalapeños. I told him no, I needed to try the sandwich as it’s supposed to be. He stared at me plaintively. “Man, I’m going to have to throw it out!” Though I was tempted to ask him how, exactly, that was my problem, I instead politely apologized and eventually wound up with some cash in my pocket, on my way to a second McDonald’s.

McDonalds CBO (Canada) 2

Thankfully, there were no jalapeño shenanigans to be found at the second location, so I was able to try the real, non-adulterated CBO. The End.

Oh wait, I guess not The End, this is a review, isn’t it? I still have to tell you about the actual sandwich.

It’s fine, if a bit boring. Honestly, my jalapeño-related mishaps were probably more interesting than the sandwich itself.

I’m not sure if the chicken patty is the same one they use in the McChicken; I suspect that it isn’t (it looks a little different, at least), but it tastes very similar. As far as reconstituted chicken sandwiches go, I’ve certainly had worse, but there really isn’t much that pops out about it. It’s pretty bland.

I will say, however, that chicken in my sandwich was piping hot, and clearly freshly cooked. That’s basically the McDonald’s equivalent of finding a four-leaf clover, so that was fun.

McDonalds CBO (Canada) 3

McDonald’s describes the CBO sauce as a “creamy pepper sauce,” and it basically just tastes like regular mayo with flecks of pepper in it. If you told me it was McChicken sauce, I’d have no reason not to believe you.

As for the bacon, it’s actually bacon pieces instead of actual slices of bacon, which was probably not a great idea — the soft little bits get lost among the other elements of the CBO, and add almost nothing to the sandwich, other than a vague saltiness.

Happily, the crispy onions that I worked so hard to try suited the sandwich pretty well, and were probably the CBO’s most assertive flavour. Between that and the onion bun, this sandwich definitely earns the O in CBO.

McDonalds CBO (Canada) 4

That pretty much sums this sandwich up, in fact — it tastes like an oniony McChicken. But I guess Oniony McChicken doesn’t quite have the same ring as CBO, so here we are.

I’m honestly a little bit baffled that McDonald’s is giving a sandwich as boring as the CBO such a strong marketing push. It isn’t bad, but there’s just nothing about it that’s particularly memorable.

(Nutrition Facts – 680 calories, 36 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0.4 grams of trans fat, 70 milligrams of cholesterol, 1160 milligrams of sodium, 62 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fibre, 10 grams of sugar, and 27 grams of protein.)

Item: McDonald’s CBO (Canada)
Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: N/A
Purchased at: McDonald’s
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Tasty crispy onions. Decent quality chicken.
Cons: Boring sandwich. Soft, pointless bacon bits. Plain sauce. McDonald’s running out of ingredients and making random substitutions.

20 thoughts to “REVIEW: McDonald’s CBO (Canada)”

  1. At least it looks like they gave you enough sauce. Typically their “premium chicken” sandwiches are dry because they don’t put enough ranch/mayo on them. I’ve had them all crispy or grilled, and I’ve never figured out how they’ve managed to make a 2000mg sodium chicken sandwich so bland.

  2. I am wondering how STUPID these executives are in that boardroom to give the OK to this when they have a perfect idea from the Indian market, Spicy Chicken. Even if the price changes for a U.S. launch, it’s still too much money for a McChicken patty.

  3. McDonalds has had the CBO sandwiches two or three years back (I’m guess fall of 2012). Actually, I loved the burger version and was super sad when the limited-time offer expired and it was taken down from their menu. I hope it returns to the US! But in the same token, that means eating McDonalds more than one should.

  4. I gave this a try tonight because my husband got sucked in by the ads…..it was totally meh. I was astonished at how SWEET it was – the bread was sweet, and the sauce was sweet. It was overall not fabulous – I’ve had much better fast food chicken sandwiches from Wendys. Definitely won’t be ordering this again – I’ll stick to my big mac/Mediterranean veggie wrap rotation.

  5. i had one last night, I was also sucked in by the advertising. I was happy with the sandwich, I am going to sneak away from work and grab another once they are done with breakfast, patiently waiting.

  6. Tried one today, and was completely underwhelmed.

    For all of the hype, this lame sandwich did not deliver, especially at a $5.99 price point.

    My money would have been much better spent at Subway.

  7. I had my first CBO yesterday and it was absolutely disgusting. I very rarely eat out and found this ‘twist-on-chick’, far too expensive and sorely lacking on flavour. Can I get my money back?

    1. I absolutely agree. I was so furious at how gross the samitch was I demanded a refund or a police call – it was as if they were purposefuly trying to poison me. And the samitch tasted like it was supposed to! NOTHINg ended up being wrong with me. They ACTUALLY THINK PEOPLE WILL EAT THAT NASTY POO!

  8. Just a tip, but if you want good fast food for the value, go to A&W instead. I’ve never had their chicken cauz I generally prefer to get beef at burger places, but if their other burgers are anything to go by, it should definitely be quality. I can’t speak for Wendy’s since their newest spokesperson annoys the heck out of me, but I can’t say that their sandwiches look particularly appetizing. One thing of note about A&W: they’re kinda expensive so wait for their coupons. As for their fries, well, anything beats McDonald’s disgustingly oily skinny fries.

  9. Bacon bits on anything except a Caesar salad are totally lost. You can’t taste them and like the crispy onions fall out of the bun. Now they are putting them on their new burger the Angus, which would be much better served with slices of bacon. Both are a bit boring.

  10. I tried the CBO at Bathurst, NB McDonalds inside the Wal-Mart. For anything out of a Wal-Mart MD it may have a disadvantage straight away. That being said, my CBO piece of nastiness I couldn’t chew due to the saltiness and just plain “wrongness” of the crap in my mouth. My husband attempted to eat it he found it to be the same. The staff at that McDonalds took it back and gave me an alternate order without any issue though so the situation itself was ultimately pleasant – but the CBO itself was just awful.

    1. I have tried the CBO at seven different locations, including both Bathurst McDs, both of which are foul, worse off of them all, but every single one has replaced the order – the Bathurst Wal-Mart one was the only location that did not given any attitude or BS about doing it (I like the people who work at that location overall – nice folks).

  11. absolute garbage, just had one. was expecting a real chicken breast, instead it was some crap pressed chicken bits, like a giant mc nugget. i was surprised to find out that mc donalds doesnt even have an actual breaded whole chicken breast on their menu anymore, its all chicken loaf for $6. Wendys has a better crispy chicken sandwich with a real whole identifiable breast.

  12. I love how everyone in these comments is going on about being disappointed in the quality of the sandwich. Really? You went to McDonald’s and excepted gourmet food? It’s McDonald’s, even if this sandwich is overpriced.

    I tried the CBO and actually really liked it (granted, I’ll eat anything if I’m hungry enough). I love sweet stuff so maybe that’s why. The chicken part was kind of hard to notice. Honestly, I think you could give this sandwich to me without the chicken part and I’d still like it, though. The only thing I agree with everyone on is the bacon bits falling out of the sandwich being kind of pointless.

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