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.
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.
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.
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
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.