REVIEW: McDonald’s Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich

McDonald’s Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Do you like plain things? Is average your goal in life? Do you adorn your car with rejected foodeism bumper stickers such as, “Bacon Makes Only a Select Few Things Better,” or “Please Pass the Crackers But Not the Cheese.” Are you frequently drawn to buzz words that are three years out of style? If so, then the new McDonald’s Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich might be for you.

It didn’t have to be this way. Contrary to popular belief, a grilled chicken sandwich isn’t predestined to damnation on fast food menu boards.

Often mocked as a dry alternative to beef for those watching their waistline, its real problem, if you ask me, is more the off-putting chewy texture and brothy taste fast food companies use to guard against the dry and insipid stereotype. That and the five worst words in the history of the English language: Chicken Breast with Rib Meat.

McDonald’s Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich 2

The new “Artisan” chicken sandwich supposedly leverages a fresher take on the traditional chicken breast, one “free of preservatives and artificial flavors“ and including a seasoning blend of “salt, garlic and parsley.” A vinaigrette, Brioche-style bun, and the proverbial tomato and leaf lettuce round out the party, which is one of the calorically lighter offerings on McDonald’s menu. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the least flavorful.

Having enjoyed McDonald’s Bacon Clubhouse Grilled Chicken Sandwich for some time now, I had high hopes for the synergy of the new buns and the new chicken. It certainly looks like a better product than previous McDonald’s grilled chicken sandwiches, although pegging it as “Artisan” is about as accurate as labeling McDonald’s “fine-dining.”

McDonald’s Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich 3

Not surprisingly, the sandwich really misses the bacon, cheese, and grilled onions that the Bacon Clubhouse version of the grilled chicken has. Mostly, the Artisan Chicken tastes boring and plain. The chicken isn’t dry, but it has a stringy interior and still suffers from a somewhat chewy texture, perhaps accentuated by an overly basted coating of the olive oil mixture McDonald’s prepares it with. Worse yet, there’s a fake butter flavor which predominates the toasted bun, which in my case was slightly burnt on both sides.

The vinaigrette is somewhere between gloopy and runny. It has a flat garlic and oil taste with very weak hints of citrus, but it really doesn’t carry a connotation of light or fresh. It was just kind of there, and if anything it’s more an annoyance because it sogs up the bottom bun, which causes it to squirt out from the sandwich and onto my pants when I take a bite from it. The bun’s taste was okay aside from the fake buttery flavor, but it felt small in containing the chicken breast, and wasn’t sweet or rich enough to balance out the sandwich’s other components.

McDonald’s Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich 4

If there’s one overwhelmingly positive aspect about the sandwich, it’s that its lower-calorie status makes one feel less guilty when downing it with a large combo meal. Otherwise, there’s not a whole lot to get excited about, and nothing comparatively “artisan” about it. It’s good to see McDonald’s revving up menu developments again after slashing a number of items earlier in 2015 (RIP: Southern Style Chicken) but in this case it’s going to take more than overused buzzwords to win my approval.

(Nutrition Facts – 360 calories, 50 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 930 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 11 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and 32 grams of protein.)

Item: McDonald’s Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Purchased Price: $4.69
Size: N/A
Purchased at: McDonald’s
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Decently fresh produce. Not dry. Good source of protein. Less guilt when eaten as part of a large combo meal.
Cons: Fake butter flavor. Doesn’t actually taste grilled. Stringy chicken. Kinda slimy, actually. No wow factor.

34 thoughts to “REVIEW: McDonald’s Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich”

  1. This Artisan Chicken Sandwich is just fantastic ! I love the marinated chicken. It tastes super and sooo tender. If you want something great and low in fat and calories—try this very special sandwich
    Its my new favorite !

  2. The Artisian is what it is. To compare with a sandwich decked with cheese and bacon is missing the point. Is it a great tasting sandwich? No. Is it a pretty good tasting low calorie/fat sandwich? Absolutely. My opinion if on a diet and looking for healthy alternatives the Artisian is light years ahead of fast food competition (specifically grilled chicken sandwiches). All others come standard with mayonnaise. Must order without to reduce calories and fat which leaves them tasting pretty crappy. I found the Artisian a few months ago when I began to diet. I normally bought 4 or 5 a week. I did not order drinks or fries and drank only water. I lost almost 50 lbs and the Artisian was a treat. I have continued with a healthier diet and the Artisian is still a staple of my diet. Go for the Buttermilk crispy with fries and soft drink if you’re looking for flavor. Artisian is a great dieters sandwich and great for those looking for a healthy alternative.

  3. Actually McDonald’s tries to create better sandwiches, and they probably would succeed except that its young idiot high school kids making them and the premium part of this sandwich goes out the window. Hurried preparation and over loaded on sauce, or lacking good assembly of the sandwich makes for a less premium experience. Ever order a premium burger at a nice restaurant it is presented well with the cook making it look presentable. Let’s face it, McDonald’s has some good fresh ingredients to work with. But many throw them together and slam in a box that it loses any sense of premium. Its just another cheeseburger with different ingredients and a little different flavor. If McDonald’s is going to be anything more then a fast burger joint. It will have to teach its employee’s and managers how to really prepare food. Not just slop it together. That’s the only way customers will be willing to pay more for McDonald’s food.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *