Update: We did another review that covers both the Chicken McGriddles and McChicken Biscuit! Click here to read it.
McDonald’s has been stuck in a rut. The clown king of fast food may still push billions of burgers a year, but a dipping sales trend and changing cultural attitudes have investors shaken. Attempts to produce higher-end burgers have flopped, leaving the Golden Arches with few options.
But in a sea of dry mozzarella sticks and sexy Hamburglars, one promotion was an undeniable hit. All-Day Breakfast broke the morning menu free from a 10:30 a.m. cutoff, and brought the Golden Arches a much-needed PR win.
So it wasn’t long before cross pollination of the breakfast and dinner menus began, and bore fruit.
Currently available in select markets as part of a 2 for $3 promotion, the Chicken McGriddle is hilariously basic. It’s a standard McChicken patty, slapped between the syrup-infused McGriddle buns. No condiments, no cheese, nothing but what the name promises. A sweet and savory hybrid, echoing the ‘Chicken and Waffles’ pairing that headlines so many late-night food porn binge sessions on the Food Network. But in practice this sandwich is too simple to offer anything but novelty.
The issue is that McGriddle buns aren’t quite sweet enough to harmonize with the chicken. When getting a plate of fried chicken and waffles, it’s common to see fried breasts smothered in sweet maple syrup. The Chicken McGriddle has only a few artificial pockets of maple brown sugar to offset a peppery chicken patty.
You’ll get a nice sweet hit at first, and cinnamon taste that lingers on the tongue – but the meat of the bite is all about the chicken. I found myself longing for some sort of maple spread, or even a slice of cheese. Anything to give the sweet side more of a leg to stand on.
It’s hard to understand where the Chicken McGriddle fits into the average McDonald’s order. The taste it leaves behind is too sweet for a large soda, but far too heavily seasoned for coffee. It’s not going to fit in at breakfast, but seems too simplistic for lunch. As such, it makes sense for this to be part of a combo promotion. Paired with a Double Cheeseburger or Spicy McChicken, it works as an interesting novelty. Failed experiment or not, it’s worth it to see McDonalds trying something undeniably odd.
(Nutrition Facts – 390 calories, 130 calories from fat, 15 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 1000 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 14 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: 2 for $3
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Unique offering by McDonald’s standards. Cheap enough to try on a whim. Watching Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives at 4 a.m. while not wearing pants.
Cons: Not sweet enough to offset the savory. Hard to pair with a beverage. Very bland.
17 thoughts to “REVIEW: McDonald’s Chicken McGriddle”
Hmm. The McDonald’s restaurants in my city have had Chicken McGriddles for almost a year, and they use the spicy chicken patty, not the McChicken. And it’s delicious.
They just appeared a few weeks ago here in OR, but they use the spicy chicken patty like yours do, and I have to say it is delicious. Only really need one and they have them priced at 2 for $3, so someone in my office ends up with the second one. Not one person I’ve offered it to has turned me to down, lol, and yesterday the receptionist claimed it before I was even five feet inside the building.
Why don’t they included a packet of syrup and you can pour on as much or little as you want.
As pictured, this offering looks dry, bland, and somewhat repulsive–it looks like the stereotype of bad fast food and seems disdainful to the company’s customers.
Seems like with a different (more mild) chicken patty, that could work. A few years back, they changed their chicken patties to that pepper-y version, which is also when I stopped ordering it. (I dislike the bite of black pepper. A lot.)
My McDonald’s (Cincinnati) has had them since summer. I think they are a delight! A little bit of sweet with the peppery chicken is just right. To add anything else would take away from the play between the savory and sweet. If they didn’t have so many carbs, I would have them more often.
Another horrible review from this site! I’ve had tons of these for many months now in Ohio. The patty has a little kick to it, and the sandwich is amazingly delicious!
Just because you like it doesn’t mean everyone likes it.
Mcgriddles are the only breakfast item I eat from McDonald’s and I always ask for some of the warm syrup they have for the hot cakes so I can dip my sandwich for a hit of extra sweetness. Idk why you couldn’t do that with this sandwich.
Great first review Chris, and welcome to the team! Bummer this sando is so dry because in theory it’s got a lot of potential! Definitely gotta get that syrup on that side and dip it up.
“Hard to pair with a beverage.” I’m sorry, this comes off as so pretentious. Its a fast food sandwich, it goes with any kind of beverage, beer, milk, juice, soda, or good ol’ water. Seriously.
It’s absolutely disgusting. If they had used the actual piece of buttermilk fried chicken or a smaller version, it would be awesome. But they use the processed nasty spicy chicken patty. The texture and taste of that patty is disgusting. I’d have to question the taste of those that can actually eat that processed garbage. However , it is McDonald’s so I guess that answers the question.
I wish the hot cakes were a little sweeter and the chicken not so spicey.
At first I thought the Chicken McGriddle needed something, but after I finished eating it, I changed my mind. The peppery chicken was enough. Now if you need more flavor, I recommend jelly. McDonald’s does have strawberry jam and that would be good. However, I prefer adding pepper jelly to the sandwich when I get home. Spicy preserves would be a nice addition. The spicy sweet sauce that Taco Bell put on its chicken biscuits and now puts on its new stacked spicy taco would be great.
It was delicious.
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