Hacking menus at fast food restaurants isn’t a new concept. It’s been around for decades but only became more publicly known with the rise of the internet. Most hacks are fairly simple in execution: add a different condiment, swap meats, etc. However, some are insane monstrosities that push the limits of what is a sandwich, like the Land, Air & Sea sandwich from McDonald’s new Menu Hacks line.
The chain has been notoriously silent on the various ways in which customers have used existing menu items to create new (and sometimes colorfully named) products. It was sort of a shock to see it outright acknowledge the menu hacks with this recent promotion. Of course, it’s a win-win for McDonald’s with little effort and will easily end up making the chain some money through customers who are curious about what these items are.
The Land, Air & Sea consists of a Big Mac, McChicken, and Filet-O-Fish stacked together like an edible Jenga tower. It’s worth noting that any of the hack items you order will require you to assemble them yourself. I’m sure most people would assume that, but glancing at the ads can make it seem they’re pre-assembled. It makes sense why we have to do the assembly, but I still would have liked the sandwiches to come as ordered.
I set out the three sandwiches and attempted to replicate the photo from the ad as closely as possible. I was shocked by how much it looked like the promotional photo without much fluffing done. The first flavor to pop was the Filet-O-Fish and tartar sauce. After that came the familiar taste of the special sauce, chicken, and beef. Three bites in, the sandwich imploded into a pile of meats, sauces, and bread. While not awful, the flavor created by combining the three sandwiches wasn’t particularly interesting.
One issue was the leftover bun conundrum. After assembling it, I was left with the buns for both the Filet-O-Fish and McChicken. This was why I had hoped the assembly would be done in-store to avoid food waste. Lucky for me, I have a husband who will, without question, eat whatever I hand him, so the buns didn’t get thrown out.
My biggest issue was the cost. Ordering the Land, Air & Sea through the app was $9.99. I had an inclination that I could get the three sandwiches cheaper but went with the official item in the event there was anything special. There was no special packaging, wrapping, or anything to indicate the hack item. It was just a McChicken, Big Mac, and Filet-O-Fish. After it all was said and done, I went back to the app to see if I could get a deal on the three sandwiches. Through an in-app deal on the Big Mac and Filet-O-Fish, I could get all three for under $7.
The Land, Air & Sea has been a well-known off-menu hack for over a decade, so it’s no surprise that McDonald’s would include it on its Hack Menu. There is certainly a novelty to it, but I think the overall experience makes it hard to recommend. If you’re adamant about trying it, I’d certainly explore the cheaper ordering route instead of through the official Hack Menu. I do like McDonald’s is now openly acknowledging the hacks and would like to see other ones (like the McCrepe) featured on a future menu.
Purchased Price: $9.99
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 1330 calories, 69 grams of fat, 18 grams of saturated fat, 160 milligrams of cholesterol, 2150 milligrams of sodium, 123 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 55 grams of protein.