REVIEW: McDonald’s Chicken McGriddles and McChicken Biscuit

McDonald s Chicken McGriddles and McChicken Biscuit

While everyone sits around twiddling their thumbs waiting for Popeyes to announce the return of its chicken sandwich, Ronald and the gang have quietly dropped a couple of intriguing chicken sammies of their own.

I’ve never understood chicken for breakfast, but guess what? I don’t have to understand it. We live in the golden age of fast food, so I could roll up to the drive-thru and get a Chicken McGriddles and a McChicken Biscuit at three in the afternoon – and that’s exactly what I did.

I’m pretty sure these sandwiches aren’t “new,” but this was the first time they hit the menu in my neck of the woods. “Secret Menu” aficionados probably scoff at the idea of a McChicken on a biscuit or griddle cake, but these were revolutionary to a sheltered sap such as myself.

Do you like the McChicken? Do you like McDonald’s biscuits and McGriddle cakes? Well then, I think you can imagine what you’re getting here. Personally, I can live without the McChicken, but those McGriddle cakes, ohhhh baby, do I love me some McGriddle cake.

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I’ll start with the biscuit because it was the less successful of the two. The McChicken is not exactly a moist (he said “moist,” oh the horror!) piece of meat, so pairing it with a dry, crumbly biscuit only works if you also slather it in some kind of sauce. It doesn’t come with one.

McDonald s McChicken Biscuit

In hindsight, some honey or maple syrup would have improved this significantly. If you’re not in the mood for breakfast, some BBQ sauce will work as well. That’s the beauty of chicken on a biscuit. So, the McChicken Biscuit is decent, but make sure you ask for sauce.

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The McGriddles version is a McChicken patty between the two cakes, no eggs or cheese, and that was fine with me. The grease and maple syrup pockets of the McGriddle cakes provided the lubricant (a word more gross than “moist”) that the biscuit lacked.

McDonald s Chicken McGriddles

Anyone who enjoys the sweet and savory combo of chicken and waffles should be all-in on the Chicken McGriddles. I’m of the opinion that the McGriddles are the best McDonald’s menu addition in the past 20 years, and this isn’t changing my mind. I might go back and see if I can try them with eggs added. I’m sure it’s legit.

McDonald s Chicken McGriddles 2

I have to reiterate the McChicken is a middle of the road fast food sandwich at best. I couldn’t help but think this would be better with someone else’s chicken. A Popeyes filet patty between two McDonald’s McGriddle cakes would be an instant 10.

These both go down easy and can be eaten at any time of day, so they’re definitely worth checking out. They should make you forget about your Popeyes fever for a spell.

I dig this expansion of the McDonald’s brand. Maybe we can try a McGriddles Burger soon without knowing someone who works there or ordering from some secret Illuminati’s menu.

Purchased Price: $5.52 (for both – 2 for $4 before 10:30 a.m.)
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Biscuit), 7 out of 10 (McGriddle)
Nutrition Facts: Biscuit – 420 calories, 20 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 1040 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 14 grams of protein. McGriddle – 390 calories, 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.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich

McDonald s Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich

McDonald’s doesn’t come out with as many new chicken sandwiches as Burger King does every year.

I imagine they test many ideas, but only the best of the best make their way to the menu boards across the nation. It’s usually just one a year, or, if we’re lucky, two. But despite all that work I’m imagining, the flavor of the chain’s new Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich bores me.

McDonald s Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich 2

On paper, it looks good. It’s a crispy chicken filet with onions, pickles, and a spicy BBQ sauce on a sesame seed bun. It’s like a menu hack a McDonald’s kitchen staff member came up with one time when the McRib was back or something. But after my first bite, I didn’t think, “Mmmmm,” “hot damn,” or “I’m Lovin’ It.”

The sauce is what’s most disappointing, but the other toppings are accomplices in my dissatisfaction with this sandwich. Its name is dead-on, it’s a spicy barbecue sauce. It’s a little smoky, even less sweet, and there’s a mild peppery tingle from whatever spices are in it. But, I don’t know if it either doesn’t work with the chicken filet or better spicy barbecue sauces I’ve had are clouding my judgment, but it doesn’t excite my taste buds.

McDonald s Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich 3

There was a good amount of it on my order, but even with what I was given, it wasn’t enough to be flavorful. Maybe tossing the filet in the sauce like the Glazed Tenders would help? Why would I want more of the most disappointing part of this? I don’t know. I like messy sandwiches? Masochism?

McDonald s Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich 4

The onions and pickles enhance the flavor of the beloved/hated McRib, but they both don’t do it here. The tang of the pickles does a decent job of cutting through the sauce’s spiciness and being noticed among the sauce’s flavor. But the constantly falling onions only seem to be in this sandwich to prove gravity still exists.

Here are some nice things I’m going to say about the Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich I received: the chicken’s breading has some crunch and the poultry itself wasn’t totally dry. But other than that, I think it’s a mediocre sandwich.

Purchased Price: $5.49*
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 530 calories, 19 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 1260 milligrams of sodium, 64 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 26 grams of protein.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Spicy BBQ Glazed Tenders

McDonald s Spicy BBQ Glazed Tenders

Do you trust your taste buds?

It’s an honest question; and no, not in the existential crisis proceeding when you learn that all the loops in Froot Loops taste the same (they do) but in drawing on a memory of something you ate in the past and comparing it to something you ate today.

I bring this up because last year McDonald’s released its Sweet N’ Spicy Honey BBQ Glazed Tenders, and I liked them. This year, they released what seems like a similar product — Spicy BBQ Glazed Tenders — but I can’t say the same thing.

McDonald’s is advertising the Spicy BBQ Glazed Tenders as “smoky,” “juicy,” and “mouthwatering.” They are none of the preceding, and certainly not worthy of the “whoo!” the McDonald’s website claims you’ll say after eating them.

“Meh,” perhaps. “Woo,” please.

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For starters, they’re not much to look at. It may be fast food, but it’s also 2019, and when your premium tenders are broken and sagging in an oversized box, that says something about preparation.

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It also says something about your preparation — and maybe even the conception — when my tenders are soggy and have little crunch when ordered during the Noon to 1 p.m. lunch hour. They had no genuine crisp or crackle in the breading. Inside, they were dryer than McDonald’s tenders I’ve had in the past, with none of the succulence white meat needs to be anything other than boring.

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But perhaps the biggest letdown was the sauce. Where last year’s Sweet N’ Spicy Honey BBQ Glazed Tenders nailed the Honey BBQ flavor, the BBQ sauce on this year’s Spicy BBQ tenders leaves much to be desired. It’s not as sweet or bold as last year’s version but carries the same ho-hum level of spiciness — a little cayenne on the back end, some garlic powder, maybe enough black pepper to let you know that hey, we didn’t lie entirely in our marketing.

I tend to treat chicken tenders like pizza, falling back on the theory that they can never be truly repulsive. But I’m also a big believer in opportunity cost, and as the list of McDonald’s menu items I would have rather spent money on grows, my relative enjoyment of a disappointing product dissipates. My suggestion? Get the buttermilk tenders and sauce them separately. You may like them.

Purchased Price: $4.59
Size: 4-count
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (4-count) 580 calories, 27 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 105 milligrams of cholesterol, 1950 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 41 grams of protein.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger

McDonald s Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger

If you’re like me, you’ve fallen down many a rabbit hole of International McDonald’s menu items. I’ve clicked through listicle after annoying listicle just yearning for the day America embraces the weirdness that the rest of the world gets to bask in daily.

Good thing for us, McDonald’s has introduced a new “Worldwide Favorites” menu. What say we go for a little trip across the pond?

McDonald s Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger Box

The Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger comes courtesy of Spain and consists of a Quarter Pounder, Applewood Bacon, McBacon Sauce, slivered onions, and two slices of Gouda.

Quick questions – I thought Gouda was a Dutch cheese? Is it a staple of Spaniard diets? Is McDonald’s making stuff up?!

McDonald s Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger Cheese

Anyway, the Gouda and McBacon Sauce were the ingredients I was most excited about. I’ve never had either on a fast food burger. I assumed they were what made this burger so extreme. So McExtreme!

The Gouda was mild, but there was just enough of that creamy, smoky flavor you’d want. It meshed really well. There are so many overpowering cheeses that could have ruined everything, so no matter where Gouda derives from, it was the right choice for this particular burger.

McDonald s Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger Toppings

I’d take McBacon Sauce over ketchup on literally every burger going forward. It’s equal parts smoky, tangy, and well, bacon-y. It’s too bad they screwed me with only a small dollop. Every burger I buy is swimming in sauce. The one time I’d actually like that, I get a dab.

The rest of the ingredients were retreads, although I’ll say that not having a Quarter Pounder in a while really made me feel like I was eating a premium hamburger – at least by McDonald’s standards.

Applewood Bacon has become a can’t miss topping, so no complaints there.

The onions didn’t add much, so I ended up scraping most of them off. They should’ve used crispy fried onions.

I wondered why they didn’t do anything fancy with the sesame seed bun, but I got a nice fresh one at least.

McDonald s Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger Bite

The most impressive thing about this burger was how clean it somehow was. The box was initially oily and gross (I guess that was from the bacon? Maybe some Gouda run-off?), but the burger as a whole was shockingly easy to eat. That was likely exclusive to my experience, but nothing fell off the burger, and I didn’t even need a napkin, which is unheard of. I imagine that’s how Europeans like their burgers.

All in all, this was a creative, tasty burger, which is great because, besides the Stroopwafel McFlurry, the other Worldwide Favorites are boring. Cheese fries? Mozzarella chicken sandwich? Meh. What makes mozzarella Canadian? McDonald’s is just randomly assigning cheeses to countries!

Despite the mystery grease, the Grand McExtreme is one of the better fast food burgers I’ve had in ages. Is it distinctly Spanish? I couldn’t tell ya, but no matter what, Me encanta! (This is Google Spanish for “I’m Loving it,” so blame them if it’s wrong.)

Purchased Price: $6.60
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 750 calories, 47 grams of fat, 18 grams of saturated fat, 145 milligrams of cholesterol, 1310 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 43 grams of protein.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Stroopwafel McFlurry

McDonald s Stroopwafel McFlurry

I am of the opinion that McDonald’s outside of the states is better.

One of my all-time favorite fast food sandwiches is the McSpicy in Asia. Now one of my all-time favorite treats is the Stroopwaffel McFlurry from the Netherlands! But, the best is part is that I can get the latter here (for a limited time unless you visit the Chicago HQ McDonald’s locations which carries international items regularly.)

If you’re not familiar with a stroopwafel, it’s a euro-phenom. It’s basically a genius way to eat a cookie for breakfast; they’re very thin (even thinner than Oreo Thins!) waffle wafers sandwiching caramel. The waffle itself has the cinnamon goodness of a freshly made waffle cone, but it’s much more pliable, delicate because it bends with the caramel without crumbling. I appreciate McDonald’s went with the most well-known maker Daelmans.

McDonald s Stroopwafel McFlurry Top

But, you won’t find a whole cookie! The treat itself has broken up pieces of one blended with caramel and vanilla soft serve.

Because I may have been the first person order this at the location I went to, I was able to overhear the details about making the sausage, um, soft serve treat. The snack size comes with two scoops of cookie bits and a regular comes with three. Both get one pump of caramel.

McDonald s Stroopwafel McFlurry Spoon

The cookie pieces ate like caramel bits that beautifully stuccoed the vanilla soft serve. They didn’t freeze up from the cold. Also, one scoop of bits was plenty generous as I thought there was a nice distribution throughout the treat.

The pump of caramel nicely enhanced the caramel in the stroopwafel but didn’t overtake it. However, I could tell the stuff in the cookie was better with notes of cinnamon and vanilla compared to the straight sugar of the confection that was pumped in.

Overall, if you love caramel, you’ll definitely enjoy this!

Purchased Price: $2.29
Size: Snack Size
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 480 calories, 13 grams of fat, 8 gram of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 230 milligrams of sodium, 81 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 57 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich

McDonald s Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich Crispy

For many years, I thought American fast food was a shining beacon of liberty, creativity, and ingenuity —- in short, everything that won two world wars, put a man on the moon, and bequeathed the world such celebrities as the Jonas Brothers.

Reality, a hip college-aged friend of mine tells me, is often disappointing, although I think she stole that from a movie. Such is the case when you consider the rather pedestrian domestic offerings of chains like McDonald’s in relation to its overseas menus. Thankfully, we get to bask in a little international culture for the summer, as the Golden Arches have rolled out its “Worldwide Favorites” menu.

The Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich, an import from Canada, suggests an especially light and summery offering. You can get the sandwich in either a grilled or crispy version but because you only live once and can drastically reduce said life through gluttony, I got both.

McDonald s Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich Crispy Halved

Structurally, the crispy chicken sandwich holds up better than the grilled. Mine was well presented with multiple leaves of lettuce and surprisingly fresh Roma tomato slices tucked into a toasted, buttered Artisan bun. The crispy chicken was plenty juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside — everything you would want it to be, but for some reason it tasted just okay.

McDonald s Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich Toppings Crispy

The viscous tomato and herb sauce is less sweet or acidic than it probably should be, and what’s left is a garlicky sauce that doesn’t know what it wants to be. The mozzarella, warm but unmelted, cheesy but not milky, is serviceable. But like watching Canadian football, it’s not preferable.

McDonald s Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich Grilled

I found that the grilled chicken version tastes better than the crispy one if only because there is a warm succulence to the grilled poultry that melts the cheese more completely than the crispy version.

McDonald s Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich Tomatoes

The tomatoes and lettuce add a more pronounced relief to the protein and gooey cheese, but they also add structural instability. In rather cartoonish fashion, the contents of my sandwich squirted themselves almost completely free of the bun, of which the button half was basically useless. Also, there are onions on both sandwiches. They’re fine if not a little annoying.

Overall, the Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich is a little bit better than fine but not quite a solid good despite it’s obviously fresh ingredients and relatively sound engineering. If anything, the sandwich makes you appreciate the tried and true regular McDonald’s menu a bit more, while still cultivating a healthy curiosity for the warmth of drive-thrus on distant (or relatively close) foreign shores.

Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 700 calories (Crispy); 530 calories (Grilled) Full nutrition not available at publication time.