QUICK REVIEW: McDonald’s Signature Crafted Mushroom & Swiss

McDonald’s Signature Crafted Mushroom & Swiss

What is the McDonald’s Signature Crafted Mushroom & Swiss?

It’s another Mushroom & Swiss version. This time it comes with seasoned mushrooms, a creamy bistro aioli, Swiss cheese, and crispy onion strings on an artisan roll with a 100% fresh beef 1/4 lb. patty.

How is it?

Upon opening the signature crafted box, the artisan bun and its golden brown fluffy appearance excited me. Off to a good start!

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After taking off the top to check out the toppings, I was immediately befuddled. There were multiple onion strings, some melted Swiss, a bit of the aioli, but the mushrooms? There were maybe two, three at most on my burger. My excitement sank again. I had reached mushroom patch rock bottom, so I decided to dig in and get it over with.

Chomping through, though? I was pleasantly surprised. All the components come together without one overpowering another. The bun is a tad buttery, the Swiss is sufficiently nutty, and while the drop of aioli tastes like a standard garlicky, peppery mayo, it does its job to add some creaminess to everything.

The standout though is the crispy onion strings. They were super crunchy and flavorful. Yum! I wasn’t wishing for more of the so-so mushrooms with the oniony topping present. They have a nice sweetness that comes through once you get through the coating.

Is there anything else you need to know?

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I ordered my sandwich with one beef patty, but if you are extra hungry, you can get two of those fresh bad boys, if you like. And, if beef isn’t your thing, you can also get it with buttermilk crispy chicken or artisan grilled chicken.

Conclusion:

This is another decent entry in the Mushroom & Swiss category that you shouldn’t go out of your way for if you are expecting Mushroom heaven. For a crispy onion string & Swiss burger, though? It’s pretty good for a fast food joint. Check it out if you are hitting up the Golden Arches anytime soon. For me, I’m definitely going to go with the double next time.

Purchased Price: $5.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Single) 660 calories, 36 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 920 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 33 grams of protein.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Cheesy Bacon Fries

McDonald s Cheesy Bacon Fries

As someone who always uses French fries to scrape off the melted cheese from a McDouble wrapper, I’m happy to see McDonald’s Cheesy Bacon Fries.

From that exercise of not letting any processed dairy go to waste, I’ve learned that cheese and McDonald’s fries are tasty. So it’s nice to see the two come together in an actual menu item. But the orange goop used on this new side isn’t the pasteurized process American slices you’d find in the chain’s sandwiches, it’s a cheddar cheese sauce.

Also, the bits aren’t the thick-cut Applewood smoked bacon in McDonald’s sandwiches chopped up. They’re from a different bacon. But the French fries are the same ones we know, love, and occasionally dip into hot fudge sundaes.

The side comes in one size, and it looks as if the amount of fries used is equal to a medium serving. The quantity of bacon bits is equal to HOLY CRAP THAT’S A LOT OF BACON BITS. It’s as if someone removed the freshness seal from a new bottle of bacon bits while holding it upside down and over the container I received.

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While the fries in my order look as if they’re drowning in bacon, the mass of cheddar cheese sauce dropped on top is a bit too sparse for my French fry cheese scraping off a burger wrapper-liking. Some of the orange glop falls through the fry cracks, but once the top layer of fries is gone, it’s mostly a sea of naked fries.

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Naked fries are somewhat of a problem because there isn’t enough cheese to act as the glue to make the bacon stick to the potato. Now I wrote “somewhat” because naked McDonald’s fries are still McDonald’s World Famous Fries, so it’s not as if without cheese I’m going to dump the rest. I could dip them in ketchup, McNugget sauces, or hot fudge sundaes.

Combining bacon bits, cheddar cheese sauce, and McDonald’s fries makes for a tasty side. The bacon bits are, well, like your run-of-the-mill bacon bits. They’re salty, porky, smoky, and chewy. Along with its creaminess, the cheddar cheese sauce brings a different savoriness and a slight tanginess to party. When both toppings cling to the fries, they deliver a smoky and savory flavor that makes these already great fries better.

I’ll admit, while McDonald’s Cheesy Bacon Fries are very good, they aren’t going to blow your mind. After all, it’s just cheese and bacon on fries, which we’ve seen before in the fast food world. Instead, I imagine the only thing that’ll be happening with your head is the following thought running through it: “Why didn’t McDonald’s do this sooner?”

Editor’s Note: It turns out this is currently being tested in Hawaii and California.

Purchased Price: $3.75*
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 560 calories, 34 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 1330 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 15 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 Triple Breakfast Stack

McDonald s Triple Breakfast Stack

Do you hack your McDonald’s order?

I didn’t know hacking at Mickey Dee’s was a thing as I usually only think of “secret menus” at places like In-N-Out, Starbucks, and Jamba Juice. But, apparently I’ve been missing out because I’ve only ever combined my Big Breakfast combo into one giant sandwich. Does that count as a hack?

Inspired by current hackennings (hacking+happenings) and eater demand for heftier breakfast sandwiches, McDonald’s launched three new Triple Breakfast Stacks for a limited time. They are sandwiches that come with two sausage patties, two slices of American cheese, bacon, and an egg. The only difference between the three options is the carb that holds it all together; you can pick a biscuit, McMuffin or McGriddle.

As a more classic breakfast kinda gal, I went with the McMuffin version. A McDonald’s sandwich/burger in the states never looks as good as it does in the commercials or like the beautiful food photos on the menu. They’re constructed with tweezers overseas, I swear. I lament because my Triple Stack squished down to a 1.75 stack. But, it was still much larger than a regular McMuffin.

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My first bite was the familiar goodness of a Sausage McMuffin — that salty, porky flavor balanced with the slight tang of the English muffin. But, what I noticed more distinctly with the Stack was the American cheese. It has a distinct taste profile and with two melty slices, the rich silkiness of the Kraft-like layers became one of the main flavors, but I wasn’t mad about it.

When I got to the bacon, I LOVED that it did what it does best – make everything taste better! I thoroughly enjoyed the extra punch of salty smokiness as well as the texture it added. I was a bit sad when my last bite was just the sausage patty because it seemed so plain without bacon!

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The $4.29 price point for the sandwich is like the price of a combo for other breakfast sandwiches. But, the Sausage McMuffin with Egg a la carte is $3. So, you’re effectively getting another sausage patty, bacon, and slice of cheese for $1.29. Not a shabby deal.

I would say to quickly skedaddle to your local McDonald’s because the Triple Stacks are a limited time offering. But if you want it after it’s officially taken off the menu, you could just hack it. ¯\_(?)_/¯

Purchased Price: $4.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (McMuffin version) 780 calories, 57 grams of fat, 23 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 340 milligrams of cholesterol, 1560 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of sugars, 35 grams of protein.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Sweet N’ Spicy Honey BBQ Glazed Tenders

McDonald s Sweet N Spicy Honey BBQ Glazed Tenders

I love the insolence of Honey BBQ.

Think about it. In an oversaturated food landscape where barbeque has become hyper-regionalized, all about the smoke, and increasingly shaped by other cuisines, Honey BBQ announces itself as unapologetically one-note.

Where other barbecue sauces hit you with a variety of flavors from fruity to tangy to smoky to hot, Honey BBQ essentially announces itself as the potluck contribution of Winnie the Pooh.

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At the risk of glancing over the “Spicy” in McDonald’s new Sweet N’ Spicy Honey BBQ Glazed Tenders, that’s basically the story with the latest LTO from the Golden Arches. Sure, there’s a slight kick of cayenne on the backend of the tenders, but it’s more “hmm” than anything else.

Heatseekers be warned, these are not a reincarnation of Chick-fil-A’s unicornish Spicy Chicken Nuggets. If you’re looking for genuine heat, these are not the tenders you’re looking for.

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The thing is, they don’t have to be. The first bite of the first tender was chicken tender heaven. Suddenly, marketing buzzwords like “crispy,” “juicy,” and even the highly suspect, if not potentially reprehensible, “finger licking” carry meaning beyond a 30-second radio spot cliché.

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For chicken tender aficionados, that first bite is less a taste sensation and more a moment, as if the combined flavors of every horrible-for-you food came together and created a slow-motion music video of you chomping away.

The glaze, meanwhile, is a double-edged sword, one that invites you to lick the sticky-sweet goo as you would a popsicle, but at the cost of precious crispiness on the part of the tender’s breading. While excellent as far as Honey BBQ goes, the sauce was inconsistently applied.

While I’d avoid sticking the c-word label on the tenders, I’ll be the first to admit that to some taste buds they may seem cloying. Such is the biological reductionism of Honey BBQ, which functions at its best when paired with crispy, fatty foods like those $1 Wise Honey BBQ potato chips it sells at Dollar General, or, as I’ve found, boneless all-white meat chicken strips at McDonald’s.

If you can make peace with this, you will like these tenders. If not, well, there’s always a petition to get Chick-fil-A’s spicy nuggets to go national.

(Nutrition Facts – 4 pieces – 640 calories, 27 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 105 milligrams of cholesterol, 1780 milligrams of sodium, 63 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 35 grams of sugar, and 39 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.19
Size: 4-piece
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Nails the Honey BBQ flavor. Addictively saucy. Tenders stay fairly crispy despite excess moisture. Gives “all-white meat” a good name.
Cons: Spice is modest and not exactly caliente. Inconsistent saucing. Terribly, terribly messy to eat.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Signature Crafted Recipe Bacon Smokehouse

McDonald s Signature Crafted Recipe Bacon Smokehouse

McDonald’s newest Signature Crafted Recipe features a slice of white cheddar, in-house fried onion strings, Applewood-smoked bacon, a layer of bacon onion sauce, and a layer of sweet mustard sauce on an artisan bun with your choice of a beef patty, buttermilk crispy chicken, or grilled chicken.

Here on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, we don’t have fresh beef at our McDonald’s locations like most of the country does. Since that’s case, I thought it would be best to eat it with the buttermilk crispy chicken to experience what everyone else can order.

Before stuffing my mouth, I thought the two different sauces would clash with each other, but they work well. The combo is like an original barbecue sauce. However, as I ate my sandwich, I was also tasting something familiar. It took me awhile to put my finger on it, but I finally realized it reminds me of Van Camp’s Pork and Beans with hot dogs.

I know it sounds strange, but if I break it down, it might make sense. Pork and beans are sweet and savory, and there’s a little bit of vinegar and onion mixed in. The bacon onion sauce is porky, onion-y, and a little sweet, while the sweet mustard sauce is vinegar-y and sweet.

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With the sauces and slightly sweet artisan bun, there’s a noticeable sweetness with every bite. The not crispy Applewood-smoked bacon and the bacon in the sauce help cut through that sweetness with a bit of smokiness. The buttermilk crispy chicken adds a slight tang to complement the mustard’s tang, which is something the other two protein choices can’t provide. As for the fried onion strings, I’m not sure they bring much to the party. When eaten separately, they don’t have much of an onion flavor. But they do provide some crunch, much like the chicken’s breading.

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Some folks might find the two sauces weird, but I love the combo, and in turn I very much enjoyed this sandwich. I think it’s one of the better and more unique tasting Signature Crafted Recipes.

(Nutrition Facts – 920 calories, 45 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 120 milligrams of cholesterol, 1980 milligrams of sodium, 81 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 46 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Two sauces give this recipe a different flavor from the McDonald’s kitchens. Flavor reminds me of Van Camp’s Pork and Beans, which might be a good thing. Fried onions strings and chicken breading provide some crunch. Buttermilk coating enhances flavor in ways that the beef patty and grilled chicken can’t.
Cons: Bacon not crisp, which was not a surprise. Fried onions strings were bland. Sauces might be weird for some.