REVIEW: McDonald’s Peanut Butter Crunch McFlurry

After years of having an occasional new McFlurry offering, there’s been a flurry of limited time McFlurry varieties over the past few years. There have been at least two annually since 2019. McDonald’s new Peanut Butter Crunch McFlurry is the second new blended treat this year from the Golden Arches. It follows the Strawberry Shortcake one that came out in the spring. So there’s a good chance we’ll have to wait until 2024 for a new variety.

The Peanut Butter Crunch McFlurry is described on the McDonald’s site as a crispy cereal mix and chocolatey peanut butter cookie pieces in vanilla soft serve. While that sounds delicious, if you look through the mix-ins’ ingredients list, there are “peanut butter creme cookies,” “fudge coated peanut brittle,” “chocolate peanut butter yummy chow” (no, fo’ reals), and “peanut butter cereal squares” listed, which makes it even more enticing.

And it’s not just appealing on paper. Looking at it from above, the dessert looks inviting, with a generous helping of cereal, cookies, and yummy chow floating on the white soft serve. If the image above doesn’t make you want to instantly dive in with a spoon, I don’t know if we can have a relationship. However, I will be the Snack Grinch here and say, as good as this looks in my photos and as intriguing as the ingredients list reads, this McFlurry is okay.

The cereal and cookie pieces were crunchy, but unfortunately, it’s not very chocolatey or peanut butter-y, even with a decent amount of mix-ins on my spoon. That’s fine if you want a treat that’s not too cloying, but I want a little indulgence here. I want something as enjoyable as a McDonald’s Hot Fudge Sundae, and I’m not quite getting that with this. Though, there were a couple of moments when the cereal, cookies, yummy chow, or a combination of the three sort of tasted like a waffle cone. Also, one last thing about the mix-ins. Like a good cereal, they maintained their crunch in the quickly melting soft serve after I took pictures.

McDonald’s Peanut Butter Crunch McFlurry is a nice change of pace if your usual After Mac treat is an Oreo or M&M’s McFlurry. It’s not going to knock your socks off. But if you’re wearing crew socks, it might make them slide down your calves slightly.

Purchased Price: $4.59
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 510 calories, 16 grams of fat, 10 gram of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 78 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 47 grams of sugar (including 47 grams of added sugar), and 12 gram of protein.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Grimace’s Birthday Meal feat. Grimace’s Birthday Shake

Happy 52nd Birthday, Grimace!

I have to admit; Grimace doesn’t look 52 years old. It’s like he’s the Paul Rudd of McDonaldland. (By the way, Paul Rudd is older than Grimace.) To celebrate the occasion, McDonald’s is offering for a limited time Grimace’s Birthday Meal that features your choice of either a Big Mac or 10-piece Chicken McNuggets, fries, and a limited edition shake that’s inspired by the big guy’s color and sweetness.

Look, if you’re reading this, you probably know what a Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets, and McDonald’s fries taste like. So let’s spend the rest of this review on Grimace’s Birthday Shake, which I wonder if Grimace has actually had because wouldn’t it be like eating himself since, according to McDonald’s, he’s “the embodiment of a milkshake”?

Anyhoo, since Grimace represents a shake, one of the mysteries about it was, “What shake flavor is he?” Well, we now might have an answer. Grimace’s Birthday Shake has a delightful blueberry flavor that reminds me of the fruit at the bottom of a blueberry yogurt but a little more intense. It’s mostly sweet, and at some points I thought it was reaching the level of being too sugary, but there’s also some tang to it. I also think this blueberry flavor would be great in an Oreo McFlurry. Maybe do that for Grimace’s 53rd birthday, McDonald’s? For now, I’ll just dip my fries into it, which is surprisingly good.

If there’s one issue, it’s that in order to get it, I have to purchase Grimace’s Birthday Meal. Look, I get it, money, demand, growth, customer traffic, valuation, shareholders, Hamburglar’s constant bail, yadda yadda yadda. But the only barrier to getting the shake should be a broken or currently being cleaned soft serve machine and not wondering if I want to eat several hundred calories to suck up a few hundred purple calories. Although I admit, it’s worth it the first time because that’s how tasty the shake is. But I don’t want to do it every time.

Purchased Price: $13.19* (meal)
Size: Medium shake
Rating: 8 out of 10 (shake only)
Nutrition Facts: (shake only) 580 calories, 15 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 97 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 75 grams of sugar (including 62 grams of added sugar), and 12 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 New Lemonade (2023)

Sweet, tart, refreshing… lemonade is so popular for a reason, sure. But it can also be pretty easy to mess up. In ye olden days of about a few weeks ago, back when McDonald’s used to serve syrupy Minute Maid lemonade, it wasn’t exactly the nectar of the gods, but it was predictable. The Minute Maid has now been replaced by McDonald’s new lemonade (ironically referred to on its menu as “classic”), which was an unknown quantity for me.

To briefly break down the difference, this new brew is described by Mickey D’s as “made with real lemon juice, bits of lemon pulp and real cane sugar.” Conversely, Minute Maid is maid with high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar, and it also doesn’t contain pulp. So, these two citrusy sips have their distinctions, and you can taste them.

I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t be able to find the words to review something as straightforward as lemonade, but from my very first taste, one word flashed brightly in my mind, as bold as Ronald McDonald’s wig: TART. I had wondered whether this new lemonade might be on the saccharine side like its predecessor, but there was nothing mild about its lip-puckering intensity. That cane sugar does lend some welcome notes of sweetness to avoid feeling like you’re straight up licking a lemon, but the dominant flavor is definitely sour.

I had also suspected that this lemonade might taste watered down, but I’m pleased to report that that was not the case. The taste was rather smooth and robust, so much so that when I had to take a phone call mid review and returned to find my ice cubes melted, the flavor was hardly diminished (in fact, with the sharp edges of sourness slightly toned down the lemonade might have even tasted better).

Of course, I also have to mention the potentially-controversial addition of pulp, and I have to mention that I barely noticed it. The pulp was most obvious when I peered at the bottom of my cup, and yes, when I jostled the cup I could clearly see it swirling throughout, but its presence was less felt in the taste, with most pulp bits short and thin enough that I hardly realized they were there as I drank. The occasional larger chunk was more apparent, but I found that these just added some welcome texture.

Overall, the potent pucker power of McDonald’s new lemonade might be a touch too tart for some tastes, but if you can suck it up — literally! — this juice is worth the squeeze.

Purchased Price: $2.60
Size: Small
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 150 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 10 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 34 grams of sugar (including 34 grams of added sugar), and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Bacon Ranch McCrispy

The McCrispy is a rebranding of McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich, and it’s a much better name than the wordy and generic Crispy Chicken Sandwich. If you missed it, the name change occurred a few weeks ago, but the first new addition to the renamed line is the Bacon Ranch McCrispy.

It features a crispy chicken filet, applewood smoked bacon, crinkle cut pickles, buttermilk ranch sauce, and a toasted potato roll. There’s a Deluxe version that also includes Roma tomatoes and shredded lettuce.

Full disclosure: I thought the Crispy Chicken Sandwich was a mediocre, bland offering, so read this review with that in mind. So why am I reviewing this? Because I wanted to know if bacon can truly make everything better. With that said, this new variety is slightly better in some ways and slightly less so in others.

The fillet is noticeably skinnier than what I had with the Crispy Chicken Sandwich. That one put the “fill” in fillet. But the one in this makes the sad McChicken patty look substantial. While it was thinner, the meat was tender and somewhat juicy. Also, despite sitting in its foil bag for several minutes and under lights for several more minutes while I took the photos in this review, the breaded exterior still had some crispiness. While this fillet’s thickness doesn’t match what I experienced with the original Crispy Chicken Sandwich, they share a common attribute — blandness. It’s the reason why I was so disappointed with the original.

So thank the fast food gods for the pickles, ranch, and bacon because they compensated for the fillet’s lack of flavor. The pickles and ranch combination is a winner, with the pickles adding a tanginess that complements the creamy ranch sauce. As for the bacon, some were crispy, and others were chewy, but all provided smoky, porky goodness. Also, my order came with enough slices to almost blanket the chicken. Bacon does make this sandwich better, but the pickles and ranch sauce do more to accomplish that.

Overall, I liked McDonald’s Bacon Ranch McCrispy, thanks to the toppings. It’s decent enough that I’d probably order it again or try the Deluxe version.

Also, there’s one last thing about the name. I’m disappointed that McDonald’s used the name McCrispy for a chicken sandwich because it hurts my idea of having a product called McCrispies, which would be a clamshell container of those short crunchy French fry shards that end up at the bottom of fry sleeves that could be used as a sandwich or dessert topping.

Purchased Price: $6.89*
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 650 calories, 36 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 1610 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar (including 8 grams of added sugar), and 33 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 Smoky BLT Quarter Pounder with Cheese

McDonald’s Smoky BLT Quarter Pounder with Cheese is like a combination of two other Quarter Pounder varieties — Quarter Pounder Deluxe and Quarter Pounder Bacon – but with the usual condiments kicked to the curb, the pickles punched out of the park, and the onions out of the picture.

The latest Quarter Pounder variation features a beef patty, two American cheese slices, applewood smoked bacon, Roma tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and a new smoky sauce on a toasted sesame seed bun. It’s also available with two beef patties.

Before seeing pictures of this burger, I thought because of the “smoky” in its name that it would have a barbecue sauce. But as you can see in the photos, the smoky sauce looks like mayonnaise or ranch dressing. Its tangy and smoky flavor makes it similar to a bacon-flavored ranch dressing, but it doesn’t have a strong flavor even though it’s on both buns.

Is the sauce tasty enough that I’d want it on every McDonald’s burger? I’m not sure because I feel it’s there specifically to enhance the bacon’s flavor, much like the hot fudge in the new Oreo Fudge McFlurry enhances the chocolatey cookie crumbles. So putting it in burgers that don’t have bacon might not work. Speaking of the pork, I loved biting into the slices I had in mine. They were thick, salty, meaty, slightly crispy, and, as I’ve experienced with the regular bacon Quarter Pounder, paired well with the beef patty.

The lettuce was crunchy, somewhat green, and fell out from the burger like it was pretending to be in a Big Mac. As for the Roma tomatoes, two bright red slices added a slightly sweet and acidic bite. While eating the burger, I forgot two American slices were in it because my taste buds didn’t notice them. Instead, they ended up more focused on the bacon and smoky sauce.

Overall, McDonald’s Smoky BLT Quarter Pounder with Cheese is a tasty variation of its classic burger, and it successfully makes me think of a BLT. I do believe its name is more of a mouthful than the burger itself, but I guess I should be glad that it’s not the McDonald’s Smoky Bacon Lettuce Tomato Quarter Pounder with Pasteurized Process American Cheese.

Purchased Price: $7.99*
Size: n/a
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 770 calories, 51 grams of fat, 18 grams of saturated fat, 115 milligrams of cholesterol, 1410 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 36 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.