Tag Archives: McDonald’s

McDonald’s Lone Star Stack Burger

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Probably one of the more successful snack food marketing campaigns in the last few years, despite it having a name that makes me want to punch someone, is the Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” campaign. Honestly, it really is impressive that they can get as many people as they do all worked up about potato chips. Because, really, they’re potato chips.

In the time since Lay’s first came up with that concept, a lot of other snack and fast food merchants have attempted to replicate it with varying degrees of success, but few of them manage to drum up the hype that Lay’s does.

It was only a matter of time until fast food behemoth McDonald’s decided to give it a crack. The result? The McDonald’s Burger Showdown.

Apparently, back in March, they announced this contest. People could go online and build their burger using a “long list” of “fresh” ingredients. Once you selected your ingredients, chose a name and submitted your virtual burger, you would be on your way to, perhaps, burger fame and a jackpot of $5,000. The submitted burgers would be voted on by the unwashed masses, then judged by a “panel of qualified judges” using a set of criteria including “taste”, “creativity” and “operations feasibility”. Sadly, I missed all the fun, since I only became aware of this after the winner was announced.

Before we GET to the winner, though, we should list all the finalists, shouldn’t we? Because really, there are no losers here. This is the winners circle, right?

McDonald's Lone Star Bronc Burger Promo

First up is the “Lone Star Bronc” consisting of a Premium Bun, two Quarter Pounder Beef Patties, American Cheese, Pepper Jack, Grilled Onions, Crinkle Cut Pickles, Applewood-Smoked Bacon, Shredded Lettuce and Sweet Onion BBQ Sauce.

McDonald's Dobletxmeet Burger Promo

Next is the “DOBLETXMEET”, whose name infuriates me no end, which is made up of an Artisan Roll, two Classic Beef Patties, Swiss, Grilled Mushrooms, Grilled Onions, Applewood-Smoked Bacon, Herb Seasoning, Chipotle Ketchup and Ketchup. I guess “bonus” ketchup. Somebody really likes ketchup.

McDonald's The McSqually Burger Promo

Our next contender is the curiously named McSqually, consisting of Texas Toast, two Quarter Pounder Beef Patties, two American cheese slices, Applewood-Smoked Bacon, and Big Mac Sauce.

McDonald's The Gourd Burger Promo

Then we have the also-curiously named “Gourd”, which sports Texas Toast, Shredded Lettuce, Applewood-Smoked Bacon, Guacamole, ONE! (1!) single, solitary Quarter Pounder Beef Patty, American cheese and Barbecue Sauce (apparently, NOT sweet onion barbecue sauce, but the other kind).

Who are we kidding here? If those aren’t the winner, then they are obviously the losers. As famed NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby says, “If you’re not first, you’re last!”. So now we come, at last, to the real winner. The best burger that Texas, apparently, has to offer.

Cue up its announcement commercial if you like, or just read on….

McDonald's Lone Star Stack Burger Promo

The Lone Star Stack, lovingly crafted out of only the finest of artisan ingredients, including delicious buttery Texas Toast, crispy and tangy Crinkle Cut Pickles, two juicy Quarter Pounder Beef Patties, creamy White Cheddar and American cheese, Applewood-Smoked Bacon, Caramelized Onions and Sweet Onion BBQ Sauce.

At this point, you’re probably thinking what I’m thinking. These are all within one or two ingredients of being the same damn burger. Texas Toast, BBQ sauce and caramelized onions are showing up just way too much here. Either their “long list” of possible ingredients was all like “Please check one: [_] BBQ Sauce, [_] Barbeque Sauce, [_] Chipotle Ketchup (alright, you got us, that’s really just BBQ sauce again), or [_] Sweet Onion Barbecue Sauce” or their “panel of qualified judges” consisted of one fat guy in bib overalls named Billy Joe Jim Bob that just really really likes BBQ sauce on his burgers.

…And therein lies one of the first lessons that McDonald’s did not take away from Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor”, and that’s differentiation. With Lay’s, you’re dealing with potato chips vs. other potato chips, so they’ve got to be different from each other. I don’t think they’d ever pit “BBQ Flavored Chips” against “Also BBQ, But It’s a Different Kind of BBQ Sauce Flavored Chips “. The merit of these burgers aside, I honestly doubt that in a real-life taste test I could easily choose between them, because they all sound so similar.

The second thing that McDonald’s failed to accomplish was to personalize the contest. Who made these burgers? What are their names? Their inspirations? Where’s our Cheesy Bread Karen to carry the torch for starving Olive Garden patrons worldwide? Where’s our Meneko Spigner McBeth to make us jealous of the hand-made sushi rolls she got in her lunchbox instead of Lunchables?

The closest thing that McDonald’s did to giving this so-called contest any personality was to include an infographic on their site that conveyed the following factoids:

  • 2,545 people named their burgers “Mc_SOMETHING_”
    Whelp, it IS McDonald’s and pretty much EVERYTHING is named McSomething. No shocker there.
  • 6,420 people put jalapeños on their burgers
    Also, no big surprise. This is Texas and we do like our jalapeños. The real surprise is that none of these made it to the finals. I’m maintaining that Bill Joe Jim Bob is a big ol’ wuss when it comes to spicy food.
  • 248 burgers had “Alamo” in their name
    HELLO. TEXAS…. AGAIN. I’m surprised that number is so small, honestly.
  • 278 artisans were named “Josh”
    An interesting distinction to make, and the closest to knowing who is behind any of these burgers we’re apparently going to get. Also, I love how these days, the only thing you have to do to be dubbed an “artisan” is make something yourself, even if it’s just by clicking on burger ingredient names on a screen.
  • 708 burgers had no patty at all
    These were immediately disqualified, I am sure.
  • 15,541 people added spicy ingredients to make flaming hot creations
    …And again, not a single spicy burger made it to the finals. Somehow.
  • 497 people put bacon on their burgers, but no beef
    That seems a bit odd. Maybe they were confused and thought that the beef was automatic.
  • 2,522 people put “Texas” in their burgers’ name
    Not to belabor a point, but yup, “TEXAS!” If Texas-shaped buns had been an option, I’m sure they’d have been in the majority.

Another key point that McDonald’s missed in their promotion is the promotion part. I never even heard about this until after this contest was over and the burger was out. Can’t be any buzz if nobody knows about it. On a side note though, as a Texan I do appreciate the nice play on the Gonzales “Come and Take It” flag. Nice touch.

Anyway, so I thought I’d try this thing out, so I headed to my local TEXAS McDonald’s. “Yee-Haw!”

The first thing I saw when I walked in the door was this delightful little display across from the order counter.

McDonald's Lone Star Stack Burger Promotional Display

Other than this unusually “crafty” point-of-purchase signage, the ordering process was uneventful, so I retired to a nearby booth to experience the best burger that Texas has to offer.

McDonald's Lone Star Stack Burger

As is typical, it looked considerably more…. compressed than the burger in pictures. Time to check under the hood.

McDonald's Lone Star Stack Burger Inside

I will say that they did well with their onion and pickle coverage. A generous amount of sauce was splooshed between the patties and the top toast slice. There was no spread at all on the bottom slice. The toast also looked considerably thinner than the Texas Toast pictured, and really didn’t look or feel toasty at all.

I was easily able to taste the onions separate from the burger, since so many had fallen off. This is good, because they did have a pretty solid caramelized taste. Unfortunately, under all that BBQ sauce, their flavor was almost completely lost.

The so-called “Sweet Onion Barbecue Sauce” just tasted like any random generic BBQ sauce. Its purpose there, obviously, was to do little other than keep you from tasting the onions, or the white cheddar, or anything, really, other than BBQ sauce. ….and to make the Texas Toast predictably soggy and fally-aparty. I actually do like Texas Toast on a burger, but it does have to be very toasted to not become a gooey mess. If McDonald’s plans to continue making it available, maybe they can check with Whataburger to see what their secret is.

The pickles, being pickles, did manage to cut through the overwhelming BBQ sauce taste to make their presence known. The bacon was, typically, lost and unnecessary. And that slice of American cheese was likewise unneeded. Why not two white cheddars? Why taint a “premium” burger with crappy American cheese? As I’ve said before, American cheese goes on value-menu items, not on a pricey limited special offering.

Taken as a whole, the Lone Star Stack was not a terrible burger, it was just extremely mediocre and boring. And, like most McDonald’s high-end burgers, it seemed to me to be a tad overpriced. Having two Quarter Pounder patties did make it fairly meaty, but it really didn’t manage to distinguish itself in any other way. It also doesn’t help that I’m really just not a fan of BBQ-sauced burgers.

McDonald’s Lone Star Stack Burger

  • Score: 2 out of 5 Soggy Toast Slices
  • Price: $5.99
  • Size: 1 Burger
  • Purchased at: A McDonald’s in Texas! Yep!
  • Nutritional Quirk: Nearly twice as many calories (960) and fat grams (54) as a Big Mac. Yee-Haw!

McDonald’s Chorizo Burrito

McDonald's Chorizo Burrito

[Please enjoy this guest review from Robert – Not Bob, a valued sometimes-contributor to Junk Food Betty who had the privilege (or curse – read on to determine) of being in a test area for this new product. Thanks, Robert!]

In the five (!) years since Junk Food Betty first graced the information superhighway (Congrats, by the way), I’ve almost certainly read more about, and spared more thought for, fast food than I probably had in all my previous years combined. That’s a bit of a mixed blessing, obviously, but it has amused me, and on occasion, I’ve even learned a few things.

One of the things I’ve learned is that the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area is a seething hotbed of fast food test-marketing. For that reason, I find myself, once again, submitting a guest review, this time for McDonald’s Chorizo Breakfast Burritos. Well, that and the fact that your JFB host isn’t one to eat an egg, regardless of how it’s gussied up.

For those not in the know, there are actually two very dissimilar food items called “Chorizo”. One is a hard, cured European sausage, made from pork and Spanish paprika. The other is a fresh Mexican sausage made of God only knows what.

Chorizo con Huevos, which is Mexican chorizo and eggs, is a breakfast staple of taquerías, and is commonly rolled into burritos or breakfast tacos. However, it’s long been conspicuously absent from the fast food breakfast lineup. Even nominally “Mexican” fast food chains like Taco Bell, not one to shy away from mystery meat, has kept it out of their breakfast burrito offerings. I’m guessing that this is because chorizo tends to be spicy, and not spicy in a way that’s anything like the pickled jalapeño flavor that pretty much forms the basis of the typical fast food consumer’s idea of “spicy”. It has a pretty unique taste and texture, and is not very similar at all to familiar breakfast meats like bacon or ham.

McDonald's Chorizo Burrito Don't Mess with Breakfast

A quick look at the sign advertising the chorizo burritos also confirms that whoever designed it has little familiarity with chorizo. In the burritos pictured you can clearly see chunks of yellow egg and chunks of something red, which is presumably pretending to be the chorizo. As anyone that’s had it can attest, that’s not the way chorizo and eggs look. When you cook chorizo and eggs together, they basically become one homogenous mass. Perhaps that’s another factor that’s kept it off most breakfast menus. When Americans look at their meat and eggs, they want to see identifiable meat chunks, rather than a pile of eggs that just look like someone got confused with the dye at Easter.

Let’s take a look inside the real burritos.

McDonald's Chorizo Burritos

As I had two burritos to work with, I cross-sectioned one, and unrolled about the other.

McDonald's Chorizo Burrito Halved

McDonald's Chorizo Burrito Open

As you can see, these bear little resemblance to what was pictured, but we all know that that’s the norm with fast food advertising. Anyway, there’s not much to look at here. Chorizo and egg mix, a few red and green pepper bits and a flour tortilla. The strong odor of chorizo seemed pretty promising and, once tasted, I had to admit, these weren’t bad at all. The tortillas themselves left a bit to be desired – the ones you get at taquerías tend to be more flavorful and are typically pan fried before use – but the chorizo y huevos inside tasted exactly like it should. And, for two for $3, seems like a pretty decent breakfast deal.

McDonald's Hot and Mild Picante Sauce Packets

Along with the burritos I received 4 packets of McDonald’s Picante Sauce, two mild and two “hot”. Do not be tempted to put these on your chorizo burritos. Place them in the nearest trash receptacle. I tasted the “hot” and it was thoroughly vile. Putting ketchup on your chorizo burrito would be unforgivable, but would still be a better choice than McDonald’s Picante Sauce. If you do want to put some sauce on your chorizo burritos, that bottle of Tapatío in your file cabinet drawer or those old packets of Taco Bell “Fire Sauce” in your glove box are both much better options.

I do know of at least two taquerías in the path of my morning commute that offer chorizo and egg burritos that are about the same size, and are slightly better, and are slightly cheaper, so I probably wouldn’t make McDonald’s version a regular purchase. However, if I found myself in a taquerías-free zone (yes, even in Texas that can happen) and wanted a breakfast fix, I could definitely see getting them again.

McDonald’s Chorizo Burrito

  • Score: 4 out of 5 pork salivary glands
  • Price: $3.00
  • Size: 2 burritos
  • Purchased at:McDonald’s #35172

News: McDonald’s Testing New English Pub Burger; Prepare to Have your Gob Smacked

Appearing in at least two cities (Algonquin and Genoa) in Illinois, McDonald’s is test marketing the English Pub Burger. Within the Empier first reported it; his tray liner described it as such: “If someone asks you if you fancy an English Pub Burger, the correct response is YES! This sandwich is smashing, made with 1/3 lb. of 100% Angus beef, hickory-smoked bacon, white cheddar & American cheese, grilled onions, tangy steak sauce & smoky Dijon mustard sauce all housed on an artisan roll. It’s so tasty, you’ll be gobsmacked!”

Credit: Within the Empier

The liner also defines these bolded English slang words, which I find completely unnecessary since I’m convinced that by now, every American has watched at least one of Gordon Ramsey’s seven million TV shows and is mildly familiar with such terms.

A GrubGrade reader also had the chance to try one, and reported that “This burger just works and tastes unlike anything I’ve ever had from McDonald’s.” Strong words. There’s a lot going on with this burger; I find the combination of steak sauce and smoky Dijon most intriguing. My fingers are crossed that the steak sauce will be British brown sauce (like HP or Daddie’s) and not just standard A1. I also hope that it goes national and I’ll actually get to try it one day.

The English Pub Burger is priced at $4.49, the same as McDonald’s other Angus Third Pounders. It’s nice to see the chain doing something outside their usual burger offerings. I’m not convinced that the English Pub Burger stays 100% true to actual English pub offerings, but at this point, I’m beyond semantics. I just want to try it out!

If you’ve had a chance to try the English Pub Burger, please leave a comment! I would love to hear some other opinions.

Sources: BurgerBusiness, Within the Empier, GrubGrade

Food News: McKFC Double Deuce Deluxe

Update: This was obviously an April Fool’s joke, but if you actually printed out the coupon and tried to use it, I’d love to hear from you! Also, serious thanks to my friend Randy, who helped me brainstorm and also doctored up the fake coupon for me. He obviously did a fantastic job. As thanks, I’ll bump the website to a movie he made called Burning Annie!

McDonald’s and KFC announced today that they’ll be joining forces to create a new sandwich, which they’re calling McKFC’s Double Deuce Deluxe. According to the press release, “The sandwich itself is a burger-wrapped bacon-breaded Original Recipe slider with Olive Satsuma Pickle Relish and Queso Oaxaca Melt.”

Sounds like quite a mouthful, if you ask me. As Burger King and McDonald’s continue to war over creating new and innovative burgers, I see this as a response to Burger King’s BK Stuffed Steakhouse Burger. If you think stuffing a burger with chicken is ridiculous, go do a Google search for turducken. Stranger things have happened.

I’m interested to see how the bacon breading works out. The pickle relish is also an interesting choice that might overwhelm the palate, but I love that they’re using Oaxaca, which is a Mexican cheese that I personally have always enjoyed.

McKFC, as I guess they’d like to be called, at least for this product, has released limited nutritional information, but from what I’ve read, each slider contains 1,853 calories, 32 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, and 1,420 milligrams of sodium. Definitely not a diet food, considering these are just sliders. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Internet goes bonkers about these little fatty salt bombs, considering how much they had to say about KFC’s Double Down.

The McKFC Double Deuce Deluxe sliders come in packs of 3, 9, or the gut-busting 20-piece “Party Pack”. I couldn’t find any set pricing, but below is a coupon for $1 off any size purchase that you can print out and take to any McDonald’s OR KFC. This shit be loco. Oaxacaloco!

McDonald’s Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus

McDonald’s has already introduced three other Angus burgers, and I have somehow managed to skip out on all of them. That’s about to change, because they’ve just launched a fourth one, the Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus, and I have it in my hungry little hands.

From the mouth of Ronald McDonald and his marketing team, “Make time for the bold taste of a third-pound* 100% Angus beef smothered in sensationally sweet ‘n smoky Chipotle BBQ sauce, kicked up with crisp red onions, sliced pickles and two slices of American cheese, all on a toasted sesame seed bun.”

For the sake of full disclosure, the asterisk leads to this message: “*weight before cooking at least 5.33 oz (151.1 gms). At participating McDonald’s.” Valuable information I’m sure you wanted to know.

I love chipotle. Chipotle is really hot right now (har har), which usually annoys me, because once a flavor gets hot it sneaks itself into every food possible. I wouldn’t be surprised to see pomegranates on top of a hamburger at some point, since pomegranate is so in at the moment. I imagine marketing departments scrambling around, trying to figure out how to incorporate the latest fad flavor into every single item on the menu.

I just realized something. Fast food is a lot like fashion. That’s creepy.

Anyway, I can’t fault McDonald’s for putting chipotle on a hamburger. My husband has been using chipotle in his hamburgers for years. Chipotle and meat go together great. I’m glad to see they’re finally dating publicly. I even saw chipotle wearing hamburger’s Letterman’s jacket in home room the other day. They seemed happy together.

Let’s start with the good: McDonald’s Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus is hefty. The Angus beef patty was large, juicy and flavorful, which was a surprise to me, compared to a regular McDonald’s burger. The Angus really steps it up on quality and flavor. Also, the red onions were fresh and added a good crunch.

Sadly, those are about the only good things I can say about this burger. The BBQ sauce was okay, but there was nothing chipotle about it. Chipotle has a very distinct flavor – spicy, smokey goodness – and I worked hard, but just could not find it. Sure, there was some smokiness, but it was the kind that comes with BBQ sauce, not chipotle. If you’d blindfolded me and handed me the burger and asked me to describe it, I would have said it’s a burger with BBQ sauce on it. The word chipotle would have never passed my lips.

Actually, I would have said it’s a BBQ burger with Limp Bacon Syndrome. The bacon was plentiful, but it was the same sad little floppy strips you usually come across. I’ll revise my blindfolded evaluation one more time: I would have said it’s a BBQ burger with Limp Bacon Syndrome and a strangely overwhelming amount of pickles. Yes, that’s right – the pickles. They were the most prominent flavor on the burger. I thought maybe it was just a fluke, so I asked my husband, who had also ordered a Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus. He said he had been thinking the exact same thing. I didn’t count the amount of pickles on the burger, but I should have. Perhaps it had the standard amount of pickles and they just didn’t jive with the sauce, which made their flavor stand out. I don’t know what it was. All I know is pickles, pickles everywhere. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a pickle problem with a burger before, but there you have it.

I was really disappointed in McDonald’s Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus. I loved the hamburger patty and will probably try one of the three other Angus burgers as a result, but when you have something in the name that is impossible to detect (at least to me), sad bacon on what is supposed to be a high(er)-quality burger, and strangely overpowering pickles, you don’t have a successful burger concept. Especially not for the price. I expected good things from the Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus, and I didn’t get what I wanted. I have to end this review now, because I have to go McDonald’s and throw an inappropriate tantrum in the middle of their restaurant.

(Note: The Impulsive Buy, GrubGrade, We Rate Stuff and An Immovable Feast also reviewed this burger.)

  • Score: 2 out of 5 so many pickles
  • Price: $3.99
  • Size: At least 5.33 oz. before cooking
  • Purchased at: McDonald’s #1[number didn’t print on receipt]427
  • Nutritional Quirks: Pickles provide 10 mg of calcium.  Who knew?

McDonald’s Sweet Chili Sauce

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce IntroducingAs I’m sure most of you already know, either because you’re a fan of the event or because your beloved NBC Thursday night lineup has been interrupted, the 2010 Winter Olympics are currently being held in Vancouver. Never one to miss a promotional opportunity, McDonald’s has introduced a new dipping sauce for their McNuggets – Sweet Chili Sauce – and they’re attempting to drum up interest in this limited time offering by tying it to the Olympics. How do these two things relate to each other, you ask? The answer: I have no goddamn clue. However, they are trying very, very hard to connect the two, and you know what happens when marketing teams try too hard, don’t you? Don’t you? If you’ve been reading this blog for any appreciable amount of time, you do. It’s called madness.

Once again, if you’ve been following JFB for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve unconsciously developed a formula to my writing that goes something like this:

  1. Intro paragraph, may or may not have anything to do with the product I’m reviewing.

  2. Four or five paragraphs mocking the marketing of said product.

  3. One, two if it’s lucky, paragraphs about how the food actually tastes.

  4. Closing paragraph with summary and why you will probably hate it.

It’s not like I did this on purpose. It just sort of came to be. We humans are creatures of habit, I suppose. Well, today I’m going to break that habit. I’m going to tell you about the food first, and then I’m going to show you what McDonald’s thinks is the most effective way of getting you and I to buy it. We’re taking a train ride; it’s going to make a brief stop in Tasteville, and then it’s leaving the station and heading right to Crazy Town. Buckle up, kids; this could be a bumpy ride.

(Do trains have seat belts? I don’t think I’ve ever actually been on a train. Fuck it, trains have seat belts now. Sit down and shut up.)

First off, let me say that I had to go to McDonald’s twice, once again the victim of fast food employee incompetence. Last night I went and ordered, and asked the drive-thru speaker if they had the new Sweet Chili Sauce. “Sweet and Sour?” she replied. I wanted to sit her down right then and there and educate her about how different words mean different things. “You see, honey, ‘chili’ and ‘sour’ do not mean the same thing!” One wonders how she functions in the world, with such a debilitating learning disorder. Anyway, after I repeated the question, got the message across, and was told no, we don’t have that,I took the McNuggets off my order, discouraged.

When I drove up to the window to get my food, there was a man wearing a tie handing it to me, and seeing a tie behind the counter of a McDonald’s screams “manager”, so I asked him if he knew when they would be getting the Sweet Chili Sauce in. “We already have it,” he replied. Well, I’d already taken the nuggets off my order, and I didn’t feel like being a pain in the ass, so I just left. My discouragement transformed into a mild, frustrated rage. There’s something about getting fucked over by fast food employees that just pisses me off. If a new item comes out, they should know about it. I got even more enraged when I got home and saw the bag that my burgers (figured I’d get dinner while I was there) came in:

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce Bag

IT’S ON THE FUCKING BAG, MOTHERFUCKER! The sauce is right on the goddamn bag. A bag that you are surrounded by, day in and day out, that you probably handle dozens, if not hundreds, of times a day. IT IS ON THE BAG.

I made a second trip to McDonald’s today.  A different McDonald’s, of course.  There was no problem obtaining Sweet Chili Sauce this time.  The chick who took my money even gave me the sauce before I got the nuggets, informing me that the button for the sauce did not yet exist, and she wanted to make sure I got them.  That was very thoughtful of you, lady order-and-money-taker.  You should go down the street and talk to the other lady order taker.

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce McNuggets
McDonald's Version

I won’t even go into the McNuggets.  I have to imagine that 99% of people reading this have had a McNugget at some point in their lives. For the other one percent: tastes like a chicken nugget.  Mushed up chicken meat, formed into little chunks, breaded, fried.  Glad we got that out of the way.

What I Got
What I Got

That’s not bad photography, although I would understand if you thought that, considering my past photographic endeavors.  In real life, the sauce is much darker.

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce Close-Up

The sauce is a very deep red, and if you hold it in just the right light, you can see little red pepper flakes spread throughout the sauce, which is a good thing, since they are listed as an ingredient.  Cayenne pepper is also listed, so there’s your “spicy”.  When you get your nose up close, there’s a strong vinegar scent with what smells like a spicy barbecue sauce.  Off to a fairly good start.

I was surprised by the consistency.  It seems less like a sauce and more like a glaze.  Just trying it straight off my finger, I was very pleased with the flavor.  The sweet is what you taste first, but it’s not sweet in the way that candy is sweet; it’s that kind of sweet that goes well with savory, like sweet and sour sauce.  At first, I was a little disappointed by the spicy side of Sweet Chili Sauce, but as I ate more (still off my finger, like a savage), the heat gradually built up, plateauing at a level of heat that was just right.  As a whole, the sauce tastes sort of like a combination of orange chicken glaze and a mild barbecue sauce.  They work well together.

On a McNugget, the flavors are more muted, but they don’t disappear altogether.  You get more of the orange chicken glaze than the barbecue on the nugget, and it seems to mute the heat a little as well, but it still holds up.  I also appreciate the thickness of the sauce – no worries about sauce dripping on your nice blouse as you wolf down an unhealthy lunch right before that important meeting.  Although I imagine the number of successful businesswomen ordering chicken nuggets from McDonald’s for lunch is fairly low.

I didn’t really hold any expectations for Sweet Chili Sauce going in.  I figured it could go either way.  Fortunately, it went the right way.  I usually like to keep my sweets away from my savories, but I really enjoyed this dip.  It does live up to its claims of being sweet and spicy, which makes me think they should have gone with that instead of “Sweet Chili”.  Just seems more appropriate to me.  I would totally get this dip again the next time I order some McNuggets, but considering that this is the first time I’ve eaten McNuggets since I was probably twelve years old, I have a feeling we won’t be running into each other much in the future.  Actually, that’s pretty much a done deal, because Sweet Chili Sauce is only sticking around as long as the Olympics are, so if you want to try it, you’d better get your butt down to a McDonald’s pretty soon.  Except don’t go to McDonald’s #11427, because they employ dirty, dirty liars.

Now, here is where we arrive at Crazy Town, aka The McNuggets Village. Meant to vaguely resemble an Olympic village, different buildings offer different activities and nugget-related items, which I will break down for your pleasure.

McDonald’s Restaurant

There’s the actual McDonald’s, which explains the connection between the Olympics and Sweet Chili Sauce: “McDonald’s is bringing you the taste of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games – new Sweet Chili Sauce, the perfect blend of sweet and spicy.” This sentence is pretty amazing, because not only does it absolutely not explain the connection between Sweet Chili Sauce and the Olympics, but it also describes Sweet Chili Sauce as “sweet and spicy”. Never before have I seen a sentence that manages to offer absolutely no information whatsoever. It’s like a rich man burning a hundred dollar bill – there’s no purpose or reason to it whatsoever. It is a waste of words, space, and my time.

Athletes Dorm

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce How Do You

Oh what the motherfuck. “How do you McNugget?” They want me to accept the word “McNugget” as a verb, now? No. No. I refuse. I can’t even bear to watch the videos of Olympian athletes, people who have worked very hard every day of their lives to excel at one athletic feat, talking about how they McNugget. My head would explode.

Victory Club

Here, you can enter a sweepstakes to win a trip to the 2012 Summer Olympics. All you have to do is answer a few questions about how Olympians, sigh, McNugget. Just go to the Athletes Club, watch the videos, and answer accordingly. I have entirely too much pride to participate in any of this nonsense.

McNuggets Stadium

This is where the wheels really come off the tracks. I don’t feel that I need to use too many words here; the pictures will say it all. I will tell you how McDonald’s explains this surreal little activity, though: “You’ll see athletes from all over the world pass it, spin it, dunk it and attack it. Get the inside scoop on the games they play – and see what it all means in the Wide World of McNuggets.” Showing all of them to you would take too long, so I just chose the ones I found particularly…interesting.

Let’s just…let’s just do this.

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce Freestyle Skiing

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce Critical Grab

Junk Food Betty translation: Be a selfish bastard to your friends. Sharing does NOT mean caring, apparently.

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce Ice Hockey

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce Deke

Junk Food Betty translation: Make a heart shape with your hands to confuse and distract the person eating McNuggets in the booth next to you, then steal their last McNugget. Being an asshole isn’t just for friends; you can do it with strangers, too.

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce Luge

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce Slider

Junk Food Betty translation: What the fuck? Who does this? Who puts a McNugget on their poorly-cleaned table and then proceeds to slide it across the table, presumably over the edge, into an impossibly small tub of sauce, both of which will then tumble onto the ground? If you are doing this in a McDonald’s, you will be asked to leave.  If you are doing this at home, you’ve just stained your carpet with Sweet Chili Sauce, and your dog is now eating the McNugget.  This is not a “common act”.  Nobody does this.

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce Short Track Skating

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce Crossover

Junk Food Betty translation: You fucking mooch, you already stole my last McNugget the other day, and now you want me to give you another one, after you already stuffed your face with your own 12-piece? I’ve had enough of your bullshit, buddy. Get your stuff together and get out of my house.  You will never sleep on my couch again.

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce Speed Skating

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce Pairs

Junk Food Betty translation: You fat, gluttonous fuck. That is disgusting. I can’t even finish my own lunch after watching you shove two McNuggets at a time down your gaping maw. I’m getting out of here. Feel free to make a Critical fucking Grab when I’m gone.

Future Gold Training Center

This is where you can meet the McDonald’s Champion Kids. I do not know why they are Champions. The videos of them that are presented would probably tell me why, but I don’t care. Here’s what I really care about: “They’ve come from all over the United States to experience the games, meet their hero athletes, and see the Olympic Values of Friendship, Excellence, and Respect in action.”

I sure do hope that the Champion Kids are not allowed inside McNuggets Stadium, because all that Friendship, Excellence, and Respect are going to go right out the window once they read the McNuggets translation of various sports terms. As you can see above, McNuggets believe in Begging, Gluttony, Stealing, and Unsanitary Eating Conditions. These are the Values that McNuggets believe will turn you into Champion Kids and responsible members of society in the future. God help us all.

Also, I hate hate hate inappropriate capitalization. I hate you so much, McNuggets Village.

  • Score: 4 out of 5 chicken nuggets on the floor
  • Price: Free, but $3.88 for the McNuggets
  • Size: Two 1 oz. tubs of sauce; 6 nuggets
  • Purchased at: McDonald’s store #I don’t remember because I lost the damn receipt
  • Nutritional Quirks: More of a glaze than a sauce; not sure where “chili” fits in.

Note: I actually wrote the bulk of this review on Tuesday, February 16, which is when I purchased the McNuggets, but I was so overwhelmed by the website that I’m just today finishing it up.  So please note that all references of dates and times are from the 16th.

Note note: Interesting the similarities between McDonald’s Sweet Chili Sauce and KFC Sweet & Spicy Glazed Grilled Chicken, eh? I smell espionage!

Note to the third power: Phoood and The Impulsive Buy have also reviewed McDonald’s Sweet Chili Sauce. Check out their thoughts.

Junk Food Foibles: McDonald’s Spicy McDouble

Recently, I was driving past a local McDonald’s and I spotted this sign:

Spicy McDouble
Me, on a busy street corner at 7am, trying to look inconspicuous

Bob and I buzzed with speculation all the way home.  What would be on this new Spicy McDouble?  Pepper jack cheese seemed an obvious choice.  Jalapeños, maybe?  Perhaps a special mayo-based sauce with some zing?  Nah, that’s probably too much effort for a $1 value menu burger.

I got home and slid onto the Internet, eager to see what it had to say about this new offering.  I’ve been burned by fast food’s so-called “spicy” offerings (such as Burger King’s Angry Whopper), but there are some guys out there capable of delivering some heat (such as Carl’s Jr.’s Jalapeño Burger).  I’m always willing to give it a shot.

…Unfortunately, my search was fruitless.  There was absolutely no buzz about the Spicy McDouble on the Interwaves.  What gives?  I was starting to get suspicious.  I decided to write McDonald’s an email, but in the middle of writing it, I found the phone number of the location in question.  Great, I could go right to the source.

I was expecting much confusion when I called the restaurant.  A bored-sounding girl answered the phone, and I explained what I had seen on the sign and inquired as to what this new menu item entailed.  She told me to hold on, and I assumed she had no idea what I was talking about and was going to pass me off to someone else.  Instead, she was taking an order.  When she got back, she said, “Actually, it’s because they look close together but it’s actually the Hot ‘n Spicy chicken and the McDouble.”

Aha!  While that sentence doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, it’s what my growing suspicion had been all along.  The Hot ‘n Spicy chicken sandwich and the McDouble are both on McDonald’s Dollar Menu.  Or are they?  I can find no mention of the Hot ‘n Spicy on the McDonald’s official website, but if you search for it on Google, you’ll find plenty of other websites that mention it by name and even offer detailed nutritional information.  Again I ask, what gives, McDonald’s?  Why are you trying so hard to hide the Hot ‘n Spicy?  And who in their right mind would just put “$1 spicy” on a sign?  That doesn’t even mean anything!  Spicy what, for heaven’s sakes?!

One solved mystery and one new mystery later, I have my answer.  I have to say, I’m a little disappointed.  I was looking forward to trying the Spicy McDouble.  My only consolation is the idea that, every day, dozens of people flood into that McDonald’s, angrily demanding the Spicy McDouble that was advertised on the sign.  Their hunger and their need for spice fills them with rage, until they are a single entity, a raving mob of lunatics shouting profanities and threatening to sue for false advertising.  Flustered employees back away and mutter impotently, unable to logically explain the separation of spicy and McDouble to the masses.  Chaos reigns throughout.

Junk Food Freebie: McDonald’s Mocha Mondays

McDonaldsMocha Today and next Monday (August 3rd), participating locations of McDonald’s are offering free iced and hot coffees from 7am to 7pm.  Apparently, it’s mochas only, and apparently, they are “sample” sized (8 ounces), so caffiene addicts shouldn’t expect to catch a buzz unless they plan on McDonald’s-hopping all over the city.  Considering it’s late July, I would suggest getting the iced version, but if you’re a big fan of drinking a diuretic that’s also hot when it’s 100 degrees outside, knock yourself out.  I haven’t had their fancy mochas with the whipped cream and the chocolate syrup and the hey lady!, but I’ve had their regular iced coffee and it’s surprisingly good for having come from a restaurant that makes burgers that look like they’ve been run over by a pickup truck.  Enjoy!