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A Review of the Signature Sandwiches at McDonald's

Updated on July 28, 2017

Three New Sandwiches to Choose From

McDonald's Has New Sandwiches

Well if you are familiar with fast food restaurants you will already know that in most places at least, McDonald's is offering these new sandwiches. These are supposed to be a little more sophisticated and add a flair to the regular hamburger or chicken sandwich and provide an alternative to the Big Mac or Quarter Pounder. They are a little more expensive and come in three varieties: The Maple Bacon Dijon, the Sweet BBQ Bacon and the Pico Guacamole. You can order these with the Beef Patty (the same used in the Quarter Pounder) or the Crispy Chicken or the Grilled Chicken. You also get a choice of bun: Sesame Seed or Artisan Bread.

Quite a few decisions to make in order to request a simple sandwich, but is it worth it? It's a little more expensive - which is to be expected. The new variety of sandwiches also helps McDonald's compete with some of the higher end fast food burger establishments like Carl's Jr.

I will say a few words about McDonald's in general, share my experiences with a couple of varieties of this sandwich, and then try and say a few words about the eating experience overall in the context of daily life. I know this sounds a little deep, perhaps even melodramatic, but I hope to convince you of my opinion of fast food - and after you discover it, you may think me a hypocrite for writing a review such as this. I will use photographs taken from the franchise's websites downloaded online because I didn't think to bring my camera with me when I decided to write a review on this topic.

McDonald's is Convenient

Certainly there are a few good things to say about McDonald's. They are definitely convenient and like most chain restaurants, comfortable because when you dine there, you know what you will get. The menu doesn't usually fluctuate too much and the prices are usually fairly reasonable. You can pick something up in your car, grab a bag for take out to work or the park or sit inside and dine comfortably in an air conditioned room. For awhile even, they had the best french fries - before the transitive fat laws came into being - which were really crispy and golden. They were delicious

The food isn't high quality or extremely healthy, but it is palatable and there is always something available: you can go there for a nice quick breakfast, eat there for lunch, or dinner or a snack. There are salads if you want to avoid the fried food as well.

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McDonald's...(cont.)

I won't spend too much time going into the history of the restaurant because most of you either know about the acquisition from the McDonald's brothers by Ray Croc or can find it through a reliable resource. There is a book out called Fast Food Nation and part of the story is told in that well written expose on the American Fast Food Industry. If you haven't picked it up, give it a read. It is well worth it and will enlighten you about what a large impact these conglomerates have on the American Economy.

McDonald's has been around for many years - you may recall the signs that often stated "Over 100 billion served" which is the population of the planet many times over. That is quite a few hamburgers and of course, this new variety of sandwiches deserves some examination.

Fast Food Nation - a good read

The New Sandwiches

I already mentioned the varieties which you can order your sandwich in and my personal favorite flavor is the BBQ Bacon. I like barbecue sauce and I love bacon. The little onion chips are a nice addition and there is a usually a lighter cheese - Swiss I believe - added. I always opt for the sesame seeded bun because I like sesame.

I've had both the beef and the chicken - fried not grilled- types. I am not that that much of a fan of the grilled chicken sandwiches since McDonald's changed the recipe several years ago. The chicken is a pleasurable alternative to the regular sandwiches you have at McDonald's. Their beef version of this Signature Sandwich doesn't taste much different than their regular burger - they use the same patty that is in the Quarter Pounder - but adding the onion, cheese and barbecue makes it almost resemble something you might find at a place like Red Robin - minus the fancier taste.

I've tried the chicken at a couple locations here in the Central Valley. I first discovered it in Oildale and had it there. It was remarkably good - everything tasted like it was fresh grilled. The onion strands were crispy and the sandwich was warm and resembled the picture quite accurately.

Then I sampled the chicken one again and the beef patty one locally in Bakerksfield - those times it was okay. Both these times, I tried the BBQ Bacon.

I also sampled the crispy chicken barbecue in Earlimart - a small town just north of Kern County - right near the border actually - and it was just okay there. Compared to the first time I tried the sandwich in Oildale, several months previous, it was nothing spectacular.


Some Sandwiches Rated

Restaurant/Sandwich
Sandwich- Main Ingredient
Toppings
Overall
McDonald's/BBQ Bacon Crispy Chicken
8.5
7.5
8
McDonald's/BBQ Bacon Beef
7
7.5
7.3
Carl's Jr./Western Bacon
9
9
9
Red Robin/BBQ Bacon
9.5
9.5
9.5
Denny's/Burger
8
7.5
7.8
In and Out/Any Burger
9
9
9
Chick Fil-A/ Chicken Sandwich
8.5
-
8.5
Arby's/Regular Roast Beef etc
9
8
8.5
Scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is the highest

Was my Oildale experience better? I'm not really sure. They offered it to me right when they were making these available here - so the concept was still new. It is my belief that when a company promotes a new product - it makes better samples available in the beginning in order to hook an audience. This may not be completely true, but it seems to me to be that way with a variety of restaurants, or even products purchased in the frozen section of the grocery store. The company provides the premier, a better quality product initially. As soon as the consumers start become attached to the new item, the company loosens it's quality control and finds ways to cut costs and make same amount of product with lesser ingredients.

This is a bit of an assumption on my part, however, there are other factors to consider. Familiarity often can be an inspiration to boredom. Once you become used to something, the newness sort of wears off and that originally new meal that was fine and tasty becomes blase because you are accustomed to it. This could be the case with the sandwich. The first time I tried it, I thought it was spectacular and then it started to loose its taste and flair. When I ate my sandwich tonight, it actually seemed to be absent of any flavor and parts of the texture were almost like rubber. I was actually surprised my chicken patty had passed inspection.


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Some Words on Fast Food, McDonald's and the American Appetite

Well one of the things I can say about fast food is that quickness doesn't always ensure quality. That should be a given. But is the fact that fast food restaurants can be found on every corner a symptom of our need for instant gratification or a result of corporate greed? Perhaps a combination of both.

We want what we want and we want it now: movies, e-books (forget actually going to a bookstore or library), music, the latest fashions, food etc. Everything about us today seems to be about right here and right now. Fast food restaurants used to be a convenience and an occasional luxury when we were too tired to cook and eat at home. One look at the climbing obesity rates and it seems no surprise that this new ubiquitous monster called the fast food restaurant awaits us.

Fast food isn't cheap as it used to be either. Of course we are living in an economy where prices are rising much faster than our wages. What I paid for a hamburger, french fries and a refillable soda, I could have gotten a decent meal and desert and perhaps left a tip at a sit down restaurant fifteen years ago. A smorgasbord even.

And of course, it isn't as satisfying. Often it leaves me feeling a little uncomfortable too. I see people hanging around outside of these eateries, often panhandling. And my stomach is often a little upset because the food wasn't as tasty or the fillers they use in them aren't agreeable with my system.

Overall, I would probably pass on the sandwich and just save my money. The onion strings were not crispy, the bacon was minimal, the cheese almost invisible and the chicken breast patty had fatty fillers included. Not what I expected or anticipated.

My Overall Rating on the BBQ Bacon Crispy Chicken

Item
Taste
Quality
Overall
Chicken Patty
7
8
7.5
Bacon
7
7
7
Onion Straws
7
7
7
Cheese
7
6
6.5
Barbecue Sauce
8
7
7.5
Bun
7
6
6.5
Sandwich Overall (tonight)
7
6.5
6.8
On a Scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is the highest: My feelings about the sandwich tonight

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Comments

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 months ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting overview!

    • wpcooper profile image
      Author

      Finn Liam Cooper 3 months ago from Los Angeles

      the whopper is pretty good. McDonald's fries used to be good. I preferred Carl's Jr. in the day.

      thank you

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 months ago from Texas

      I like the whopper at Burger King, McDonalds has the best fries.

      Wonder if the new owner will change the name of McDonalds.

      Thanks for the interesting read.

    • wpcooper profile image
      Author

      Finn Liam Cooper 3 months ago from Los Angeles

      thank you Mandal: they are pretty good actually aren't they? Even though I couldn't do it every day.

    • Debangee Mandal profile image

      DEBANGEE MANDAL 3 months ago from India

      I love McDonald's Sandwiches..so i loved the review. Very well written.