Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I ate McDonald's Jalapeño Cheddar McChicken AND Cheddar Onion McChicken and all you get is this lousy review!

Jalapeño Cheddar McChicken (McDonald's)
Price: $1.49
Calories: 360
Fat: 15g

Cheddar Onion McChicken (McDonald's)
Price: $1.49
Calories: 370
Fat: 16g

Here in the San Antonio market, McDonald's offers the Hot N' Spicy McChicken, which is awesome. As a "dollar menu" item in lieu of the regular McChicken sandwich offered at most of the other locations across the country, it has been my go-to cheap lunch for as long as I've lived here. Apparently, the regular McChicken is also available, as a sort of "secret" item that isn't shown on the menu, but I don't know for sure, because I have never ordered it, as I always prefer my food—much like my women—hot and spicy (and sometimes with mayo).

In an effort to shake things up, fast-food restaurants tend to add extras to already existing sandwiches in order to make us think that something completely new has been created. In this case, McDonald's hasn't given these new McChicken sandwiches new names, but instead simply added the prefixes "Jalapeño Cheddar" and "Cheddar Onion." Both of these sandwiches come with the Hot N' Spicy McChicken patty by default, with the McChicken actually advertised as an option. While I had a slight inclination to order the sandwiches with the regular McChicken patty, in order to see what the other ingredients could do without the spicy element, eventually I decided to go with Hot N' Spicy for both.

Aside from the McChicken patty (for those of you just joining us, an economically friendly, breaded, processed chicken patty), the Jalapeño Cheddar McChicken and the Cheddar Onion McChicken both have the regular plain bun and shredded lettuce, with the mayonnaise omitted on both, perhaps because it would clash with the additional ingredients. And, as mentioned in the name, they've added a slice of melted cheddar cheese to both sandwiches. In this case, it's a mild, white cheddar that tends to get lost amid the other ingredients. No, really... it's just too mild. While the melted cheese presents a nice textural element, even the lettuce overpowers the flavor of this cheese. If you're going to advertise cheddar, I want sharp cheddar (preferably smoked sharp cheddar with bacon, but I digress), and if I can't have sharp cheddar, it would at least be nice to have a more flavorful mild cheddar.

The Jalapeño Cheddar McChicken contains all of the ingredients listed above, along with a "jalapeño salsa" that also includes onions and tomatoes. Awesome, right? Well... the salsa does have a nice flavor, and works well with the melted cheese (though I really think the sharp cheddar would have worked better here) and chicken patty, but the jalapeños used for this are waaaay too sour. Those of you who ask for your burgers without pickle will want to steer clear of this, as the salsa has a considerable acidic element to it. It wasn't enough to give me heartburn, thanks to the rest of the ingredients, but it's a bit on the loud side. The spiciness of the salsa would best be described as "mild-medium," though any watering eyes out there will more likely be attributed to the sourness.

The Cheddar Onion McChicken, on the other hand, knocked this guy's socks off. As aforementioned, it's got the lettuce, cheese blah blah but holy SWEET JESUS the onions are of the grilled, caramelized variety. The onions are excellent. If you're from or have ever visited Chicago and have eaten at Maxwell Street Polish, that's about how awesome these onions are. They should put them on everything. Everything on the menu. EVERYTHING. I want a Big Mac with the grilled onions, a Quarter Pounder with the grilled onions, a Filet-O-Fish with the grilled onions. Hell, I would even take a hot fudge sundae with these onions on it.

Rating (Jalapeño Cheddar McChicken):

Rating (Cheddar Onion McChicken):

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