A Hamburger Today

'Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus' at McDonald's

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[Photo: Carey Jones]

Given how unimpressed I've been with McDonald's Angus Snack Wrap and Angus Burger, I can't say I had high hopes for their new limited-time only release—the Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus Burger and Snack Wrap. In fact, it filled me almost entirely with dread*.

Any anticipation I did feel, I attributed mostly to the painfully low-carb diet I'm currently following. Once per week you get a "cheat day," which I planned to use for my McTasting. After five days of eggs, lentils, and chicken breasts, I'd have strangled my own mother for a few french fries.

The 1/3 pound patties come either on a seeded bun or in a "Snack Wrap" tortilla, both with cheese, bacon, and their Chipotle BBQ sauce. It's that sauce that really sets these guys apart from the standard Angus Burgers and Snack Wraps; how would it affect the burger?

The burger I tried looked like it had been plucked from the poster on the window—I'd never seen such a photogenic meal from McDonald's. Taste-wise, though, it didn't quite deliver. The standard McDonald's meat and cold American cheese were no surprise (I don't think I've ever tasted melted cheese at Mickey D's, so I have trouble holding that against the sandwich). They've figured something out about pink tomatoes and limp lettuce, and decided to forgo them; this burger had just pickle and red onion, which both tasted crisp and fresh. And the bacon was a genuine surprise—crisp and flavorful, snappy at the edges, it blew all other fast food bacon out of the water. Frankly, I'm not sure the bacon I make at home is better.

But what about that barbecue chipotle sauce? Essentially, it tastes like a slightly spicier version of McDonald's regular barbecue sauce—same color, same amount of sugar, with just a little more heat. Chipotle flavor, though? Couldn't taste any.

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As for the Angus Snack Wrap version? While it still has most of the faults of the old version—the tortilla still tastes bland, and the cheese is, again, cold—it's got the strengths of the burger; the red onion and pickle are a nice counterpart to the meat, the bacon is surprisingly good, and the sauce, while more "BBQ" than "Chipotle," isn't bad.

All in all, the Angus isn't a great burger. If I'm at McDonad's, the Big Mac is still #1 in my book. But, the Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus is the best of the McDonald's Angus series that I've had. McDonald's finally found a decent combination for that series—they ought to keep it in the lineup, not just feature it as a limited-time offering.

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