A Hamburger Today
Reality Check: We Try the New Premium McWrap from McDonald's
I don't watch very many commercials anymore (thank you, DVR), but with the start of baseball season and the concurrent NBA and NHL playoffs, I've been able to catch up with the latest offerings from some of my favorite (and most reviled; it's a love/hate thing) fast food haunts. And so it was that I made that short and familiar drive to the Golden Arches.
Available in three styles—Chicken & Bacon, Sweet Chili Chicken, and Chicken & Ranch—with a choice of crispy or grilled chicken for each, the Premium McWrap from McDonald's has its roots in the Snack Wrap line of flour tortilla roll-ups.
I placed an order for the Sweet Chili Chicken Premium McWrap with crispy chicken, described on the McDonald's website as, "A sweet and satisfying mix of crispy chicken breast filet, crisp cucumber slices, spring greens, shredded lettuce, all drizzled with sweet chili and creamy garlic sauce, wrapped in a warm flour tortilla."
I could write an entire column about the Premium McWrap container alone. Its pull-tab opening elicits memories of holiday gifts, while the box itself serves as a holster to keep the Premium McWrap securely assembled. But no box is going to tell me what to do, so I placed my sandwich on a plate and prepped it for examination.
I didn't expect to find more than two cucumber slices. But when I counted a mere nine pieces of spring mix...well, let's just say it may have been unsurprising, but it was disgraceful nonetheless.
When I learned from the McDonald's website that the spring mix portion is 0.2 ounces, I was able to confirm what I already knew: the spring mix is just there to make the eater feel good about him- or herself. It didn't add anything flavor-wise, and if I'd eaten the sandwich in its holster, I doubt that I would've even spotted it to begin with. I also thought back to my childhood days—I definitely would have spit out any pieces of non-shredded lettuce, and I think it's reasonable to assume that that's exactly what's happening in minivan backseats across the country.
In reassembling the sandwich, I did my best to position the chicken, cucumber, and spring mix evenly. In spite of my painstaking efforts, many bites went unbalanced, surely the result of relatively large chicken pieces; sliced, rather than diced, cucumbers (a decision I do support, since they did retain a fair amount of crunch); and a centralized repository of sweet chili sauce and mayonnaise. Early mouthfuls that consisted of just chicken and tortilla were the most enjoyable. I thought the sweet chili sauce, which lacked any appreciable heat, tasted mildly bitter, like a poorly executed sweet and sour sauce.
"What about the garlic cream sauce?," you ask.
According to the McDonald's website, "Some restaurants are using Mayonnaise Dressing in this menu item instead of Creamy Garlic Sauce." A call placed to the store where I purchased my sandwich went unanswered, but I'm confident in my assertion that I did indeed receive this substitution. It's a shame, too, because garlic might have helped balance the upfront sweetness of the chili sauce.
At $3.99, the Premium McWrap is priced in line with other full-sized chicken sandwich offerings from national chains. It's a fine value, but it isn't going to blow you away. I suspect we'll see the Bacon-Ranch Premium McWrap shortly (in fact, I'm surprised they haven't released it yet), and I'll probably wait until then to revisit this particular product line.
Oh, and, um, if you're not going to eat your spring mix, can I, like, maybe have it?