May 9, 2013
I have to tell you guys, I was a little skeptical of the McWrap. I’ve long been annoyed with the popularity of the Snackwrap, McBites, and other new menu items McDonald’s has introduced over the past couple of years. I think that for the most part, these are just ways to reuse existing items with smaller portions. Every time they push one of these, or a new coffee drink, it means we’re gonna have to wait that much longer for a new bonafide sandwich to review. At first glance, I figured the McWrap was more of the same: existing stuff mixed around and packaged as something new. Strangely enough, that’s exactly what it is, and I actually love it for it.
Let me explain. First of all, the McWrap is much bigger than I expected. While Snackwraps are a single chicken finger wrapped in some lettuce and tortilla, the McWrap includes a full-sized chicken breast filet sliced up. It’s actually much bigger than the commercials suggest, which is surprising. I also didn’t realize from the ads that there are three different flavors: Chicken and Bacon, Chicken and Ranch, and Sweet Chili Chicken. There’s a lot of overlap in the ingredients, but I decided to start out with the Chicken and Bacon.
Now, how was the sandwich itself? Really good, as it turns out! The weirdest part about it is that it repurposes a lot of salad ingredients, like the salad lettuce and tomatoes and shredded Cheddar cheese. This is actually a big perk, because the salad lettuce and tomato are much nicer than the stuff they usually put on sandwiches. The lettuce isn’t shredded, and the tomatoes are sliced thicker. There’s also a garlic sauce, which is sort of like a fancy mayo with some subtle spice to it. All in all, it’s impressively high-quality for a McDonald’s sandwich, especially in this era of various “bites.”
The McWraps go for around $6 in a combo, and are definitely one of the best options for chicken on the menu right now. I’m looking forward to trying the other two varieties, but if you’re a fan of actual quality vegetables (or at least, higher quality than usual McDonald’s fare), this is not a sandwich to miss.
Burger King has been moving through new burgers and sandwiches at a fast clip this year. This is good, for me, in that it gives me more to write about. It’s also become something of a double-edged sword, as I haven’t been able to review everything I’ve wanted to. Their Chicken Philly sandwich in particular is one I’m sad to have missed. It’s also something I need to make sure to stay on top of, to maximize the usefulness of these reviews. So without further ado, here’s the Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger!
This is actually Burger King’s second attempt at a stuffed hamburger patty. Like the Stuffed Steakhouse XT, the patty has chopped bits of ingredients mixed in, as opposed to a central pocket of cheese or something. This patty includes bacon bits and nuggets of cheddar cheese. It’s not terrible, per se, but there’s not quite enough of a flavor from the cooked-in ingredients to make it worthwhile. I don’t really think this is Burger King’s fault. The best stuffed burgers I’ve ever had have either been home-cooked or made to order at a steakhouse or burger joint. It’s a conceit that doesn’t translate well to machine-pressed patties, and Burger King isn’t really equipped to cook any other way. The rest of it (lettuce, tomatoes, onion rings, ketchup and mayo) is all fine, but nothing special.
Being as it’s Burger King, the Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger runs $7-8 in a combo. While it’s not inedible, the execution doesn’t nearly live up to the concept. I’d avoid this one. There are plenty of other interesting options at BK right now, including a turkey burger and veggie burger, and I can’t imagine they’re going to slow down over there this summer. Save your money and try next month’s special.
Arby’s isn’t the first chain to partner up with King’s Hawaiian, a small baking company known for their thick, sweet Hawaiian rolls. KFC pulled a similar trick a few years ago with the Doublicious, which itself was (my theory) a way to salvage the good parts of the shock value-based Double Down. I’ve been a fan of King’s Hawaiian even longer than that, ever since a friend and roommate brought a batch of rolls back from home after Christmas one year. When I saw that Arby’s added it to the menu, I figured it’d be right up my alley.
And it was, for the most part. The biggest issue I had with it couldn’t really be helped, which was that roast beef wouldn’t be my first choice as a meat pairing with this type of bread. I usually make ham sandwiches with it, and it went slightly better with chicken and bacon. Still, Arby’s roast beef is some of the best you can get around, and it certainly didn’t taste bad. The sandwich also includes Swiss cheese, a Dijon sauce, and pickles, which was kind of a new and interesting addition for an Arby’s sandwich. It was also much more filling than I expected, owning in part to the thicker, fuller bun, as well as the larger portion of roast beef.
The King’s Hawaiian Roast Beef and Swiss runs for around $6 in a combo. It’s a pretty great deal, given that it’s tasty, filling, and different from most other offerings. Still, if you can’t afford all that, Arby’s also has a basic roast beef on King’s Hawaiian. I’d highly recommend trying this sandwich while it’s still around. Everyone should learn the truth that is King’s Hawaiian, and this is a relatively low-risk introduction.