Review of McDonald’s Hot & Spicy Buffalo BBQ Chicken – Great Tastes of America
What they say:
Tuck into a crispy and succulent chicken breast fillet, topped with bacon, cheese, onions, Batavia lettuce, cool mayo and a Hot & Spicy Buffalo BBQ Sauce.
Price: £3.99 for the burger only (subject to variation).
Calories: 588 kcal.
I had sort of started writing the review of the new Hot & Spicy Buffalo BBQ Chicken on the M40 last Friday. In my mind I was already writing it off for not being spicy enough. OK the promotional pictures had a couple of chillies next to it but does that guarantee heat?
Recently there have been McDonald’s chicken sandwiches in France and The Netherlands that have had Tabasco sauce on, so as I drove I wondered why the UK couldn’t get a similar tie-in. I knew there wouldn’t be much of a chance of the definitive Buffalo Wing sauce, Frank’s being on it due to their involvement with Domino’s Pizza. I was sat in the driving seat throwing missed opportunities around in my mind before I had even tasted it.
I mention Friday as it was at this time we were heading south to McDonald’s Head Office to sample all six of the new Great Tastes of America promotion – five days before they were set to be unleashed on the public! Having already sampled the Buffalo Chicken we could have got the review published earlier but we wanted to save it for the day it was released… and to see just how the build compared from a restaurant instead of the development kitchen.
Today we didn’t rush out early and arrived at my local McDonald’s drive-thru during lunchtime. After a fairly respectable wait I got my new Hot & Spicy Buffalo BBQ Chicken with McShaker Fries and Fanta (£5.69 in total – the fries are £1.29 on their own and weigh in at 340 kcal).
|Sort of first look…|
As you can see from the pictures this was respectably put together and wasn’t a million miles away from a “Head Office Build”. After the usual photo shoot and latest episode of a controversial BLTV we were ready for Buffalo Chicken: Re-visited.
|Our Head Office build…|
The chicken is the usual legend patty and for the cost and convenience it is a good High Street burger and I can’t fault it. Crispy on the outside and soft, firm white breast meat in the middle. It works as well as ever with the bacon and I like the new variety of cheese they’ve used here instead of the standard yellow – it looked pretty good just slightly melted sat atop the chicken and bacon.
|Our drive-thru build…|
The real talking point on this is obviously the Buffalo BBQ Sauce – I assume they threw “BBQ” in the description so that the majority of UK punters would feel in their “safe zone” knowing the familiarity of BBQ. I bet there’s a fair few people out there that don’t know what Buffalo Sauce is… in fact Miss Milkshake and I once had the pleasure of overhearing a group of people proclaiming “I didn’t know Buffalos had wings…” Also its no coincidence that McDonald’s have chosen BBQ as their debut seasoning of choice for McShaker Fries (you can get Seaweed flavour in the Far East) as again this will be something people will feel “familiar” with – not that I am complaining as I love them and it’s great to see them in the UK!
Back to the Hot & Spicy Buffalo BBQ Chicken and that sauce. It’s hot. There is no argument there. Today mine had considerably less sauce than the one I had some five days earlier. I was glad to have this again though as at Head Office we had already had all five of the other burgers so didn’t get to fully appreciate it.
|Hot & Spicy Buffalo BBQ Chicken…|
It’s definitely got a Tabasco base/heat level to it but is slightly cooled down by the mayo which was barely recognisable. This is definitely the spiciest UK McDonald’s burger we have had yet, surpassing the heat levels provided by the Big Spicy Bacon and Sweet Chilli Fiesta. I did wonder if the success of those My Burger winners contributed to McDonald’s decision to bring a hotter than usual burger to the market.
I’d also like to mention the fresh onions used on here. I like the addition of these quite a lot actually and they remind me of the ones they use on the McRib. You get a warm glow from the sauce and the crispiness of the chicken and then a semi-sharp pang from the fresh, raw onion. It’s a good sandwich and a welcome addition to the Great Tastes of America roster.
|Lifting the lid…|
The Hot & Spicy Buffalo BBQ Chicken might not be the first burger you think of when going out to try this latest promotion from McDonald’s but be certain not to glance past it. Anyone looking at the Miami Special and letting out a yawn should head to this instead. And at only 588 calories this is a moderately light lunch.
Don’t expect super crazy spice levels as you’ll be disappointed, but it does leave you with a warm glow… perhaps if mine had more sauce today it would have generated a more fiery feeling on my taste buds.
Things are looking good for McDonald’s lovers. A new spicy burger, the introduction of McShaker Fries and the possibility of the Bacon Clubhouse to come (this is pure conjecture on my part at the moment). We might not see the sort of heat levels on burgers like in say Singapore and other countries in the Far East but it’s a start. And you know me… despite a cracking new promotion from Ronald and friends I’ve already got one eye on the next…
Despite taking a while to get through the drive-thru I had to chuckle when the girl that gave me my order said “I like your t-shirt” – she didn’t realise where it was from until I told her… Nobody calls me chicken Milkshake…