Review of McDonald’s Tex Mex Stack – Great Tastes of America
What they say:
Two 100% British and Irish beef burgers with pepper jack cheese, a spicy smoky sauce, nachos, lettuce and a slice of tomato in a hot & spicy bun.
Price: £3.89 for the burger only, £5.49 for a meal (subject to variation).
Calories: 618 kcal.
Welcome to week five and week six of the all new Great Tastes of America 2016 promotion. And up next in this US culinary tour is The Tex Mex Stack.
Of course, I’m writing this from the distant past as we actually got to sample this burger way before its public release, when we were invited to McDonald’s Head Office to preview the full GTA range.
The Tex Mex Stack is the lowest calorie (beef) burger of the promo, clocking in at 618 kcal compared to the Tennessee Stack at 635 kcal and the New York Stack at 754 kcal and features a mouth-watering line-up of ingredients including pepper jack cheese, a spicy smoky sauce and nachos. And what’s that? A flavour-infused bun without the colouring!?
I’m going to go on record now and proclaim this to be one of the very best burgers I’ve had the privilege of having from The Golden Arches. Flavour and texture-wise, this could very well be my favourite of the GTA 2016 line-up. It’s pretty much neck and neck with its New York cousin but for different reasons.
Whereas the New York Stack very much relied on classic flavour combinations and that heavenly bagel bun, the Tex Mex Stack offers a crunchy, spicy extravaganza.
You get an instant snap and crunch from the slightly salty nachos which are placed on the double stack of burger and cheese. They bring a nice savoury taste to your palate and neither dominate or are dominated by the other ingredients on-board.
Talking of nachos, this is not the first time they’ve been seen on a McDonald’s build. In recent years we’ve devoured them on the Mexican Fiesta and hugely popular Arizona Nacho Grande and they make a welcome return to the promotion this year.
Flavour-wise, these are salted, and moving forward I would love to see flavoured nacho chips on McD’s burgers, similar to those seen on the recent Hong Kong Crunchy Mega McPepper – in fact just bring that out in the UK…!
“Three new burgers AND sampling them all at McDonald’s HQ… are you ever content with your lot Burger Lad?”
Back to the Tex Mex Stack. This is a spicy burger with a very commendable heat level. Very commendable. It sort of catches you off guard because they are promoting the Extra Hot Spicy Buffalo BBQ Chicken as the spiciest McDonald’s burger ever, but I’d say this one could be hotter. I tried both and it is close – they just have varying degrees & methods of bringing heat to your palate.
The Tex Mex Stack gets its spice level mainly from the smoky spicy sauce which is definitely one of the better limited time sauces I’ve had on a McD’s burger. The pepper jack cheese is good with flecks of pepper running throughout. It also brings a slight additional heat to the table.
Structurally we revert to one cheese slice between the patties with the second on the top patty. This gives you a really lovely beefy/cheesy bite which contrasts fantastically against the snap of those nachos.
The lack of bacon on this build brings the calorie count down to a respectable 618 kcal and the burger is topped with lettuce and a slice of tomato. Now the lettuce is fine, it’s there. It doesn’t have to be but is a welcome (almost necessary) addition all the same. I actually think it would work better with the lettuce you get on the Big Mac so maybe there’s a hack waiting for you there (note to self, order one with that instead).
Finally we have tomato. As you know, I’m not a fan of this burger topping mainstay and I’ll always eat as much of the burger as possible with it on (sometimes finishing it). However, today after a few bites I removed it – it’s just personal preference from me but I’ll leave it thanks.
And that got me thinking. I’d speculated a build featuring jalapeños this year but alas it wasn’t to be. Now, I stated to some of our great hosts at McDonald’s that if they had swapped the tomato for jalapeños on the Tex Mex we could possibly be crowning the greatest burger of all time from them. I expect that development might have tested this combination (we’ve only seen the topping make it on the crowd-sourced Big Spicy Bacon before) but it might have pushed the spice levels a bit too high. Pure speculation on my part but I wouldn’t be surprised.
I’ll end our analysis on the bun. Did I break a piece off and try it on its own? No. I forgot. Or was I burger fatigued (at this point I had already eaten a Tennessee and New York Stack)? There is a slight heat coming from the bun itself which contributes to the overall spice levels you’ll encounter eating this. There’s obviously going to be comparisons with the Burger King Angriest Whopper (besides the colour issue) and in my opinion, I think The Tex Mex just shades it.
And that’s why you’ll be surprised by this burger. It’s not got a warning sign. It’s not saying “this is the spiciest burger ever at McDonald’s”. It’s not even got a chilli logo/warning sign on the promotional imagery. And that’s what catches you off guard. We were all like “actually this one’s quite hot” and it is. Quite hot. Don’t go rushing out expecting serious spice levels as it’s not going to happen. But it’s a good burger. Very good… and like I state above, neck and neck with the New York Stack in terms of my personal favourite.
So The Tex Mex – a very, very enjoyable burger from McDonald’s and a “great” ending to this all new and improved GTA promotion. If you were in your comfort zone for the last ten years, expecting the “same old burgers” every year, prepare to be shunted out of it with this burger and line-up. I’ll add now, that despite the hospitality and fact we are reviewing this from Head Office it has no impact whatsoever on our impartial evaluation.
The Tex Mex Stack is available from 25.05.16 to 07.06.16 at all participating restaurants.
You might be wondering why there has been no BLTV with this latest GTA promo. The honest truth is that I’ve not really enjoyed doing the YouTube stuff in the past 12 months and a lot of it has felt forced and stale. Besides, you’ve got a fantastic bunch of guys over at Food Review UK doing some great stuff on YouTube and if you like comedy burger reviews with some banter then please hit them up. You won’t regret it.
Personally, I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep giving you the “first look” or “first review”. I can guarantee we will strive to do what we do best – expert burger analysis. With the knowledge, context and commentary that continues to make us the industry-recognised number one burger review website in the UK.
Thank you to everyone for following, reading and sharing our reviews. And a MASSIVE thank you to all the team at McDonald’s for inviting us down to HQ. You know we always appreciate it.