Review: Bacon Clubhouse from McDonald’s

I’ve always felt like the special sauce on the McDonald’s Big Mac could potentially make a fan favorite out of something else.  Up until now, the special sauce has been exclusive to the Big Mac and Mac Snackwrap and while the Big Mac holds its iconic status in the world of fast food burgers, I’ve held the opinion that it’s very overrated.  What exactly makes the Big Mac so special?  There’s too much bread and the burger patties are dwarfed by lackluster lettuce.  What gives the Big Mac that edge, that flavor that people crave, is the special sauce.  The new Bacon Clubhouse utilizes this sauce and offers up a much better overall premium experience that makes the Big Mac look completely outdated.

McDs Bacon ClubhouseOn the inside of the Bacon Clubhouse burger box it says, “Discover what you love… with ingredients like, thick cut apple wood smoked bacon, special sauce & caramelized grilled onions, all mingling on a soft & warm artisan roll.”  These ingredients are true standouts with the Bacon Clubhouse, but there’s also a seasoned quarter pound burger patty, white cheddar, leaf lettuce, and a slice of tomato in the mix.  Everything put together made for the most satisfying burger I’ve ever had from McDonald’s.

Bacon Clubhouse ReviewThe burger patty is a quarter pound of 100% beef with a salt and pepper burger seasoning.  It isn’t too oily or too dried out and hits a nice mark somewhere in the middle.  I feel the applewood smoked bacon that was introduced last year is such a relief to new McDonald’s menu items.  The old bacon was something that could easily mess up a decent sandwich experience and the new applewood smoked bacon can really give a boost to any burger.  To me the applewood smoked bacon made this already great burger even better by hitting the salty pork flavor just right.  Texture-wise, the bacon was cooked well enough to have some crispness and chewy parts without becoming too crumbly or rubbery.

Bacon Clubhouse BurgerThe special sauce really is that X factor ingredient that your tastebuds will crave again and again.  It’s a simple combination of various salts, sugars, spices, powders, pickle relish and everything you’ll find in mayonnaise.  The result is a creamy, pink concoction that you’ll find stands out well with its sweet tangy and subtly sour qualities.  Caramelized grilled onions at McDonald’s really pop in the flavor department and they fit in with a savory blend to balance out the flavors of the salty beef and bacon and the sweet and tangy taste of the special sauce.  Although I’m a fan of the $1.00 Grilled Onion Cheddar, the white cheddar doesn’t stand out too well with that burger and the same can be said with its impact on the Bacon Clubhouse.  White cheddar at McDonald’s is way too mild to impact the overall taste of this burger so outside of the soft texture, it’s quite forgettable.  The bread is described as a “soft & warm artisan roll” and I’ll describe it as a heartier potato roll.  I liked the bread a lot and felt it worked well for a burger.  I’m so glad McDonald’s didn’t try to attempt ciabatta with this.  The lettuce and tomato, were crisp and fresh and all around quite perfect… yes, you read that right.  McDonald’s is actually consistently hitting their marks with freshness in my experiences over recent years.  It’s good to see that with the jump to hit areas that are described as “premium”, McDonald’s is doing a respectable job in the fast food market.

McDonalds Bacon Clubhouse BurgerAt $4.69 for the burger alone, the Bacon Clubhouse seemed a tad pricey.  The burger was indeed filling and I was left satisfied, yet with the combo price starting at $6.89, I always start to compare my overall meal to a fast casual restaurant.  That said, for just the burger, the value still comes out as being about average for the higher side of fast food sandwiches.  The bottom-line with the Bacon Clubhouse is I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it again and my praise outweighs the nitpicky criticism I struggled to find.  McDonald’s really impressed me with this burger and I came away pleased that the special sauce felt so comfortable in its new home.

Pros: Well thought out mix of ingredients that for the most part worked really well together. McDonald's bacon is no longer pathetic. Special sauce. Caramelized grilled onions. New artisan bun. Fresh produce.

Cons: The white cheddar lacks the sharpness to be noticeable in flavor. Fast food combo meals around the $7 mark.

Taste: 9.00/10
Value: 6.25/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.25/10
Price: $4.69

Overall GrubGrade: 8.75/10

More Info: http://www.mcdonalds.com
Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size: 9.5 oz (270g)
Calories - 720
Total Fat - 40 grams
Saturated Fat - 15 grams
Carbs - 51 grams
Sodium - 1470 milligrams
Sugars - 14 grams
Dietary Fiber - 4 grams
Protein - 39 grams

39 comments on “Review: Bacon Clubhouse from McDonald’s

  1. Roger C. says:

    I had the Crispy Chicken yesterday and I enjoyed it. I’ll try the burger one if I see some coupons, but I’m doubtful. BK’s Big King is a far superior version of McDonald’s Big Mac, simply because it’s far better put together, in terms of quality. It’s kind of sad. McDonald’s really needs to improve the Big Mac. Who cares what the fans think, it sucks now.

    • thetruth says:

      Believe it or not, there was a time when McDonald’s was actually good: fresh (not frozen), high-quality beef; tasty buns toasted on the grill; fresh-cut fries cooked in beef tallow, etc. But now it’s horrible-tasting meat overloaded in salt; buns that taste like raw dough, untoasted; and frozen, reconstituted, greasy fries cooked in some weird vegetable oil that leaves a weird residue in your mouth. Yuck.

      This latest permutation of the same old crap is just the same old crap, repackaged. Why doesn’t McDonald’s up their standards and return to their glory days? It would be simple.

  2. Aaron says:

    I also tried it with the crispy chicken…loved it. Definitely buying it again

  3. Mike N. says:

    The Big Mac went nationwide in 1968 (before my time) and a lot of the love for it is sentimental. Same goes for Filet ‘o fish and chicken mcnuggets — it’s stuff we grew up on, and it’s cool that you can still buy the same product!

  4. Curtis says:

    “IF” you can get McD’s food fresh, it is good. They make each piece, throw it in a warmer, and slap it together when you order it. They have SO much potential, but serve crap because the minions buy it.

  5. Steven says:

    This looks good, but then again it looks like a fairly standard bacon cheeseburger with burger sauce instead of ketchup/mustard so it would be pretty hard to mess up.

  6. Jonathan Wayne says:

    Had it yesterday and it was really really good, there is hope for McDonald’s after all. One of their best products yet. If they sold this, keep the Premium McWraps and add a mushroom and swiss one, have the breakfast, they would need nothing else. This is one of the few products from McDonald’s that I would pay full price for with no qualms.

  7. BigBelly says:

    how does the bun compare to Carls Jr’s new fresh baked bun?

  8. Chris says:

    Looking at the nutrition description on McD.com I see it has “Angus Seasoning”. This intrigues me. I found their Angus 3rd Pounders to be the best burger the Golden Arches has ever produced and I was sad when they went away. I can’t wait to try this.

    Oh and I agree about the bacon. I know people still have their beefs (heh) with McDonald’s bacon but compared to the old stuff (which I felt wasn’t even worth the calories or cost half the time), the new stuff is night and day.

  9. Ashes says:

    This sandwich was really good. It will definitely be one of my default orders next time i go to mcdees, i hope it stays on the menu

  10. Sherry says:

    Every once in a while, I find myself craving a Big Mac, BAD. But you’re right, the Big Mac isn’t really that great of a burger on its own and what I’m actually craving so very badly is that special sauce. Somehow it just manages to elevate the whole thing and makes me want to have another one right after having the first even if I can’t physically stomach it. But it does make me want to have another one the next time I’m around a McDonalds…

  11. Yum Yucky says:

    It actually looks like a homemade sammich.

  12. Holy crap, I never thought I’d see this much love for a McDonald’s burger! I’m, dare I say it, EXCITED to go to the Golden Arches for dinner tonight to try this one out!

  13. $4.69 is a bit high for a QSR burger and unfortunately that’s only the introductory price. After the initial advertising spend many franchisee will have to raise the price. Because so much of McDonald’s sales go to the fixed price Dollar Menu franchisees have had to be overly aggressive on pricing the rest of the menu. Keep in mind the Dollar Menu is eleven years old – there’s been a lot of food inflation since then. This is what happened to the Angus line – it just got too expensive and few people would pay the price.

    • Sascha says:

      $4.69 is a perfectly reasonable price for a good burger with bacon, grilled onions, white cheddar and a great bun. Not sure why people living in 2014 are still expecting to see 1995 prices.

      I thought the problem with the Angus line was that McDonald’s DIDN’T raise their prices. I know that in Michigan and Florida I could always get the Mushroom and Swiss for $3.99.

      • Raiders757 says:

        …but we’re talking McDonald’s here, not Five Guys or Cookout. For the price of this burger, I can get a 1/4 pound burger and a large fry at Cookout, which is far superior to anything McDonald’s or any of the other major chains make. Yea, $4.69 is a bit high for a McDoanld’s burger. Even if it does have bacon on it.

        • Sascha says:

          No, it isn’t. If you can get a better burger for less elsewhere, great! That’s what I do, but I can’t expect McDonald’s to charge less because of it. Again, this is a quality burger with quality ingredients, and it’s priced reasonably for 2014. I think people are living in the past a bit too much. Remember, not very long ago I could buy quality ground beef for $2 a lb. or cheaper, now ground beef is usually around $3.79 at the cheapest, and fast food has to reflect that.

          By the way, a Bacon Cheeseburger at 5 Guys runs me over $6, don’t know what Cookout is.

  14. Todd says:

    Had one today. I was not impressed. Too many onions and special sauce made for a messy burger. Definitely prefer the “new” quarter pounders to this.

  15. Brian says:

    Add me to the group that was not impressed. Had one last night and I found it to be bland. No great beef flavor and I only tasted bacon on two bites. Sorry, for the price, this one does not work for me. I will stick with the dollar double cheeseburger or the 2 for $4 Filet of Fish. I will try the chicken since some folks are enjoying it. Oh, the Shamrock Shake was very good and I wish they offered them all year.

  16. Scrape says:

    Had one today, and it was one of the best thing I have ever had from McDs. I thought everything was in perfect balance as far as flavor goes. The only let down, again, is the beef patty. This would have made a KILLER Angus burger. I will order one again until they are gone.

  17. Ray says:

    I had one of these for lunch yesterday and it was AWESOME!! It’s hard to overstate the importance of a good bun for a burger and this one has it. I didn’t notice the grilled onions at all — probably because mine was literally dripping with sauce. I have a huge aversion to spending more than $5 any time I go to McD’s, but I will be buying this meal again anyway. And again and again and….

  18. Brad says:

    Bun was amazing but the burger was entirely over powered by the special sauce. It was at least 3x more than what they put on the Big Mac. It’s all I could taste! I’ll try it again at some point and ask for light sauce (I know they can do this because I always ask for light sauce when I get the McRib.)

  19. Mark says:

    Color me kind of unimpressed as well. To me, it seemed like something that the McD workers would put together for their own meal on a slow night–the patty from this, the l & t from this, sauce from that…

    The best part was the bun; hands down the best they’ve had in years. It’s close to the new Carl’s Jr bun in taste and texture, and holds up to the onslaught of wet ingredients pretty well.

    Mine had LOTS of the grilled onions; their taste dominated the other flavors. 3 hours later, I can still taste them! With better choices of meat and cheese and no onions, this might have been a winner.

  20. Stephen says:

    This is by far the best thing I’ve ever eaten at McDs. I found it even better than culvers, Wendy’s, BK, etc. I will absolutely be back to get another one soon, and I almost never eat fast food these days

    • Yuck says:

      Disgusting that you even compare Wendy’s or Culvers to this garbage

      • Rarf says:

        Agree with @Yuck. Wendys and Culvers beat McDonalds at absolutely everything. This sandwich is a turd in a toilet compared to any burger at Wendys or Culvers.

  21. dan k says:

    damn b that sounds like a pretty tasty burger tho

  22. Joanna says:

    While I agree the Bacon Clubhouse burger is very tasty, I’m not certain why when I bought the burger last week at lunch in a combo with fries and a drink it cost $4.46 and tonight when I purchased the burger alone for dinner I paid $4.76??? 30 Cents more to eat solely a sandwich doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me! :(

    • Richard Adams says:

      The introductory price is supposed to be $4.59 before tax. Sounds like they gave you a good deal on that combo meal (by mistake).

  23. KB says:

    I bought this today (fried chicken patty) because they had a special free fries and free drink. I was disappointed.

    The “thick cut” bacon is anything but. The bacon was very thin. Although it did add some flavor it added no substance to the sandwich.

    The tomato was an end slice and not ripe–just tough–so I threw it away.

    The bun was okay but for this price I expect more than a nice bun.

    The chicken patty was okay but not nearly like a Wendy’s premium chicken patty, which is near the same price point.

    Overall I would never pay full price for this. And I am a McDonald’s stockholder,so I was hoping for a success.

  24. Todd says:

    I like the sandwich but i find that the lettuce is usually wilted because they keep out to o much on the production table. This is their attempt to use ingredients they already have but don’t sell in enough quantity to keep them in their expiration date

  25. […] Grub Grade’s McDonald’s Bacon Clubhouse Burger review […]

  26. Dave says:

    Had one, and it was terrible. There was barely a dash of Mac sauce on mine, so I couldn’t even taste that it was on there. The produce was tasteless, the sandwich was dry. Probably just the terribly McDonald’s I bought it from – yours looks SO much better – but I doubt I’d risk ordering it again. Never been let down by a Big Mac in the flavor department.

  27. Sonic Eater says:

    I really loved Mcdonalds food in the past and now this Bacon Cluhouse burger is a good change. I ate it a few times and the taste of salty fresh bacon with the tomato slice, the lettuce, melted cheese and quarter pounder beef goes perfect with the original Big Mac sauce. The buns are fresher and better than ever. But if I could request any food for Mcdonalds to bring back, it would be the following:

    1) The Arch Deluxe burger ( which was a more premium version of their double quarter pounder )
    2) The McDLT ( which had the perfect blend of mayo, beef, lettuce, pickles, tomatos and cheese )
    3) The chicken fajita pita ( which had the best melted cheese and irrestible sauce with fresh tomatos, lettuce and grilled chicken )

    :) please bring it back

    • Sonic – Glad you enjoyed the Clubhouse but you’re not going to be seeing those other burgers back at McDonald’s. The Arch Deluxe was not a good sandwich and few customers ordered a second one. The McDLT was a tasty sandwich if everything was executed perfectly in the kitchen and on the customer side but there were two many potential foul-ups. Remember, we were asking the customer to complete the fabrication of the sandwich on their lap behind the wheel of their car.

  28. Zak Dwyer says:

    Seriously, probably the best fast food burger/chicken sandwich I’ve ever had.

  29. Sascha says:

    This thing seems to be getting increasingly worse, and I’m sure there’s only the McDonald’s crew to blame. I tried each version once within the first 2-3 weeks of the launch, and I loved them all, except for a mushy tomato on the burger.

    Had the crispy chicken about a month ago and the burger yesterday, and quality has fallen off drastically. The ingredients for the most part are still there and are still decent, but it’s often too much of one thing, too little of another, older meat, and simply put together to be nothing but messy.

    It’s probably still the best burger on the menu (exception maybe the BBQ Ranch), but I’ll only partake if I’m dragged there by a kid.

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