Review: Signature Sriracha Burger from McDonald’s
McDonald’s Signature Crafted Recipes originally kicked off earlier this year with three core recipe choices: Pico Guacamole, Sweet BBQ Bacon, and Maple Bacon Dijon. The latest offering to extend the line of options is the new Signature Sriracha and I chose to go for the Signature Sriracha Burger for this review.Here’s how McDonald’s describes their new Signature Sriracha Burger:
Layered with spicy, chili pepper-infused Sriracha Mac Sauce™, tender baby greens, tomato, crispy onion, and smooth white cheddar*. On a 1/4 lb.** of 100% pure beef with absolutely no fillers, additives or preservatives. Choose an artisan roll or sesame seed bun.
In the fast food world, creative control by the customer is a great thing, so having the customization options is definitely a plus. On the other hand, when it comes to reviewing a new product, my preference is have absolutely no creative control.When too many customizable options are available, I default to looking at the menu board promo image and getting it exactly the way it’s presented. I want the exact same combination of components that the creator intended to present to the customer. It doesn’t always work out the way it’s supposed to, but a couple of tomato slices or a sauce on the top bun, but not the bottom bun… it’s all done for a reason. These products go through so many rounds of tweaks and tests that it’s only fair to review the completed creation the way it looks in promotional ads. As I’ve covered in the past, the customer’s creative control when it comes to McDonald’s Signature Recipes includes first choosing a recipe (which can be customized of course). So new Signature Sriracha, as is, no changes. Next, choose your protein from the choices of 1/4 pound 100% beef patty, Buttermilk Crispy Chicken or Artisan Grilled Chicken. I got the quarter pound beef burger as my protein. The last step is your choice of artisan roll or sesame seed bun. As the promo picture is presented to me I went with artisan roll.What I liked most about the new Signature Sriracha Burger was the stuff that was actually brand new. The Sriracha Mac Sauce really impressed me. It manages to keep the taste and texture familiarity of the pickly-tangy-sweet Big Mac Sauce and infuse it with red chili peppers and earthy cayenne to give it the spicy kick. An additional nice touch is having the Sriracha Mac Sauce available as a dipping sauce option for McNuggets or fries or whatever else you’d like to use it on. The combination of baby kale and baby spinach greens were a nice change of pace from the standard leaf lettuce or shredded lettuce. When McDonald’s press released Signature Sriracha during the original test market phase, they said, “Baby kale and baby spinach were chosen specifically to balance out the spicy sauce while serving as the perfect partner to accompany the other savory ingredients of white cheddar cheese, onions and tomato.” I did find the baby greens to be a more complex flavor than I’m used to in a burger, but I do agree that they provided the right amount of contrast to the peppery heat. As for the familiars, the beef patty was a little too dry and the tomato slice was stiff and pale. I usually don’t experience these flaws at McDonald’s so I’ll say it was a rare misstep. There wasn’t anything wrong with the crispy onions, though they didn’t seem entirely necessary. The white cheddar is a pasteurized, milky-smooth sort that doesn’t really scream premium and seems better fit on a value menu type of burger if anything. At the price of $4.99, the Signature Sriracha Burger is in the “premium” category for McDonald’s. Around this five dollar mark is where all the competitive fast food chains seem to put their premium sandwiches so I’ll have to say the value is average. Plus or minus 50 cents could have swayed me into the territory of a good value or a mediocre value.It’s unfortunate that a couple of the mainstay components were a tad under par, but they weren’t bad enough to leave me with a soured impression of the sandwich overall. While it does seem like McDonald’s is grasping onto slightly older food trends with sriracha and kale, I found the new Signature Sriracha Burger to be still be an interesting, standout option on the menu. The mix of new ingredients mingling with the familiar stuff worked plenty well to get a thumbs up from me.
Pros: I enjoyed the spice and tang of the Sriracha Mac Sauce and think it's really a nice touch to have it available as a dipping sauce for other products too. Bed of baby greens.
Cons: Some of the familiar components like the beef patty and tomato slice had an off day today. I like the crispy onions, but they didn't seem all that necessary.
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.00/10
Overall GrubGrade: 7.75/10
More Info: mcdonalds.com
Calories - 670
Fat - 35 grams
Saturated Fat - 12 grams
Cholesterol - 95 milligrams
Sodium - 1010 milligrams
Carbs - 56 grams
Fiber - 4 grams
Sugar - 13 grams
Protein - 32 grams