Review: Southwest Premium Chicken McWrap from McDonald’s

In my original review of McDonald’s Premium Chicken McWraps I mentioned how I want variety, portability, and value when it comes to my fast food.  The genesis of the McWrap line proved to be a decent showing in all three categories.  The success of the McDonald’s McWrap will mean more variety is sure to come.  Some McDonald’s locations are testing a Chicken Caesar McWrap, and while keeping an eye out for that, I instead came across another LTO McWrap dubbed the Southwest Chicken McWrap.

Southwest McWrapAs with all McWraps, you’ve got a choice of grilled or crispy chicken and for this review, I went with crispy.  In addition to spring greens, lettuce, tomato, and cheddar jack cheese, the Southwest Chicken McWrap features a cilantro lime glaze, tortilla strips, and habanero ranch sauce.

Southwest McWrap McDonald's

If you’ve had the Habanero Ranch Quarter Pounder, you’ll be very familiar with the flavor that completely overwhelms the Southwest Chicken McWrap. The habanero ranch sauce has a nice creamy texture and a smoky/peppery kick that should please those looking for a spicy option with their McWrap.  The problem here is that the sauce is too dominant in heat and flavor that it’s hard to identify the other ingredients. At least with the Habanero Ranch Quarter Pounder there was a thick bun, beef patty and applewood smoked bacon to absorb the sauce impact and create a more harmonious balance.  The contents of the Southwest Chicken McWrap seem all too light and delicate to be able to compete with the clearly dominant habanero ranch.  I wish McDonald’s would have gone with a new sauce with the Southwest McWrap instead of using an already existing sauce because there isn’t much about this McWrap that screams “Southwest”.   This McWrap should’ve been named the Habanero Ranch Chicken McWrap instead.

Southwest Chicken McWrap McDonaldsThe cilantro lime glaze is  virtually nonexistent and I wouldn’t have had a clue it was a part of the wrap if not for glancing at the description.  Cilantro lime glaze sounds like an ingredient I’d like to have in my McWrap and I was disappointed that I couldn’t taste it.   Fortunately, the tortilla strips have some impact and there seemed to be just enough of them to provide some added texture crunch.  There were some tortilla strips took a hit in texture during the 5 minutes between construction and deconstruction. Between the heat of the chicken and the moisture of the sauce, there will be some expected casualties in crunch. Flavor-wise the tortilla strips were nothing more than your basic salted tortilla strips with no identifiable extra seasoning.  The crispy chicken was abundant enough to be filling, but it’s not much of a standout.  Spring greens, tomato, and cheddar jack shredded cheese are present for the extra stuffing to bulk up the wrap and complete the package, yet they are very forgettable.

Southwest McWrap McDsMost McDonald’s locations offer McWraps for $3.99 and I don’t doubt that will stay consistent if the Southwest McWrap ever sees a nationwide release.  My purchase price was $4.19 at an airport location so the extra cost was expected.  The value takes a little hit, but overall the 4-dollar price point for a McWrap feels about average.

McWrap SouthwestIn my personal hierarchy of favorite McWrap combinations, the Southwest McWrap unfortunately ends up towards the bottom. The balance of flavor is lacking, so if you’ve got a lot of love for McDonald’s habanero ranch sauce, you might be more pleased than I was.  Although the sauce is tasty and has that peppery element, it just didn’t work very well in a McWrap. I would’ve liked to have at least some impact from the other ingredients, but all I can take away from the Southwest McWrap is that it’s very one-dimensional.

Pros: Still one of the better grubbing on the go options because of the McWrap sleeve.

Cons: Lacking flavor balance as the habanero ranch sauce takes over everything.

Taste: 5.25/10
Value: 6.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 8.50/10
Price: $4.19

Overall GrubGrade: 5.50/10

More Info: http://www.mcdonalds.com
Nutrition Facts:
520 calories for the grilled chicken version and 680 calories for the crispy chicken