Review: Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich from McDonald’s

McDonald’s doesn’t have much of an impressive track record when it comes to barbecue sauce.  The elusive McRib has always been sort of average for me and I always wished that the BBQ sauce wasn’t so one-dimensional.  The new Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich from McDonald’s basically takes the McRib BBQ sauce and adds a little kick of spice just like I’ve always wanted.McDonalds Spicy BBQ Chicken SandwichMcDonald’s describes their Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich like this:

Our Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich is full of flavor that makes you go “woo!” It’s a crispy buttermilk chicken fillet made with juicy all white meat chicken and served with slivered onions, pickles and a mouthwatering, smoky barbecue sauce, all on a sesame seed bun.

This is as close to a McRib as most people will get.  Forget about the McRib nostalgia and just get this.  Let’s review:McDonalds Spicy BBQ Chicken SandwichFirst of all, let’s replace that boneless pork product and replace it with a crispy buttermilk chicken fillet… it’s better already.  It’s an all white meat hunk of a chicken fillet too so more protein-packed and filling.  Who knows what that pork product really is anyway?  The slivered onions and two pickle slices have always been questionable choices in the McRib and I feel that the only reason they’re involved in this sandwich is because it’s obviously borrowing some McRib inspiration.  I don’t think anyone can get the Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich and not think about the McRib.  Like the McRib, the sauce is going to be the key ingredient involved.  While the McRib’s BBQ sauce is sweet, it kind of ends there.  Not overly tangy or smoky and not at all spicy.  Just cheap like a 99-cent frozen dinner.  The Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich adds the spicy element.  It’s a 3/10 on the spicy scale for my weak tongue, but whatever, it works.McDonalds Spicy BBQ Chicken SandwichAt a price of $4.69 for the sandwich alone, the Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich is 10 cents cheaper than the regular Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich.  It’s sized like most premium fast food chicken sandwich options and stays under the 5 dollar mark so not too bad on value.McDonalds Spicy BBQ Chicken SandwichThe barbecue sauce is the highlight of the sandwich and while it’s still just McRib barbecue sauce version 1.5, it’s enough of an improvement for me to enjoy it.  I would’ve preffered McDonald’s redeveloping the sauce from the ground up so I didn’t have to throw the McRib name out there ten times.  It’s a decent new offering worth a try and I’d give it a big improvement over the McRib (eleven) experience and a slight edge over the Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich.

Pros: Reminiscent of the McRib but with a higher quality protein and a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce.

Cons: Super messy and poorly constructed by my local McDonald's. Although it's an improved barbecue sauce, it still retains that cheap familiarity of the original.

Taste: 7.50/10
Value: 7.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 4.75/10
Price: $4.69

Overall GrubGrade: 7.25/10

More Info: mcdonalds.com
Nutrition Facts:
Calories - 530
Fat - 19 grams
Carbs - 64 grams
Sodium - 1260 milligrams
Fiber - 3 grams
Sugars - 13 grams
Protein - 26 grams

10 comments on “Review: Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich from McDonald’s

  1. Mark Azali says:

    Weird. They charged 5.79 at my location

  2. Zach S. says:

    Score seemed kinda low for how much you liked it no?

    • Ryan says:

      You know I kinda battled with that considering the overall tone. I think it’s still a decent/good sandwich for the overall score I gave. I was just happy that the McRib sauce got a peppery kick like I’ve always wanted. I gave the Crispy Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich a 7.00/10 and just wanted to give this one a slight edge over that so that’s why it ended up 7.25/10. I don’t consider that a low score, but yeah, I get that my tone leaned heavy happy… just hoping a spicy McRib is in our future now.

  3. Johnnyboy says:

    I guess this will do for now anyone craving a McRib! I missed out on that for the past 5 years/

  4. I tried the new sandwich and mine too was super messy and poorly constructed. When I picked it up from the cardboard container the condiments fell out of the sandwich

  5. Stephen M. says:

    Bring the McRib back nationwide, not just on a Franchise-by-Franchise decision basis!

  6. justin says:

    I really wish they could just make a good spicy sandwich, instead of cloaking it in cloying BBQ sauce. How come they can do this in other countries but we are stuck with a lowest common denominator all the time?

    • Stanley says:

      This! The closest thing to spicy I can remember having there were the short-lived but delicious Mighty Wings and they weren’t really spicy.

  7. BigBelly says:

    And the McRib is back…

    the barbecue sandwich will be available in over 10,000 restaurants as soon as Monday. But, McDonald’s said, the menu item will only be around for a limited time.

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