Mexican Bacon Queso More-Ning McWrap at McDonald’s

McDonald'sLocation: 85 Ellesmere Road, Scarborough
Websitehttps://www.mcdonalds.ca/

This is it — my final stop on the McDonald’s World Taste Tour.  It’s been fun?  I guess?

Well, the McFlurry was pretty good, at least.

And the Mexican Bacon Queso More-Ning McWrap isn’t bad.  It consists of bacon, scrambled eggs, lettuce, tomato, and queso sauce wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla.

The biggest surprise here is the generous serving of scrambled eggs, which are actually pretty well prepared.  You kind of assume it’s going to be dry and rubbery, but shockingly enough, it’s neither of those things.  They weren’t the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had, but they were tasty.

McDonald's

And while the queso sauce didn’t taste particularly cheesy — it tasted more like a zesty mayo — it did a good job of brightening up the eggs and adding a very minor dose of spice.

The biggest issue here is something you (probably) won’t have to worry about.  There wasn’t any bacon.  I kept thinking the bacon would reveal itself in the next bite, or that it was all clustered at the end of the wrap, but it was MIA throughout.  By the time I realized that the wrap was bacon-free, I was too lazy to get up and do something about it.

I’m actually impressed that I enjoyed this as much as I did, considering that one of the primary ingredients was missing (it’s right there in the name).

Aussie BBQ & Egg Burger at McDonald’s

Aussie BBQ & Egg Burger at McDonald'sLocation5310 Dixie Road, Mississauga
Websitehttps://www.mcdonalds.ca

Well, here it is — Australia, the last stop on McDonald’s World Taste Tour (though there’s also the Mexican breakfast wrap, which I guess I should try at some point).

McDonald’s describes the Aussie BBQ & Egg Burger as coming topped with “a fresh cracked egg, crispy beet chips, processed cheese, leaf lettuce and a smoky BBQ sauce on a brioche-style bun.”

Aussie BBQ & Egg Burger at McDonald's

I’m not even going to bother complaining about the burger patty itself.  It’s not good — but then it’s McDonald’s, so no one should be surprised by this.  I will say that I really wish they’d use the thinner patties from the regular hamburger and the Big Mac on all of their burgers.  When it comes to the beef at McDonald’s, less is more.

But then no beef patty could have saved this burger — it’s easily the worst of the World Taste Tour.  It’s mostly pretty good: an egg is always welcome on a burger, the beet chips and the lettuce add a satisfying crunch, and the gooey cheese helps bring it all together.  But the smoky BBQ sauce (which is mayo-based, unlike a standard BBQ sauce) completely ruins it.  It’s the absolute worst.  It’s cloyingly, aggressively sweet, with no smokiness at all.  It’s just awful.

Aussie BBQ & Egg Burger at McDonald's

BBQ sauce tends to be quite sweet, but with a vinegary bite to help balance things out.  No such balance here; just in-your-face sweetness.

The burger kind of reminded me of the trifle Rachel made on Friends, but in reverse.  It’s got a bunch of tasty burger ingredients… and a sugary-sweet sauce that would be more at home on a slice of cake or a scoop of ice cream.  It’s one of those things that’s so bad, you have to wonder if anyone even tasted it before they added it to the menu.

Beyond Meat Burger at A&W

A&W - Beyond Meat BurgerLocation: 1130 Dundas Street East, Mississauga
Websitehttp://www.aw.ca/

A&W recently added a Beyond Meat burger to its menu; the company that makes these things calls them “the future of protein,” and word on the street is that it tastes surprisingly close to the real deal.

Veggie burgers that try to emulate actual beef are pretty much always disgusting (case in point: Doomie’s, a restaurant that actually specializes in vegan food but still manages to serve a vegan patty that tastes like pure, distilled sadness), so I was curious, but my expectations were about as low as it gets.

Well, maybe that helped, because the Beyond Meat burger?  Not terrible!

A&W - Beyond Meat Burger

I know, “not terrible” isn’t exactly high praise, but since I was expecting this to be an all-out disaster, I’m going to chalk that up as a win.

The biggest giveaway that this isn’t an actual hamburger is the texture — though it’s vaguely meaty, it’s also off-puttingly mushy.  But it wasn’t dry or rubbery, so it certainly could have been worse.

A&W - Beyond Meat Burger

(Yeah, I completely mangled the hamburger — it turns out wooden coffee stir-sticks are an absolutely horrible implement to cut a burger in half.  Lesson learned!)

The taste was a bit better than the texture.  It wasn’t beefy at all — but then the actual beef at most fast food joints doesn’t have a particularly beefy flavour.  The flavour is sort of generically meaty in a way that’s not great, but also not altogether unpleasant.  The burger is absolutely doused in ketchup, mustard, and mayo, which helps make it more palatable.

It probably isn’t going to fool anyone other than longtime vegetarians who have forgotten what a burger tastes like, and I don’t think I’d ever order it again, but I was still impressed at how non-gross it was.  I’d easily take it over the actual beef burgers at really bottom-of-the-barrel places like Hero Certified Burgers or Burger King.

Italian Pesto Chicken Sandwich at McDonald’s

McDonald'sLocation: 5310 Dixie Road, Mississauga
Websitehttps://www.mcdonalds.ca

Next stop on the World Taste Tour: Italy, with the Italian Pesto Chicken Sandwich.  This is a McChicken patty topped with a pesto aioli sauce, shaved parmesan, arugula, and tomato.  It’s served on a “toasted focaccia bun sprinkled with rosemary.”

It’s actually not bad.  It’s definitely a lot better than the Chinese Szechuan Burger, and probably about on the same level as the French Creme Brulee McFlurry.

Like with the Szechuan Burger, the biggest issue here is with the meat itself.

McDonald's

The chicken patty is what it is.  It’s spongy, salty, ultra-processed, and has about as much resemblance to an actual piece of chicken as a Hyundai has to a Ferrari.  They’re in the same general ballpark, but they’re really not the same thing.

It’s junk, but then anyone walking through the doors of a McDonald’s knows exactly what they’re going to get.  Again: it is what it is.  It’s fine.

And everything else was pretty good.  The pesto aioli sauce has a surprisingly vibrant pesto flavour, and the shaved parmesan isn’t bad at all.  Parmesan, pesto, and peppery arugula are a boffo combination, and McDonald’s doesn’t mess it up.  The whole thing is aggressively salty, but other than that it tastes pretty good.

There wasn’t much rosemary flavour from the bun, but it was fresh, hearty, and a little bit chewy.  It suited the sandwich nicely.

French Creme Brulee McFlurry at McDonald’s

McDonald'sLocation195 North Queen Street, Etobicoke
Websitehttps://www.mcdonalds.ca

The world tour (via McDonald’s) continues!  And after the sub-par Chinese Szechuan Burger, this one’s actually not bad.

McDonald’s attempt at French cuisine is the Creme Brulee McFlurry: vanilla soft serve  with caramelized sugar bits and “Crème Brûlée sauce” mixed in.

I guess ice cream is harder to mess up than a hamburger (or I have a higher tolerance for mediocre ice cream), because I enjoyed this.

There’s no custard flavour here — the sauce and the caramelized sugar bits are both trying to replicate the crispy shell of a creme brulee rather than the entire dessert.  But it’s tasty enough for what it is; the sugar retains its texture even when mixed into the ice cream, and the sauce has a surprisingly rich, almost burnt caramel flavour.  The whole thing is too sweet and the ice cream isn’t the best, but it’s not bad.