Spicy Chicken McNuggets at McDonald’s

Spicy Chicken McNuggets at McDonald's
Location
1001 Islington Avenue, Etobicoke
Websitehttps://www.mcdonalds.com/

Hey, guess what?  Spicy Chicken McNuggets are Chicken McNuggets that are… spicy.  Shocking, right??

Spicy Chicken McNuggets at McDonald's

Well, I figured they might taste slightly different, or have some kind of different seasoning or something, but as far as I can tell they taste just like the regular version, but with heat.

That spice level isn’t exactly going to blow your face off, but it is there.  I’d probably put it a notch or two above mild.

Spicy Chicken McNuggets at McDonald's

I got the Ghost Pepper dip on the side, and that stuff is actually quite tasty; it’s noticeably hotter than the McNuggets, and it’s creamy and delightfully zippy.  The heat sneaks up on you.  It doesn’t seem that hot at first, but by the time I was done, my mouth was nice and toasty.  I’d buy a whole bottle of that stuff if I could.

Carolina BBQ Quarter Pounder at McDonald’s

Carolina BBQ Quarter Pounder at McDonald's
Location
: 1001 Islington Avenue, Etobicoke
Website: https://www.mcdonalds.com/

This isn’t one of the more exciting new items on the McDonald’s menu — I can’t imagine anyone getting too worked up about it — but it sure, why not.  May as well give it a shot.

The Carolina BBQ Quarter Pounder, as per the McDonald’s website: “100% Canadian quarter pound beef patty topped with sweet and tangy golden Carolina BBQ sauce, hickory smoked bacon strips, crispy onions, pickles, and two slices of processed cheddar cheese served on a toasted sesame bun.”

Carolina BBQ Quarter Pounder at McDonald's

It’s basically a gussied up Quarter Pounder with Cheese, though that Carolina BBQ sauce does actually make it stand out somewhat.

That sauce is pretty decent; it’s arguably too sweet (it’s intense), but the sweetness is somewhat balanced out by a satisfying tanginess and smokiness.  It’s a solid BBQ sauce.  And while it would be too overpowering on a better hamburger, on a dry McDonald’s Quarter Pounder, it works.

Carolina BBQ Quarter Pounder at McDonald's

The crispy onions and bacon are a good addition, though their flavour is mostly wiped out by that very intense BBQ sauce.

Quick Bites: Bobbie Sue’s Mac + Cheese, Bang Bang, A&W

Blue Buffalo Chicken from Bobbie Sue's Mac + Cheese
Blue Buffalo Chicken from Bobbie Sue’s Mac + Cheese

I’ve tried Bobbie Sue’s Mac + Cheese a couple of times and enjoyed it quite a lot.  Alas, this visit wasn’t quite as stellar.  I had the Blue Buffalo Chicken, which features chicken and Buffalo sauce mixed right in with the pasta, and crumbles of blue cheese on top.  It’s a tasty combo, and it certainly wasn’t bad — but the pasta was overcooked, the whole thing was weirdly soupy, and it wasn’t evenly heated (the edges were piping hot, and the middle was surprisingly cold).  Hopefully it was just an off day, because my last couple of visits were actually pretty special.

Beer and Brown Bread ice cream from Bang Bang
Beer and Brown Bread ice cream from Bang Bang

Beer and Brown Bread is a flavour that’s been popping up on Bang Bang’s menu for years, though for whatever reason I hadn’t tried it until now.  It’s… weird!  The ice cream itself is actually not that sweet, and captures the beer flavour with unnerving accuracy (it’s fairly bitter, like an IPA).  It took me a while to warm up to it, but once you wrap your mind around it, it’s actually quite good.  It’s also got somewhat crispy pieces of brown bread mixed in, which complements the beer flavour of the ice cream quite well.

Chocolate Turnover made with KitKat from A&W
Chocolate Turnover made with KitKat from A&W

Not much to say about this one — it’s a fried pie filled with chocolatey goo, with little crispy bits interspersed throughout.  I feel like any fried pie is going to be tasty, and yeah, it’s good.  The combo of the crispy exterior and crispy bits within adds some nice texture, and the chocolatey goo is satisfying.  The whole thing is a bit too sweet and doesn’t quite have the punch of chocolate flavour that you’re hoping it might, but I still quite enjoyed it.

Gravy Lovers Sandwich at KFC

Gravy Lovers Sandwich at KFC
Location
: 1610 The Queensway, Toronto
Website: https://www.kfc.ca/

KFC just came out with a sandwich called the Gravy Lovers Sandwich, and yes.  Of course.  Of course I’m going to try that sandwich.  I’m sold just based on the name alone.

The Gravy Lovers Sandwich, as per the KFC website: “features our delicious hand breaded chicken filet, 1 slice of Monterey Jack cheese, creamy mayo and 1 crunchy indented hashbrown with an individual gravy.”

Here’s the problem with ordering anything from a big fast food chain: it’s a crapshoot.  Sometimes you get food that’s nice and fresh, and sometimes you get food that’s… not.  I very much got the latter.

Gravy Lovers Sandwich at KFC

It’s a decent enough sandwich in theory, I’ll give it that.  How could it not be?  Fried chicken + gravy is always going to be a good thing.

It comes with a surprisingly large container of gravy (which is standard KFC gravy — thick and generically salty, but tasty enough), and you’re supposed to take off the top bun and pour it onto the sandwich.  I poured out about a quarter of it, and used the rest as a dip between bites.

Gravy Lovers Sandwich at KFC

The biggest problem here (aside from the fact that they forgot about the slice of cheese, and I guess decided to give me lettuce instead) is that both the chicken and the hashbrown had clearly been sitting in one of those warming trays for hours.  Days?  Weeks??  The meat had a texture that I will charitably describe as leathery, and the hashbrown (which you expect to be crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside) was crunchy and dry throughout.

The copious serving of gravy actually helped quite a bit in this regard, because the sandwich otherwise would have been inedibly dry.  I finished it, and I don’t think that would have been the case if not for the added moisture from the gravy.

Also: the sandwich (on its own — no combo!) costs $11.50 before tax.  Maybe I just don’t eat enough fast food these days, but I’ll admit that this gave me sticker shock.  For around the same price, you can go to a local joint like Chica’s or PG Clucks and get a sandwich that’s roughly a trillion times better.

Cinnamon Roll Centres Blizzard at Dairy Queen

Cinnamon Roll Centres Blizzard
Location
: 325 Central Parkway West, Mississauga
Website: https://www.dairyqueen.com/

Dairy Queen is currently serving their Fall menu of Blizzards, which means the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard (a.k.a. the king of Blizzards) is back.  I probably should have ordered that, but how could I resist something called a Cinnamon Roll Centres Blizzard??  You’re going to take the best part of a cinnamon roll and mix it with ice cream???  Yes please, give me a million of those please.

Dairy Queen describes this as “soft cinnamon roll pieces and brown butter cinnamon topping blended with our world-famous vanilla soft serve,” and alas, it’s not nearly as great as you’d hope.

They mix some cinnamon flavour right in with the soft serve, which is nice, but the “soft” cinnamon roll pieces are actually not soft at all (they have more of a chewy cookie consistency), and taste absolutely nothing like the sweet, gooey, delicious middle of a cinnamon roll.  They’re just kinda dry and chewy, and while they’re cinnamony, they also have an odd flavour that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

I didn’t hate eating it, I guess, but the notion that this has anything to do with a cinnamon roll honestly feels like false advertising.  Can we sue Dairy Queen?  I feel like we should sue Dairy Queen.