Location: 5453 Dundas Street West, Toronto
On one hand, the Chicken Big Mac is what it is: it’s a Big Mac, but with chicken instead of beef. There’s not much more to it than that.
On the other hand, I actually found it to be way more delightful than I was expecting. Apparently it’s a limited time thing that’s going away in April, but I think it’s tasty enough (and different enough from a regular Big Mac) to be on the permanent menu.
The patties are interesting. They’re not just the McChicken patties you might expect; they’re thicker than a McDonald’s burger patty, but thinner than a McChicken. They actually reminded me more of an oversized McNugget than an undersized McChicken.
This will depend on the location you visit, but the patties in my Big Mac were hot and crispy, and that texture actually added a lot of personality to the Big Mac template.
As for the taste, the milder flavour of the chicken lets a lot more of the zippiness from the special sauce and the pickles shine through; even the slice of cheese becomes more pronounced when you sub out beef for chicken. Between that and the fried crispiness, the Chicken Big Mac really feels like its own thing, and not just like a gimmick you’d only want to try once.
Location: 30 Courtneypark Drive East, Mississauga
I actually had no particular intention of trying the Grand Big Mac. I mean, it’s just a bigger Big Mac, right? I was hoping to try the Ghost Pepper McChicken, but the McDonald’s I visited didn’t have it, so what the hell, Grand Big Mac it is.
It’s… just a bigger Big Mac.
It’s not the most exciting thing in the world, but if you’re craving a Big Mac and you’re very hungry, sure, why not? The regular Big Mac is 570 calories and the Grand Big Mac is 850, so there’s definitely a noticeable difference in size. Otherwise, it’s a Big Mac, but bigger.
It might have been a bit more interesting if it had the same bun but bigger patties, because then at least then you’d be getting a slightly different, beefier experience. But everything is proportionately bigger, so eating it feels about the same as eating a regular Big Mac. There’s just more of it.
Location: 2510 Hampshire Gate, Oakville
McDonald’s is making a big hullabaloo about their “remastered” classic burgers (the Big Mac, the Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and the Cheeseburger). This includes a promotion where you can get a Big Mac for three bucks, so I figured it was worth a shot.
The improvements, according to McDonald’s:
- 100 per cent Canadian beef patties now cooked in smaller batches for hotter and juicier beef
- Storage changes for fresher and crisper produce
- Onions added directly on the patties on the grill to intensify flavour
- More of our legendary Mac Sauce applied on Big Macs
- New bun recipes for warmer buns
I got a Big Mac, and… I don’t know. It’s a Big Mac? It tastes like a Big Mac? I’m sure if I were that guy who eats multiple Big Macs every day, it would have blown my mind with all the little differences. But it’s been a year or two since I’ve had one. It tasted exactly the same to me.
Actually, that’s not entirely true — it’s clearly saucier. The amount of sauce is kind of insane. It oozes out of the burger with every bite. It’s a mess.
Obviously the dry, mostly tasteless McDonald’s patties need a lot of help (and no, they are absolutely not juicier in any discernible way). But even still, this was overkill.
The only other change that stood out were the onions; you could tell just by looking at them that they had been put on the griddle. They had a bit of colour to them. But if that made any particular difference to the flavour, I certainly couldn’t tell.
Still, it wasn’t bad. I liked the Big Mac before, and I like it now — but I guess I prefer the old version, because the amount of sauce on the new one is bonkers.