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.

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.

McCrispy at McDonald’s

McCrispy from McDonald's
Location
30 Courtneypark Drive East, Mississauga
Websitehttps://www.mcdonalds.com/ca/en-ca.html

The McCrispy is the newest addition to the McDonald’s permanent menu, and… it’s fine, I guess?

It’s a fried chicken sandwich topped with shredded lettuce and “creamy mayo-style sauce,” and served on a potato bun.  It’s basically a McChicken, but with a theoretically nicer chicken patty, and with a different bun.

McCrispy from McDonald's

They also sell a deluxe version of this that comes with tomato and bacon, and that’s almost certainly the way to go — the sandwich is extremely middle-of-the-road.  It’s a fried chicken sandwich.  It exists.  It’s not offensive.  I don’t have anything much nicer than that to say about it.

I had assumed that the chicken was going to be a real chicken breast instead of the reconstituted stuff you’ll find in a McChicken (because if it isn’t, why even bother when the McChicken is still on the menu??), but it didn’t taste that way to me.  It’s quite possible that I’m misinterpreting what this sandwich is even supposed to be, because the McDonald’s website just says that it’s “100% Canadian-raised seasoned chicken” and doesn’t say anything about it being a whole piece of chicken.

McCrispy from McDonald's

But seriously then: why bother?  Because of the bun?  I guess it’s a bit chewier than your average McDonald’s bun, but if you hadn’t told me it was different, I don’t think I would have noticed.

Also: it’s always a crapshoot when you order anything from a fast food chain, but the signage outside the restaurant says the sandwich is “so juicy. So tender” and mine was neither of those things.  So I guess I prefer the McChicken — it’s extremely similar, but at least I’ve never had one of those that was this dry.

The Grand Big Mac at McDonald’s

The Grand Big Mac at McDonald'sLocation30 Courtneypark Drive East, Mississauga
Websitehttps://www.mcdonalds.com/ca/en-ca.html

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.

The Grand Big Mac at McDonald's

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.