Takeaway Truth is a regular Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: McDonald’s Southwest BLT Burger. (Plus: Taste Test!)
McDonald’s recently introduced three new chicken burgers to its menu that are apparently here to stay. These are the Spicy Jalapeno Burger, Chicken Bacon Deluxe Burger and Southwest BLT Burger. While the first two are fairly standard Macca’s fare, the Southwest BLT is a little more intriguing thanks to the addition of tortilla chips inside the burger.
Like the rest of the new chicken range, you can choose between a seared (grilled) or crispy (battered) chicken patty. Here’s the official blurb from McDonald’s website:
With crunchy tortilla chips, Southwest ranch sauce, sizzling bacon, cheddar cheese, fresh lettuce, tomato and made with 100% Aussie chicken breast in a chili and chive topped bun… it’s flavour that packs a crunch.
And here’s the blatant Master Chef-aping advert:
The McDonald’s Southwest BLT Burger packs in 2780kJ of energy, 33.7g of protein, 38.8g of fat, 56.6g of carbohydrates, 6.2g of sugars and 1230mg of sodium. For reference, this makes it slightly better for you than a Quarter Pounder but slightly worse for you than a Mighty Angus burger.
To see if the real Southwest BLT Burger measured up to the mouth-watering marketing material, we ordered one from our local Circular Quay outlet. Amusingly, nobody in the store could tell us what “Southwest ranch sauce” tastes like or what it’s made from. When we posed these questions to the cashier, she acted as if we’d just asked her to explain Einstein’s theory of relativity while simultaneously rubbing her stomach and patting her head. The duty manager was equally perplexed. Apparently, sampling new products isn’t a staff requirement.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of what the Southwest BLT Burger looks like on McDonald’s website and in real life:
As you can see, the ingredients are pretty faithful to McDonald’s advert: we’re particularly impressed by the fresh-green lettuce which is a rarity on McDonald’s burgers. Sadly, the slipshod assembly has once again let the visuals down.
Some people aren’t particularly bothered by this, but we still think it’s worth pointing out. While it would be unreasonable to expect perfectly symmetrical layers, we don’t think it’s too big an ask to have the chicken patty fully inside the bun. This would literally take an extra two seconds of effort. Tch.
Otherwise, we think the poster is a reasonable approximation of what you get served. If you took the time to rearrange and tidy up the fillings, you’d probably end up with a decent likeness. Overall, not a bad effort.
So how did it taste? As far as Macca’s burgers go, it was kinda delicious! [Disclaimer: I ordered it for “lunch” at 3pm, so my extreme hunger may have worked in its favour.]
I was initially concerned that the sauce/steam would render the tortilla chips gross and soggy, but they remained perfectly crisp from start to finish. The chili and chive bun wasn’t anything special but if you like McDonald’s bread you won’t be disappointed. The Southwest ranch sauce was ever-so-slightly spicy but the kick is extremely mild. Chili lovers would be better off ordering the Spicy Jalapeno Burger with tortilla chips added.
Truth Verdict: 7/10
Taste Score: 8/10
Which fast food franchise or menu item would you like us to tackle next? Let us know in the comments section below.