Note: I have now started and stopped this post three times (as you can tell by the lack of updates here). Not sure why this sandwich was so uninspiring, but I apologize for this post and it’s disjointed nature.

This box looks a little busy

This box looks a little busy

I originally ate McDonald’s Bacon Clubhouse before Taco Bell’s breakfast menu had been revealed. However, due to reasons, the post got pushed back. Luckily, McDonald’s is still advertising this as a new sandwich. This would be strange for most places, but considering that most new McDonald’s items consist of slapping together existing ingredients and adding one flourish to make it unique, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. This is not to say that I don’t like McDonald’s; it’s just that as the market leader, they aren’t innovative (except in areas where they’re making drinks), but their interest to challenge Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts doesn’t particularly interest me.

Enough of my McDonald’s thoughts, let’s actually discuss the sandwich and the experience, alright? This was a new McDonald’s, as the company seems to be trying to move away from their bright red and yellow past into something more modern and apt to attract people who don’t want to eat in a place that looks like a clown show. This is good, I guess? I like free wifi. Anyway, I ordered a medium meal and it cost $7.19 pre tax. A little on the expensive side, or at least it seems like it was expensive. (As a quick diversion, I used to work at McDonald’s, so paying for anything there is still a shock to the system, even though I stopped working there around 10 years ago). The food took around 5 minutes to come out.

The sandwich was presented in a nice box, which a paper wrap around the sandwich to help with lifting. The paper was actually a nice touch here since the sandwich took up most of the box, so there was no way to pick it up without getting my hands messy and shuffling ingredients in the burger. Since it was big compared to the box, my first view was of the bun, which looked fancy. Or at least nicer than the usual sesame seed bun. It also smelled damn good, but that’s because all I smelled was bacon. Quick tip for fast food restaurants: regardless of the quality of your bacon, it always smells good. Make your establishments smell like that.

Wasn't kidding when I said the burger took up the whole box (alternate: they made the boxes smaller)

Wasn’t kidding when I said the burger took up the whole box (alternate: they made the boxes smaller)

The Bacon Clubhouse Burger is “[t]hick-cut Applewood smoked bacon, carmelized grilled onions, white cheddar, crisp leaf lettuce and fresh tomato, all lovingly layered on a quarter pound of 100% pure beef, then topped with Big Mac special sauce. Served on [an] artisan roll.” So what we have here is flowery language for a fancy Quarter Pounder with some Big Mac sauce. An updated Big N Tasty, if you will.

I tried to pick this up and, once again, I thanked them for that paper wrap around the burger, because it was already slipping and sliding. This is going to be messy. My first bite was dominated by bacon. I got a good chunk in there, plus the smell. After I got beyond the bacon though, this was dry. The artisan bun was not doing it’s job as it was actually detracting from the experience with its dryness. It looked nice, but that’s the nicest thing I can say about it. When sampled alone it was buttery and reminded me of potato bread, but it didn’t work here.

Flat

Flat

Going beyond the bun, I got a bit of the grilled carmelized onions. I generally hate onions, and this is really the only preparation where I find them tolerable. I have to say, they weren’t too bad. The onion flavor was a bit strong for my liking, but they did a good job with these.

Fresh ingredients!

Fresh ingredients!

My second bite was salty, as the bacon overtook the dry bun and asserted its dominance in the sandwich. I got a taste of the cheddar here, and it seemed to be a strong American cheese. It did its job in providing an accent, without overpowering anything. The Big Mac sauce was a welcome addition. I like McDonald’s utilizing it on more sandwiches. It tastes good, and sometimes I want it, but don’t feel like fighting through all the bread on the Big Mac, nor do I want to make a special order. Having another sandwich with the option is great.

The burger looks really dark

The burger looks really dark

As I continued eating, the burger became really salty. Not sure if that was just because of the bacon, but I found myself repeatedly going to my soda to alleviate the salty taste. When I finally got all the sandwich components in one bite, the bacon and Big Mac Sauce saved the day. They are the two standouts here, and if you’re ordering this sandwich, those are the flavors that you really want to shine anyway. The onions added a good crunch, but the flavor was lost in this bite.

Oozing sauce

Oozing sauce

The problem with the sauce is how they slathered it on the sandwich. It’s on both the top and bottom buns, which is why the sandwich is so slippery and I was having a hard time holding it. In addition, because I had to guard against sauce squirting out at two different spots, this was messy.

Sandwich guts!

Sandwich guts!

The burger was a letdown. While McDonald’s doesn’t have the juiciest or best tasting burgers, they’re generally well seasoned and taste like beef. I did not get that here. It was just a dry wad in the middle of my sandwich. The bacon itself smelled like heaven. It was a little overdone for my taste, but that’s generally how McDonald’s makes its bacon.

The lettuce at least looked fresh, but there was way too much of it. It was falling out of the sandwich, and of course sauce was in all the crevices. I had to take some off so I could continue eating. I have no notes on the tomato, which at least means it wasn’t terrible and needed to be taken off.

Bread is slipping

Bread is slipping

So what do we really have here? A salty, over sauced sandwich that serves as a delivery vehicle for bacon and Big Mac sauce, and is really messy. That’s not necessarily a bad thing… but it’s also not making me run out to McDonald’s to eat this again. And with the luxury of eating this when it first came out, and writing this in December, I can say that I’ve been to McDonald’s probably an average of once a month since then, and have never thought of eating this again. That’s the problem with McDonald’s: the new items, at least in the traditional fast food category aren’t particularly exciting. They’re #1 and don’t need to take any chances, so instead we sandwiches that have small tweaks on the margins (New sauce! Bacon!), but don’t really change anything. This is a perfectly cromulent burger, but that’s all I can honestly say about it.

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