Archives for posts with tag: Sausage

After a looooooooooooong hiatus, I’ve decided to restart posting. While I catch myself up to speed with some new eats in fast food, I’m going to post some things that I’ve eaten over the past two years and intended to add to the blog, but never actually wrote them up. While most of these items are likely discontinued at this point, they will never be forgotten.

We lead off with the McDonald’s German Sausage Double Beef Burger. In a first for the blog, this was an international exclusive item. I ate it in Shanghai in November 2015 and it was advertised as a limited time item. Some internet sleuthing (i.e. Googling) shows that the burger has also been available in Germany and appeared in China in 2013.

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While the combination of a pork product to a burger is not a particularly new phenomenon, usually we’re talking about bacon, or maybe even pulled pork. This was my first experience seeing sausage added to a regular burger. I’m guessing the general German theme and time of the year meant this was a leftover from Oktoberfest, but the window advertisement did not reflect those assumptions (or I just couldn’t translate them properly).

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Anyway, onto the actual burger experience! The burger itself was 19 RMB (around $3 USD) and a meal was 26 RMB. Note that meals in China do come with a soda and fries, but the soda is a small and the fries don’t seem to be same size as a U.S. medium. The price for the meal and sandwich fell in line with the regular menu items.

As with all McDonald’s sandwiches in China, the burger comes wrapped in paper. No box. Upon first glance, the burger looked a little flimsy. Even without looking at the window poster, when I think of a double burger with sausage and a pretzel bun, I’m expecting some heft. Instead, it looked and felt small. The bun was tiny and compressed and it just looked like a regular bun. Peeling off the top bun to get a look inside, sitting on the top the burger were two sausages placed on the burger patty. The mustard or mustard sauce looked a little sparse/not evenly distributed, and of course the burger patty itself looked dry. This did not look good.

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Tasting the components all together, it wasn’t that bad! There was a little spice to the experience, probably from a combination of the sausage and mustard. The burger acted more as a filler, providing bulk but not much in terms of taste, and the bun was just there. If the sandwich had been properly sauced and the burger itself seasoned, this would have been pretty good. Unfortunately, that minimum standard wasn’t met and it didn’t live up to the sum of its parts.

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Running through the ingredients individually, if the bun hadn’t been made to look like a pretzel bun, then I wouldn’t have known it wasn’t just regular bread. It had no particular taste. That could have been saved it there had been more of the mustard/mustard sauce. It looked and tasted like a golden brown mustard, my favorite kind. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough, and the little that was there was not evenly distributed. While a mustard bomb would have overwhelmed the sandwich, considering the dryness of everything, more was needed.

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Moving onto the German sausages, I was surprised there were two. I expected one sausage split in half. The sausages had a decent char on them. They were bigger than a breakfast link, but not quite large. They fit comfortably over the burger patties and didn’t make the sandwich unwieldy. I don’t know what exactly a German sausage is supposed to taste like, but these had a nice flavor. Once again, there was some spice, and they had a little smokiness. Unfortunately, I didn’t taste the char. Lastly, as I mentioned, the two burger patties were dry and didn’t have any flavor. The dryness did take over the sandwich when I didn’t get any mustard in my bite because the two patties were so large. Even some salt and pepper, which is standard on McDonald’s burgers in the U.S. would have helped a lot.

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Overall, the German Sausage Double Beef Burger was a disappointment, though with some tweaks, it could have been pretty good. I was dubious of the sausage, which wound up being the best part. The mustard was good, it just needed more. Add some burger seasoning and maybe a slice of cheese, and this would have been a winner. If the bun hadn’t been made to look like a pretzel bun, it would have been fine, as opposed to underwhelming. Aside from the taste, one surprising thing was that the burger didn’t actually fill me up. There’s a chance this is because I was eating a late dinner (after 8:30), but one would imagine two burgers plus two sausages on bread should be filling. So this falls into the mediocre category, but it has unrealized potential.

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Slowly, but surely, we’re completing this journey through the Taco Bell breakfast menu. We’re finishing the sandwich portion with the simplest item they offer: the A.M. Grilled Taco with sausage. Upon first glance, this looked like the flatbread melt, except slightly smaller. It’s priced at $1, and also falls into the value menu option for breakfast.

Looks like there's nothing in the wrapper

Looks like there’s nothing in the wrapper

Taco Bell describes the A.M. Grilled Taco with sausage as “fluffy scrambled eggs, melted cheddar cheese and flavorful sausage crumbles folded in a warm tortilla and grilled for portability.” Normally, I don’t spend too much time on the food description, but since this whole review is not covering much new territory here, let’s analyze this a bit. First, this whole menu is designed for portability, so I’m not sure why the taco is being singled out here. Other than the A.M. Crunchwrap, everything can be eaten whilst driving. Even weirder, sausage crumbles? Really? I don’t think of sausage as something that can crumble, and if I encountered crumbling sausage, I’d likely want to avoid eating it. Just call them nuggets or chunks!

Slightly burnt...

Slightly burnt…

Anyway, random tangents aside, let’s talk about taste. The taco was layered so that the egg and cheese were at the fold, with the sausage on top. This is the proper sandwich construction. I note this only because there was some crazy confusion in the kitchen after I placed my order, and based on my eavesdropping, it was centered around how to make this taco. So I doff my cap to the manager who straightened things out back there.

Paper thin

Paper thin

The tortilla was left in the press too long, so the slightly burnt flavor dominated my first few bites, which didn’t have any sausage anyway. When I got some sausage towards the middle, this tasted better because the sausage crumbles had the most flavor. However, once again, a lack of sauce dooms the taco. It didn’t really become good until I put some fire sauce in there. So this is another breakfast item that’s too dry on its own. I’m really having a hard time understanding how Taco Bell green lit so many items that were dry. Are they just banking on everyone using sauce? If so, maybe say something, as opposed to leaving anonymous bloggers such as myself to question your sandwich design skills.

Taco guts!

Taco guts!

The real comparison here is between the A.M. Grilled Taco and the Sausage Flatbread Melt. The flatbread was more filling, due to its size and the inclusion of a sausage patty, and not crumbles. But… this was less of a gut bomb because there was less bread. I don’t see myself ordering either of these items again, but I probably lean towards the taco.

So far, I’ve tackled a few of the larger items on the breakfast menu, but this post will cover one of the value items. To round out my first day of eating, I got a Sausage Flatbread Melt. This is priced at $1, and while smaller than the Waffle Taco and Steak and Egg Burrito, it is fairly filling due to the size of the flatbread.

Maybe a little less brown would be good

Maybe a little less brown would be good

The Sausage Flatbread Melt is a “warm flatbread filled with a delicious sausage patty and real cheddar cheese, then grilled to perfection.” Not to be snarky, but this was not grilled to perfection unless perfection involves leaving it in the press for too long. The flatbread was definitely browned and probably overcooked. It had a slight burnt taste to it. My first bite was solely flatbread, as it’s larger than the sausage patty along the sides. It’s thin and bready. Not too much flavor, but it’s really just there as a vehicle for the cheese and sausage, so that’s not an issue.

Lots of flatbread

Lots of flatbread

As for the sausage, I’m happy to report that I received an actual patty, and not those sausage bites that were in the Waffle Taco. It was a standard sausage patty, same flavor as in the Waffle Taco. The sausage and cheese dominate the flavor of the sandwich, so if you don’t like that combination, this is not going to be for you.

Really thin

Really thin

As a whole, this was surprisingly filling because of the flatbread. However, there’s not much here, so at $1, you’re getting what you pay for. Compared to the previous offerings I’ve gone over, this was pretty boring. It was also dry, and I needed some Fire Sauce to come to the rescue again. It was quite good with the Fire Sauce, but if you’ve been following along on this adventure, then you know I like me some Fire Sauce, so the enhancement shouldn’t be a surprise.

Fire Sauce

Fire Sauce

Sorry to be short and boring here, but this is a simple sandwich. I think it’s a good value at $1, and as long as you jazz it up with some sauce, it’s pretty good. Otherwise, it’s dry and boring. I probably liked this the least out of everything on the breakfast menu, but that’s due to the plainness more than anything else.

Next up in my rundown of Taco Bell’s breakfast items is the Waffle Taco. This item, along with the AM Crunchwrap, shows off the different ways in which Taco Bell approaches breakfast. I’ve never seen a Waffle Taco before, but doesn’t it make perfect sense? It should be heartier than a regular taco because the shell is more substantial. It also allows for a pairing of sweet and salty between the waffle and the enclosed fillings.

Pretty sharp box

Pretty sharp box.

Taco Bell offers a choice of meat for the Waffle Taco: bacon or sausage. As we will see later, the sausage should be in patty form, but as of last night, was not served that way. The bacon is meant to be chopped pieces of bacon, but kinda looks like bacon bits. The price for one of these is $1.99, so it costs less than the breakfast burrito options, and to be honest, was just as filling.

This... uh... does not look good

This… uh… does not look good

The Waffle Taco is “a warm waffle wrapped around a delicious sausage patty and fluffy scrambled eggs topped with cheese and served with a side of sweet syrup.” Upon unwrapping the sandwich, the first sense that hit me was the smell. Oh wow did this smell good. It was like waking up and walking into the kitchen as someone who loves you just completed a stack of waffles for you. Or at least the person likes you and wants to impress you. Whatever, the person isn’t important, the waffles are. I ate this three days ago and still remember the scent. I also may or may not be drooling right now. Sorry.

Promo photo!

Promo photo!

 

Reality

Reality!

As great as this smelled, it looked like a pile of crap. Literally. My first two thoughts were rabbit droppings or dog food. This is where the problem of execution comes in, especially since this was the second day of the breakfast rollout. First off, there was no sausage patty. Instead there were sausage chunks on top of the eggs. They tasted fine (I’ll get to that later), but it really looked unappealing. Second problem, I was not given syrup (and did not know that was an option). While eating this, one of my main complaints/suggestions for improvement was that they should drizzle it with some syrup to up the sweetness and cut into the dryness. Now that I know that’s an option, I’m relieved, but not getting that syrup was a failure on the part of the kitchen.

Grease

Grease

I tasted a sausage piece (niblet? chunk?) before delving into the whole thing. It was good: a little spicy and a little sweet. If you’ve had sausage breakfast links, you know the taste here. Not huge taste, but at least it isn’t just filler. Before I picked up the waffle, I knew this was going to be greasy, and I was not let down. I went through several napkins eating this. I understand that Taco Bell wants to show off the taco, but maybe serving this is a paper shell (like the Doritos Locos tacos) would be beneficial.

Taco guts?

Taco guts?

My first bite was not as sweet as I’d thought it’d have been, based on the smell of waffle. Here is where the syrup really would’ve helped. When going through the taco, the eggs took a back seat to the bolder flavors of the waffle and sausage. The waffle itself was soft, and not terribly crunchy. It was fluffy and had a sweetness to it, which went really well with the sausage and cheese.

Waffle piece

Waffle piece

Look at those faux-waffle iron marks!

Look at those faux-waffle iron marks!

Whilst eating, I noted that this was a really dry sandwich and needed some sort of sauce. I wound up using some Fire Sauce, which worked really well with the sausage and cheese. Spice was the main flavor in those bites, but it was still a little sweet, so the waffle wasn’t completely overshadowed.

With Fire Sauce

With Fire Sauce

So this is somewhat of an incomplete. At the price, I think the Waffle Taco would be a good value, especially with a sausage patty since it’s pretty filling. However, the execution errors were glaring here. I understand that sometimes food won’t look like the menu picture, but what’s served shouldn’t look inedible. At some point I’ll try this again, hopefully as intended, and it will live up to expectations. But, right now, I’d say maybe wait a bit to order this to ensure that you get what’s advertised.