McDonald's is trying to kill us with 1830 milligrams of sodium at a time, most of which may be in the form of some seriously over-applied sauce.
I was eager to try the new CBO -- Cheddar, bacon and onion -- Angus burger and chicken sandwiches, because I'm enthusiastic about trying anything new at McDonald's. Seriously: If they made bootleg, toxic-waste meatloaf I'd order it with McGravy. But I discovered on my last trip through the Golden Arches that I have limits, and sammies slathered with soul-suckingly salty sauce is where I throw up my greasy mitts and walk away. But I will walk away with a bag of McHoliday pies.
I hit the drive-thru at the McDoo at 300 South Broadway to try the new sandwiches, but I also had a poorly-hidden agenda for this trip: to order at least six holiday pies so I'd get fresh ones, and could hog myself on their warm, custard-crammed goodness while they are available. Because just like the annual McRib give-and-snatch torture that is perpetrated upon me, the holiday pies are only offered from around October to around January every year, and I overcompensate by gorging myself in the sickest way imaginable when they're available.
That'll show 'em.
The CBO Angus burger came in the paper box, neatly diapered with white paper, and like the other Angus burgers on the menu it was bigger than the quarter pounders I usually get. It smelled appealing -- garlicky and bacony -- and the first bite was hot, meaty, juicy and saucy....really saucy.
My second and third bites produced gobs of sauce, squishing up my palate, and I took the top bun off and scraped away as much as I could, but the bun, cheese, grilled onions and beef patty were marinated in the stuff. The three strips of bacon between the patty and bottom bun were safe and dry, but I couldn't taste anything but sauce. The sauce itself wasn't bad; it seemed to be a garlic-parmesan-tasting, mayo-based concoction, but it was incredibly salty to the point that it burned my mouth and dulled my taste buds. This burger would be far better with about a third of the sauce -- which is weird, because usually I have to shed tears to get McDonald's employees to part with condiments. The chicken CBOs came in grilled and fried, and McD's uses the same chicken patties for these as it does for the classic chicken sandwiches, so nothing new to see here. The sauce-gobbery was the same on both sandwiches, so I picked a few onions out and wiped the sauce off -- they were caramelized and tasty, but lost in the sauce along with the bacon, which was basically unnecessary on any of the sandwiches because they were sauce-murdered as well. Even the normally crispy fried chicken patty breading was rendered soft and gummy from so much sauce.
Then the thirst set in. I slammed ice water for a couple of hours to combat the dehydration, and I was glad as hell that I hadn't eaten more than a few bites of each sandwich.
But the pies were a keen reward for sacrificing my stable blood pressure. McDonald's holiday pies are a bit of a fluke -- traditionally speaking, I would expect them to be eggnog-flavored or some crushed peppermint stick monstrosity, but these have confetti candy-strewn sugar cookie crusts filled with a vanilla pudding substance, seemingly more suited for Easter or spring equinox.
And they are scrumptious: They taste like dipping a sugar cookie in pudding. I did order six of them, eating three right away and saving three for a later plan.
I did a nutritional information check on the CBOs when I got home, and the Angus CBO burger I'd nibbled at had 1830 milligrams of sodium...in that one burger. I wondered how much of the salt content was in the sauce, and then went back and checked to make sure none of the sauce had dripped on my floor and burned its way through the carpet like the acid blood from Alien.
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Kill the urge to order the CBO sandwiches and plan to keep living -- if for no other reason than ordering holiday pies.