Reality Check: Clubhouse Angus Burger from McDonald's
McDonald's has introduced a new Angus burger, and this time, they're serious about distinguishing it from their regular line of quarter-pounders and dollar menu options. The Clubhouse Angus Burger ($5.39) features an Angus patty stacked up with two cheeses (American and white cheddar), two sauces (smoky dijon mustard and tangy steak sauce), plus grilled onions and smoked bacon on a sesame and poppy seed "artisan roll." Why "Clubhouse"? I have no idea, since the it bears no resemblance to a club, or clubhouse sandwich. According to this article on Brand Eating, the burger was previously named the English Pub burger when it was tested in Illinois last summer.
In any case, after a testing period in San Diego, the minds at Mickey D's have released the Clubhouse Angus burger nationwide. Whether or not that's good news rests on how sweet you like your steak sauce.
Visually, the burger I received wasn't much different than the publicity shot, except for the bacon, which stuck out from under the top bun like some sort of porcine propeller. Lifting the lid revealed the first surprise: a whole lotta onions. 14.7 grams, to be precise (yes, I weighed them).
The second surprise was that despite having two types of cheese, two different sauces, multiple strips of bacon, and the aforementioned ton of onions, the only flavor that came through was the tangy steak sauce, which was overly sweet. The white cheddar (that sad, little melty square under the onions) was all but flavorless and even the bacon blended into the background.
Texture-wise, the burger has the same chewy/mushy characteristics of most McD's burgers, except for the seeded bun, which has an outer layer crisp enough to crackle when you bite into it, and lots of nooks and crannies that the smoky dijon mustard sauce must have escaped to (my best guess, since I couldn't taste it).
At $5.39, this is one of McDonald's pricier burgers. You get a lot of toppings for your money, but when they don't bring any flavor to the party, there's no point. I'd rather cut my losses with a double cheeseburger and pocket the difference.
About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her newly-launched food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax