Reality Check: Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger from McDonald's

Reality Check

Reviews of fast food burgers and a look at how the real life version compares to the advertised beauty shot.


[Photographs: above, McDonald's; others, Dennis Lee]


The little Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger recently showed up on McDonald's Dollar Menu, and of course, I'm sure you all have been holding your breath to see what people are saying about it. Right? Right. So, who's going to write about it? Why's everyone looking at me? Oh, wait. I volunteered. I'm a dumbass.

This is an incredibly intricate burger, absolutely complicated in its construction, with top notch organic ingredients sourced from the most exotic locations around the world, revolutionary, really. Just kidding. It's only got two toppings: white cheddar and onions. Points for creativity, McDonald's.


You may be confusing this little guy with its big brother, the Cheddar Bacon Angus Burger. But that's the grown-up version, the kind that this one wants to be when it grows up. I received mine more or less as I imagined it. Obviously, it doesn't look anything like its sexy press photo, but it's sort of cute, I guess. I just want to pinch its little cheeks.


Of course, under the hood, it's just a square of mostly unmelted processed cheddar cheese and a splat of grilled onions. The unmelted part of the cheese has that sort of plastic look and feel to it, and its flavor is sort of curious. It's not quite American cheese, but it's not quite cheddar cheese either; it's kind of in the middle, and it's somehow a little disconcerting. The onions, however, are actually pretty good—they're soft and cooked down, and have a nice sweet oniony flavor that comes through every bite. The real winner is the beef. Just kidding on that too. The beef is, as expected, that unappealing gray color, mushy, and just sort of forced to be there, kind of like Charlie Sheen at a rehab facility.


Overall, the Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger tastes like a patty melt without the rye bread. Just like most fast food offerings, it sort of teeters along the edge of okay and not-so-good. Would I ever put it in my mouth again? No. The whole thing seems like an afterthought, a reason to use the hand-me-down onions from its big brother. Yay.

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