A couple of months back, McDonald’s released a new line of sandwiches: the Cheddar Bacon Onion. Affectionately known as the CBO, Ronald’s latest creation comes in three varieties: Angus Third-Pounder, Crispy Chicken, or Grilled Chicken.
McDonald’s is not known for making a lot of changes to their menu, and when they do, the items are often uninspiring. I’m looking at you, Daily Double and Holiday Mint McFlurry (yawn). But I’ll give credit where credit is due. While the Golden Arches aren’t breaking any ground with these new sandwiches, the CBO line is at least somewhat interesting.
Along with your choice of protein, the CBO features white Cheddar cheese, bacon, grilled onions, and a creamy mustard sauce. Like all varieties of the McDonald’s Angus burgers, the Angus CBO features a sesame seed bun. On the other hand, the chicken versions have a cracked wheat bun, as do their chicken sandwich brethren.
McDonald’s was nice enough to send me a bunch of coupons for the CBO, so I recently made a late-night trek to the second-closest McD’s to try it out because my normal location closes at midnight, which is outrageous. I got one crispy chicken and one Angus. Apparently there is a limit of one coupon per customer, which is outrageous. At this particular location the CBOs go for $4.99, so I paid $5.42, which is outrageous. Although considering I got two sandwiches for that price, it’s not that bad.
I believe their other Angus burgers are also $4.99, which is too high. I think those burgers are decent, but $3.99 would be the correct price, in my opinion. I’m fairly sure that the Crispy Chicken Sandwich is $4.49, which is also a dollar too high. The 10-piece McNuggets costs $3.99 in my area. Once again, a dollar too high. I feel the same way about the Quarter-Pounder, and basically all of McDonald’s premium items, which is why I never buy them. If you’re going to charge that much for something, it’d better be freaking awesome. Especially at McD’s, where they have probably the best value menu. It creates a huge price gap between the premium and value items. I can get 2 McChickens, small fries, and a large Coke for less dough than a Premium Chicken Sandwich. Plus, the McChicken is more delicious anyway.
They should take a lesson from Wendy’s. Their Asiago Ranch Chicken Club is $4.99, but it’s bomb.com so it’s totally worth it. Also consider that their value menu is not as cheap. Their equivalent to the $1 McDouble is $1.79. But because their stuff is much higher quality, Wendy’s can charge that much. McDonald’s cannot. They need to close the price gap on their menu by lowering the prices of their premium items. Then again, they’re probably the second-most recognizable corporation in the world (after Coca-Cola), and I’m me, so they can do whatever the hell they want.
Jesus H. Christ, can we PLEASE get back to the CBO now? Thank you!
So I started out with the Crispy Chicken. It’s a good-sized sandwich with a large helping of grilled onions. The chicken itself was very good; the breading was light but crispy, and the chicken was moist and flavorful. The onions were unremarkable and I didn’t think they provided a ton of flavor. The bacon did not stand out either, and one piece was really fatty and soggy. I was expecting some flavor from the Cheddar cheese, but it had absolutely none. It was very creamy though, so that was good. The bun was also meh.
The best part by far was the “creamy mustard sauce.” I like mustard, and this was reminiscent of one of my favorites, Anna Mae’s Smoky Mustard. It was sort of like Dijon with a tiny bit of mayo mixed in. There wasn’t much on the sandwich, but it was pretty strong so a little went a long way.
While the sandwich is called the Cheddar Bacon Onion, the standout components were actually the chicken and mustard sauce. The title ingredients weren’t great, but the cheddar and onion didn’t take away from the sandwich, and I think the soggy piece of bacon was an anomaly. So in spite of those flaws, the Crispy Chicken CBO was pretty good. I would order it again with a coupon (probably without the onions; nothing against them, I’m just not an onion guy), but I highly doubt I’d pay 5 bucks for it. 8/10
The Angus CBO was good as well. The cheese and onions were the same, but the bacon was much better. It wasn’t soggy and there was more of it so I actually enjoyed this bacon. The sesame seed bun was very dense, and I preferred it to the cracked wheat. It seemed as though there was less mustard sauce here, although that may have been due to the burger being bigger than the chicken fillet. At any rate, it didn’t come through as much so that was a negative. The beef had one major issue: it was very dry. However, it did have good flavor, and the cheese and sauce did well to counter the dryness, so it wasn’t all bad. I give this one 7.5/10, the half-point deduction due to the chicken being better than the beef. I most likely will not order the Angus CBO again.
Overall I give props to McD’s for coming up with a semi-interesting product, and for mostly executing it well. I liked the chicken slightly better than beef but they were both good. The price is certainly steep, and I wouldn’t blame you for staying away due to that. I probably would not have eaten the CBO if I didn’t have coups. But if 5 bucks for a pretty good sandwich sounds reasonable to you, I say go for it!