Fast Times

Fast Times: Saucy New Sauces at McDonald's

Normally I wouldn't pay much attention to an ad touting new dipping sauces at McDonald's. On the rare occasion that I darken a Mickey D's doorstep--or drive-thru--I opt for a burger and fries rather than the chicken nuggets.

But I couldn't help but sit up and take notice when the commercial mentioned a Spicy Buffalo sauce, along with Honey Mustard, Sweet Chili, and Creamy Ranch. I was also kind of surprised that Honey Mustard was on the list, until I remembered that when I was a kid plain old Honey was an option. (Right?)

I marched on down to McDonald's to see what all the saucy fuss was about.

I made a mistake in not checking the menu more carefully--do they still offer Chicken Selects? I didn't notice them on the menu, and I ordered the Chicken McNuggets. This review isn't about McNuggets, but I will say they are as hideous as I remember them being; like particle board, only a little more chicken-y. I was also a bit disappointed to find that this location was out of the Sweet Chili flavor. But I took my Honey Mustard, Creamy Ranch, and Spicy Buffalo (and a Sweet & Sour and a BarBeQue that they just threw in there) and went on my way.

I thought the Honey Mustard looked very promising: You can see that the color is darker, on the side of Dijon, and speckled with what I hoped were flavorful seasonings. As it turned out, while the Honey Mustard is okay, it doesn't have any bite or zing, and even had a bit of a mayonnaise-like note on the finish, which I did not enjoy.

My hopes for the Ranch weren't very high to begin with, and it was indeed quite bland. But the Spicy Buffalo? We have a winner, here. I consider myself pretty picky about what qualifies as "Buffalo"-style, and I pooh-pooh a lot of wings and wing sauces that use the word "Buffalo" in the name. McDonald's has nailed it, though, and this sauce has the up-front tanginess and follow-up heat of true Buffalo wing sauce.

The verdict? I'll skip the Honey Mustard and Ranch, but the Spicy Buffalo gets big, big love from this Upstate New York native. I haven't been this enthusiastic about anything at McDonald's since the inception of the Shamrock Shake.

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Christina Uticone