May 29, 2013

Review: McDonald's - Bacon Habanero Ranch Quarter Pounder

McDonald's Bacon Habanero Ranch Quarter Pounder comes with a quarter-pound ground beef patty, processed white cheddar, thick-cut Applewood-smoked bacon, habanero ranch sauce, a tomato slice, and leaf lettuce on a toasted, bakery-style bun (the same one used for their premium chicken sandwiches).

My local McDonalds offers all the new "topped" Quarter Pounders for $3.99 each.

The Applewood-smoked bacon is a new addition and replaces McDonald's lackluster paper-thin bacon. There was a surprisingly good amount of coverage and, more importantly, a fair amount of crispiness. There was a measured dose of bacony goodness in every bite. The new bacon is head and shoulders above the old bacon.

The sauce reminds me a little of Taco Bell's Lava Sauce, but is just a tad lighter and a step down in heat. There's a tangy creaminess to it as well as a discernible note of chili pepper flavor. I would say the heat is medium but pervasive (possibly because my burger was slightly over-sauced) and lingers a fair bit. It's probably mild for heat seekers, but makes the Bacon Habanero Ranch Quarter Pounder the spiciest item on McDonald's current menu.

I'm usually disappointed at McDonald's by my slice (or slices) of just slightly melted (or unmelted) cheese. One of the few benefits of processed cheese is that it turns into a gooey mess easier than normal cheese, so it's pretty sad when it doesn't. It basically tells me that my patty wasn't very hot to begin with (i.e. it's been sitting in the warmer for a while) and it was basically warmish. I could pick up hints of cheddar eating the cheese alone, but in the sandwich in ended up just adding a hint of creaminess.

The patty is your standard Quarter Pounder patty; meaning it's not terribly moist, but delivers a serviceable amount of beef flavor to the burger. On the balance, it's fine but lags behind premium patties at competing chains (like Carl's Jr. and Jack in the Box), although it undercuts them in price.

The lettuce and tomatoes were pretty fresh. The lone tomato was firm and cut to an ideal thickness. There was a good amount of lettuce; not too much that I felt like I was eating a salad, but not too little that I thought they were skimping.

The bun was okay. It's an okay softness, but the crust has some hardness to it; like stale hard rather than freshly-baked crusty. It could just be the whole grains that gives it that feel, but it's not my favorite.

Overall, McDonald's Bacon Habanero Ranch Quarter Pounder is a pretty standard fast food burger within the segment, but is uplifted by the upgraded, crispier, and more substantial bacon and a surprisingly spicy habanero ranch sauce.

Nutritional Info - McDonald's Bacon Habanero Ranch Quarter Pounder - 8.3 oz (235g)
Calories - 610 (from Fat - 280)
Fat - 31g (Saturated Fat - 13g)
Sodium - 1180mg
Carbs - 46g (Sugar - 9g)
Protein - 37g


  1. So it's not as spicy as the Hot Habanero sauce they had a few months ago? That's no fun...

  2. Idk about that but its the spiciest item I can remember from McDonalds in a long time... if ever. Not saying much but I could actually feel some heat lingering after this unlike the spicy McChicken. Not a lot of sauce on my burger though.

    Hrm... spicy McChicken with habenero sauce anyone? I wonder if they will do that.

  3. I'm pretty sure they can do that for you.

  4. I don't think they ever offered that in my area, but I would guess so as this Habanero sauce also contains ranch which cuts against the heat a little.

  5. This burger was disgusting. The sauce is hot and completely overwhelms everything else. What a bad idea. Next, please...

  6. Who would have thought "habanero" would have meant that the sauce is hot.

  7. That's just crazy, a burger with habanero sauce on it is hot. I never would have thought that. I liked it (for McDonald's)

  8. What about on the McDouble? It's beefy counterpart :)

  9. there was absolutely no spice to the one i had a few minutes ago.. completely disappointing

  10. I love this burger. I love how spicy and full of flavor it is and it doesn't matter if it's an Angus or Quarter Pounder. It's one of the best new sandwiches McDonald's has had in a long time and I love everything about it!

  11. Bacon is thicker, but same bad taste. Wendy's figured out how to do Bacon, why can't McDonald's? Small slice of cheese, and wilted lettuce. McDonald's innovation is just lame. Best thing they've been able to pull off in 20 years are the chicken wraps, and those didn't take a rocket scientist...


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