I tried McDonald’s new Smoky BLT Quarter Pounder with Cheese so you don’t have to

CLEVELAND, Ohio — ‘Tis the season for limited-time offerings (LTO) at your favorite fast-food chain. Wendy’s has a pair of Italian Mozzarella sandwiches, Burger King is selling an Italian Royal Crispy Chicken sandwich and Taco Bell recently added 7-Layer Nacho Fries.

McDonald’s contribution is a decidedly less sexy Smoky BLT Quarter Pounder with Cheese. While it may have flown under your radar, it didn’t with ours. So, we tried the newest burger from the Golden Arches so you don’t have to.

What McDonald’s says: The company describes the new offering as a 100% fresh beef quarter-pound patty cooked when ordered and topped with two slices of American cheese, applewood smoked bacon, roma tomatoes, shredded lettuce and smoky sauce all served on a toasted sesame seed bun.

The stats: The burger comes in at 770 calories and costs $6.99, making it the most expensive single-patty sandwich on the menu. It also comes in a two-patty version, which pushes the number of calories to 990 and the price to $8.79. Upgrading to a meal adds another $4.

The good: I’ve enjoyed the fresh, never frozen beef patties McDonald’s uses for its Quarter Pounders since they were introduced in 2018. They’re juicier and, well, beefier. Grilling them to order not only improves the taste when compared to the beef used in Big Macs, but it also melts the cheese. The bacon adds a nice crunch and a mild smokiness, while the tomatoes provide a hint of sweetness to the burger’s overall flavor profile.

The bad: There wasn’t enough lettuce in my test sandwich for it to make much of an impression. The same can be said, unfortunately, of the smoky sauce, the one ingredient that was really supposed to differentiate it from the Bacon Quarter Pounder with Cheese Deluxe, which has been a McDonald’s staple menu item for years. The sauce is essentially a lightly seasoned mayonnaise reminiscent of regular ranch dressing or the tasteless garlic aioli Panera uses on its Signature Take Chef’s…

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