Drive-thru review: McDonald's replaces Angus options with Quarter Pounder variety

By: Ken Hoffman King Features Syndicate
July 1, 2013

This week I tried a Bacon & Cheese Quarter Pounder, one of three new burgers in the Quarter Pounder franchise at McDonald's.

McDonald's has tinkered with its flagship Quarter Pounder line for the first time in 40 years. Joining the Quarter Pounder and Quarter Pounder with Cheese are: Bacon & Cheese Quarter Pounder, the Bacon Habanero Ranch Quarter Pounder and the Deluxe.

This trio of replaces McDonald's hoity-toity Third Pounder Angus Burgers, which were bigger burgers at a bigger price, nudging the $5 mark.

Here's the Bacon & Cheese Quarter Pounder blueprint: a 4-ounce beef patty (that's the precooked weight ... it's about 3 ounces post-cooked), American cheese, thick applewood-smoked bacon, crinkle-cut pickles, red onions, lettuce and tomato on a bakery-style bun.

Bottom line - and that's what this about - McDonald's is ditching its higher-priced, bigger Angus burgers and bolstering its array of smaller, more affordable Quarter Pounders to meet customer demands. The blueprints are almost identical to the old Angus blueprints, just smaller.

This goes against our mantra in the drive-thru: Less is not more ... more is more. At least McDonald's shrunk the price along with the burger patty.

McDonald's brags that its Quarter Pounders are "new tastes with personalities as unique as the ingredients that top them off."

New? Bacon and cheese on a burger? Why, that's a bacon cheeseburger. Thank you, Wendy's and Burger King and every other burger joint. In fact, McDonald's Bacon & Cheese Quarter Pounder is practically a Wendy's Baconator, with less bacon.

A few noteworthy notes about the Bacon & Cheese Quarter Pounder: The bacon is thicker, with a meatier flavor and texture than the old, paper-thin bacon McDonald's used to use. Plus 2 points.

The new Quarter Pounders come on a new bakery-style bun that packs 8 grams of whole grains. Plus 3 points.

However (and ain't there always a "however"?), the new Quarter Pounders have only one slice of American cheese, while the originals had two slices. Minus 6 points - see me after class.

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