McJunque Goes Upscale: A Taste Test of the McDonald's Angus Burger

Photos by Bill Citara

The world's most omnivorous, omnipresent purveyor of junk food is now crashing the rather more upscale salons of junque cuisine. 

That would be McDonald's, which last week spat up a trio of 100 percent Angus beef burgers. Launched to compete with the tonier patties of eateries like Five Guys, Fuddruckers, and Cheeburger Cheeburger, the Angus burgers feature a "premium" braided sesame seed bun and various toppings intended to be more life-like than the DOA garnishes of its proletarian cousins. The third-of-a-pound burgers come in Deluxe, Mushroom & Swiss, and Bacon & Cheese guises and will set you back $3.99. They will also contribute from 750 to 790 calories to your steadily expanding gut or thighs, 350 to 360 of those calories from fat. 

So what does the damned thing taste like?

Sacrificing my intestinal tract for you, dear readers, I picked up an Angus Deluxe in Boynton Beach and, after subjecting it to the standard food-porn photographic treatment, ate it. First, it does look more like a real hamburger than McD's sad, pallid Generic Burgers, Quarter Pounders, and Big Macs, with a plumper meat patty that hangs over the bun and slices of pickle, tomato, and red onion that are actually thick enough to taste.  

The Deluxe also gets a "mayonnaise dressing," a squirt of mustard, a single tired leaf of romaine, and a square of neon "pasteurized process American cheese." As for the meat, it does taste the slightest bit beefier than those downscale McD patties, though it also has their same tough, densely compacted texture. It's also as dry as a sand sandwich. 

Just for amusement, try to pick out these other flavors in the official list of ingredients for your Deluxe burger: "Grill Seasoning (salt, black pepper) and Angus Burger Seasoning: Salt, sugar, dextrose, onion powder, maltodextrin, natural butter flavor (dairy source), autolyzed yeast extract, spices, garlic powder, vegetable protein (hydrolyzed corn, soy and wheat), natural (animal, plant and botanical source) and artificial flavors, dried beef broth, sunflower oil, caramel color, partially hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oil, gum arabic, soy sauce solids (wheat, soybean, salt, maltodextrin, caramel color), palm oil, Worcestershire sauce powder [distilled vinegar, molasses, corn syrup, salt, caramel color, garlic powder, sugar, spices, tamarind, natural flavor (fruit source)], beef fat, annatto and turmeric (color), calcium silicate and soybean oil (prevent caking)."


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