Written/Created by: Matt
Posted on 7.03.03.

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They're here, folks, they're here. Three cheers? We'll see. McDonald's, who've spent quite a bit of dough in the past few years trying to create a buzz around their otherwise old hat name, has struck the market with some really odd breakfast sandwiches called "McGriddles." I know the dawning of a new era when I see one, so with ten bucks out and the scale hidden, I ventured to our local FF joint and prepared to regal in their new shit.

Wait, that should be "regale." Thank God I had doubts; my spellchecker would've never caught that.

So, what is a McGriddle, exactly? Okay -- you know those "Big Breaffast" meals McDonald's sells, the ones that come with everything from sausage to pancakes to eggs and beyond? Well, a McGriddle is essentially a Big Breakfast packed into one Small Sandwich. The buns are literally drenched with maple syrup -- it's baked right into 'em. The rest of the offering plays out like any ol' McMuffin, but you'd be surprised to see just how far an upgraded, sugary bun can go in really pushing your intestinal track over the edge. McMuffins kinda just fuck with the system for a few minutes, but McGriddles? These things will make you explode outright. And I mean that in the most disgusting way you can take it.

You see, at least from my perspective, eating a McGriddle is a one time experience. Even if you're totally into it, there's going to be an inbuild voice of reason who insists that you can't put your intestinal track through this again. It's just too much...too much McDonald's in such a small package. I've got nothing against the chain on the whole - personally, I think the restaurants provide one of the last wholesome surefire fun nights for families, even if it makes all the children fat. But these McGriddles, I tell you...these McGriddles are too much!

Just looking at the bag now is giving me a bit of the familiar sick -- it's a tastier Devil's Apple, but I'm still sending some important part of my body to Hell by eating them. Here's the review...

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The McGriddles come in three varieties, with one of each shown above. You've got "Sausage," "Sausage, Egg & Cheese," and the almighty heart-stopper, "Bacon, Egg & Cheese." The wrappers have all become translucently oily, which is a great way for illiterate people to tell the three kinds apart. Like I said, most of the ingredients are standard McDonald's fare. The sausage patties still look like frisbees for tiny people, the eggs look like nothing else I've ever seen in my entire life, and the bacon, yes, the bacon still appears like fried strips of canine ear. The peculiar treats aren't being sold on those merits, but rather some enormously honeyfied pieces of superbread...

The rumors are true -- each bun top is stamped with McDonald's trademark golden arches, pan-fried into perfectly legible branded perfection. If you don't want to eat something that looks so promotional, pretend they're "Ws," or if we're really reaching, a "3." The claims that the maple syrup is cooked right into the buns ain't no lie -- they're practically sticky. There's even some "bits" of brown, sugary stuff of unknown origin, kind of like raisins that got run over, or conversely, some pretty gross piles of employee snot.

It's a Kodak Moment, my friends. McDonald's says that these McGriddles are now a permanent part of the breakfast menu "in selected areas," but I just don't see these things staying for the long haul. Maybe McD's past exploits have made me cynical -- the McLean Deluxe, Mac Tonight, that stupid commercial where Ronald gets fifteen different haircuts -- these are follies that instill a bit of doubt in those poised to judge something from Mickey D's. Experience it now, because it might not be around for too long. If I had to make a wager, I'd say that there's going to be a small problem with purchases from males. Think about it -- most guys are pretty self-conscious when delving into any kind of femmy territory. They're probably not going to want to speak the word "McGriddle" in a public setting, much less when the damn things arrive with a cute little 'M' imprint on 'em. I'm practically a girl, and I know even I have a hard time saying the word "McNugget" while there. I think that's why everyone orders those combo meals -- you can get away with just saying a number and getting the Hell out of there.

Don't let another food fall by the wayside before you've gained the right to say "I TRIED THAT!!" in conversations years later. Here's a look at each of the three varieties, complete with photographic evidence of their potentially lethal dosages of everything you're not supposed to intake. Choose wisely -- pick the wrong McGriddle, and you'll be firing off a fucking asteroid field.

FAT: 23 G.

Shit G, this ain't health food. For reasons that will become obvious when you see the next two varieties, I opted to try out this one. To be perfectly honest, it's not all that GAH WHAT IS THAT THING CRAWLING OUT OF MY THROAT MY GOD MY GOD I'M SHITTING OUT MY THROAT GET HELP CALL PLUMBBBBBBBB bad. It smells mostly like McDonald's hot cakes, so it's a pretty surreal experience when you bite in and taste cows and pigs instead.

It's not an entirely bad experience, though. If you like McMuffins, it's not much of a change. Except for all the syrup. All the many, much, substantial, holy God there's a lot of it syrup. The "M" stamp makes for an interesting "eating game," too, as you'll find yourself sticking your tongue all over the bits of bun in your mouth, trying to figure out which part of the "M" you're licking. They really should mention that in the ads.

FAT: 33 G.
SODIUM: 1290 MG.

This one is a little more trouble. Just having sausage on that bun was more than sufficient -- now we've got loads of microwaved cheese and what appears to be really thick sheets of construction paper. Compare the nutritional facts of this and the previous entry, and you'll be startled to find just how much crap is in one piece of cheese and something -- I think -- are they -- eggs? The cholesterol makes a jump by more than 200 grams, while the fat content sees fit to make you contentedly fat. This is all fine for once in a while, but daily eaters without the gods of metabolism on their side will likely pull a Violet Beauregarde real quick.

The cheese, by the way, seems to grow "vines" in the nuking process that permanently attaches it to the sausage. It's not like regular, melted-on cheese -- it looks more like it's trying to drain the last remaining life juices from whatever poor puppy that disc was once a part of. Of course, the SE&C McGriddle pales when compared to the final variety -- something so repulsively delicious that its consummation should be recorded for a study on human self-apathy...

FAT: 23 G.
SODIUM: 1270 MG.

Fine, so it's not as nutritionally terrible as the sausage version, but that's not really the point. Look at it! I don't care how good it is. LOOK. AT. IT. It's a mixture of awful massacres and failed science experiments, and don't forget -- IT'S COVERED IN STICKY BUNS. The sausage patties are close enough to "real" meat that they seem passable, but McDonald's bacon can find so such salvation. The combination of those greasy slices of inner ass mixed with stale, lukewarm cheese on candy buns is bad enough, and then you've gotta figure out how to factor in those alien egg sheets without ruining your argument. Besides, under all those condiments and sugary doodads, you wouldn't even taste the shit. If you're gonna eat terrible food, you should at least get to taste it. Another theorem of Tao, I think.

All in all, the McGriddles are at least pretty interesting. You really can't judge food from McDonald's based on "how bad it is" or how awful it looks, because you'd seriously limit the viable top contenders. I've enjoyed how the commercials play them up as "oddities," because really, that's the best way to persuade people to eat shit. Give them a sense of rebellion and a twist of adolescent shenanigans. Make them forget their poor stomachs. I would still suggest trying them out for the reasons mentioned earlier which I've totally forgotten at this point, but on the whole, I have to write off McDonald's McGriddles as being a tad too indulgent. SORRY GRIMACE! :(

- Matt



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