This week, I reached out for a four-pack of Sweet 'N Spicy Honey BBQ Glazed Tenders, new from America's No. 1 burger slinger, McDonald's, with 14,000 restaurants from the Redwood Forest to the gulf stream waters, as Woody Guthrie put it. Plus Alaska and Hawaii, which came later.
Usually when it takes seven words to describe a menu item, it's best to stay away. TMI. But these tenders really are sweet, 'n, spicy and yadda-yadda.
Here's the Sweet 'N Spicy Honey BBQ Glazed Tenders breakdown: all-white meat chicken strips, breaded and deep-fried, then hand-tossed and glazed with a distinctive bbq sauce.
Total calories: 640 Fat grams: 27. Sodium: 1,780 mg. Carbs: 63 g. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Protein: 35 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.49. Your mileage may vary.
Okay, we're talking legit good stuff here. The chicken is real deal, not chewed 'n glued particle board like McNuggets. There's no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Each tender is supposed to be 4.5 inches long, but some are shorter, some longer. Like I said, they're not cookie-cutter McNuggets.
The tenders start with McDonald's standard-issue Buttermilk Crispy Tenders, introduced with much fanfare in 2017. Instead of frying 'em up and serving them plain with your choice of dipping sauce, a friendly McDonald's chef back of the house tosses them in thick, rich barbecue sauce.
The sauce is a sticky blend of brown sugar, chili pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Natural smoke flavor is added as a finishing touch. Each order is sauced to order, so you're getting fresh hot food, no heat lamp holding pattern.
They also come in a six-pack for $6.39. They're pretty heavy on the calories. Eat one six-pack (tenders); lose one six-pack (abs). An order of 10 tenders will run you $10.39. Chicken has crossed the $1 per tender barrier. Not cheap. The four-pack for $4.49 is pricey, and I'm not sure it will hold you. Cheaper by the half-dozen and a heftier meal.
Sweet 'N Spicy Honey BBQ Glazed Tenders are a limited-time-only special, so on your marks ...
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know in the comments or on Twitter.