This week I reached out for a Garlic White Cheddar Burger, part of the upscale Signature Crafted sandwich line, at the No. 1 burger baron, McDonald's, with 14,500 restaurants across the U.S. and another 20,000 eat-'em-up joints around the world.
You like garlic? This burger has garlic coming and going, so you might consider a side of Tic-Tacs with those incomparable McDonald's fries.
Here's the Garlic White Cheddar Burger breakdown: a quarter-pound beef patty, garlic chips, garlic aioli, shredded lettuce, a slice of tomato, and white cheddar cheese on a toasted artisan bun.
Total calories: 620. Fat grams: 33. Sodium: 830 mg. Carbs: 49 g. Dietary fiber: 3 g. Protein: 31 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.69 (your mileage may vary).
McDonald's is taking the road more traveled, sinking a 6-inch putt, making the easy layup with this Garlic White Cheddar Burger. It's a slam dunk, all right. Who doesn't love garlic? Remember how Emeril Lagasse would have his audience whoopin' and hollerin' simply by tossing "150 cloves of gah-lic" into the bowl? Garlic is like butter and bacon. It makes everything better.
In fact, I'm convinced that, if you add enough garlic, you can forget the beef patty and nobody would complain.
The Garlic White Cheddar Burger is McDonald's at its best and getting better. It starts with a fresh beef patty. McDonald's has ditched those frozen hockey puck patties for fresh on all its Quarter Pounders and Signature Crafted burgers. The fresh patties are grilled to order, juicier and served hotter than before. Then comes the white cheddar — and this is real cheese — not the former "pasteurized cheese product" or whatever mumbo-jumbo fast food chains use to explain that glistening goop on their burgers. The lettuce is freshly shredded and the tomato is ripe and red. Good stuff that rounds out a really well executed burger.
That garlic chips are a little crunchy and the aioli is smooth garlic heaven. Here's how thick this burger lays on the garlic. The rest of the day, if you get on an elevator — and I don't care what floor you're headed to — hold your breath. One burp and watch everybody jump off on the next floor. You don't want to be That Guy.
You also can order this garlic feast with a Buttermilk Crispy Chicken breast or an Artisan Grilled Chicken breast.
Of course, when push comes to shove, something gets shoved off the menu. Bye-bye Sriracha Signature Crafted Burger.
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.