Yesterday was the first day for McDonald's first nationwide roll-out of a new burger in 8 years, the Angus Third Pounder.
We tried 2 of the 3 new versions of the Third Pounder, the Deluxe and the Bacon & Cheese. (We'll save the Mushroom Swiss for another day.)
Here's what we came home with... the Bacon & Cheese is on the left, the Deluxe is on the right:
I'm not much of a photographer, but let's go ahead and compare that to McDonald's official, professional press release photo of these 2 new burgers:
These burgers are more substantial than the Quarter Pounder. The beef patty is clearly bigger, although it still has that iconic, pre-formed appearance of all McDonald's meat patties.
The real rings of purple onion and the thick slice of a large diameter tomato are nice touches. It helps to push this burgers taste in the direction of a home made hamburger... not that it actually makes it to that realm, but it helps. The lettuce was abundant, fresh and of good quality, too.
We both noticed, though, that the purple onions were virtually tasteless. We assume that McDonald's went to great lengths to find onions that would never be considered to strong or offensive. We had fun imagining the process of McDonald's execs insisting on a genetically-modified scentless, tasteless onion that could be grown in huge quantities. Just a fantasy; couldn't be true.
We got our Angus Third Pounders at McDonald's #6753 in Benbrook, TX where the manager on duty said that they had been selling the Third Pounders for about a week (even though yesterday was their official release date). He said they'd had a good response to them and they were growing in popularity. He said they were selling about 50 a day. (Note: We used "Be Our Guest Cards" for 2 free Third Pounders and purchased the rest of our meal. We didn't speak to the manager until after our burgers where prepared and handed to us.)
In the press materials for the Third Pounders, the descriptions of all 3 burgers ends with, "served on a toasted bakery-style sesame seed roll." This description left me expecting the burger to be on a warm, slightly crunchy, toasted bun. This was not the case. The bun was cold and soft and had not been toasted in any way noticeable from the outside. When I took the burger apart for the photos below, I could see the the inside of the buns had been toasted slightly. No big deal really, but after reading the description I suppose I became hopeful that the entire sandwich would be run through a warmer/toaster just before being served.
Otherwise, besides being a little bigger, the buns do not differ in consitency or flavor from standard McDonald's buns.
Here's a look at the insides (again, Bacon & Cheese on the left, Deluxe on the right. Click for larger image.)
The Angus Third Pounders have a calorie range of 750 to 770 calories. They have 39-40 grams of fat and 16-17 grams of saturated fat.
Interestingly, they also have 2 grams of Trans Fat. This is interesting because most fast food chains have eliminated or are attempting to eliminate all trans fats from their menus. A reader asked if this would prevent the sandwiches from being sold in New York City where Trans Fats are banned. I, in turn, asked a McDonald's rep and was informed that, "NYC Department of Health regulation pertains only to artificial trans fat. The 2 grams of trans fat in the Angus Burger is attributed to the beef patty that contains naturally-occurring trans fat,a type of trans fat that would not be subject to the artificial trans fat regulation."
Here's the calorie, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, fiber, sugar & protein stats for the Angus Third Pounders:
Here's a look at a cross section of the Bacon & Cheese Angus Third Pounder (click for larger):
And a close-up of the burger patty (on the Deluxe):
Had one yourself? Let us know what you think.