McDonald’s is bringing Miami a taste of its international menu — and, no, it’s not a Royale with Cheese.
South Florida is the only market in the United States where, starting Sept. 5, McDonald’s will test four items it previously sold only outside the country. Fifty McDonald’s restaurants in Miami-Dade and Broward counties will carry new spins on classics: a hamburger from Spain, a chicken sandwich from Hong Kong, seasoned French fries from Malaysia and an ice cream dessert from the Netherlands.
“We’re really excited because it’s not often you get to sample things from other countries,” said Stefanie Betancourt, owner-operator of 20 McDonald’s franchises in South Florida. Four of her stores will carry the new items. “The amount of diversity we have here and the open-mindedness to these flavors says a lot about the customers that we cater to.”
The specialty items are only around for a limited time — McDonald’s isn’t saying exactly for how long or which of its restaurants is getting them. And prices vary depending on location. But the items will pop up on UberEATS and through the McDonald’s mobile app if they are available for delivery or pickup in your area.
A day before the release, McDonald’s gave me the opportunity to sample the new dishes at one of Betancourt’s McDonald’s restaurants in North Miami.
Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger
From Spain, McDonald’s imports the Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger, which is not, as you might guess, the title to a Japanese game show. The burger patty, which can be ordered as a single or a double, is topped with Gouda cheese, applewood smoked bacon, slivered onions and what it’s calling McBacon sauce, a sort of mix of bacon jam and mayo.
South Florida is also one of the eight markets where McDonald’s first introduced its grilled-to-order beef patties that arrive on a refrigerated truck and are never frozen. It uses those fresh beef patties in the Grand McExtreme ($5.19 for the single, $6.69 for the double), as it does in its Quarter Pounders and signature sandwiches.
The Gouda and bacon give the burger a smoky, right-off-the-grill flavor. It’s heavy, meat on meat, so those who prefer lettuce and tomato on their burgers will have to look elsewhere.
BBQ McShaker Fries
McDonald’s fries also get a spin with the BBQ McShaker Fries ($2.49) from Malaysia. An order of McDonald’s fries come with a seasoning packet and a separate paper bag. Dump the fries and the seasonings into the bag and shake it like a Polaroid picture. It’s a bit of a gimmick, but if you’re a fan of barbecue-flavored potato chips, it perfectly hits the spot.
McSpicy Chicken sandwich
Those who miss the spicy chicken sandwich get a reprieve with the McSpicy Chicken sandwich ($3.19). The regular McChicken’s batter gets a host of spices used in the Hong Kong version. It’s crispy and indeed lives up to its tangy moniker, not overly spicy but those who can’t tolerate hot wings should probably stick to the regular McChicken.
The Stroopwafel McFlurry ($2.89) from the Netherlands is made for caramel lovers. Pieces of stroopwafel — a waffle cookie stuffed with caramel popular in the Netherlands — are blended into the standard vanilla McFlurry. It’s more than just a sweet bomb. You can pick up the toasted caramel flavor in the cookie pieces, swirled together in the dessert.