“We all need to make time for a burger once in a while.”

Erica Durance

As I was growing up, we had a McDonald’s around the corner. I wasn’t able to drive so Summer to my friends and me was meeting up for lunch at McDonald’s with the money my Mother either gave me or what I made babysitting. McDThirdPounderAs I grew up, I visited McDonald’s less and less because of the stigma that McDonald’s was “bad” or “unhealthy” and not something you should be putting in your body. I had the opportunity to take part in an early tasting of McDonald’s new products on Tuesday, April 28th at the Latham Farms location with other bloggers/press. I’m so happy to learn (especially because the food tastes so delicious) that McDonald’s is working at not only making better for you food but better quality food because their customers mean something to them.

Nothing showed that more than Latham Farms McDonald’s owner Andrew James. He was so proud to not only share in what we were about to taste but the time, commitment and study he put in to learning about McDonald’s and the art of owning a franchise.McDThirdPounder2 It all began in 1987 when he decided he wanted to own a McDonalds and provide jobs for people, now he owns three in the Capital Region (including one in Clifton Park and one in Rensselaer). To him, it wasn’t just about buying a franchise and making money, it was for the love of what he was doing shown especially in how many local charities he involved himself in as well as  how he interacted with his employees and the customers who came in and knew him by name. He couldn’t wait to share the new burgers with us!

Before the event we had three options of Sirloin Third Pound Burgers to choose from:

Steakhouse: Made with a third-pound of 100 percent Sirloin beef topped with sautéed mushrooms, grilled onions, white cheddar cheese and creamy peppercorn sauce all served on a sesame seed bun.

Bacon and Cheese: Made with a third-pound of 100 percent Sirloin beef topped with yellow mustard, zesty ketchup, sliced pickles, red onion rings, Applewood smoked bacon and white cheddar cheese all served on a sesame seed bun

Lettuce and Tomato: Made with a third-pound of 100 percent Sirloin beef topped with creamy mayonnaise, yellow mustard, a fresh slice of tomato, green leaf lettuce, rings of red onion, sliced pickles and white cheddar cheese all served on a sesame seed bun.

MOUTH WATERING YET?

I got the Bacon and Cheese (solid choice in my opinion). They brought the burgers out to us on these silver platters, it was really a great presentation. McDThirdPounder3The burger was pretty delicious. I, of course, assume that because this was an event that they were as fresh as possible and done perfectly but I still enjoyed the flavor. The bacon was great and enhanced the flavor of the meat. I couldn’t really decipher between the different condiments but they seemed to work well together. I felt myself feeling like there was a little too much cheese and may have been able to go without it. The bun was okay. Nothing special or crazy, just kind of there to give me something to hold on to. Overall, not bad. I was impressed with how much better they tasted than the other burgers I’ve had.

We also had the opportunity to try the new Artisan Grilled Chicken. On April 13th, McDonald’s started using this chicken in all of their chicken entrees including the Deluxe Grilled Chicken Sandwiches, Premium McWraps, Snack Wraps and Premium Salads. The chicken starts with 100% white meat chicken filet seasoned with pantry spices and herbs, seared on the grill and finished with a zesty vinaigrette. My favorite part? No artificial flavors, added colors or preservatives. I was really impressed with how moist the chicken was and how the flavors of the different spices and herbs came out in each bite. I’m really happy to know that they’re replacing their other chicken with this one. Over the next two years, McDonald’s will be working to source chicken raised without antibiotics that are important to human medicine. McDThirdPounder4I’m going to be honest, though, I don’t really know what type of ecological difference that makes and they didn’t really touch on it at the presentation.

My favorite part of the experience? They brought us out McDonald’s fries. I don’t know what it is about McDonald’s fries, it brings me back to my childhood and I couldn’t stop eating them! The burgers were pretty good but as always, the fries where the fried golden crown on top of a pretty solid meal.

Get them quick, the chicken is here to stay but those burgers? They’re only around for a limited time!