This was the line outside the McDonald's on 6th Avenue between 14th and 15th streets in New York City this afternoon. Considering the fact that this particular McDonald's location was giving away free sandwiches, it’s a pretty short line.
Regular readers of nrn.com likely already know that the burger giant is rolling out a new line of premium wraps, inspired by the wraps already available in some of its European locations, because my colleague Mark Brandau already wrote about it.
But they launched them today with this giveaway, and invited media to walk right past the line and go upstairs for an exclusive press tasting.
Well, kind of exclusive. Actually, they seemed most interested in getting bloggers there. In fact, my name tag didn’t say I wrote for Nation’s Restaurant News, but for Food Writer’s Diary, which is true, but kind of like saying Harrison Ford was in American Grafitti or that McDonald’s sells oatmeal.
There was star talent there, though.
Downstairs the hoi polloi could enjoy a local DJ and watch rappers spit some fresh rhymes (get it? because they were introducing wraps, so there were rappers), while upstairs we could admire the McWraps under see-through cloches next to the sorts of ingredients that were supposed to be inside them, underscoring the new items’ premium nature.
We also could stand shoulder-to-thigh with the New York Knicks’ Steve Novak, who was there to praise the McWrap for being convenient and nutritious.
Indeed, the McWraps have a pretty solid nutritional profile unless you’re trying to cut back on sodium.
There are three McWrap flavors: bacon, ranch and sweet chili. Each is available with either grilled or crispy (read: fried) chicken breast, which is currently the cheapest mainstream protein on the market.
The six different flavors range in calories from 360 for a sweet chili with grilled chicken to 600 for a crispy bacon McWrap — a totally reasonable calorie count for an adult on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet.
And they're not insubstantial in size.
Above is a picture of my sweet chili McWrap with crispy chicken (520 calories, 22 grams of fat of which 4.5 grams are saturated, 58 grams of carbohydrates of which 12 are sugar and 3 are fiber, and 23 grams of protein), next to my pen, so you can see that it’s a substantial meal.
Sodium’s a bit of an issue, if that’s a concern for you, as the grilled sweet chili one has 1030 milligrams and the crispy bacon ranch has 1420 milligrams (depending on who you talk to, 1,500-2,300 mg is about the limit of how much sodium an adult should eat in a day).
But they also have actual vegetables in them.
They all have lettuce and “spring greens” in them, and my wrap also had cucumber.
The bacon wrap has sliced tomato, and the ranch has both cucumber AND tomato.
And my cucumber tasted like cucumber. The greens tasted like greens. The sweet chili, which I’ve had before with McNuggets, is a (very) mild version of a classic Thai sweet chile sauce. It also had creamy garlic sauce, as does the bacon wrap, while the ranch one unsurprisingly has ranch sauce — all in all, a satisfying combination.
When McDonald’s isn’t handing them out for free, they’re $3.99.
March 29: This story has been updated to remove repetition and to clarify the writer’s opinion of his wrap.