Two girls. Twenty-four chicken nuggets. Four new delicious dipping sauces. One mission: to eat the shit out of them.
It all started innocently enough. We pulled around to the drive-thru and ordered two ten piece McNuggets and an additional four piece to be on the safe side, ensuring there would be enough nuggets to make informed judgments with each of the new sauces. Then suddenly-things got serious: “Would you like any dipping sauces?” asked a sweet voice on the other side of the intercom. Before I could answer, Maggie (my co-pilot on this mission) spoke up: “ALL OF THEM” she said in a voice of deep urgency and desperation (think of the Chris Farley skit with David Spade and Adam Sandler where they are all dressed as woman eating in a food court and Chris Farley belts out the infamous: LAY OFF ME I’M STARVING” line). We paid, drove to the second window and collected our treasure. As a mild Type A personality, I requested we check the bag to assure we had every sauce before hitting the road. I was dismayed to find they had only supplied us with Honey Mustard, Barbecue Sauce, and the new Sweet Chile Sauce. “Pull over, I’m going inside” I said. “Are you serious?” asked Maggie. We were missing the Creamy Ranch and Spicy Buffalo sauces, the two I hypothesized would be my favorite. I wasn’t messing around here. “I’ve never been more serious in my life.” Without another word, she pulled around the front of the store.
I went inside and asked a young girl at the counter if she would fetch my missing sauces. She stared at me blankly and I repeated my seemingly simple request. She sauntered over to the sauce area and came back with one container of Barbecue sauce. She placed it in front of me and then started laughing “I got you the wrong sauce!” Luckily at this point her older and wiser manager came over and asked me what I needed. For the third time I repeated myself: “The Creamy Ranch and Spicy Buffalo sauces PLEASE.” He must have been an extremely competent professional because he got it right on the first try, and I was finally on my way to my McNugget heaven.
I took out the first container and set up a station on my lap. “You are NOT feeding me” said Maggie, who was driving at the time. “It disgusts me when couples do that.” I was instructed to be the official dipper, but informed distinctively to hand them to her for her own consumption. Equipped with explicit directions, the experimentation began.
We began with the Sweet Chile Sauce, which initially turned me off due to the fact it looked like the goop that Keanu Reeves was covered in after he woke up in that pod in the Matrix. However, this one ended up being quite the prize in the batch of new sauciness. “It’s like the Sweet n’ Sour, but spicy,” commented Maggie. Now, I am not a large enthusiast of the McDonald’s Sweet n’ Sour sauce, but I must say that I am now a super fan of the Sweet Chile sauce – as was Maggie whose face was completely crestfallen when she asked for another nugget dipped in this sauce and I had to sadly report to her that we had run out. Next we moved on to the Honey Mustard, an old sauce that had apparently been “re-vamped” for rerelease. The Sweet Chile experience was a tough act to follow, and not surprisingly the Honey Mustard fell short (and way short). Its new form boasted “specs” of spicy deliciousness in it as opposed to its usually uniform creamy appearance, and at first glance it looked promising. But in truly cliché fashion, appearances can be deceiving and this sauce sat at the bottom of the totem pole for us. In a lively conversation this morning with Maggie in preparation for this blog entry, I asked her for her opinion on each sauce. In regards to the Honey Mustard: “It wasn’t different besides the fact it was thinner, which I didn’t appreciate because it dripped all over…that’s what she said.” End quote. Side note: It is always appropriate to add “that’s what she said” to your own statements if warranted. After this we dabbled with a classic, the Tangy Barbecue sauce, which did not disappoint. It’s sweet with a slight kick, and it acted as a nice bridge between the old and the new for me. To complete the tasting, we traversed on to our final sauces: the Creamy Ranch and Spicy Buffalo. In my opinion, these two are a pair; while I would use the Spicy Buffalo on its own, I would probably not do the same with a Ranch dressing.
I digress – for this phase I did a double dip. Half Buffalo, and half ranch. The combination was as pleasing as I anticipated – although I am not sure this means much as my passion for anything covered in Buffalo sauce is borderline obsessive and I would marry a bottle of Frank’s Red Hot if I could. Maggie’s two-cents was that instead of Ranch they should have made a Blue Cheese sauce, an opinion I think the upper management at McDonald’s should seriously consider.
However, I don’t think good old Mickey D’s should stop there. From a marketing standpoint I think its genius – as I am sure we were only one pair out of a slew of people who embarked on the same journey. On a more personal note, I just love me some Chicken McNuggie’s and I love dipping them in sauces even more. If I had to grade the mission based on success or failure, I would grade it as a success. A wild success.