The Texas and Idaho burgers and McMuffins have hit branches across Japan, and we send our man on the ground to tear into them.

Japan is no stranger to seasonal promotions at restaurants, but of particular delight are the bounteous offerings from global chain McDonald’s. The restaurant has a special line-up of “American Hamburgers” which allow their Japanese patrons to sample the tastes of McDonald’s’ home country, and November 7 saw the return of the ever-popular Texas and Idaho burgers.

This time, they brought friends. Soft, yummy friends suitable for breakfast. That’s right, this time the line-up included Texas and Idaho McMuffins to correspond with their burger companions.

Our Japanese-language reporter K. Nagahashi saw the announcement, paired with bold claims that these new launches would be “tastier and more flavor-packed than even before”, and decided something important. Someone would have to determine which of these mighty meat sandwiches was the most tasty, the most flavor-packed. And naturally, that person was going to be him.

So let’s get a look at our contenders on the most basic level, price (with tax) and calorie content:

  • Texas McMuffin: 350 yen (US$3.10)/551 calories
  • Idaho McMuffin: 350 yen/569 calories
  • Texas Burger 2018: 490 yen/639 calories
  • Idaho Burger 2018: 490 yen/666 calories

▼ Ready, and… FIGHT!

Jeeze, every one of these sandwiches clocks in at over 550 calories! You can also order these heavy hitters as part of a value meal with fries and a drink for 790 yen apiece for the burgers and 550 yen for the muffins, but even with the value meal these burgers are just as heavy on the wallet as the waistline.

Without further ado, the tournament commenced. Once and for all, the top contender from these four limited-edition menu items would be decided!

▼ The burgers and muffins assemble in their finery to duke it out.

K’s first pick was the Texas McMuffin. Complete with a double whammy of sausage and egg patties, the muffin is liberally coated in barbecue sauce. When contrasted with its burger counterpart it’s largely the same, but with the burger patty swapped out for sausage, an extra boost of egg, no bacon, and English muffins replacing the burger buns (so… pretty different, actually).

▼ The barbecue sauce is just as potent and flavorful here as on the burger

Sinking his teeth into the muffin, K determined that the egg thickness made for a voluminous, satisfying bite, and the full-bodied barbecue sauce had a spicy kick to it that packed a real punch. It’s impossible to eat this one and think of it as anything but a breakfast burger, but if you need a real wallop of flavor to start your day off right, this McMuffin is for you!

▼ Look at all that egg!

Now it was time to pack his bags and head north for the Idaho McMuffin. Similar to the Texas version, this muffin also starred a sausage patty instead of the beef patty from the burger, plus a special potato patty, oozing cheddar cheese and a black pepper sauce, all sandwiched between two English muffins. Again, it shared only a few key components with its brother burger, namely the cheese, potato patty and sauce.

K’s impressions from sinking his teeth into this cheesy, potato-packed muffin were initially blurred; the sweetness from the meat and the mellow, peppery cheese melded together, culminating in a gradual build up of spice through multiple bites. The crunch from the potato patty resulted in a satisfying mouthfeel, but K was still left feeling that this was the most mild sandwich of the lineup, and none too different from many of the regular breakfast sandwiches sold by the chain.

▼ That flaky square of potato is mighty tempting, though.

With the new kids on the block dealt with, K turned to the longtime champions. First up was the Texas Burger 2018, featuring a 100-percent beef patty, generous sprinklings of crushed fried onion, two freshly grilled rashers of bacon and two slices of delectably melty cheddar cheese. These beefy offerings are structured around a three-story burger bun, so there’s no doubt when looking at it that this burger hails from the Lone Star state.

▼ Everything’s bigger in the Texas Burger 2018.

Chomping into this bad boy rewarded K with the inimitable tastes of bacon and beef, cloaked in delicious cheese with a subtle spice from the barbecue sauce. It was terrifically, gluttonously decadent. K branded the Texas burger “the most undeniably American of all the burgers on offer” and recommended it fervently to anyone with the desire to really pig out on fried meat and cheese.

But what of our pal, the Idaho Burger 2018? This jewel from the Gem State also comes equipped with a 100-percent beef patty and two rashers of bacon, plus a distinctive patty crafted from fried potato. Garnished with fresh onion and cheddar cheese, all these luscious fillings are tucked comfortably inside a sesame seed bun.

K unhinged his jaw and took a huge chunk of Idaho into himself. He was rewarded with juicy, succulent meat and deliciously pungent potato, with the crisp fresh onion providing a perfect accent. The taste and texture were in perfect harmony, which is why the number one out of all four items is…


The Idaho Burger 2018!!!!

▼ Top reporter K Nagahashi, busy judging each entrant fairly

Please spare a moment to think for poor K’s stomach during this arduous testing process. Though he left a quarter of each burger, this still resulted in him eating well over 1,800 calories, and his stomach is absolutely at maximum capacity. We’ll make sure to give him adequate rest before we send him to tackle any more deep-fried delicacies.

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