Fast Food Review: McDonald's Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken
The lettuce and carrot shavings are notably fresh. The lettuce looked better than most of the stuff in the produce section of the grocery store and the carrots are still very al dente and not at all soggy like those in some pre-made salads.
The corn chip strips are fresh and crunchy with a semi-authentic spicy salsa flavor. I would totally buy these for game-time snacking if Frito-Lay would sell 'em.
The Newman's Own dressing has a sour heat that pairs nicely with the balsamic-marinated sweet corn and beans. The Southern Style Chicken is meant to go with a pickle, so it matches well with an emulsified vinaigrette.
There are some minor complaints, though. It is hard to toss salad ingredients together. I had to take several bites before all of the ingredients blended about properly. They are also a bit skimpy on the cheese and other fixins.
However, when one gets all of the flavors in one bite, the result is a savory smoked pepper taste that is rather satisfying and the texture of a mouthful of two kinds of crunch (veggies and lettuce) the contrasts nicely with the warm, chewy chicken.
Overall, the McDonald's Southwest Salad is thoughtful and delicious and good enough for a casual dining restaurant, not just a fast food joint.
As a salad at a fast food joint, I give it 4.5 out of 5 Perfectly Good Medium-Sized Midwestern Public Universities.