The McDonald’s Celebrity Meals are evolving and not in a good way. Let us take you back in time to 1991 when McDonald’s introduced its first celebrity meal — The McJordan Special. This Michael Jordan-centric meal, made to commemorate the Bull’s Championship run, consisted of a Quarter Pounder with a special cut of smoked bacon, and a new blend of BBQ Sauce. Without tasting it we can conclude that that meal is dope because it’s special.
It’s not something you can just walk into a McDonald’s and order at any time. It’s unique and crafted (“crafted” is relative, this is fast food).
For whatever reason, McDonald’s gave up on the celebrity meals in the ’90s and ’00s but brought them back in in the ’20s (likely because of Covid-19 killing innovation in fast food) with the Travis Scott Meal, BTS Meal, J Balvin Meal, and Saweetie meal. Unfortunately, with the exception of one of those meals (the BTS meal which included two special off-menu sauces) these branded meals didn’t bring anything new to the table and instead consisted of foods that are permanent fixtures on the menu. While this is frustrating for a food writer who gets excited by new menu offerings, it seems to be working for the hungry masses — it certainly doesn’t look like McDonald’s has any intention to stop with these low-effort celebrity meals.
This brings us to the latest branded combo, this week’s Cardi B and Offset Meal.
In a move of admittedly genius marketing (seriously, watch the commercial), McDonald’s is giving us our first dual celebrity-branded combo in the Cardi B and Offset Meal which consists of a cheeseburger with a side of tangy BBQ sauce (Cardi B’s contribution) and a Quarter Pounder with Cheese (Offset), a shareable order of Large Fries, an Apple Pie and two large drinks, a Coca-Cola and a Hi-C Orange Lavaburst all for the price of $15.89.
Naturally, that might lead you to ask “is that cheaper than normal?” Yes! I added up all the elements independently and got a total of $17.04, so this meal meets the criteria of being a “deal”… but considering it’s just two of the most basic ass orders imaginable combined into one shareable meal, consider us sufficiently disappointed. This isn’t the McJordan Special or the BTS Meal, it’s a pure cash grab that offers absolutely nothing new.
So — and we can’t believe we’re asking this — is the Cardi B Offset Meal any good? We found out by sampling it. Yes, that’s right, we’re reviewing a McDonald’s Cheeseburger, a Quarter Pounder, and an Apple Pie. Let’s dive in.
The Cardi B Offset Meal — REVIEWED
Despite that very sad-looking burger above, it’s good! I know, I know I just spent a couple of paragraphs complaining about the lack of innovation here, but if we’re coming at this from a flavor perspective, I can’t pretend that this meal isn’t tasty. The cheeseburger, while pathetically thin, is what McDonald’s does best. There is something about the way the diced onions, ketchup, pickles, mustard, and weird plastic-y cheese come together that is so addicting. The only way Cardi B’s burger could be any better is if it was a double.
Since it came with a side of BBQ sauce I took the liberty of dipping the burger and… well it tasted like a McDonald’s cheeseburger with some sweet smokey notes. Not exactly a game-changer.
Let’s talk about Offset’s burger for a second. In the commercial, Cardi B says Offset’s order is “a quarter-pounder, no onions just cheese,” and yet in this meal, the burger comes standard. This means we’re not even eating Offset’s f*cking burger! What gives McDonald’s? To add insult to injury, I think the onions, which are sliced instead of diced, are part of the reason the Quarter Pounder isn’t quite as good as the regular stock cheeseburger.
It gives the burger an entirely different flavor, the onion notes come across as much more prominent despite having all of the same toppings. So not only is Offset’s burger not actually Offset’s burger, it tastes the most strongly of the very thing he doesn’t even want on his burger!
It’s like McDonald’s heard Offset’s order and said “Da fuq? This guy doesn’t get onions, pickles, or sauce on his burger? We can’t let that fly, we’re a business!”
Having said all that, the Quarter Pounder is still a good burger, and offers a meatier bite than a regular cheeseburger, though we’d still argue the Double Cheeseburger is the move. The fries, as expected, are delicious. My meal was Door Dash’d to me and they were still able to hold up surprisingly well. The apple pie is a nice delicious sugar bomb of a snack, but it seems cruel that you’re expected to share it when McDonald’s could’ve easily thrown a second pie in there.
The Bottom Line:
If you want to get a Quarter Pounder, a cheeseburger, a large order of fries, an apple pie, and two large drinks for about $2 cheaper, then this deal is for you. But as a fan of Cardi B, Offset, and fast food, this half-assed meal concept just breaks my heart.
Find your nearest McDonald’s here.