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I Tried 8 Items From McDonald's New Chain CosMc's & Some Were Horrendous

There were several winners and losers on the menu at this new chain.
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Earlier this year, McDonald's made one of the most important announcements in its history: it was launching a brand new spinoff restaurant chain named CosMc's.

Tapping into nostalgia, the name was inspired by a six-armed alien who appeared in McDonald's commercials in the 80s and 90s. And as McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski recently revealed, the main focus at CosMc's is drinks. Think flavored cold brews, lemonades, slushes, frappés, and iced teas, many of which can be customized with popping boba, flavor syrups, energy shots, or Vitamin C shots. The chain's menu also features a limited selection of food items to nosh on, including old McDonald's favorites like the McMuffin and some new sandwiches, snacks, and ice cream sundaes.

The very first CosMc's location just opened in Bolingbrook, Ill. this month, and there are further plans to open about nine more in Texas' Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio metro areas in 2024. As it happens, Bolingbrook is only a short drive from my hometown in Chicago's northwest suburbs. So on a recent trip back there over the holidays, I seized the opportunity to pay a visit to CosMc's and sample some of the menu items.

The Ordering Experience

CosMc's menu board
Zoe Strozewski / Eat This, Not That!

When I arrived, the line was so long that it took over a sizable section of a shopping center's parking lot. Several police officers were stationed outside the restaurant to direct hordes of cars through an obstacle course of orange traffic cones. CosMc's is a drive-thru-only chain and mobile ordering isn't available yet, so queuing in cars is the only way that customers can sample its menu for the time being.

I finally reached one of CosMc's four drive-thru speakers after waiting for about an hour and 45 minutes. I selected eight items to try—four beverages and four food options—and placed my order with a pleasant yet efficient employee. I paid for my order at the drive-thru speaker and waited there for about eight minutes before I was directed to drive up to a numbered drive-thru window to collect my order.

Read on for my thoughts on each menu item I tried, followed by my verdict on this new venture from McDonald's as a whole!

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Turmeric Spiced Latte

CosMc's Turmeric Spiced Latte
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Turmeric Spiced Latte (small): 190 cal, 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 105 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (19 g sugar), 8 g protein

The Turmeric Spice Latte features espresso combined with milk and turmeric-flavored syrup, then topped with foam and black pepper sprinkles. A small size cost me $4.39.

The look: I could immediately tell that this was a turmeric latte thanks to its vibrant yellow color. However, the foam had already dissipated just a few minutes after I collected my order and I couldn't see any trace of black pepper on top.

The taste: Very sweet and very weak. In fact, I barely got any espresso flavor at all in this beverage. Those who prefer less intense coffee drinks may not have an issue with the milk-to-espresso ratio in this option. But as someone who likes coffee with the strength of rocket fuel, I found the latte disappointing. The turmeric flavor was warm and pleasant, but a little too weak for me. Overall, this option lacked oomph.

S'mores Cold Brew

CosMc's S'mores Cold Brew
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S'Mores Cold Crew (small): 230 cal, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (38 g sugar), 1 g protein

The S'mores Cold Brew features cold brew paired with what CosMc's describes as the "sweet taste of s'mores." It's also topped with cold foam and toffee sprinkles. A small one cost me $4.39.

The look: The cup wasn't filled all the way to the top when I received it, which was disappointing. The cold foam had also already been mixed into the cold brew inside the restaurant. This made it look more like a traditional iced coffee than a dark, fancy cold brew marbled with streaks of luscious foam.

The taste: This was unpleasantly acidic from the very first sip. I've sampled my fair share of cold brews throughout my life, but CosMc's take was the only one I can describe as sour. There were also no actual s'mores flavors to be found in this disappointing cup—all I got was a hint of vanilla. This was the least enjoyable item by far from the whole taste test.

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Popping Pear Slush

CosMc's Popping Pear Slush
Zoe Strozewski / Eat This, Not That!
Popping Pear Slush (small): 230 cal, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 25 mg sodium, 48 g carbs (45 g sugar), 1 g protein

The Popping Pear Slush is flavored to taste like prickly pears and then topped with whipped cream and popping candy. A small one cost me $4.69.

The look: Just like something you might sip on at a carnival or state fair as a kid. The layers of bright pink slush and white whipped cream were very aesthetically pleasing. On the downside, the drink began separating at the bottom almost immediately after I picked up my order.

The taste: Way too sweet and lacking enough tartness to balance the overload of sugar. I haven't tasted enough prickly pears in my life to say how accurate the flavor was. It reminded me of an apple-flavored hard candy with a sort of melon-y undertone. The whipped cream didn't really add to or take away from the experience in the few sips I had. There were also too few popping candies on top to add any sort of actual "popping" effect. This option reminded me of a melted popsicle, and not a very good one.

Tropical Spiceade

CosMc's Tropical Spiceade
Zoe Strozewski / Eat This, Not That!
Tropical Spiceade (small): 250 cal, 25 mg sodium, 62 g carbs (58 g sugar)

The Tropical Spiceade features tart lemonade mixed with pineapple flavoring and then topped with dried dragonfruit. A small one cost me $4.39.

The look: By far the most visually pleasing CosMc's drink I sampled. There were distinguishable layers of yellow lemonade and that purple-pink dragonfruit floating on top. I have a feeling that many social media influencers will be drawn to this photogenic, colorful drink.

The taste: This was the most enjoyable beverage I tried at CosMc's by far, though it wasn't without its flaws. It was too sweet for me to be able to stomach drinking the whole thing, but still better balanced than the Popping Pear Slush thanks to a nice punch of tartness. I really love tropical flavors, so I enjoyed the refreshing combination of lemonade, pineapple, and dragonfruit. If the sweetness was toned down, I could imagine myself happily sipping a Tropical Spiceade poolside on vacation.

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Pretzel Bites

CosMc's Pretzel Bites
Zoe Strozewski / Eat This, Not That!
Pretzel Bites (6 pieces): 130 cal, 0.5 g fat, 420 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 5 g protein

A $3.99 order of CosMc's Pretzel Bites comes with six pieces and your choice of dipping sauce (either Spicy Queso, Herb Ranch, Hot Mustard, or classic ketchup). I went for the Herb Ranch.

The look: All of the bites were a shiny, deep brown color and dotted with big flecks of salt. The pieces were identical in color, size, and shape, giving them a very manufactured look.

The taste: In terms of flavor alone, these salty, savory morsels were pretty identical to all the other pretzel bites I've tried in my life. However, I had some major issues with the texture. They were cold, slightly hard, and tough to bite through. Giving them a generous dunk in the tangy dipping sauce made the texture much more manageable, but I can't see myself ever spending money on these again.

Spicy Queso Sandwich

CosMc's Spicy Queso Sandwich
Zoe Strozewski / Eat This, Not That!
Spicy Queso Sandwich: 470 cal, 31 g fat, 1,180 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (1 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 22 g protein

The Spicy Queso Sandwich features a fluffy omelet-style egg, sausage, spicy queso sauce, white cheddar cheese, and crispy jalapeño chips on a soft toasted brioche bun. It cost me $4.99.

The look: If it weren't for the fast-food-style egg round on this option, I might have mistaken it for an artisanal breakfast sandwich. The brioche bun was soft, glossy, and perfectly toasted on the inside. The helping of jalapeño chips was very generous and there wasn't too much cheese or sauce to make the sandwich overly messy.

The taste: This is a heavy sandwich, but still very tasty and zingy. The egg itself was pretty flavorless, but I really enjoyed the soft bread, savory sausage, and melty cheese paired with the crispy texture of the jalapeño chips. As someone who always wants more spice in "spicy" fast-food items, I was also pleasantly surprised by the heat in this sandwich. It was very subtle at first, but grew a little more with each bite. I'd rate the spice at about a 4 out of 10.

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Creamy Avocado Tomatillo Sandwich

CosMc's Creamy Avocado Tomatillo Sandwich
Zoe Strozewski / Eat This, Not That!
Creamy Avocado Tomatillo Sandwich: 580 cal, 40 g fat (15 g saturated fat, 0.5  g trans fat), 1,250 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (1 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 24 g protein

The Creamy Avocado Tomatillo Sandwich features the same omelet-style egg and brioche bun as the Spicy Queso Sandwich, plus applewood bacon, creamy avocado tomatillo sauce, and white cheddar cheese on a toasted brioche bun. The sandwich cost me $4.99.

The look: Pretty similar to the Spicy Queso Sandwich, but a little more exciting. That avocado tomatillo sauce provided a green pop of color to an otherwise beige sandwich. The bacon looked plentiful and crispy, while the cheese was perfectly melty.

The taste: For as much as I enjoyed the Spicy Queso Sandwich, I liked this option even more. In fact, it's probably one of the better fast-food breakfast sandwiches I've tried in my life. The bread was soft and buttery. The cheese was gooey and flavorful. The bacon was a little thin and floppy, but still had an enjoyable smoky and salty taste. The true star of the show, however, was that avocado tomatillo sauce. It was creamy, tangy, vibrant, and elevated every flavor on the sandwich.

Strawberry & Cookie Flurry

CosMc's Strawberry & Cookie McFlurry
Zoe Strozewski / Eat This, Not That!
Strawberry & Cookie Flurry: 520 cal, 16 g fat (11 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 200 mg sodium, 80 g carbs (1 g fiber, 58 g sugar), 12 g protein

CosMc's offers the classic Oreo McFlurry and M&M's McFlurry, plus one extra McFlurry flavor that you can't get at McDonald's: the Strawberry & Cookie McFlurry. It features the vanilla soft serve blended with shortbread cookie crumbles and dried strawberries. One McFlurry cost me $3.99.

The look: Delightfully pink and chock full of mix-ins. Fast-food soft serve is one of my biggest guilty pleasures, so I was very excited to dig into this option.

The taste: I used my first bite of this unique new McFlurry to try some of the blended soft serve and found the strawberry flavor a little weak. But when I took a second spoonful, making sure to get plenty of mix-ins, I saw the light. The dried strawberry pieces added just the right amount of strawberry flavor, while the shortbread pieces were buttery, sweet, and crunchy. It was almost like eating strawberry shortcake that had been transformed into a frozen dessert. I'm a little biased because I've always loved strawberry-flavored things, but I'd rank this as my favorite McFlurry flavor of all time.

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The verdict

CosMc's exterior
Zoe Strozewski / Eat This, Not That!

I've been looking forward to trying CosMc's ever since the moment it was announced, but my overall experience was very mixed.

For a chain that's supposed to help McDonald's become a bigger player in the coffee and drink sphere, most of CosMc's beverages were a hard pass. It was the food—most notably the Spicy Queso Sandwich, Creamy Avocado Tomatillo Sandwich, and Strawberry & Cookie McFlurry—that really stood out to me. Not only did those options feature unique flavors you can't find at a traditional McDonald's right now, but they were also really well executed and very tasty.

Aside from the food, I did enjoy visiting CosMc's for the novelty alone. It's not every day that a fast-food giant launches a brand-new restaurant concept, and I saw several excited customers get out of their cars for a moment just to snap a selfie with CosMc's in the background. But considering that it took a significant chunk of my day to do this tasting adventure, I really hoped that I'd find more to like at CosMc's.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe