Years ago, I was somewhat of a regular at Wendys; I was especially hot for them during the period they had the burger fixin’s bar along with salad, pasta, and tacos, I think. The “Superbar” it was called, and I found a TV commercial for it.
In recent years, I’ve only stopped in when they’ve rolled out a new product or limited time offer, and usually that visit was spurred on by the fact that their public relations firm, Ketchum, sent along gift cards to try the product. They’ve quit that, so my enthusiasm has waned.
However, their current offerings peaked my interest, enough to spend my own money on them. Had I known I would have to endure an ordering gauntlet, I would have passed. Allow me to explain. At this location (store # 1165), most of the employees acted like deer in the headlights, either not sure what they should do or not able to do what they needed to do. The lengthy line (at the dinner hour) to the one open register, was matched by a line from the opposite direction, diners bringing back orders with errors – “this was supposed to be no mayo,” “I ordered a double,” “this was ketchup only.” I don’t know how a fast food joint could screw up that high a percentage of orders (33 – 50 %, it appeared), but this location was managing to do it just fine.
So I went in to try the “Gouda Bacon Cheeseburger” ¼ lb. of 100% beef topped with a creamy Garlic Aioli, Gouda Cheese and Swiss Gruyere Cheese Sauce, 3 strips of fresh-cooked, Applewood Smoked Bacon, red onions, tomato and fresh spring mix – all served on a Brioche Bun. Below you’ll find the publicity picture followed by the picture of my sandwich.
It was OK. Kinda spendy. Wendys may well have changed their beef supplier, as the beef patty actually had some flavor, and in the past, that was not the case. This combination is alot of flavors going on at once, so some of them might be lost on most palates. Pulling the burger apart, I could see the elements were there, and the garlic aioli was very light, but tasty. The brioche bun was firm enough to hold all the ingredients and was pleasant tasting on its own. It is the perfect product to use today’s phrase “a hot mess.”
I also went for the “Fondue Bacon Fries” hot, crispy natural-cut fries, with warm Swiss Gruyere Cheese Sauce and topped off with fresh-cooked, Applewood Smoked Bacon pieces. (Wendy’s bacon is excellent, for fast food).
In the past, I’ve said that when Wendys switched to fresh cut fries, they amped up their frie offering to one of the best in the industry. My claims about that always had the caveat “if they come right out of the fryer,” because they don’t hold their crispness as they cool. Another exception would be the fries I got tonight, which weren’t fully cooked, and, as pictured below (after the publicity photo), the toppings were uneven and pretty skimpy. I liked the cheese sauce, it’s fairly strong flavor for the mass market, don’t know if it will play in Peoria.
Should you buy these? Why not? They won’t be around long, Wendy’s rolls new products out quickly just to test them, and then they disappear or show up on the regular menu.
Wendys Gouda Bacon Cheeseburger Review
Fondue Bacon Fries Review