Posts Tagged ‘Wendy’s’
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
Wendy’s used to send gift cards to food bloggers, particularly to sample a new or LTO product. They stopped, not sure why. Couldn’t have been that significant of an expense as a line item in their advertising budget. Now they email press releases in hopes that people like me will write about something. If one asks a question of the sender (some minion at Ketchum) one (at least me) never gets a reply. Seems like in the five years I have been doing this thing, there have been at least 5-6 people in that press release sending position.
I often get free meals and food in the mail. It never affects my post about it. I do admit to trying to find something redeeming in every food experience I have, but even if I really don’t like something, I often say “but you might, so go ahead and try it.” Different strokes, you know.
Fast food fish is an homage to a centuries old tradition of fasting during Lent, the forty days prior to Easter. While the practice of fasting in Christianity dates back to 300 AD, it has evolved and been diluted over the years to become “meatless Friday,” and fish was deemed to be “not meat” by the Vatican. As a result, many Catholic churches have fish frys during lent, they are especially plentiful in New Orleans. One church there has even put in a drive thru!
You won’t find any mention of religion in fast food marketing, of course, but the tradition is why they roll out the finned creatures this time of year.
White Castle has Shrimp Nibblers, which I really like. They are prepared on the spot, hot, crispy, and decent size shrimp. You all know about McDonald’s fish sandwich, which is available year round. Not really a favorite of mine, as I think it’s more like a “tartar sauce” sandwich with a hint of fish flavored protein. Popeye’s has good catfish year around, but they substitute a bland whitefish above the Mason Dixon line. Don’t know why. The fish is (I think) available year round, and they have a shrimp LTO from time to time. (Not as good as White Castle, IMO).
When Wendy’s first rolled out their “premium north Pacific cod, hand cut, panko breaded sandwich”, I tried it, noted it, and pretty much liked it. It was made better with the new fries Wendy’s rolled out at the time, natural cut taters with sea salt, which I probably called the best fast food fries around. At least they were when they were piping hot.
Finding myself near a Wendy’s recently, I gave the panko fish another shot. It didn’t strike me as much as the first time, though it is still good. First off, I don’t think fish filets that are “hand-cut” would all end up as a perfect rectangle. Second, you can’t really tell it’s panko, as the bread crumbs have been reduced to microscopic size. Panko bits are usually bigger (and crisper).
Much as I wanted to love this sandwich, if for no other reason than the actress who plays Wendys in the TV spots is cute as a button, I just didn’t. I deem it still be better than the other fast food fish sandwiches, but not as good as the one I had two years ago. Perhaps they reformulated. Perhaps they switched suppliers. Bun was a little dry as well, cracked upon picking up. Lettuce was a little past its prime.
They slipped on the fries, as well. Thin as shoe strings, not a hint of potato peel revealed, and over salted (a statement you will rarely hear from me), perhaps they ran out of natural cut and ran next door to McDonalds to get these. They were fine for fast food fries, but did not have the ample body and (a)peel of the fries I usually get at Wendys. Another change?
Would I eat it again? Yes. Should you try it? Yes, if you’re into meatless Fridays, Mondays, or just like fast food fish. Catch it soon, it’ll slip off the menu in the next month or so.
Photos depict the same sandwich from two years ago and today.
Wendys Premium Cod
The fine folks at Wendy’s suggested I try their new Portabella Bacon Melt, which is a 1/4 pound of their fresh beef, bacon, two slices of American cheese, sliced portabellas, cheddar sauce, on their new brioche bun. The LTO brioche has replaced the LTO pretzel roll, which was a damned fine bun.
The burger is good, I like the cheese sauce and the availability of Portabellas at a fast food outlet is nice. Crisp, flavorful bacon. The brioche is soft, with a touch of sweetness.
I added a side of the fresh cut fries, which Wendy’s rolled out 2-3 years ago, and as I have said often, I think they are some of the best fast food fries out there.
I took my outing at a newly remodeled Wendy’s, their new concept, which features softer colors, more comfortable seating, a couple of TVs (tho on mute), and the amazing Coke Freestyle machine, which allows you to mix and match dozens of Coke products. These puppies I like, a reminder of mixing different sodas together as a tot, it was a big deal. We called it “swamp water.’
You now what was kind of cool about the remodel? I asked a couple of counter people if they were laid off while the remodeling was going on, and they said no, Wendy’s let them work at other nearby outlets. That’s great.
My pic of the burger didn’t turn out so well tonight, so here’s the official publicity photo; the sandwich I was presented didn’t vary that much from this photo.
Wendy’s keeps innovating, while others stand still. They have my attention.
Ed. Note. My meal was paid for by Wendy’s ad agency.
I slammed McD’s on this site the other week for having nothing on their menu that tastes like the animal it came from. That’s not a problem at Wendy’s, and especially with their new Premium North Pacific Cod sandwich, which boasts a hand-cut filet, lightly breaded with panko, fried until crispy, served on a soft roll with tartar, and lettuce.
Easily the best fast food entry in the fish line, Wendy’s has hit a home run with this one, and I recommend it highly.
Incidentally, it’s also time for Wendy’s to unveil their entire new look, logos, packaging, uniforms will be changing as in this infographic , and stores are undergoing interior remodeling as well. Look for these changes near you, and go get yourself a Premium Cod sandwich. After all, it is Lent! And this is a limited time offer.
Wendys Fish Sandwich
A. I never liked mushrooms until I was in my 5th decade; I missed a lot. B. The first Mrs. Burgerdogboy, on burger outings, ONLY went for variations of a mushroom/Swiss burger (shows she knew more than I) Her “go-to” mush/Swiss was at the now defunct chain “Mr. Steak.” C. Portabella mushrooms are all the rage, and are actually very mature crimini mushrooms, marketed under a number of different names.
The size you’ll find on Wendy’s new Portabella Bacon Melt are often labeled “Baby Bellas” in the grocery.
Wendy’s new burger is topped with fresh cooked, thick-cut Applewood Smoked Bacon, and sautéed portabella mushrooms in a creamy cheddar cheese sauce made with Old English Cheddar.
Wendy’s shows no signs of relinquishing the # 2 spot they recently attained. They are working hard at menu, store, and personnel upgrades.
Although I wouldn’t personally think that cheddar sauce and portabellas would be a great combo, I really liked it. Add the applewood smoked bacon to Wendy’s fresh burger, and you’ve got a winning combination.
Speaking of combinations, I did get the combo, and Wendy’s fries upgrade continue to be one of the best in fast food.
I hope the Portabella Bacon Melt becomes a permanent edition to the menu.
Good job, Wendy’s.
(Wendy’s furnished me with a gift card to try this sandwich. The photo above is copyright, property, of Wendy’s.)
Two fresh beef patties, four strips of bacon, a buttered, toasted bun. Topped off with mayo, ketchup, and American cheese. 700 calories and 40 carbs, but lose the bun (would be a shame, but some of us must), and it weighs in at 490 calories and only 4 carbs).
As you probably know, Wendy’s has moved in to the #2 slot in the US burger hierarchy, and they deserve it, with their new offerings and innvovations.
I liked the burger, tho next time I will skip the ketchup, just not my thing.
Also got to try out the relatively new chili cheese fries, which tops W’s new natural cut fries (with sea salt) with their traditional meat chili and a gob of shredded cheese.
As far as I know, Wendy’s is the only national fast food chain offering this. Now if we could just persuade them to offer poutine, as well!
I liked the Son of Baconator, and I’ll have it again. The chili cheese fries? Big enough to share!
In honor of National French Fry Day on July 13, Wendy’s examined the growing phenomenon of dipsters, those who dip their fries into a Wendy’s Frosty. Yummm!
The combination of the sweet cold Wendy’s Frosty and sea salt hot French fries trend is on the rise—in fact, a recent national survey* revealed that 1 in 3 Americans (33%) have dipped a French fry into a Wendy’s Frosty. And more than 263,000 people online are talking about this!
The survey also found:
- Dipsters are typically young and hip! Two times as many 18 – 34-year-olds dip their French fries in a Wendy’s Frosty versus 45 – 64-year-olds.
- Families have jumped on the dipster wagon—nearly one of every two families (47%) have plunged their fry into a Frosty.
- Women are as likely to dip their fry into a Wendy’s Frosty as more traditional condiments like mustard, while 18 – 24-year-olds are more than twice as likely to dip their fry into a Wendy’s Frosty versus mustard, mayo or vinegar.
(*based on survey of 1,000 Americans via Omnibus on X date)
The fine folks at Wendy’s contacted me and asked me to try out their new Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club sandwich, and furnished me with the means to do that.
They describe their newest sandwich as “Made with a seasoned spicy chicken breast, authentic guacamole, crisp Applewood smoked bacon and pepper jack cheese.”
Chicken is rarely on my fast food radar, and a chicken sandwich even less often, so I was game for the experience.
Wendy’s has been on a tear lately, with a top to bottom updating, examining their menu, adding new items, building prototype new outlets, and taking a hard look at their staffing as well, and so far, they get a A+ for the effort.
Customers have lauded and rewarded the efforts, as it was recently announced Wendy’s passed BK to become America’s second largest fast food chain.
I was more than happy with the sandwich. The bun was bakery soft, the guac ultra fresh, with just a little bit of kick, and the chicken filet nicely fried with a crispy coating with a slight bit of black pepper accent.
Don’t be mislead by the term “spicy” in the description. Some chicken chains use of the word (and accompanying spices) turns out a blazin’ hot (to my palate) piece of bird, but Wendy’s has built a sandwich designed to appeal to the masses – so you can take the word “spicy” in this instance to mean “flavorful.”
I went with the combo, and for my money, Wendy’s “new” sea salt natural cut fries continue to be one of the best offerings in the fast food side segment. Their applewood smoked bacon, available on a variety of offerings, continues to be some of the best in the biz, as well.
In a press release this week, Wendy’s announced their newest offering, the Chicken Guacamole Club. It’s described as:
The rockin’ hot sandwich features the heat of Wendy’s original Spicy Chicken whole filet and all-natural pepper jack cheese balanced by cool zesty ranch sauce and creamy, natural guacamole. The Spicy Chicken Guacamole club is topped off with Wendy’s thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, a full slice of tomato and crisp, hand-leafed lettuce between a freshly buttered, toasted bun.
I’ll be sampling it in the next week or so, sounds terrific. Wendy’s continues their top to bottom updating/reconfiguring and results are a resounding success, quality and taste are up several notches, in my opinion.
I continue a love affair with their natural cut, sea salt fries. The guys at work frequently hit Wendys for take-out, and brought me a bacon double deluxe meal this week, and it’s a fine burger, on a nice buttered bun.
A colleague at work ran out to Wendy’s today to fetch a pail of ….burgers for the crew.
They were doubles with cheese.
They were the pretty standard rectangular patties reminiscent of Wendy’s of old, but it was the new bun and pickle. I’m not one for burger pickles on the “sweetish” side, and Wendy’s are.
The lettuce was in tough shape and got discarded immediately. As I said in a previous post, the new fries are great just out of the fryer, but don’t hold up over any period of time.
Lunch at Wendy’s today was one of my favorite “F” words: FREE.
Other than that, I don’t have a kind word.
Dave Thomas would probably be as unhappy as Ray Kroc, if either were alive today.