Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fast Food Review: Wendy's Spicy Bacon & Blue Chicken Sandwich

In February of 2010 I tried Wendy's Bacon & Blue Burger and was not impressed. That kind of a statement always has to be taken with a grain of salt, though, because I am almost never impressed with fast food chains' burgers. They are almost always comprised of grey, flavorless, rubbery meat, and that Wendy's burger was no exception. (It also did not help matters that the previous night I had eaten Point Reyes blue cheese, my favorite blue in America, and the Wendy's blue cheese couldn't possibly live up to that.) I knew that was a burger I would never try again.

Yesterday, however, I was driving past Wendy's a noticed a banner advertising a "NEW! Spicy Bacon & Blue Chicken Sandwich." The Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich is one of those fast food items that everyone seems to love, and certainly one that I enjoy, so I figured it was worth giving it a try. As usual, ordering at this particular Wendy's proved difficult:

Wendy's employee: "How may I help you?"

Me: I would like the Spicy Bacon & Blue Sandwich by itself, please."

Wendy's employee: "Like, in a meal?"

Me: "No, by itself."

Wendy's employee: "Do you want the combo?"

Me: "No, by itself."

I pulled up to the window and paid and then the woman asked me if I would pull forward to the yellow line to wait for someone to bring the sandwich out to me. "It will just be one minute," she said.

It took eight minutes, although I wasn't terribly upset: I knew it wasn't going to be "one minute" and besides, at this Wendy's I am just happy when they get my order right. (It's so rare, as long as they can do that, I will forgive almost anything.) But, more importantly, when I got the sandwich, everything was very hot. This had obviously just been cooked. That's worth the wait to me.

At first glance, it looked just like a regular Spicy Chicken Sandwich, until I saw the pieces of bacon poking out from under the lettuce. 

But once I lifted the top I saw a fair amount of a gloopy sauce. Wait, I thought to myself. Is that what makes up the blue portion of this sandwich? Just a runny blue cheese sauce? That's lame.

But then I turned it over and noticed a nice amount of blue cheese covering the bottom of the chicken. If you don't like blue cheese, you would probably hate this. (But, I guess, if you don't like blue cheese you probably wouldn't be ordering this sandwich in the first place.)

I have had many sandwiches where the whole is lesser than the sum of its parts... but never to this extreme. The chicken was probably the best Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich I have ever had. It was hot, crispy, thick, and quite spicy. The bacon, as is often the case at Wendy's, was delicious. (No other fast food chain, with the every-once-in-a-while exception of Arby's, makes a bacon that I will even attempt to eat.) And the blue cheese was tasty.

But all together it was... just okay. The bacon and the blue cheese did not add anything to the sandwich. If anything, they actually detracted from enjoying the best Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich I have ever had. Where those things might complement a burger, they did nothing for this sandwich.

So I don't think I will ever order one again, and that's even before we get to the price: $4.99 plus tax. While that can't be called outrageous, it also can't be called a good deal. Particularly when Wendy's serves two of the better deals in all of fast food: the spicy chicken nuggets and the Monterey Ranch Crispy Chicken, both of which are only 99 cents.

This was a good sandwich, but not a great sandwich.


Adam said...

Interesting. That does not look like one of their new, artisan, fresh-baked buttered buns that I saw them advertising in the SLC market last May. Apparently they are really doing some chicken testing right now, in both the grilled, homestyle, and spicy varieties. I will say this about Wendy's...they step up to the plate with cheese, at least in a fast food perspective. It might not be great Blue Cheese or Asiago they offer, but hey, at least they ain't putting American and imiatation cheddar on everything. And when you said you wanted "just" the sandwich, I was worried she was going to lettuce wrap it for you :)

Anonymous said...

I will give it a try. I found the Monterey Ranch Crispy Chicken bland.