I believe a burger is as good as its bun and vice versa. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of eating a juicy medium-rare, perfectly seasoned hamburger that was ruined because it was on a dry, whole grain, toasted English muffin. And I’ve eaten a dried out, over-cooked burger on a luscious and rich onion bun.
Both occasions left me with the urge to punch someone in the face as I defecated on the floor like an untrained puppy. It just pissed me off on how thoughtless these burgers were concocted. Seriously, Dante may have given up immediately if one of the circles of hell was to eat a burger on a whole grain English muffin.
In regards to hamburgers, neither the bread nor the beef is more important than the other because when in unison, there is a harmonious perfection that is stronger than either part alone. It’s an amalgam of pleasure and guilt that is achieved by simple concepts: beef and bread.
So when Wendy’s touted their new brioche buns with the re-tooled Bacon Portabella Melt, a.k.a. Wendy’s Bacon Portabella Melt on Brioche, I was mildly intrigued. I know I can be a complete asshole at times. So when I heard Wendy’s was putting brioche on the menu, I scoffed and went about my business drunk internet shopping.
Granted, most of us want a normal burger from a fast food joint. Yet, a little twist on the “gourmet” side is always welcome. Despite how judgmental and skeptical I was, I made the choice to try it because I knew it could not be worse than eating a burger on a fucking DRIED WHOLE GRAIN ENGLISH MUFFIN.
I was a bit put-off by the price because, at $5.99, it’s getting close to those “order to temperature” burgers. However, I was really surprised by the brioche bun. It was bronzed and toasted. The bread had a nice chewy give with the slight toasty edge. There was not the eggy/buttery-richness one normally gets with a brioche but it was not bad for a fast-food bun.
In addition, the bun defiantly (and definitely) held up against the juicy burger, wet mushrooms and melty cheddar sauce. The bread did not get soggy or mushy which made up for the almost-timid taste of the bun.
As for the melty cheddar cheese, this again was piss poor Velveeta-like nacho crap. I hate that shit and whoever invented it sucks. I absolutely despise this kind of “fake cheesery” and felt the burger would be miles better with just the melted American cheese alone.
With that said, the “melty” cheese sauce had an unnatural salty tang but the portabella mushrooms countered this with its earthy flavor and only added to the rich deep taste of this burger.
The beef patty was jammed pack with beefy goodness that should awaken your alpha “Affliction-wearing tee-shirt” soul somewhere. Too often do we get a dried beef patty from a fast food place but Wendy’s is usually consistent on the juice to beef ratio.
Another plus, the burger is bereft of rabbit food. Meaning no stupid lettuce or even a brined cucumber slice to stand in the way of the cheese, meat, cheese orgy!
The bacon was plentiful, nice and crispy with its salty fat that rounded out the offering nicely. Additionally, it added a good porky taste that just indulges your “to hell with all kale salads” side.
Combined, this burger had a deep and complex profile. The muskiness of the mushrooms lent a great reservoir of flavors unheard of in a quick-serve burger. I was surprised because the portabella resembled those spongy mushrooms from a can tossed like an afterthought on a bad pizza.
Yet, it’s not the brioche but the portabella that really makes this burger shine. The mouthfeel is significantly like a “restaurant burger” and the taste is just as equal. I ordered the single, but you can get the double or triple if you’re looking for a heart attack in the quickest and most efficient manner.
I quite liked it and would pay for this again if I have the urge for a “restaurant”-style burger and can’t get to one.
Besides, price alone isn’t always the worst thing if you want to splurge. Because the worst thing is a burger served on a whole grain English muffin. If ever offered one, just pull down your pants, bend over and ask for a donkey punch instead. Trust me, that would be much more delicious and humane.
(Nutrition Facts – Single Burger – 600 calories, 300 calories from fat, 34 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 12 grams of monounsaturated fat, 125 milligrams of cholesterol, 1390 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of sugars, 2 grams of fiber and 34 grams of protein.)
Item: Wendy’s Bacon Portabella Melt on Brioche
Purchased Price: $5.99
Purchased at: Wendy’s
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: The portabella mushrooms really give the hamburger a rich complex flavor. The brioche has a wonderful texture and it’s toasted. The bacon only adds to the richness. Fried kale with garlic is actually nice.
Cons: The melty cheddar cheese sauce sucks. The brioche is not as eggy/buttery as brioche should be. The price may scare some off. Kale smoothies are awful but not as bad as friggin’ burgers on whole grain English muffins.