REVIEW: Wendy’s Fresh Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich

Wendy s Fresh Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich

There are few things better in fast food than really good service. Freshness, despite being something every chain claims to have a monopoly on, is one of them.

So when I pulled up to the Wendy’s drive-thru window expecting to receive the new Fresh Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich, but was instead told by a manager that “we’re waiting on them to grill your chicken,” I was pleasantly surprised.

When I finally did get my sandwich, it looked and smelled great. The fresh mozzarella appeared identical to what you’d get from a supermarket deli case.

Now I have to admit: I’m a huge mozzarella fan —- and not just the low moisture part-skim stuff that makes pizza, well, pizza. But it seems to me that mozzarella is the lacrosse of fast food cheeses.

Football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and hockey pretty much corner the sports market in much the same way American, Cheddar, Swiss, and Monterey Jack adorn 95 percent of fast food sandwiches. And while lax has carved out a nice little following in the Mid-Atlantic, it’s not ubiquitous in the sports world.

Wendy s Fresh Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich 2

Which doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be; nor does it mean mozzarella doesn’t deserve a place at the fast food sandwich table (caprese, anyone?). Sure enough, when I took the mozzarella off my sandwich and sampled it alone, it had a mellow and milky flavor. Some call it mild, but it’s more like nuanced, if you ask me.

The problem is that you really can’t taste the cheese when you eat the sandwich. The “creamy” basil pesto (which is more like “gloopy,” but we’ll live with it) and the salad greens give every bite an herby, slightly bitter taste, which is honestly the last thing you’re expecting with a fast food sandwich.

Wendy s Fresh Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich 3

The balsamic diced tomatoes — sweet and a bit tart — go a little ways toward fixing the problem. But pesto is in the driver’s seat here. It’s not a bad flavor, but it’s also not one that leaves you chomping at the bit for, well, another chomp.

When I finished my sandwich, I was amazed at how high-quality all the ingredients seemed to be. I was also amazed at how each bite seemed less the sum of its parts.

The Fresh Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich is everything you could hope for from a $5.29 sandwich at a fast food place. Yet, even though it exemplifies a triumph of the usually trite ingredient promise that most fast food chains fail miserably at, it lacks memorability. In other words, it’s a lacrosse match amidst a spring of baseball, hockey, and basketball.

(Nutrition Facts – Not available on website at time of posting.)

Purchased Price: $5.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Fresher than Will Smith in Bel Air, circa 1990. Plump, juicy chicken breast has authentic grilled flavor. Fresh mozzarella is on point. Balsamic-diced tomatoes need to be a regular condiment.
Cons: Expensive. Lacks “wow” factor. Garlic brioche bun tastes like a regular brioche bun. Too much foliage. Pesto overwhelms sandwich. Tastes comparatively plain.

7 thoughts on “REVIEW: Wendy’s Fresh Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich

  1. There’s something about that fresh mozzarella that’s giving me the heebie-jeebies. I don’t know if it’s semi-melted, or if it’s just WET, but I don’t like it.

  2. I love fresh mozzarella. As I was waiting in the drive through line, I saw the big sign for this sandwich. I had to try it. YUM!! I will be trying the salad next.

  3. I had one the day they launched, and I was impressed. Usually I snack for a while on lunch at work, but I couldn’t put it down. The mozzarella was thick and not dried out, the chicken was perfect (rare for my Wendy’s), and I could taste every component of the sandwich. Now the big test is trying another one and seeing if it’s still as good.

  4. Just had the salad, courtesy of the Xmas giveaway. It was good but a little expensive (or I haven’t bought a fast food salad in ages, the half size was $4.49), and apparently was supposed to come with croutons. I think some pepper would have been a nice addition. I’ll give my Wendy’s a pass since they’re in the middle of remodeling the dining room.

    Thanks again!

  5. I just tried the sandwich yesterday. I told my husband that I wasn’t the kind of mozzarella that I liked. I like mozzarella to be not so slimey, but then they do advertise it as FRESH mozzarella and that is always slimey. It didn’t really melt either. It just laid there in chunks. The author of the article is right that is was not memorable. I tasted the cheese alone and it was ok, but once I put all the other ingredients are put together, I couldn’t taste the cheese at all. I loved the tomatoes with the balsamic. I just don’t think I’d buy it again for that price. Oh, and they say three pieces of cheese. I was picturing three SLICES of cheese. Not three little gobs. lol

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