REVIEW: Wendy’s Berry Almond Chicken Salad

Wendy's Berry Almond Chicken Salad

Upon hearing about the subject of my latest review, a friend said to me, “fast food salad = irony.” I didn’t know how to react to that because, despite my zealotry for good grammar, I still have no sense as to when something is actually ironic. All I know is, A) every time I use the word irony, someone is sure to tell me I’m wrong, and B) calling something ironic and calling someone Hitler are somehow equally effective at starting internet comment board flame wars.

So is it ironic that a fast food place makes salads? Would it be ironic for a fast food place to make a really good salad? What if the fast food place were called “We Make Terrible Salads”? And all they played for background music were Alanis Morissette songs, but never “Ironic”?

I don’t know the answer to any of these questions, but I do know that Wendy’s new Berry Almond Chicken Salad is absolutely delicious. I recently ordered the full-size salad for lunch. A pre-made serving of greens and berries had been sitting in the fridge in the back, but the chicken was freshly cut and added, and I received the almonds and dressing in separate packages.

Wendy's Berry Almond Chicken Salad Dressing

As you can see from the photo, the salad included hearty servings of strawberries and blueberries, and the fruits’ texture and color suggested that they were fresh and never frozen. The greens were crisp and seemed to have a solid assortment, though I have no idea if there were truly 11 varieties, as the Wendy’s website claims. Asking me to pick out a dozen types of greens is like asking me to name a dozen Alanis Morissette songs. (Actually, I might be able to do that. It’s more like asking me to name a dozen Alanis Morissette ex-boyfriends. Ryan Reynolds, Uncle Joey from Full House… you know what, let’s just say I can’t name that many greens, OK?)

The warm and appropriately-sized chicken wedges were juicy and flavorful, which was to be expected since the chicken was just a diced up breast from one of Wendy’s regularly tasty chicken sandwiches. The asiago cheese shavings added some sharpness without being overpowering, and the almonds contributed much-needed crunch and a subtle nuttiness to the salad. I thought the only thing that didn’t really work was the raspberry vinaigrette; it wasn’t tart enough to bring a new taste dimension to the table, and its sweetness just sort of distracted my attention from the real stars, the strawberries and blueberries.

Another complaint: the salad container was packed to the brim, and I imagine most people will have a very difficult time tossing this salad without spilling anything. Also, by not addressing this salad-tossing problem and thereby compelling me to mention it, Wendy’s has forced me to use a lot of self-restraint in not making any salad-tossing jokes. Luckily, I’ve managed to get to this paragraph’s back end without any slips of my tongue. (…goddammit.)

On the positive side again, the Berry Almond Chicken Salad contains only 450 calories and 16 grams of fat. $6.99 might feel pretty expensive for any item on a fast food menu, but it is tasty and filling enough to be worth the price. I would definitely recommend you go out and try it. And if a normally salad-phobic, fast-food-burger-loving guy strongly recommending a fast food salad isn’t ironic, then I don’t know what is. (No, but seriously. I really have to figure this irony thing out.)

(Nutrition Facts – Full size – 450 calories, 150 calories from fat, 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 1300 milligrams of sodium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, 31 grams of sugar, 38 grams of protein, 80% vitamin A, 70% vitamin C, 30% calcium, and 15% iron.)

Item: Wendy’s Berry Almond Chicken Salad
Price: $6.99
Size: Full size
Purchased at: Wendy’s
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Lots of fresh strawberries and blueberries. Crisp and varied greens. Chicken was warm, juicy, and flavorful. Asiago cheese added sharpness and almonds added crunch. Only 450 calories and 16 grams of fat. Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” was about Uncle Joey.
Cons: Raspberry vinaigrette didn’t really work. Pretty pricey. Salad was hard to toss. I have no self-restraint. Not understanding irony. Comment board flame wars.

22 thoughts to “REVIEW: Wendy’s Berry Almond Chicken Salad”

  1. Yesterday June 7thn and today June 8th, I had the Berry Almond Chicken Salad from Wendy’s, Dublin Rd, Grandview on 6/7 and W. 5th Ave on 6/8. Each was 90%+ Iceberg Lettuce with only a few leaves of other greens. I have previously had the same salads with little or no Iceberg and they WERE delicious. Not any more! They were bittere and horrible. Forget trying to register a complaint. I think they have changed their nutrition information on their website, as they now list Iceberg Lettuce as the first ingredient in the Nutrition information for all but the Chicken Caesar salads.

  2. The salad wasn’t that bad and i love the chicken in the salad. I bought the salad with Wild berry iced tea. Go try it!

  3. I just had the salad and it had a total of 4 blueberries and 4 pieces of strawberry (not the whole berry, just slices). I was terribly disappointed.

  4. I had a salad and it didn’t look anything like the picture above. Only 6 quarters of strawberries, 4 or 5 blue berries and the iceburg was brown. The chicken was ok and the toasted almonds good, but I threw away most of the salad greens (or should I say browns).

    Wendys (in Louisiana anyway) have fast and mostly courteous service, but the food has gone from good to the worst of the fast foods.

  5. I tried the salad yesterday and loved it!
    FYI if you get salads on the go just pour the dressing on, replace the lid and shake. Simple solution to not having enough room to toss!

  6. I tried it tonight and it was delicious & refreshing! I was pleasantly surprised to find a full size is only 450 calories vs. the dreadful 730 calories for the baja salad and 540 calories for my old favorite, Mandarin chicken salad. I will be eating some berryliciousness again soon =)

  7. It certainly sounds as if quality varies a lot from restaurant to restaurant. Fortunately, my salad was absolutely packed with strawberries and blueberries, and was delicious. I liked the dressing just fine as well, though I didn’t use very much.

  8. Got the same results as Gina in Hammond, LA – you had to SEARCH for the fruit. However, the one I bought one in Covington was wonderful. I agree, the quality is very inconsistant… Dave would be ashamed!

  9. Got the berry salad tonight for dinner only to find 1 strawberry cut in tiny pieces, and they weren’t fresh, 8 blueberries, small chicken piece. This was the full sized salad!! I called and was told that there are 2 full strawberries & 12 blueberries in each salad… NOT! Next time I will just go to Panera.. Their strawberry, poppyseed salad is the Bomb!!

  10. Love the salad although the asiago cheese does not go with the salad, I have to pick it out of the salad every time, I have no complaints about the vinigrette, its perfect, can’t imagine this salad with a different dressing,
    p.s. always get plenty of strawberries and blueberries.

  11. I had this salad today. I agree with those who enjoyed it and who were blessed to receive an abundance of fruit. Two full strawberries seems pretty accurate, but I had way more than a dozen blueberries. I didn’t even use one full packet of the dressing and only used about half the almonds (cuts even more calories that way). My only complaint is the price. A fast food salad shouldn’t cost over $7 after tax. Actually NOTHING at a fast food restaurant should cost over $7 after tax. You can go to a sit down restaurant and get a quality salad with likely fresher ingredients for about the same price. I wish Wendy’s would cut the price a bit – the convenience is nice, but it costs too much.

  12. My alltime favorite was the mandarine salad and was sad when Wendy’s no longer made it. However, the Berry Almond Salad is much better. Got one yesterday and another today in Lafayette, Louisiana at two different locations. Both were DELICIOUS! Had both packs of dressing yesterday but enjoyed just fine with one today of the Raspberry Vinagrette and 50 less calories. I could lose weight like this!! Berries were fresh, the asiago cheese, almonds and fruit made it very interesting. Thanks Wendy’s!! Way to go!

  13. I had two Berry Almond Salads from two different restaurants here in SC and they were amazingly delicious! Though the price is a little steep. I went out today and bought all the ingredients to make it myself tonight! Can’t wait to try it.

  14. Yeah the irony thing is pretty obscure. I’ve got a couple old English books called Fowler’s Modern English Usage (the newer one is from the 60’s or so) and at least one of them talks about how most of the time people misuse the word irony, and then gives an example of the one weird situation where the word is legitimately used, with a bad enough explanation (most of their explanations are pretty good) that I was left still confused and just mostly dropped the word from my vocabulary.

  15. This is the best salad I have ever tasted. It’s worth the $7 and I continue to buy it 2-3 times a week.

  16. Had the salad today. I bought the half size and it was amazing. It had many berry slices and blueberrys. Very good & filling. Oh and FYI, mine did look like the picture! Well worth it!

  17. Best fast food item ever, but I really just had to say that this review literally made me lol, which is fairly rare for me, particularly when reading salad reviews. You’re really funny!

  18. I heard good reviews about Wendy’s salads so when I forgot to pack my lunch one day, I decided to give the Berry Almond Chicken salad a go. Never had such a dissatisfying tasteless salad in my life. The greens and berries tasted as if they were previously frozen. The chicken was good but made up a minuscule part of the salad. I didn’t think it was possible to mess up a bunch of vegetables thrown together but Wendy’s managed to do that just fine.
    I guess the salad would taste okay if you don’t eat vegetables on regular basis but for me, it was like eating cardboard. Never again. I’ll go for a burger next time or a McDonald’s salad.

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