Dad: “That’s-a Gouda sandwich.”
Son: “Stop it, Dad.”
Dad: “Nice size, too. Serving size is not poultry.”
Dad: “Ahem. Not poultry”
Son: “It is poultry. It’s a chicken sandwich.”
Dad: “Like paltry.”
Son: “Oh. I see. … Stop it, Dad.”
Dad: “Sheesh. Sorry to brioche the subject.”
Son: “I am going to die.”
Dad: “C’mon you got the onions to withstand a conversation with your old man. Certainly this sandwich does. Well, did. They’re all chopped up now. Makes me want to shed a tear.”
Son: “Oh my god.”
Dad: “And they got a healthy dose of greens in this thing. That’s good for my digestion, for my trip to d’john later. Let me be over here. Looking at me with an a-hole-y face.”
Son: “Are you having a stroke?”
Dad: “No. Dijon. Aioli. It has Dijon aioli. A-hole like asshole.”
Son: “Dad, you aren’t saying anything about the food. You want to talk about the sandwich, go ahead. Please. By all means. But puns are not a form of communication. I’m not eating with you so you can trot out stupid, tired dad jokes. If you want to talk about the sandwich, at least tie an opinion onto something instead of unloading on me the lowest form of humor imaginable. We aren’t connecting.”
Dad: “Okay. Well, the Wendy’s Smoked Gouda Chicken on Brioche is pretty good. Pretty good. Full stop. The chicken is breaded fine—nobody will mistaken it for Chick-Fil-A or anything, but it seems to be a lighter batter than the dollar menu items. It’s a good canvas for what goes on above it.
The cheese and the caramelized onion sauce play extremely well together. The sweet onion flavor is very reminiscent of fig, and the eponymous Gouda lands a few bites of earthy flavor in the sandwich. It’s not super stinky like expensive cheese, but somehow they’ve stolen a little bit of that Gouda power, and a mouthful here and there is filled with that wannabe classic cheese-and-fig pairing. It’s very fancy for fast food fare. Fancy for fast food fare. Try saying that—”
Dad: “Sorry. Adulting up the proceedings even more is the bitter greens mix, which is actually bitter and again contrasts fairly well against the onion sauce. The chopped red onions give off tiny flares of acidity. The Dijon aioli cools things off, but in the face of all the other flavors going on, its rounded profile is lost a bit in the shuffle.
Bringing it home is the brioche. It’s soft enough but not soft enough to be noteworthy. It’s more like a piece of bread dressed up in a brioche Halloween costume.
It’s a pretty expensive sandwich. The entire deal is very balanced taste-wise and, like I said before, it’s substantial. But it clocks in at over five bucks. Not sure if it’s worth it since we’re at Wendy’s right now but I wanted to have lunch with my son and have a nice time, so to me it’s a bargain.”
Son: “Thanks, Dad. Sorry about saying your jokes were stupid before.”
Dad: “It’s okay. I get it that sometimes j’can’t-stand-kitsch.”
Dad: “J’can’t-stand-kitsch. Chick-en-sand-wich?”
Son: “Ugh, I thought we were over this.”
Dad: “We are.”
Dad disappears in a puff of smoke. Son is sitting alone at a restaurant eating a sandwich. It was an imagined conversation the entire time. The son looks at his meal and pauses. He sighs, continues to eat.
Dad walks up to the table.
Dad: “Sorry, the bathroom took a while. There was a line.”
Son smiles. The conversation was imaginary but his dad is still around.
Dad: “Also, I got stuck.”
Son shakes his head and chuckles.
Son: “Oh, Dad.”
Freeze frame like at the end of an 80’s sitcom. Pull out to reveal it’s a photo in an album. Son is in old man makeup looking through photos.
Son (voice over): “And that was the last time I saw him before he left.”
Shot remains on the son. Harry Chapin’s Cat’s in the Cradle plays in entirety, except instead of the line “You know we’ll have a good time then” it’s replaced with “You know we’ll have a Gouda time then.”
(Nutrition Facts – 600 calories, 250 calories from fat, 28 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 100 milligrams of cholesterol, 1550 milligrams of sodium, 460 milligrams of potassium, 57 grams of carbohydrates, 11 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and 32 grams of protein.)
Item: Wendy’s Smoked Gouda Chicken on Brioche
Purchased Price: $5.19
Purchased at: Wendy’s
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Onion sauce and cheese are nice together. Bitter greens are bitter. Sophisticated flavors for the fast food world.
Cons: Pricey. Bread could’ve been softer. Chicken breading is fine but not spectacular.