Before every fast food chain and its brother started making chicken sandwiches that were actually good, Wendy’s had it figured out. It had the logistics of a solid chicken breast fillet and a spicy version essentially perfected, at least by drive-thru standards.
A few years ago, it introduced a Ghost Pepper Ranch dipping sauce, but this is the first time that sauce has graced a chicken sandwich (unless you were savvy enough to do it yourself), and it’s now being joined by several other layers of heat and flavor. The much-loved spicy chicken breast is topped with ghost pepper-infused American cheese, ghost pepper and ranch-seasoned crispy onions, lettuce, tomato, and ghost pepper ranch sauce.
My first impression of this sandwich, both times I tried it, was that it looked exceptionally well put together. The buns were glossy and not squashed, the cheese nicely melted, the mostly unnecessary vegetable toppings fresh looking, the fried onions abundant and still crispy, the chicken breast devoid of any weirdness, and everything properly sauced with a little extra spilling out onto the wrapper for good measure. Ghosts can be tricky things though, so let’s not get caught up in appearances. Sure, it looks good and innocent enough, but how does it taste?
I’m happy to report it tastes as good as it looks! It probably isn’t as spicy as the moniker sets you up for, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. This isn’t a demon sandwich; it’s more of a gentle haunting, and did we really expect anything more from Wendy’s? The heat never smacks you in the face, nor does it linger long. It’s pleasantly spicy and might make you want to sip your drink, but if you happened to eat it in the absence of any beverages, it wouldn’t leave you with your mouth on fire.
Since my sandwiches were evenly sauced, it wasn’t easy to try the ghost pepper cheese on its own, but from the small unsauced portion I got, I did think the cheese was flavorful and not your standard American. There’s a generous portion of onions that also aren’t particularly spicy, but they are crunchy, zesty, and a welcome addition. I have nothing against ranch, but it isn’t something that typically calls to me. It’s not my preferred dipping sauce or even salad dressing, but I really enjoyed this version. It has a nice buttermilk taste, and the ghost pepper plus extra herbs take it in a more interesting direction.
For as many times as “ghost pepper” is mentioned in the description, I could see people being disappointed in this if they wanted serious spice. If you temper your expectations and if you’re a fan of Wendy’s spicy chicken, consider this a very solid, kicked up version that won’t give you nightmares.
Purchased Price: $6.89
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 690 calories, 35 grams of total fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0.27 grams of trans fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 1650 milligrams of sodium, 61 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 gram of dietary fiber, 7 grams of total sugars, and 32 grams of protein.