REVIEW: Wendy’s Big Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger

Wendy s Big Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger

Do you like cheese? No, I mean, do you really like cheese? I’m not talking to those of you who have been known to daintily nibble on a wedge of brie at a party or put a single slice of cheddar on your backyard burger. I’m speaking directly to those of you who are so mad at your arteries that you want to punish them at every possible turn. Do you dip your pizza’s cheese-stuffed crust into a tub of cheese sauce? Have you ever made a sandwich using grilled cheese sandwiches in place of sliced bread? Well then, you might be interested in Wendy’s new offering.

Wendy’s new Big Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger is “a quarter pound of fresh, never frozen beef, covered in creamy cheddar cheese and bacon jam, topped with applewood smoked bacon, crispy onions, and a slice of American cheese, all on a pillow soft, toasted cheddar bun.” I mean… cheese, am I right? According to my calculations, you’ve got three entry points for cheese on this thing: in the “creamy cheddar cheese” sauce, as a rogue American slice on top of the meat, and melted into or on top of the bun.

Wendy s Big Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger  1

My first thought before getting this burger was, “Will I ruin my shirt, my pants, or both when I eat this thing?” But here’s the shocking part — it was extremely tidy. Oh sure, when I first unwrapped it, I was confronted with a few stray fried onion strands and some crisped cheddar cheese that’d melted off of the bun and turned into a crunchy cheese pond, but overall, nothing else squirted or fell out. This was a one napkin affair.

Wendy s Big Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger  2

And, truth be told, the neatness of the BBCC probably foreshadowed this burger’s biggest pitfall: it was dryyyyyy. Like a camelback-trek-across-the-Sahara dry. Like, kissing-your-grandmother’s-cheek dry. The creamy cheddar cheese and bacon jam components were both there, maybe? But the cheese wasn’t creamy (all I noticed were random shreds of damp, unmelted cheddar), and a tiny dollop of the jam was totally lost in the mix. The patty itself was dry. The fried onions? Same. The whole thing was very one-note. Okay, two-note. 1) Dry 2) Salty.

There was no flavor here of which to speak, only an arid mass of chewiness that felt more like a chore than a meal. For something being sold on its cheesiness, it was interesting to find that the cheese seemed to add nothing; this burger would have been no different without it.

Wendy s Big Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger Bun

The most unusual part of this burger (bacon jam isn’t exactly common, but Wendy’s has done it before, and so has Sonic) was probably the cheddar bun. Here are list of other things that are unusual:

  • The noise turtles make when they make love.
  • Extreme body modification like tongue-splitting.
  • Watching a seahorse give birth.
  • Women who love serial killers.

And like this bulleted list, I’m not sure I need the cheddar bun in my life. It too was — wait for it — very dry, and the cheese was barely noticeable beyond giving the bun a strange, slightly chewy texture.

All in all, this was a largely forgettable burger.

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: Single patty
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 810 calories, 54 grams of fat, 21 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of trans fat, 105 milligrams of cholesterol, 1370 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 3 gram of fiber, 5 gram of sugar, 39 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Burger King Brownie Batter Shake

Burger King Brownie Batter Shake Top

What is Burger King’s Brownie Batter Shake?

Burger King suggests that its new drinkable dessert features “rich, fudgy brownie batter” blended with its “signature” vanilla soft serve, topped with whipped cream. One thing is very accurate about this description — this thing definitely had whipped cream on it.

How is it?

Here’s a word I’d use to describe this shake that you probably don’t want to read in a milkshake review: gritty! That’s right, this thing tasted like the person making it had been at the beach all day before realizing that it was 10-til-4 and they wouldn’t have time to shower before their scheduled evening shift at BK. It was pretty intense. It was chocolatey, sure, but mostly in a very artificial, very Hershey’s syrup-esque way. Mostly, I was overwhelmed by the textural unpleasantness.

Burger King Brownie Batter Shake

Less than halfway through, I realized I’d had enough. Have you ever had a quarter of a milkshake before declaring yourself done? It’s a strange feeling.

Anything else you need to know?

Sonic did a chocolate brownie batter shake last March that managed to feature small bits of soft brownie in it. I was sort of surprised that this wasn’t the tactic here. This was, very literally, just liquid brownie batter mixed into vanilla soft serve. No decadent, chewy chunks or anything like that. Just chocolate grit.


Burger King has been on a good run lately with the delicious Garlic & Bacon King and the phenomenal Ch’King sandwich, so I maybe had my hopes up too high. Also, it’s a shake, right, and how can you possibly mess that up? Oh wait, I know — by making the shake in the middle of a New Mexico sandstorm, that’s how.

Purchased Price: $3.59
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 740 calories, 31 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 670 milligrams of sodium, 104 grams of total carbohydrates, 80 grams of total sugars, 3 grams of fiber, and 15 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sonic Banana Pudding Shake

Sonic Banana Pudding Shake Cherry

The first thing you should know before we really get into this review is that I love banana-flavored anything. Are you one of those insane people who pitch your banana Laffy Taffy or Runts? I will gladly take both off your hands. But my lust isn’t relegated to artificial banana flavoring alone, oh no. I am just as wild about bananas that come in a pie or in bread. You might say that I *checks notes* go ape for bananas.

There is, however, one blind spot in my yellow-fruit fanaticism: banana pudding. Honestly, it has less to do with my disinterest in that particular flavor and more to do with the fact that my pudding consumption is probably below average. According to an actual website I saw on the internet, 150 million Americans ate pudding in 2020; I’m honestly not sure if I was one of them. (And if I did, it was a very unimpressive amount — likely a single pudding cup.)

So how, then, would I find Sonic’s new Banana Pudding Shake? Let’s review.

Sonic’s shake-take on this Southern dessert classic features vanilla ice cream, banana pudding, banana pieces, Nilla wafers, whipped topping, and a maraschino cherry. As expected, this shake is VERY banana-centric.

The pudding was indiscernible from the vanilla ice cream, which was probably due to, you know, the blending process. So really, it ended up tasting like soupy banana ice cream. Thick chunks of banana abounded throughout the concoction necessitating the need for a spoon at times.

Sonic Banana Pudding Shake Top

The whipped topping was creamy and sweet and provided a nice blanket for a mess of crushed up Nilla wafers. Speaking of, I was surprised and impressed that the wafers held their crunch for as long as they did; Nilla makes a sturdy wafer, it seems. The cherry was probably fine, but I don’t know since my daughter stole and ate it when I wasn’t looking.

Sonic Banana Pudding Shake Soupy

This is the part of the review where you might be wondering how this compares to Sonic’s regular banana shake. Well, for starters, it’s much runnier. The pudding compromises the consistency of the treat, as one might expect. It does, however, also elevate the banana taste as well as add a nuanced layer of additional creaminess. The wafer pieces are also a noticeably different component, adding a welcome textural variance to the affair.

So is it worth it? For sure, but ONLY if you’re crazy about banana. This thing may even be too much for a casual banana fan. And if you don’t like bananas at all, it’s sort of weird that you read this whole thing. But thank you for your time, regardless, and I hope you have a great day.

Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: Small
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (small) 760 calories, 38 grams of fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 24 grams of saturated fat, 100 mg of cholesterol, 370 milligrams of sodium, 94 grams of total carbohydrates, 64 gram of total sugars, less than 2 grams of fiber, and 11 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Burger King Garlic & Bacon King

Burger King Garlic  Bacon King Full

Ah, garlic. Aggressively odiferous plant. Repellent of vampires. Destroyer of kisses. Enhancer of… well, I was going to say “enhancer of Italian food,” but garlic is like cuteness at a kitten convention — it’s everywhere, basically. Including this new burger from Burger King, which it’s calling the Garlic & Bacon King (GBK).

Burger King’s website doesn’t really explain what is on the GBK, but other sites use this description: “a new premium burger made with two quarter-pound flame-grilled beef patties topped with three half-slices of bacon, new garlic pieces, two slices of American cheese, and mayo on a soft sesame seed bun.”

I got the single which is also an option. That also reduced the number of cheese slices by one, which was totally fine, and I’m pretty sure the single came with two pieces of bacon instead of three. (Again, this made sense.)

The real story here is the inclusion of “new garlic pieces.” Now, if you read this but haven’t seen a picture, this is pretty broad, right? Are we talking minced-up garlic mixed in with the mayo? Loose cloves lying sleepily atop the patty? The possibilities are endless. (Okay, well, maybe there are only two or three actual possibilities. But still.)

Burger King Garlic  Bacon King Gaaaarlic

In this case, we’re talking thin garlic petals that have been deep fried. And there are a TON of them. An overwhelming amount, in fact. If you do not like garlic, there is no way on Earth you like this burger. There is no subtlety here, oh no. This is a giant poke in the eye with a big, greasy, garlic-coated finger. And to borrow an expression from the youth of today, “I am here for it.”

I’m not sure I had a single bite that didn’t have a crispy, garlicky petal in it. Also, please note that I said “crispy.” Despite a 10-minute car ride home and some photography after, they were amazingly crisp. Texturally (and of a similar potency), the garlic reminded me of the French’s Crispy Fried Onions your Aunt Lydia puts on the green bean casserole each Thanksgiving. These things were STRONG, but delicious.

Burger King Garlic  Bacon King Split

Everything else about the burger was pretty standard BK fare. The bacon was thick, well-cooked, and salty, the mayo was appropriately creamy, and the cheese was perfectly fine fast food American cheese. I will say, the patty tasted a bit more charbroiled than I think BK’s patties typically are. I’m not sure how these things are prepared, so I don’t know if it was something in the preparation, or if it’s something with the meat, or perhaps some combination. In any case, it tasted fresh and meaty, and I felt like it elevated this particular burger.

While this isn’t in the same league as the new BK Ch’King sandwich, it is a nice LTO that’s worthy of a go. Just don’t do it before heading to a make-out party or inviting any vampire friends over for a board game night.

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: Single patty
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Unavailable at this time (Okay, well, the website says the single I had has 214 calories, and something about that seems off. There are no other stats.)

REVIEW: Arby’s Premium Chicken Nuggets

Arby s Premium Chicken Nuggets Spill

Until I sat down to write this and started Googling for background info, I had absolutely no idea that Arby’s — noted proprietor of meat — didn’t have chicken nuggets on its menu. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen the chicken tenders and just assumed it also served poultry in a more nuggeted form; maybe it’s because when traveling to the land of curly fries and Beef’n Cheddar, who feels it necessary to order nuggets?

I never had before, and, in case you don’t feel like reading a full review of Arby’s new Premium Chicken Nuggets, I probably won’t again. That isn’t to say they are appalling or abhorrently bad; they’re just… boring.

Arby’s touts its new offering as having “100% chicken breast,” which seems legit and is pretty par for the course, I guess. It’s offering them in Arby’s kids’ meals (as a 4 or a 6 piece) and as a 9-piece solo meal or as part of its “2 for $6” promotion, which also includes the Classic Roast Beef and the Classic Beef’n Cheddar. And while $3 for 9 nuggs is a reasonable deal in today’s market (Maybe? To be fair, I haven’t comparative nugget priced in a while.), you’d be better served doubling up on the B&C, honestly.

Arby s Premium Chicken Nuggets Innards

The thing about these is that there is nothing special about them. The seasoning is bland (and by “bland,” I mean “non-existent”) and the nuggets themselves are drier than a mummy’s tongue. These things are no different than frozen nuggets that come from a truck that maybe you’d find at a neighborhood swimming pool or waterpark snack bar. Fresh from the fryer (and these were), they are hot and salty.

Arby s Premium Chicken Nuggets Shapes

Additionally, they are decently sized. Unlike McDonald’s or Wendy’s uniformly sized nuggets, these are all like snowflakes, like the kind you’d get at, oh, say, Chick-fil-A. The smallest piece was the size of two Hershey’s Kisses mushed-up together, and the biggest was the size and shape of an obese walnut. If you’re getting them for $3 as part of the promotion, it’s a reasonable deal; if, however, you’re getting them in the meal or as a solo item ($3.99), you’re moving out of the “good deal” territory.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a perfectly acceptable sauce delivery vehicle, these will do. You know, like almost any other nugget. If, however, you want a nugget that can headline based on the strength of its own merit, this isn’t the one for you. Arby’s would do well to stick with the RB and leave the chicken to those who typically traffic in bird.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 9-pieces
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (9 nuggets) 470 calories, 23 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat,75 milligrams of cholesterol, 1360 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 38 grams of protein.