REVIEW: Wendy’s Barbecue Chicken Sandwich

Wendy s Barbecue Chicken Sandwich

There’s a part of me that begs for an answer to this question: has Wendy’s ever attempted a barbecue-style chicken sandwich?

I know it’s attempted a mighty tasty barbecue burger in the past; I reviewed it right here a couple of months ago. But, as I purchased my Wendy’s Barbecue Chicken Sandwich and carried it to my seat, I definitely felt as if the Mandela Effect had taken hold of my memories; I just wasn’t “for sure” about it anymore.

I remember thinking how much I truly enjoyed the barbecue burger, especially Wendy’s dedication to the perfection of a delicious faux-BBQ sauce. It’s usually the one roadblock many fast food eateries hit when trying to perfect their monthly specials. Well, it was only a matter of time before Wendy’s spread it lovingly across its wealth of chicken — if it hasn’t before.

There are three chicken choices are — homestyle, spicy, or grilled. I chose a grilled fillet, for moderation’s sake, of course. With the added slice of Muenster cheese, crispy fried onions, and three perfect pickles, I feel the sandwich would be a triumph, but with a full dollop of Wendy’s Kansas City-style (their words) barbecue sauce, it becomes more of a testament to taste.

Wendy s Barbecue Chicken Sandwich Bitten

As the lifeblood of this sandwich, the barbecue sauce filled every divergent nook and complacent cranny delectably, taking over the sandwich and reinforcing the flavor, especially, of the chicken and, strangely enough, the typical Wendy’s bread. The sweet and spicy components are wonderful bedfellows, whispering tantalizing nothings into the chicken’s ear.

Meanwhile, the bedeviled fried onions do their jobs as mere pawns in this tasty game of complete control.

Wendy s Barbecue Chicken Sandwich Cheese

But the true surprise is the aforementioned Muenster; who thinks to put a somewhat out-of-the-mainstream cheese on something like this? While the barbecue sauce takes over most of the menu item, this pungent cheese manages to rise above it all. It strengthens the sandwich in such a way that it truly causes the eater to take a bite, then a step back, and then ask those in charge why isn’t this cheese involved in more sandwiches as of late?

While there is a part of me that would love to give it a ten, sadly, the Wendy’s Barbecue Sandwich, with its wholly unique flavor, is a bit too shrunken for me to justify a whole $5.49 for a single serving, especially in a country like America. It very much becomes a taste vs. value fight of personal responsibility that we must all go through at least once in our lives.

So I guess I’ll give it a nine, ese. Cómpralo ya!

Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: N/A
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 650 calories, 26 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 1580 milligrams of sodium, 69 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 34 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Wendy’s S’Awesome Bacon Chicken Sandwich

Wendy s S Awesome Bacon Chicken Sandwich

Folks, you may have saw some sauces, but you ain’t NEVER saw a sauce like S’awesome Sauce!

Or perhaps you have, it’s not exactly new. Wendy’s has been hyping the condiment up for a few years now by tossing it on burgers and even adding it to its lineup of dipping sauces.

So, while I’ve tried it with some chicken tenders, I’ve never tried it on a chicken sandwich until now.

The options for the S’awesome Bacon Chicken Sandwich were Grilled, Homestyle or Spicy. Usually, I’m a Spicy Chicken guy, but I didn’t wanna risk that interference with the “S’awesome Sauce experience,” which I’m now considering calling my opposite of “s’awesome” garage band. We play horrendous ska.

I decided to go neutral and ordered Homestyle. Ya know, “Homestyle,” just like Mom never made.

Look, if you like Wendy’s standard fare, this sandwich is for you.

Wendy s S Awesome Bacon Chicken Sandwich S auce

S’awesome Sauce is a legit tasty condiment. It’s a tangy concoction that lands somewhere between ketchup and BBQ on the sauce spectrum, and it has a nice little bit of kick. I don’t get much “smoke” as it’s advertised, but the bacon may have stepped on that element.

Wendy s S Awesome Bacon Chicken Sandwich Bacon

Wendy’s has always done chicken right, and it’s one of the few fast food joints that usually gives you a nice crisp strip of bacon (at least in my experiences), so you can bank on the proteins being on point. As a bonus, they use the Applewood Smoked Bacon, so that always gives a sandwich a bit more flavor and prestige.

The Muenster Cheese was surprisingly my favorite part as I don’t think any other cheese would have complemented this as well. American, Cheddar, or something like Pepper jack would have clashed. The right cheese choice goes a long way.

They call the bun, “premium,” but it’s just glossy? That bugged me a bit. If you’re gonna promote a new, pretty expensive sandwich that is basically a bunch of standard menu items cobbled together, at least offer it on a specialty bun.

Wendy s S Awesome Bacon Chicken Sandwich Half

Which brings me to my ultimate unfair disappointment with this sandwich; it reminds me juuuust enough of the Pretzel Pub Chicken Sandwich from a few years ago despite the different sauce. That’s on the Wendy’s Mount Rushmore, and I miss it dearly. I wish the chain still had the pretzel buns because it would have been great on the S’awesome Bacon Chicken.

I gotta reiterate – this is a pretty expensive fast food meal, but when something is on the “Made to Crave” menu, I guess that’s expected. What was I gonna do, NOT get fries and a drink? I didn’t do the math, but I feel like ordering a Homestyle chicken sandwich with bacon and asking for some S’awesome sauce may cut your bill by a dollar or two. Don’t quote me on that probably made-up “menu hack.”

I’d say this is definitely worth a buy, but I can’t help thinking the previously released S’awesome Bacon Cheeseburger may have been better overall.

Purchased Price: $9.91 for a small meal
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 670 calories, 39 grams of fat, 34 grams of saturated fat, 110 milligrams of cholesterol, 1520 milligrams of sodium, 54 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 38 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Frosty Cookie Sundae

Wendy s Frosty Cookie Sundae

What is Wendy’s Frosty Cookie Sundae?

Back in the day (Read: The first two or three years of the decade) Wendy’s toyed with numerous Frosty variations, including waffle cones, shakes, and parfaits.

But, after the past few years of relegating the Frosty to a value menu afterthought and French fry delivery system, the chain is giving it a decadent dessert spin by adding chocolate chunk cookie bites and Ghirardelli Chocolate Sauce. It’s available in vanilla and chocolate for a cool two bucks.

How is it?

It’s amazing, which is saying something given that it’s “just” a Frosty with the addition of cookie pieces and chocolate sauce. The thing is, this is a chocolate chip cookie lover’s kind of sundae, complete with thick, chewy, chocolate-chunk loaded cookies pieces that taste like they’ve been broken off a fresh cookie (even though they’re not).

Wendy s Frosty Cookie Sundae Chocolate Syrup

Slathered in the Ghirardelli Chocolate Sauce, each bite has both richness and sophistication, giving the familiar sweet cocoa taste of the Frosty an indulgent appeal. As far as deconstructed cookie sandwiches go, this is at the top of the list (oh, and there most definitely is a list).

Is there anything else you need to know?

Wendy s Frosty Cookie Sundae Cookie Closeup

Plan your bites carefully, making sure to dig below individual cookie pieces to envelop a healthy dose of Frosty with each spoonful. Make no mistake: The moist, buttery, cookie pieces and rich chocolate syrup are the main attractions here and eating them too quickly or on their own will leave you slightly disappointed as you slurp the remaining Frosty.

Also, slight bummer that the sundae can’t be ordered with the double chocolate chunk cookie.

Conclusion:

For a chain that’s put much of its recent effort into revamping its premium sandwiches, Wendy’s has created a surprisingly good dessert item that can definitely stand on its own.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 410 calories, 15 grams of total fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 63 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 49 grams of total sugars, and 8 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Barbecue Cheeseburger

Wendy s Barbecue Cheeseburger

The act of adding any type of barbecue, from the sauce to the meat, is the quickest way to screw up an otherwise decent cheeseburger. Either the sauce is too sweet, the meat bone dry, or everything is delivered to you sopping in pickle juice because they added too many damn BBQ-related toppings underneath the toasty bun.

Our girl Wendy’s, God bless her, has thankfully gotten the barbecue cheeseburger right this time.

Settling in to my neighborhood restaurant on a cold evening, unwrapping the meaty mound, a proud steam rises high like a smokehouse smokestack, gently giving off a true barbeque aroma that you don’t get with too many of these fast food concoctions. As the barbecue sauce runs wantonly down the sides, crispy fried onions try desperately to escape, but I push them back in with one hand as I lick the sauce off my other one.

Holding the single snugly (it is also available in double and triple denominations if you’re so inclined, natch) as I take a bigger first bite than I usually would, I get an immediately dream-like taste of that manufactured barbecue flavor that only Wendy’s can accomplish, with daring singularity. The sauce is the best in the fast-food biz (and it always has been) while the addition of the fried onions is a tangy treat that is immediately welcomed overkill.

Wendy s Barbecue Cheeseburger 2

With a mixture of sweet brown sugar and tart vinegar, the barbecue sauce that Wendy’s uses isn’t an additive meant to take your mind off what you’re actually eating, but instead it’s used to thoroughly enhance the flavor, letting it mix deftly with the meat and cheese and, even better, the fried onions. Sure, perhaps there was a few too many on my cheeseburger, but I’d rather take too many than not enough and at Wendy’s they do like to pile them high.

As usual, the rest of the Wendy’s Barbecue Cheeseburger – the never-frozen meat, the fresh bun and of course, American cheese — are all tops, but what really impressed me were the inclusion of these fat slices of pickles. I know it seems weird for me to point out, but I love how they weren’t soaking in juice. Instead, they were firm discs that added a true snarl to the burger, instead of being immediately discarded off to the side, as they usually are.

Wendy s Barbecue Cheeseburger 3

Wendy’s has had quite a few successes over the past couple of years and it is safe to say that we can add the tempting Barbecue Cheeseburger to the list. A slight caveat however: even though the single has around 630 calories, once again, the sodium at 1360 takes a few points off. If this is the type of thing you watch, like I do, get one, but go easy on it, will ya? Cómpralo ya!

Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: Single (1/4th pound; also available as Double and Triple)
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 630 calories, 34 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 1360 milligrams of sodium, 53 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 30 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Peppercorn Mushroom Melt

Wendy s Peppercorn Mushroom Melt

In 30 years of eating food, I’ve experienced the following:

  • Certain foods look amazing to eat and are amazing
  • Certain foods look disgusting to eat and are disgusting
  • Certain foods look amazing to eat and are disgusting
  • Certain foods look disgusting to eat and are amazing

Wendy’s new Peppercorn Mushroom Melt falls into the lattermost category. A beautiful cheeseburger, this is not. However, what it lacks in Instagram quality food pornage it more than makes up for in the umami-bomb-dot-com sphere.

Essentially a regular menu item that combines the chain’s attempts at on-again-off-again mushroom cheeseburger concepts, the melt nails the drool-worthy steakhouse burger taste thanks to layers of meaty flavors.

Wendy s Peppercorn Mushroom Melt Innards 1

I don’t say this lightly. I trend towards the less-is-more category when it comes to toppings, and with asiago cheese, sautéed and roasted mushrooms, peppercorn aioli, and crispy fried onions, there’s a natural hesitance to ask what exactly Wendy’s is covering up.

In this case, the doubt is unfounded; the quarter pound cheeseburger patty anchors the flavors, remaining beefy and juicy beneath all the toppings. The asiago cheese is a great compliment. Full-bodied and a tad nutty, it pairs wonderfully with both the beef and the peppercorn aioli, creating enough of a gooey cheesesteak effect to leave you with a familiar taste that also manages to surprise.

Wendy s Peppercorn Mushroom Melt Innards 2

But it was, surprisingly, the two ingredients that I had the least hope for that took the burger to another level. The mushrooms and crispy fried onions introduce contrasting textures that up the seasoning level in the burger and just work. The mushrooms, in particular, have a deeper and fire-grilled flavor that tastes a step above most fast food sautéed mushrooms, while the crispy onions have a cravable haystack onion tone.

Wendy s Peppercorn Mushroom Melt Side View

Complaints are minor, but worth noting. The first is that construction is an issue: both the onions and mushrooms jumped ship with even the slightest bit of handling. It’s a problem exacerbated by a tendency to stick to the bun and threaten the integrity of the burger.

The second is the lack of a sweet contrast to the otherwise rich flavors. Undoubtedly, the decision to go with crispy haystack onions will leave some people happy and others (myself included) slightly wishing Wendy’s would have gone with caramelized onions like the bygone McDonald’s Steakhouse Sirloin Third Pound burger.

Still, we can’t have everything, and McDonald’s caramelized onions notwithstanding, the Peppercorn Mushroom Melt is a welcome addition to Wendy’s permanent menu, even if it does sorta look like a dog threw up between a hamburger bun.

Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: Single (1/4th pound; also available as Double and Triple)
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 690 calories, 42 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 1110 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 31 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Bacon Maple Chicken Sandwich

Wendy's Bacon Maple Chicken Sandwich

Why don’t more fast food chains utilize the croissant?

I mean, everyone loves croissants. From the buttery, flaky layers to that rich aftertaste and the feeling of international sophistication you get when rolling the “oi” to create what might pass as a French word, croissants are hard to hate on.

There is, it turns out, a lot of good reasons why croissants get shafted in fast food development. They smoosh easily, they’re incompatible with burgers, and their lineage is much more developed in the deli spectrum.

Perhaps that’s what makes Wendy’s new Bacon Maple Chicken Sandwich so intriguing. Not only does it capitalize on the popularity of the sweet and salty fried chicken applications – pairing a maple glaze with Wendy’s homestyle chicken breast and Applewood smoked bacon – but it also uses a “flaky croissant bun” as the anchor.

Wendy's Bacon Maple Chicken Sandwich 2

Forgetting for a second that the artistic representation of Wendy’s croissant bun looks like the emoji for dog poop (SORRY BUT IT’S TRUE), the bun fails to make the sandwich. More like a spongy brioche than a flaky croissant, it lacks the rich croissant aftertaste or light, airy texture. Perhaps most telling, it doesn’t stand out when paired with the heavy ingredients.

And yeah, those other ingredients are heavy. It’s not that Wendy’s homestyle chicken breast is terrible, it’s that its spice blend, extra crispy texture, and saltiness dominate the sandwich. The bacon and swiss cheese are, as they usually are at Wendy’s, on point as individual ingredients, but as a whole sandwich, they come together in a salty, somewhat meaty, and weirdly sweet way that gives new meaning to ambivalence.

Wendy's Bacon Maple Chicken Sandwich 3

Weirdly sweet is, I think, an apt description for the maple glaze. The sweetness is muted, cut by a bit of butter and a dissatisfying bite of apple cider vinegar. What you’re left with is a viscous fluid that doesn’t know if it wants to be a salad dressing, a baste, or drizzle-on-pancake maple syrup. If a sweet and salty sensation is supposed to awaken your taste buds, this is more like hitting the snooze 4 or 5 times before stumbling out of bed.

Wendy's Bacon Maple Chicken Sandwich 4

Ultimately, Wendy’s misses the mark when it comes to the Bacon Maple Chicken Sandwich. Heavy, salty, and without any relief, it’s not so much a guilty pleasure as it is a slightly underwhelming representation of chicken and waffles. And, let’s be real — a fast food croissant “bun” ain’t no waffle.

Purchased Price: $5.69
Size: N/A
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 680 calories, 34 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 125 milligrams of cholesterol, 1450 milligrams of sodium, 57 grams of carbohydrates, 41grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 38 grams of protein.

Click here to read all our fast food reviews