REVIEW: Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Pringles

Wendy s Spicy Chicken Pringles Can

My Dear Impulsive Buyers,

I’ve now lost count of my days spent embroiled in the chicken sandwich war.

Whenever I feel they are close to an end, another challenger enters the fray. New culinary battles ensue.

I’ve seen some good sandwiches come and go by the wayside. Young. Fresh. Barely out of the test kitchens. KFC. McDonald’s. The Ch’King – all basically forgotten before they even had a chance.

While Popeyes remains the world superpower, I have a burgeoning respect for a chicken sandwich so battle-tested, so decorated, it has now transcended the sandwich itself – Wendy’s Spicy Chicken.

We can all learn something from Wendy’s Spicy Chicken. To survive the wars, you must adapt. Days may become months, and while boys become men, chicken sandwiches must become potato crisps… ?!

——–

That’s right, folks, Pringles has a Wendy’s Spicy Chicken flavored crisp, and I’m pretty jacked up about it.

I couldn’t even tell you how many Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwiches I’ve had in my life, but I’m pretty confident no other fast food item even comes close. So I knew I had to write this review.

Wendy s Spicy Chicken Pringles Compare

After picking up my can of Pringles, I swung by Wendy’s so I could really see if they would… stack up.

I have to say, at first, I was a little bummed.

Wendy s Spicy Chicken Pringles Closeup

The crisps tasted like poultry seasoning and heaps of black pepper, but it wasn’t distinctly Wendy’s. I cleansed my palate between alternating bites of Pringles and the sandwich, but it just wasn’t clicking like I’d hoped.

Don’t get me wrong, the crisps were delicious, but on a flavor mimicry scale of 1 to Jelly Belly, they came in at about a 6.

I think the main problem for me was the fact that they were missing a little tang of the mayo, which is a key ingredient of Wendy’s sandwich. I also think the crisps tasted like they had a slightly different tasting pepper, but the heat levels were about the same.

Wendy s Spicy Chicken Pringles Topping

I guess you lose a lot in the flavor transfer when you’re biting into a juicy chicken fillet versus a crispy potato chip, and I couldn’t get past that. I did stack some Pringles on my sandwich for a couple of bites to create a Chick-inception just for fun.

All in all, I enjoyed the Pringles, but next to the sandwich, they were only pretty good… That was until I ate them on their own the next day.

I guess the sandwich being there put too much pressure on the Pringles and my dumb brain because they tasted spot on this go around. I was blown away. The aftertaste was especially similar to Wendy’s, and I ended up polishing off the rest of the can. It was essentially like eating the Spicy Chicken Sandwich and fries at the same time.

So, my recommendation would be to just enjoy the chips as their own thing, and I guarantee you’ll notice just how much they remind you of the Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich.

This was a great effort by Pringles, and I hope Julius Pringle and Dave Thomas keep their collabs rolling. I want a line of Spicy Nugget Pringles that come in different dipping sauce flavors. Spicy Nuggets with BBQ. Spicy Nuggets with Honey Mustard, etc. Whatever. I bet those would be excellent.

——

Perhaps this crisp is what we’ve been waiting for all along. The one that will bring an end to the great chicken sandwich war. I write to you, hopeful that we will find common ground and see rise to more such chicken-based snack ingenuity.

I hope this review finds you well.

Wendy s Spicy Chicken Pringles Top
A9WNV8DQ5

Purchased Price: $1.59
Size: 5.5 oz can
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (About 15 Crisps) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 200 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of total sugars, less 1 gram of fiber, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger

Wendy s Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger Full

In general, I am fairly apathetic when it comes to food infused with booze. Would you like to whisky-up your chicken? Okay. Wanna put beer in your chili or maybe your cheese? Sure, why not. Bourbon in your BBQ sauce? Whatever boils your potato, chief. Mostly, in my experience, adding beer or bourbon to your food is fine, but tends to land on the side of “maybe not worth whatever calories it’s adding.”

Especially when it comes to fast food.

While a local gastropub might be able to make you notice the “subtle undertones of oak in a rich BBQ sauce married with a 12-year-old, single batch bourbon,” a fast food place always runs the risk of ending up with something that tastes like your buddy got drunk and accidentally knocked his Natty Light into the cheese dip.

Wendy s Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger Toppings

So imagine my surprise when I really ended up liking Wendy’s new Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger. Wendy’s describes it as “a quarter-pound of fresh, never frozen beef topped with Applewood smoked bacon, American cheese, crispy onions, and a sweet, smoky bourbon bacon sauce that is, essentially, a sauce made with real bourbon and real bacon.” That’s the actual copy.

Anyway, this isn’t a Bourbon BBQ sauce, which is what I kept thinking, but a Bourbon bacon sauce. And how is this sauce? Extremely sweet with only a very subtle tang. You’d be hard-pressed to get anything boozy from it, which, as a person who’d prefer their food to taste as little like alcohol as possible, I’m fine with.

According to Wendy’s, some of the sauce’s 30 ingredients include brown sugar, sugar, molasses, “uncured bacon base,” another kind of molasses, and, as you may have surmised, bourbon whiskey. But once again, I didn’t taste booze, or bacon, just sugar. And it’s good! It complements the salt of the bacon strips expertly. If you’ve ever had the good fortune to eat candied bacon, you will recognize this combination. It works.

Wendy s Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger Split

The “crispy” onions also managed to stay reasonably crispy, which was a welcome surprise. The bun was warm and soft and seemed fresh, and the cheese was… present. To be honest, I didn’t really notice the cheese. This thing might’ve gotten by without it.

Despite all of these positive attributes, though, there was a pretty big negative -— the meat. While I’ve traditionally championed Wendy’s patties, this particular burger was dry and under-seasoned. Maybe I’ve had too many fantastic non-chain burgers lately, or maybe Wendy’s grill-master was having an off night. Either way, the bland meat puck took this sandwich down a notch or two. Even still, it’s worth a try if you’re looking for something a little different than most fast food offerings currently in the market. (Did you see the part about “candied bacon”? I rest my case.)

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 710 calories, 41 grams of fat, 16 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 1400 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 2 gram of dietary fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 34 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Spicy Jalapeno Popper Sandwich

Wendy s Spicy Jalapeno Popper Sandwich Full

It doesn’t get much better than a jalapeno popper with fried breading giving way to the heat of jalapeno and the perfect balance of cream cheese. While I’m a fan of the classic cream cheese version served with a side of ranch dressing, I also appreciate popular variations that add in cheddar cheese and bacon.

So when Wendy’s unveiled its new Jalapeno Popper Sandwich, it instantly had my attention. In addition to the choice of either grilled, classic, or spicy chicken breast, the sandwich is loaded with jalapeno cream cheese, shredded pepper jack cheese, jalapeno slices, applewood smoked bacon, and cheddar cheese sauce.

To my surprise, no actual jalapeno poppers were harmed in the making of this sandwich. While the flavors are all present, if your tongue, hand, face, and shirt are not all at risk of getting burned by spraying jalapeno juice or cream cheese napalm with each bite, does it really deserve the name “jalapeno popper”?

Wendy s Spicy Jalapeno Popper Sandwich Top

I was somewhat in disbelief when I opened my sandwich to find only three jalapeno slices, especially since Wendy’s has specifically mentioned that the sandwich comes with six jalapeno slices. Wendy’s also promised I would be exclaiming, “Oh, jal, yes!” from the first bite, but my first bite did not even contain jalapeno, so I was luckily able to remain composed and exclamation free. Its jalapeno slices are crunchier and spicier than most fast food places, so when I did reach them in the sandwich, they brought a strong burst of flavor and heat.

The cream cheese spread on the top bun contains a few small jalapeno pieces and gives a slightly sweet, slightly tangy flavor that dominates the sandwich. Wendy’s would be better served by adding more of the cream cheese spread in place of the shredded pepper jack cheese and cheddar cheese sauce which are dominated and forgotten by stronger flavors.

Wendy s Spicy Jalapeno Popper Sandwich Split

The three bacon slices were thick and crunchy while adding a slight smokiness that works beautifully with the jalapeno and cream cheese. The spicy chicken was juicy with the spices in the breading occasionally coming through in an already flavor packed sandwich.

The overall heat of the sandwich built up to a noticeable but not noteworthy amount by the end. Shredded pepper jack and cheddar cheese work only to muddle the flavors, the amount of jalapeno slices needs to live up to its promise, and the size of the sandwich seems small for the price. But the jalapeno cream cheese spread is a winner that enhanced many of the other components of the sandwich and will keep you craving that next bite.

Purchased Price: $6.49 (small combo is $8.99)
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 600 calories, 26 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 1660 milligrams of sodium, 54 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 37 grams of protein.

Click here to read our previous fast food reviews.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Spicy Pretzel Bacon Pub Chicken Sandwich

Wendy s Pretzel Bacon Pub Spicy Chicken Sandwich Top

If we can agree on anything in these divisive times, it’s that pretzel buns are one of the greatest food inventions since Jakob Gareth Food created food in 1295.

We can agree on that, right? I know you’re nodding your heads, “yes,” so I can just move on.

In 2013, Wendy’s released the Pretzel Pub Sandwich, and it instantly knocked the Bacon Mushroom Melt out of my Wendy’s gold medal spot.

The combination of that iconic chicken, two types of cheese (Muenster and cheddar), and honey mustard on a perfectly tender pretzel bun had me coming back at least once a week. I would throw those bad boys down faster than you can say, “Sir, this is a Wendy’s,” but alas, just as the employees were memorizing my name and face, it was gone.

I’m pretty sure Wendy’s dabbled with other pretzel bun fare in the years since, but nothing ever came close to that Pretzel Pub Sandwich. Well, guess what, folks? It’s a miracle. Pretzel Pub Sandwiches are back, but this time along with the cheese and honey mustard, there’s bacon, pickles, and fried onions along for the ride.

So that’s it. That’s the review. I gushed about the OG Pretzel Pub, and this is the same sandwich with three awesome additions. It’s a 10 out of 10, right?

Wendy s Pretzel Bacon Pub Spicy Chicken Sandwich Flipped Lid

No, and I’m bummed beyond belief. There is just way too much going on with this sandwich. Each ingredient is great on its own, but once plopped on top of each other, none really stood out, and it made for a buzzkill of a meal.

I remember the original sandwich being a compact, tasty, and harmonious masterpiece. Here, the two gloopy ingredients (beer cheese and honey mustard) mixed with the lightly melting muenster make a gross texture with a flavor I could only describe as…warm?

I got a spicy chicken filet, and even that familiar flavor ended up being bland and masked. Honestly, the pickles had the most dominant flavor in the sandwich and kinda didn’t belong.

Now, while I’m pretty mad, it wasn’t all bad. I didn’t hate it.

Wendy s Pretzel Bacon Pub Spicy Chicken Sandwich Middle

The pretzel bun was still God-tier. I just love a soft pretzel’s taste and texture and believe any sandwich instantly improves with them as bread. Wendy’s cooks the best bacon in the fast food game, so no complaints there. Crispy fried onions are the most underutilized burger topper in the world, and should replace every raw onion moving forward.

Wendy s Pretzel Bacon Pub Spicy Chicken Sandwich Bite

Again, these are all good ingredients on their own, but combined? What a mess. There were too many cooks in the kitchen when they came up with this updated sandwich.

You can order a Pretzel Pub Burger, and I suspect all these ingredients might work better with beef. But I think the move might be to customize your own variation in the app.

I’m not even positive that’s allowed, but I’m going back to try this with two fewer ingredients. I think I might just cut the “Pub” out entirely and lose the beer cheese. Two sauces were just too messy.

I’ve probably romanticized the 2013 Pretzel Pub too much over the years, so you may like this much more than I did. It’s worth a shot, but just make sure you’re parked or at home while you eat it, because it’s a big sloppy experience.

Purchased Price: $6.19
Size: N/A
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 840 calories, 42 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 105 milligrams of cholesterol, 1780 milligrams of sodium, 71 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 42 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Summer Strawberry Salad

Wendy s Summer Strawberry Salad Dressing

Summer is often a terrible time for many people, including me. As the uncomfortably cruel and rigidly taunting sun beats down on me, salty sweat drips down my head as I desperately try to find a cooling balm to bring my core temperature back down to a normal range, oftentimes failing miserably.

But this is when I raise my sunburned hands to the sky and thank the equally-heliophobic Wendy’s for its yearly berry salad. For 2020, it’s the Summer Strawberry Salad.

On a cool bed of crisp green lettuce — mainly romaine — sits a Tuscan cheese blend dusting, cuts of applewood smoked bacon, succulent grilled chicken breast, and surprisingly candid candied almond slivers. The salad’s complete reason for being, the sliced bits of strawberries, lay in the leafy shade, giving the entrée its summer branding and doing it remarkably well.

Gently spritzing the large helping of zesty champagne vinaigrette over the top of the salad, it managed to slide down into every nook and cranny, guaranteeing a savory experience. The strawberries are plump and notably firm, not a bruised berry in the bunch.

Each juicy bite, like a fruity fire extinguisher, cools me down internally as I nibbled carefully, enjoying the salad wholeheartedly. The tangy dressing, with its olive oil feel and garlicky taste, offers a decent counterpoint to the abject sweetness of the strawberries and, even more so, the candied almonds.

Wendy s Summer Strawberry Salad

The romaine lettuce leaves were also surprisingly fresh. Bits of the Tuscan cheese — featuring a blend of Parmesan, Asiago, and Fontina — tantalizingly resting on them with the vinaigrette acting as a delectable glue keeping them in their place. The bacon, though predictably salty, mixes well with the grilled chicken, the candied almonds giving a sweet aftertaste that was definitely needed.

Wendy s Summer Strawberry Salad Berry Close

But what it all comes down is to the strawberries in the nomenclature. While I would have liked more of them, they held this summer salad together perfectly, especially in the half-salad I ordered, the large size only about two dollars more.

In these cruel summer months, Wendy’s has gifted us with a berry-good meal-deal that has me counting down the heated days to next year’s salad unveiling. But, until then, this will definitely do.

Purchased Price: $5.69
Size: Half
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 410 calories, 21 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 125 milligrams of cholesterol, 790 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 45 grams of protein.