REVIEW: Wendy’s Original Chocolate Frosty Waffle Cone

Wendy's Frosty Waffle Cone

“That’s it?”

“Yea. That’s it.”

Such completed my transaction of the new Frosty Waffle Cone. Anticlimactic, brief, and disheartening, the short exchange with the Wendy’s guy as I looked upon this innovation of fast food desserts — this long-hoped for, anxiously awaited breakthrough in hot-as-balls spring day relief — was matched only in brevity by the experience of eating the dissolving agglomeration of chocolate, cream, and God knows what else.

Yes, like Frosty the Snowman in the Greenhouse, the new Frosty Waffle Cones don’t last long. But unlike Frosty resurrected by the magic of Christmas, a melted Waffle Cone doesn’t freeze back up into a sweet confection.

You’ll have to excuse my somber tone. I do take my frozen desserts rather seriously, especially when it comes to the frozen dairy in a cone department. Having once perfected the seven loops of a Rita’s Large Frozen Custard Waffle Cone during a summer job, I feel a certain affinity towards sweet and creamy chocolate served with a crispy handle. Combine this affinity with a lifelong fixation upon the chemical properties of the not-quite-milkshake Frosty, and the revelation that the iconic frozen treat was getting the Waffle Cone treatment should have had every capacity to complete my life.

Yes, my life.

So you’ll imagine my dumfounded indignation upon seeing the liquidy puddle of chocolate Frosty barely reaching out of the Waffle Cone. While I pride myself in having advanced my use of imagery as a writer since my kindergarten days, the cone did, in fact, bare a strikingly resemblance to a diarrhea laden dump.

Wendy's Frosty Waffle Cone Messy 2

Clearly, there is no truth in advertising anymore, and while I’d love to say that I was able to overcome this construction shortcoming, the fact is that I wasn’t four or five steps out the door before the Frosty concoction began to melt. Instead of licking the Frosty as you’d lick the soft serve ice cream in a traditional cone, you’re really forced to slurp the Frosty more than anything else. It’s a completely acceptable means of ingestion when you’ve got the benefit of a cup and a straw, but as the puddle of Frosty spills out onto your hands from the cone, you might find yourself wishing you had brought a bib.

The taste of the Frosty isn’t bad. Obviously it tastes like a Chocolate Frosty, what with its sweet and not too intense cocoa flavor, but it strikes me as not having the standard consistency of the Frosty. It’s as if the particles of cream and sugar and mono and diglycerides are in active rebellion, and by melting so quickly proclaim a chorus of ‘hey, what the hell is this cone thing we’re floating in?’

Wendy's Frosty Waffle Cone Messy

As for that cone thing, take it from a seasoned waffle cone aficionado. There’s something off about it. A good waffle cone is malty with a slight give. You should be able to taste a batter component in there beneath that first crunch, and it should be sturdy enough to provide a thick crunch. This cone was more crispy than anything, with a bland sweetness that came off as cheap.

If you’re looking to suffer disillusionment in the arms of a fast food classic, or perhaps if you just want to get sticky stains on your steering wheel and endanger the lives of motorists after a cruise through the drive-through, then yes, I highly recommend Wendy’s new Frosty Cone. However, the next time I wish to beat the heat on a hot day, I think I’ll just stick to the traditional Frosty in a cup. It’s classic and delicious, and what’s more, its construction doesn’t remind me on diarrhea.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 Chocolate Frosty Waffle Cone – 300 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 54 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 35 grams of sugar, 7 grams of protein, and 20% calcium.)

Item: Wendy’s Original Chocolate Frosty Waffle Cone
Purchased Price: $1.69
Size: 1 cone (feels smaller than a Value Frosty)
Purchased at: Wendy’s
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Original Chocolate Frosty is still sweet and chocolatey. Cone is crispy and not stale. Not as bad for you as regular ice cream.
Cons: Looks like the Frosty machine took a dump in a Waffle Cone. Melts immediately. As in, before-you-can-pay-immediately. Cone lacks substantial crunch or malted flavor. Slurping up Frosty doesn’t give you time to enjoy the simple pleasures. Small. Inconsistent Wendy’s value menu pricing.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club

Wendy's Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club

John Cusack was wrong. The world will not be destroyed by a Mayan calendar. It will come to an end by an angry and determined reanimated Dave Thomas stomping on the competition to the soundtrack of Joy Division’s “Transmission” …then the Universe.

How else to explain their shrewd ability to kick the King out on his ass and entrench themselves into the number two spot? Ronald McDonald should be afraid or at the very least slice Grimace up like Han Solo did to a Tauntaun and hide inside. I too would be scared of a zombie Dave Thomas in red pigtails.

Like the long-term girlfriend I had back in college, my affair with Wendy’s has been tumultuous. Sometimes I was all right with what I ate. Other times I was so disappointed I would watch a Uwe Boll film just to make myself happy again. I know a lot of you out there are extremely passionate about Wendy’s which makes me chuckle. To Wendy’s merit, they have worked hard to distinguish themselves from the big two.

Wendy's Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club Beverage

Wendy’s is somewhat successful in an attempt to place themselves above the grease-shacks and giving customers a higher end fast food experience. Witness the sea salt fries, Black Label burgers, and signature drinks. On a side note, sea salt has become so ubiquitous…it’s like the ahi tuna of the late nineties.

Perusing the Wendy’s menu demonstrates an uppity foodie vibe. The new Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club fits right in with what reanimated Dave Thomas demands you to eat before he takes your soul like Shang Tsung (cue Mortal Kombat shout).

The folks at Wendy’s went ahead and picked up the tab for me to try the latest offering. However, I really fumbled the first time. Besides the enjoyable texture, I thought the sandwich was just okay. My wife asked why it was called a club since there was no sign of the promised Applewood smoked bacon and club sandwiches have bacon.

I said “shut up” and threw a sea salt fry hitting her left boob. Things bouncing off breasts make me laugh, but she was right…where the hell was the bacon?

Strange but true, Seventh Day Adventists own the property where this Wendy’s was located. Hence, no bacon in my club. They don’t eat pork which makes me wonder if their Baconator is just a plain cheeseburger with a wrapper in large red fonts? However, back from the dead Dave Thomas snarled and demanded I buy another at a different Wendy’s to truly get the experience.

Wendy's Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club Innards

The sandwich was wrapped in clean white butcher-like paper to underline the high-end feel. Ranch and guacamole smeared on butter toasted buns houses the entire ensemble which consists of a tomato slice, lettuce, a black pepper encrusted battered chicken breast that is adorned with a slice of pepper jack cheese, and sweet salty thick bacon slices. That sounds like a bold flavor megamix that only the likes of Bobby “I’m on a lot of reality shows” Flay can wrangle.

I believe there is no better first time bite than something that is simultaneously creamy and crunchy. Now that doesn’t mean I would dollop Cool Whip on pork rinds because mouthfeel or not, the thing has to be tasty. Although that combo does sound good after coming home late hammered on cheap scotch. It’s a proven equation, the creamy condiments and battered chicken is akin to buffalo wings and bleu cheese so of course this would work.

The guacamole is as authentic as the Mexican cuisine from Chipotle but here’s the surprising part, there are real chunks of avocado. Among the creamy bites are diced tomato and bits of onion. It is a step up from the questionable green globs some places try to pass off as the condiment, so I was a bit impressed.

Wendy's Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club Center

Said chicken was very moist, no doubt helped by the thick encasement of peppery batter which was awesome. As most things that tend to orbit close to ingredient overload, the pepper jack cheese gets lost in the guacamole. To be honest so did the ranch dressing and I am not sure there was a need for it anyway since the guacamole tempers the fried chicken.

They say bacon makes everything better right? It does because without it, the sandwich was slanting towards mediocre. However the bacon’s sweetness really compliments this towering 770 calorie behemoth. The two flavors that really come to the forefront are the sweet smoky bacon and the pepper.

I love spicy heat and I went through a phase where I would put Sriracha, the Thai hot chili sauce, on everything. Like my wife does with Reddi-wip, I would squirt that stuff straight into my mouth. So the sandwich is not as spicy as I would like but I have to say this colossus’ heat lingers and has a good punch.

Speaking of punch, the sandwich with bacon or not, is a little too salty at times for my tastebuds. As you can imagine some bites reminded me of gulping seawater when a wave crashed on me unexpectedly when I was a little boy.

The high sodium levels are not a surprise considering and the number of fat grams would make Dr. Oz wage war with a sharpened tongue depressor. Hey, assholes, this is not diet food, it is a hedonistic guilty pleasure between two slices of bread. Sometimes you need that in your life and despite the saltiness, it’s not that bad.

Wendy's Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club Splooge

Who needs a return of the living dead, red pigtailed Dave Thomas to crush your neck to kill you? Eating a couple of these in one sitting should give you a tasty coronary failure massive enough to blow up your heart Michael Bay style. Speaking of explosions, since the sandwich is practically an encyclopedia of all things yummy, it was freaking messy to eat. I grew frustrated at how things slid off or splooged out like a porn moneyshot. This happened to both sandwiches.

Messy or not, I would recommend at least trying this sandwich from Wendy’s once. It is a step above the similar fried chicken choices from other chains. While Wendy’s and I will still have that hate/love relationship, I have to give credit for what they have done. They are raising expectations from a fast food perspective. Win or fail, Wendy’s is at least offering something different and isn’t that what we want in the end?

(Editor’s Note/Disclaimer: We received a gift card from Wendy’s in order to review their Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club. We hope our aunts and uncles will give us gift cards for Christmas in order to buy something we want, instead of giving us clothing from Sears or chocolate Santas.)

(Nutrition facts – 770 calories (less if you go to the pigless Wendy’s), 42 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 115 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,790 milligrams of sodium, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugars, and 41 grams of protein.)

Other Wendy’s Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club reviews:
Brand Eating

Item: Wendy’s Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club
Price: $4.79 to $5.49 (sandwich only)
Size: N/A
Purchased: Wendy’s
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: There are creamy chunks of avocado. The peppery batter on that chicken is delicious. Joy Division. Spicier than most offerings than other fast food restaurants. Bouncing things off boobies. Bacon.
Cons: It is so messy to eat which is annoying. Some of the flavors get lost. Can be a bit salty. Picturing a red pigtailed back from the dead Dave Thomas frightens me. Every Uwe Boll film ever. Baconless.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Caramel Frosty Shake and Wendy’s Chocolate Frosty Shake

Wendy's Caramel Frosty Shake

Wendy’s and I have an interesting relationship with each other. I don’t mean to sound like an old man, but when I was growing up, there wasn’t a Wendy’s to be found in New Jersey, lending it a mystique not found in your more prevalent chains like McDonald’s or Burger King. I remember the only one I knew of was on the way to Snowvania, which is what they called Vermont in those days. We would go there on our annual ski trip. You couldn’t get real skis because of the war, so we had to buy two snowboards and tie them to our feet.

Now, we’d stop at the Wendy’s on our way every year or so, and my sister and I would each get a Frosty, or as we called them in those days, thickshakes. “Give me five thickshakes for a dollar!” you’d say, and a smiling Ella Fitzgerald would bring them out to your motor car. Oh, did she have gams, that Ella! Anyway, once we finished our thickshakes, my sister and I would hollow out the bottoms and wear them on our ears, which was the style at the time.

But the point is, I’ve always liked Wendy’s, partially because of their scarcity when I was a kid, and partially because they actually make their burgers plain in the first place instead of what McDonald’s used to do; i.e., making them with the works and then just scraping that shit off when you dare to ask for a plain burger. Like that’s the same thing, jerks. Anyway, Frosties have always held a special place in my heart due to my childhood memories, so when I heard they were rolling out new Frosty Shakes, I was all over that like reality show stars on professional athletes.

But then I learned something that tempered my enthusiasm: Frosty Shakes were actually replacing my beloved Twisted Frosties, where they would blend M&Ms or Butterfingers in. I have mixed feelings about that, because those things were seriously damn good, yet are also the reason I can no longer comfortably fit into 28-inch waist jeans without my Strippercize DVD. But it does create some pressure on the Frosty Shake, because if you’re not as good as what you’re replacing, well, SOMEONE is in for a few curse words muttered into my dashboard and a scathing blog review. I’m just saying.

Wendy's Caramel Frosty Shake 2

This isn’t the first time Wendy’s has offered Frosty Shakes, but they have added two new flavors — in addition to the original chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, you can now get your fill of caramel and wild berry. As always, I will be reviewing the one that doesn’t even play at being healthy. It does, however, aspire to a higher class of caramel by name-dropping the Ghirardelli brand. I sort of question the wisdom of that — you don’t go to Wendy’s expecting kobe beef and watercress on your burger, so are you really going to care that the caramel in your two-bucks-and-change shake is associated with the finest chocolatiers in the world? I’m not sure it was worth shelling out for the brand name, but that’s the ghost of Dave Thomas’ business, not mine.

For starters, I have to give Wendy’s credit for sheer visual appeal. You know how fast food always looks great in the ads and then like a lump of reheated turds when you pull it out of the bag? Well, I’ll be damned if this shake didn’t look nearly as good in real life as it does on TV, which is impressive. This probably varies by the server, but the whipped cream on mine was plentiful and even had criss-crosses of caramel covering it, a nice touch. (Mind you, it’s summer, so that’s going to last about 3 minutes before it melts into a blob of goo.) But taste is what really matters, and this… this tastes good.

It’s thick enough that I initially had trouble getting some through the straw, though this would likely be substantially less difficult for groupies, congressional aides, and certain Jersey Shore cast members. But once I did, I was impressed by how vivid the flavor was. This isn’t watered down in the slightest — that’s pure caramel.

Wendy's Chocolate Frosty Shake

It’s almost a little overwhelming, and I can see people who are just kind of “enh” about caramel thinking it might even be a bit too strong, but I really dug it. It’s rich, very sweet, and lingers on your tongue like a dog who won’t go away after you feed him scraps, but it’s okay because he’s pretty cute and doesn’t look rabid. Also, the whipped cream melts into the shake and dilutes things a bit while lending an extra little creaminess to the whole thing. I would’ve ordered another if not for the fact that it’s so filling, and also because there’s a warning label cautioning that two will cause instant cardiac arrest.

Though the caramel Frosty Shake is the main attraction, I also sampled the chocolate variety just so I could give you a broader accounting of the overall line. I know, I really spoil you guys. Though not quite as impressive, it’s still pretty good. It’s nearly as thick as the caramel variety and has copious whipped cream with chocolate sauce drizzled over it. Also very creamy, but while it’s not quite as sweet as the caramel, it tastes very distinctly of chocolate syrup. Maybe that’s why I didn’t like it quite as much — familiarity breeds contempt and all that, and it’s almost like someone just emptied half a bottle of Hershey’s syrup into a vanilla milkshake.

I don’t know that I’ll ever stop mourning the loss of my Twisted Frosties (you could mix M&Ms into a chocolate Frosty!), but the shakes go a long way toward healing that rift. It’s convenient to be able to expand the size of your ass without having to burn all those precious calories lifting a plastic spoon to your mouth again and again. Assuming you’ve got belt notches to spare, pick one up with your next plain cheeseburger — I don’t think you’ll regret it.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 small shake – Caramel – 680 calories, 15 grams of total fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 330 milligrams of sodium, 126 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 102 grams of sugar, 11 grams of protein. Chocolate – 610 calories, 14 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 260 milligrams of sodium, 109 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 98 grams of sugar, 12 grams of protein.)

Other Wendy’s Caramel Frosty Shake reviews:
On Second Scoop

Item: Wendy’s Caramel Frosty Shake and Wendy’s Chocolate Frosty Shake
Price: $2.39
Size: 12 oz.
Purchased at: Wendy’s
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Caramel)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Chocolate)
Pros: Five different flavors. Ella Fitzgerald’s gams. Fast food places that make your burger plain. Visually-appealing whipped cream. A milkshake that brings me to the yard. Copious quantities of caramel. Rich chocolate syrup.
Cons: The war. Sacrificing Twisted Frosties. Pointless corporate name dropping. Difficult to get any through the straw unless you work in the entertainment industry. Ridonkulously unhealthy.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Berry Almond Chicken Salad

Wendy's Berry Almond Chicken Salad

Upon hearing about the subject of my latest review, a friend said to me, “fast food salad = irony.” I didn’t know how to react to that because, despite my zealotry for good grammar, I still have no sense as to when something is actually ironic. All I know is, A) every time I use the word irony, someone is sure to tell me I’m wrong, and B) calling something ironic and calling someone Hitler are somehow equally effective at starting internet comment board flame wars.

So is it ironic that a fast food place makes salads? Would it be ironic for a fast food place to make a really good salad? What if the fast food place were called “We Make Terrible Salads”? And all they played for background music were Alanis Morissette songs, but never “Ironic”?

I don’t know the answer to any of these questions, but I do know that Wendy’s new Berry Almond Chicken Salad is absolutely delicious. I recently ordered the full-size salad for lunch. A pre-made serving of greens and berries had been sitting in the fridge in the back, but the chicken was freshly cut and added, and I received the almonds and dressing in separate packages.

Wendy's Berry Almond Chicken Salad Dressing

As you can see from the photo, the salad included hearty servings of strawberries and blueberries, and the fruits’ texture and color suggested that they were fresh and never frozen. The greens were crisp and seemed to have a solid assortment, though I have no idea if there were truly 11 varieties, as the Wendy’s website claims. Asking me to pick out a dozen types of greens is like asking me to name a dozen Alanis Morissette songs. (Actually, I might be able to do that. It’s more like asking me to name a dozen Alanis Morissette ex-boyfriends. Ryan Reynolds, Uncle Joey from Full House… you know what, let’s just say I can’t name that many greens, OK?)

The warm and appropriately-sized chicken wedges were juicy and flavorful, which was to be expected since the chicken was just a diced up breast from one of Wendy’s regularly tasty chicken sandwiches. The asiago cheese shavings added some sharpness without being overpowering, and the almonds contributed much-needed crunch and a subtle nuttiness to the salad. I thought the only thing that didn’t really work was the raspberry vinaigrette; it wasn’t tart enough to bring a new taste dimension to the table, and its sweetness just sort of distracted my attention from the real stars, the strawberries and blueberries.

Another complaint: the salad container was packed to the brim, and I imagine most people will have a very difficult time tossing this salad without spilling anything. Also, by not addressing this salad-tossing problem and thereby compelling me to mention it, Wendy’s has forced me to use a lot of self-restraint in not making any salad-tossing jokes. Luckily, I’ve managed to get to this paragraph’s back end without any slips of my tongue. (…goddammit.)

On the positive side again, the Berry Almond Chicken Salad contains only 450 calories and 16 grams of fat. $6.99 might feel pretty expensive for any item on a fast food menu, but it is tasty and filling enough to be worth the price. I would definitely recommend you go out and try it. And if a normally salad-phobic, fast-food-burger-loving guy strongly recommending a fast food salad isn’t ironic, then I don’t know what is. (No, but seriously. I really have to figure this irony thing out.)

(Nutrition Facts – Full size – 450 calories, 150 calories from fat, 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 1300 milligrams of sodium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, 31 grams of sugar, 38 grams of protein, 80% vitamin A, 70% vitamin C, 30% calcium, and 15% iron.)

Item: Wendy’s Berry Almond Chicken Salad
Price: $6.99
Size: Full size
Purchased at: Wendy’s
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Lots of fresh strawberries and blueberries. Crisp and varied greens. Chicken was warm, juicy, and flavorful. Asiago cheese added sharpness and almonds added crunch. Only 450 calories and 16 grams of fat. Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” was about Uncle Joey.
Cons: Raspberry vinaigrette didn’t really work. Pretty pricey. Salad was hard to toss. I have no self-restraint. Not understanding irony. Comment board flame wars.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Nuggets

Prior to the creation of chicken nuggets, the only nuggets I’d ever known were those that have either the word “gold” or “nose” attached to them. When chicken nuggets first appeared on my sectioned school lunch tray, I was confused because I was told, unlike gold and nose nuggets, one didn’t need to do any digging in order to obtain them.

Since then, I’ve seen chicken nuggets more often than the others. This is probably due to nose nuggets being contained in Kleenex and gold being mostly seen in rapper chain/tooth form than in nugget form. As for chicken nuggets, I see them every time I walk through the frozen food aisle and, recently, whenever I pass by a Wendy’s, thanks to the huge window decal for their new Spicy Chicken Nuggets.

The Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Nuggets are made from white breast meat chicken, coated with Japanese-style breadcrumbs (panko) and packed with a number of spices like red peppers, chili peppers, turmeric, paprika and ground mustard seeds.

This orgy of spices may sound like the result of a McCormick spice factory explosion or Remy the rat from Ratatouille cooking while high on heroin, but the combination does give these chicken nuggets a nice amount of spice.

The heat didn’t immediately hit me, but instead slowly built up as I chewed my way through the carton of deep fried panko-ed goodness. If you’ve had Wendy’s Spicy Chicken sandwich, you’ll know how spicy these chicken nuggets can get. I was hoping the spices would provide the nuggets with enough flavor so that I wouldn’t need to use a dipping sauce, especially because of the use of ground mustard seeds, but that wasn’t the case.

The spices may not provide much flavor, but their heat does complement well with the variety of dipping sauces Wendy’s offers. They also have great crispy outside texture and were tender on the inside, much like their regular ones.

While I still personally prefer McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets with Hot Mustard Sauce when it comes to spicy chicken nuggets, I have to say these Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Nuggets are a tasty second option.

(Nutrition Facts – 5 pieces – 230 calories, 15 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 690 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 10 grams of protein, 4% vitamin C and 2% iron.)

Item: Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Nuggets
Price: $1.49 (Paid with a gift card I received from Wendy’s)
Size: 6-pieces
Purchased at: Wendy’s
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Nice amount of heat. No trans fats. Crispy exterior. Tender interior. Kleenex. Finding gold nuggets. Eating chicken nuggets.
Cons: Spices didn’t provide flavor. Remy high on heroin. Spice factory explosions. Eating nose nuggets.