Thursday, January 21, 2010

TBG Eats: Wendy's Double Baconator AND Spicy Chicken Nuggets

Current Weight: 165.6 lbs.

TBG reader Jag writes:

Hey Aaron,

One of the best parts of your blog is the fast food reviews but I'm curious on your take on Wendy's. It's my favourite as I'm hooked on the Baconator (although I'm in Canada and I've found that sometimes the fast food tastes somewhat different in the States).

Well, let's see…I've been in the lightly-read blog business for just over three years. In that time, I've written close to 150 posts with the "Food n' Drink" label. According to the Blogger™ search function, only two of those posts have been about Wendy's. And, neither the
Steakhouse Double Melt nor 4-Alarm Spicy Chicken Sandwich is still on Wendy's menu.

This really isn't an indictment on the restaurant. I've always admired the brand as Wendy's was responsible for one of the defining
marketing campaigns of my youth. They successfully rebranded themselves as a "family values" fast food restaurant in the 1990s with these commercials and, in recent years, have removed themselves from the so-called "burger wars" with their "way better than…" ads.

But, while the former marketing major within me digs what Wendy's has done, the unspeakably lazy and aging Black man within me has noticed there really aren't any Wendy's near my house or flanking my commute.

Fortunately for both of us, Jag, yesterday presented quite a favorable set of circumstances.

Y'see, Mrs. Bootleg is having one of those "thank Allah it's ain't me" medical procedures later this morning. Consequently, she was ordered not to eat anything on Wednesday save for sports drinks and chicken broth. Not wanting to eat in front of her – and knowing full well she'd selfishly use her situation as an excuse to NOT cook – I swung by Wendy's on my way home from work.

I was especially famished, as I'd made the mistake of eating in the employee cafeteria for lunch. My chicken tortilla soup shared the taste and texture of tepid Crisco after a 60-minute frying session. So, I ordered a Double Baconator and five-piece Spicy Chicken Nuggets. Take it from here, Wendy's website:

The Double Baconator is made up of two 1/4 lb. patties topped with juicy Applewood smoked bacon in between a premium fresh bun. Topped off with mayo, ketchup, and American cheese.

As I write this, it's been about five hours since I finished this farm animal slaughterhouse sandwich. I assure you, it feels like a helluva lot more than half a pound of cow in my belly. I was surprised at how much I missed the vegetable-based condiments here. The texture of some lettuce, tomatoes and onions probably would've made the Baconator easier to eat.

As it was, it felt like I was lifting a two-dollar steak off my tray and gnawing straight from the bone. Going with the double was gastronomic overkill on my part – way too much cheese, way too much meat (and just enough bacon, thank you very much.) In my experience, the taste of a Wendy's hamburger has always been all about the toppings. Here, the bacon – in both quality and quantity – tries its damndest, but can't carry the Baconator past average.

The five-piece Spicy Chicken Nuggets are currently featured for just 99 cents. They're a pretty nice size for snack food with a stiff Tabasco-colored breading that coats the heavily-processed meat within. They're miles from "spicy", of course, but with the right dipping sauce (I chose honey-mustard) the sum has more flavor than you'd expect.

I look forward to Mrs. Bootleg topping my single-sitting caloric intake from last evening when she gets the green light to eat again later today.

Grade (Double Baconator): 2.5 (out of 5)
970 calories 60g fat

Spicy Chicken Nuggets: 3
230 calories 15g fat


Jeff Hansen said...

I *thought* that Twitpic looked like it had square patties!

CFL broadcasts are FILLED with ads for Wendy's, so last year we were constantly barraged with ads for the Baconator (particularly this one, It's bacon, right? How could it go wrong? So we finally loaded up two cars to go, and damned if it wasn't one of the more disgusting experiences of my fast food life. All grease, no flavor.

The ads are now showing the spicy nuggets, so I've been considering a similar road trip for now. Sounds like it's not worth going out of my way for, though.

If you're taking "TBG Eats" requests, I must demand Dairy Queen's chicken flamethrower. Every part of it is delicious; it's my absolute favorite fast food.

That Bootleg Guy said...

Yeah, Wendy's would do well to take the focus off of their "fresh, never frozen" beef and maybe TRY adding some salt, pepper or artificial flavoring of some kind.

And, I can't believe I've never had the Flamethrower. Love the DQ commercials. Consider it added!

Joe said...

We watched a video in one of my college classes about Dave Thomas. They said that the Wendy's patties are square because "Dave didn't like to cut corners."

Jag said...

Whoa! I didn't mean the double baconator! I haven't eaten that myself! I'm satisfied with the regular baconator.

The thing is, being in Canada and having a satellite hook-up, I can watch a lot of American commercials and man, your fast food burgers look HUGE in comparison to ours. I wonder if a Wendy's baconator in San Diego would taste different than one in, say, Toronto...

That Bootleg Guy said...

NOW, you tell me! Seriously, though, I made the conscious - and foolish - decision to go with the double. Six hours later, I could still feel it when I went to bed. Digest, dammit, digest!

And, Joe, I heard the same thing about Dave's square burger rationale. I'd argue that circular patties have NO corners to cut, but hey, he's the deceased multi-millionaire, so he's doing something right.