Monday, May 24, 2010
TBG Eats: The NEW Bacon & Blue Burger from Wendy's
Current Weight: 169.0 lbs.
Here are my five favorite salad dressings – in ascending order:
(5) – Trader Joe's Reduced Fat Cilantro: Even though this is (a) mass-produced salad dressing in a bottle; (b) reduced fat and (c) sans actual cilantro, Trader Joe's neon-green salad topping has been my infrequent lunch date for the past few years. Add this to any salad and mix in some cayenne-dusted chicken breast and tortilla strips. You'll thank me later. And, yes, I'm well aware that this salad dressing is actually a 25-year-old Canadian import.
(4) – Honey Mustard: You wouldn't know it from my emaciated frame, but I'm a big fan of those 2,000-calorie salads served at America's favorite casual dining restaurants. My favorite is pretty much any variation on the fried chicken salad. I think it's called "The Haystack" at Hard Rock Café and there are a few regional chains here on the west coast that call it a "country chicken salad". You're sure to be embarrassed if you're with me when I order one. I fork-dip each piece of deep-fried yard bird into the honey mustard dressing (which I always order on the side) and then drown my salad with the remaining dressing – that's now greasy and filled with breaded shrapnel. YUM!
(3) – Thousand Island: Considering I spent most of my pre-teen years in a long embrace with obesity, it's not surprising that some of my earliest childhood memories of my grandparents include Sunday dinner and their homemade thousand island dressing. I had to be the only six-year-old who looked forward to the side order of salad. Theirs was incredibly flavorful, wonderfully chunky and – on occasion – loaded with crumbled bacon. Years later, I was raving about this dressing to my girlfriend at the time. She could barely stifle her laughter before she broke my heart: "Thousand island? That's just ketchup, mayonnaise and a hard-boiled egg." You forgot an ingredient, Kelli. It's called "love". THAT'S why we're no longer together.
(2) – Caesar: In the rambling, non-review part of a previous food review, I mentioned that – at the behest of another then-girlfriend – I gave up red meat for a few years. At the time, the entrée-size Chicken Caesar salad became my restaurant fallback. Looking back, it's hard to believe I ever landed Mrs. Bootleg with the amount of garlic, parmesan, black pepper and – on occasion – anchovies that was on my breath. Fortunately, this was at the tail end of my college years and the not-so-subtle stank of Bud Ice or Rolling Rock usually cancelled out Caesar's scent.
(1) – Blue Cheese: I'd always been on good terms with blue cheese, but, growing up, we never really had it in my house. My dad was all about Italian dressing. Blue cheese was that fancy-dan condiment in the oddly-long jar with Bob's Big Boy and his checkerboard belly on the front. Back in 2002, while on a business trip to Austin, Texas, I was served something called a "blue cheese wedge" salad. I'd never had one before and I've never forgotten it since. Now, I don't even need it to be dressing. Show me a salad with crumbled blue cheese and I'm on board.
Speaking of which, have you heard about Wendy's new Bacon and Blue burger? (Hey, it only took about 500 words to get here.) According to Wendy's website:
Fresh, never frozen beef covered in real blue cheese crumbles layered with four strips of thick, fresh-cooked Applewood Smoked Bacon. Topped off with sautéed onions, a creamy steakhouse sauce, lettuce and tomato.
Blue cheese, bacon, sautéed onions and a creamy sauce of some kind. Together, this should've been the easiest "5" score ever achieved. Instead, this burger never really came together for me.
As usual, I'd ordered at the drive-thru window and hoped like hell that the 10-minute drive back to Stately Bootleg Manor would give the ingredients a chance to blend together and meld flavors. Unfortunately, the onions remained stiffly positioned atop the bacon, which – tragically – had no effect on the dry bits of blue cheese. The creamy sauce of some kind couldn't even be bothered to absorb into the bun. Everything was just…there.
Separately, the ingredients were decent enough, but this might be the biggest missed opportunity in "TBG Eats'" lightly-read run. In my heart, I believe there's greatness buried within this burger. I'm inclined to give it a second chance to impress me, but for now…
Grade: 3 (out of 5) Calories: 690 Fat: 42g