That’s a Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger from Wendys. I haven’t seen it advertised. It’s listed under burgers on their website, but it’s not hyped on the front page or anything. We went there for dinner while running errands last night and, bam. Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger. Of course I had to try it. If I’d known it was going to be this mysterious I would have taken pictures.
I had nothing to go on besides a picture on the wall, so I had no expectations beyond a typical Wendy’s single (you can get a double or triple, also), bacon, cheese, and a ‘pretzel’ bun.
My first surprise was the rigid cardboard container this came in. Is this something new? It wasn’t the semi-floppy, glossy box that fast food has been coming in for years, it was more like a thin corrugated cardboard. Very rigid. Not just for this burger, there were little push-down sections for burger, chicken, special, etc. Opened up easily enough and there was my dripping pretzel burger.
I don’t know what part of my burger was giving off so much liquid, but it wasn’t very appetizing. Fortunately it hadn’t had time to soak through the seriously solid bun and, once lifted out, it wasn’t a big deal. There was the pretzel bun, the Wendy’s square patty, a slice of cheese, spring mix type greens, bacon, tomato, red onion rings, and a more-liquid-than-solid yellowish sauce that had mostly vacated the premises and filled a corner of my box. The website reveals what I was supposedly eating:
A delicious new twist on our classic hot n juicy cheeseburger with a sweet & smoky honey mustard sauce, melted cheddar cheese and applewood smoked bacon all on a warm, soft pretzel bun.
As I tried to identify the sauce, my wife asked what it was. I said I thought it was just more cheese. Then I thought maybe mustard. Mustard and pretzels make sense, right? I tasted it by itself. She asked what it tasted like. My response was easy. “Nothing. It doesn’t have any taste at all. Not cheese, not mustard, nothing.” Odd.
It clearly was neither “sweet” nor “smokey” nor “honey” nor “mustard”. It did appear to be sauce.
Melted cheddar? Hmmm…it could have been. Did I simply confuse the melted cheddar with the sauce? If so, there was no sauce. I don’t really like mustard. I tasted no mustard. I’m almost positive after reviewing the website more that this goo was supposed to be melted cheddar. Again. No sauce to be seen or tasted. I didn’t mind. I don’t like mustard. I put ketchup on it.
I didn’t taste any bacon. I don’t know what Wendys is doing, but their bacon is a waste of calories and time lately. I couldn’t taste it on my flatbread recently, either.
The tomato and onion were fine, although I removed the onion, which I don’t care for on sandwiches.
If you go to ‘customize’ on the website, it’s pretty funny. For the greens they actually have a picture of a salad, compete with container, going on the burger. Time for one more graphic instead of reusing that one, Wendys. So I have no clue what sort of greens it was supposed to be. I assume romaine given the picture of what appears to be the caesar salad. Again, it was their spring mix stuff. I don’t really have a clue, though. The picture up above there looks spring mix-y, right? It was pretty limp and lame, I took most of it off.
I still don’t know what the puddle was. Moisture from the greens? From the tomatoes? It wasn’t grease, it was water. No clue. Condensate from the melted cheddar?
Burger was a Wendys burger. Nothing new.
But the bun? Ah, that was a winner. The top was a little lame and didn’t hold up well, I think it was just sliced poorly such that the top was too thin and it kept trying to shoot off the tomatoes on top. The bottom was nice and thick, though, strongly supporting the whole drippy mess from first to last bite. Tasted separately, yes, it tasted a bit like pretzel. It was firm and chewy and really added a nice flavor to the burger. I’d love to just have a single on that bun without all the other ridiculousness above. I was pretty impressed. My wife, a serious pretzel fan, thought it was passably good, too.
All in all this wasn’t something I’d get again. It was too messy. Too much extra nonsense on there ballooning the calories without inflating the taste. But given the choice, I’d get one of those buns with something else.