(note: seems to be off the menu now)
Sitting on a few remaining Wendy’s coupons from a newspaper ad packet that came out earlier in the year and expiring soon, I decided to pretend to be healthier for lunch and try the new BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad for $2 off, putting it under $5 after tax. It was a smart move. Not only tasty, this salad was pretty filling.
Wendy’s describes their new creation as being “topped with fire-roasted corn, applewood smoked bacon, warm, grilled chicken and Marzetti® Simply Dressed® BBQ Ranch Dressing”. The salad base is a solid bowl of mixed greens including romaine (my preferred lettuce) and some random leafy green things. Everything was pretty fresh – at least as much as you’re going to get this time of year. There were also tomatoes and a hearty smattering of shredded cheese bits. The bacon wasn’t anything to write home about. Cold bacon gets hard, can we just accept that and move on? The chicken was hot to start with, sliced and placed onto the pre-assembled base of other ingredients that were very much refrigerator-cold, so its warmth didn’t last long. The dressing was also ice cold, I warmed it up as well as I could with my hands before applying. It all worked out.
There wasn’t anything unappealing in the entire bowl, I ate every scrap apart from a couple bits of the leafy things that had gotten crushed and semi-blackened, as those tender greens are wont to do. But they weren’t oozy or slimy as they would be if they were bruised and old, so they had that going for them. The chicken was fine. The corn was a nice touch, definitely showing the char marks from their ‘fire roasting’. The bacon helped add some meatiness to bites without chicken, a nice touch for us salad likers (vs. salad lovers). The BBQ Ranch dressing was pretty tasty – a little smoky but smooth and ranchy (very reminiscent of the saucing on the yummy McDonalds BBQ Ranch Burger) – and the full size salad came with two packets. I’m not usually shy with my dressing, but I only used about 1-1/2, which was plenty. There was enough chicken to fill me up and I’m glad I didn’t decide to add fries or a value menu burger or something to supplement this salad, it didn’t need it to be a filling lunch.
Maybe my favorite part is what I found out after checking out the website – only 580 calories and a decent 5 grams of fiber. OK, so the fat isn’t anything to write home about at 29 grams, but it’s not like I thought I was getting health food here. I’m not sure anything here called for 9 grams of saturated fat, though. I think they could have done better, especially since a surprising amount of each of those fat totals are from the salad blend – not the dressings or bacon. Of course the sodium is pretty ridiculous, but at this point what are you going to do? Cut a lot of it at home and do the best you can.
This is a win and I’d get it again, it was a nice change up for lunch.
Found at: Clifton Park Wendy’s (well prepared given the often-disappointing results from this Wendy’s)
[quick update – I am still eating these regularly. They are still good 🙂 ]
Look, you know I love you, Wendy’s BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad….but you gotta do better than this…barely cut chicken…two half slices of bacon otherwise uncut.