Review of Wendy’s Baconator
What they say:
This one goes out to all the discerning carnivores. Thick-cut Applewood Smoked Bacon, two 1/4 lb patties and even more bacon for a grand total of six (6) fresh-cooked, never microwaved strips. Topped off with mayo, ketchup and cheese on a premium toasted bun to hold the meaty masterpiece together.
Calories: 950 (450 more in the Baconator fries).
The explosion of so-called gourmet burger options on both sides of the Atlantic means that it can often be easy to over look the mainstream chains. This is not an accusation that can be levelled at this excellent site, with its frequent and timely reviews of new launches from the likes of KFC, McDonald’s and Burger King.
In the USA, there are many more sizeable chains, with operators like Carl’s Jr, recent UK arrival Steak & Shake and Jack in the Box all giving their larger competitors a decent run for their money. Wendy’s, which sadly closed its doors in the UK over 15 years ago, trades through over 6,500 restaurants in around 30 different countries and is the third largest global operator after McD and BK.
As a frequent visitor to Connecticut for work, I always look forward to my visits to Wendy’s as it is generally a pleasant experience and makes a nice change from its larger rivals which are obviously more than commonplace in the UK. Another spot I look forward to is the smaller Wayback chain – and I’ll aim to submit a review from there next time I visit.
Famed for its square patties and use of fresh beef and bacon, Wendy’s has traditionally had something of a more quality-led approach than many competitors. This advantage has been eroded as a number of rivals have been raising their own game on quality and provenance too, although I would suggest that the Wendy’s patties do often taste a cut above those from other mainstream chains.
There is no real signature burger as such at Wendy’s, although the Dave’s Single, Double and Triple are generally top of the bill. The Baconator family – usually consisting of the Baconator and the smaller Son of Baconator – can occasionally be augmented through the sporadic appearance of the awesome Triple Baconator but at the time of my visit the normal Baconator sounded like the best option.
It’s worth taking a minute to hail the genius of the accompanying side, the Baconator Fries.
These really are a top drawer companion to the main event: Wendy’s excellent fries topped off with grated cheddar, some of that deliciously industrial hot squeezy cheese sauce and a generous extra pile of bacon. In case the six slices on the Baconator burger weren’t enough.
Sure, these are by no means an artisanal creation for food purists, but they are the absolute bomb in terms of flavour and texture. Wonderful stuff.
The burger itself is really up there among my favourites in terms of regular menu items from one of the bigger chains. The bun is very good indeed, with a rich taste and enough heft to it to contain all of the deliciousness within. The patties, as already noted, are very good, their distinctive square shape containing a well-developed beef taste and a pleasingly juicy nature.
The bacon, the six servings varying from incredibly crispy to a bit moister and more pliable, ensures that this burger really does live up to its name, mouthfuls of beef, bread and cheese being given a great backdrop of taste and texture from the delightful Applewood smoked bacon.
Finished up with two slices of cheese and a more than ample slathering of mayo and ketchup, the Baconator remains one of my favourite mainstream offerings from the USA. It also serves two other purposes: to remind us why we overlook the big chains at our peril and to keep the flame of hope burning that Wendy’s might one day return to our humble shores.