The shameful bronze. The withering yellow ribbon. Third place sucks. What's the number-three U.S. burger chain supposed to do, what with Burger King's Steakhouse and McDonald's Angus burgers all up in its freckle-faced grill?
Dig the scene on Wall Street last May:
Wall Street Analysts: Listen, you redheaded freak, you're losing the burger war. What are you going to do about it?
Wendy: Hey, I know! I'll make a new hamburger! It'll have bacon, and blue cheese, and high-fructose corn syrup — all kinds of neat stuff! And it'll make people very, very fat!
Wall Street Analysts: Yeah? What else?
Wendy: Um, it'll be expensive?
Wall Street Analysts: Damn right it'll be expensive. Now get back to your food hole and start cookin', you little brat.
Wendy: (crying) Daddy Thomas, I miss you!
Introduced nationally in February and rumored to go away in April, Wendy's Bacon & Blue Burger is the chain's first major burger special since the '07 cardio-clogging Baconator. But, hey, the blue cheese, right? No one's got a blue-cheese-piggybacked patty out there in fry land. I couldn't wait to give this baby a big bite.
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Saying Wendy's Bacon & Blue Burger is an indulgence is like saying a hoarder's house is untidy. The Blue weighs in at 680 calories and 40 grams of fat — 15 of those babies being the saturated kind, 75 percent of your recommended daily allowance. Know that toxic chemical brew called high-fructose corn syrup? The Blue's got it in three places: the ketchup, the "Creamy Steakhouse Spread," and even the freakin' bun. Add the burger, tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, four strips of bacon, onions, blue cheese crumbles, four dill pickle slices, mustard, a slice of American cheese, and a price tag of $4.29 and you've got a costly pudge patty that'd better pack a punch.
Nope. No punch. Not even a jab.
For starters, Wendy, if blue cheese is one of your signature ingredients, pile that patty high and proud with it. I tasted it in only half my bites. Second, with an ingredient list that reads like the Magna Carta, your burger's bang is buried. Lastly, there's the tsunami of salt. Three refills at the soda machine? Seriously. Note to the Bacon & Blue biters: Make sure to tell your gut it's got a friend for the next 12 hours. This burger's squattin' in your breadbasket big-time, and it's not accepting visitors.
The Wendy's Bacon & Blue Burger. Great idea. Poor execution. Third-place position secured, at least for now.