FOOD: Wendy’s – Breakfast Baconator

I’ve had enough chicken! It’s breakfast time, boys! Wendy’s recently debuted an all-new breakfast menu, hoping to keep up with the rising trend of fast food breakfasts. Wendy’s for a long time has been the only member of the Big Three burger chains to not serve breakfast. While McDonald’s and Burger King have been slinging sausage for years, Wendy’s has only had Breakfast on and off through the decades. They tried in 2005, but pulled it in 2006 after bad reception. They tried in 2012, but stopped in 2013 after concerns that the breakfast menu was distracting from their main menu. They couldn’t seem to find the right balance that the other chains could.

Now they’re giving it another crack, with an all-new menu. This time it seems like Wendy’s knows what the people like, because the headliner attraction is a little concoction known as the Breakfast Baconator. Oh yes, that legendary mountain of meat gets a breakfast counterpart.  

Hit the jump to find out if Wendy can finally get this breakfast thing right.

Call us weird, but the bacon hamburger is really the only way to go when it comes to fast food burgers. All kinds of fast food burger vegetable toppings are outright disgusting: the lettuce limp, the tomatoes mealy, the onions pale. The only thing you can really trust if you’re going to get a burger at a fast food joint is the meat, so why not go all in on it?

The Breakfast Baconator came in a combo with a drink and, to our immense surprise and joy, potato wedges instead of regular fries! Most fast food places do hash browns as their side for breakfast, so fried wedges of potato are a delightful alternative. 

The sandwich was a little smaller than a regular Baconator, being composed of only one sausage patty. The bun was the same as a regular Wendy’s hamburger bun. Also on the sandwich were a fried egg, plenty of bacon, and a Swiss cheese sauce.

The Swiss cheese sauce is the most interesting addition here. The regular Baconator has ordinary mayo and ketchup on it, providing sweet and creamy elements against the saltiness of the meat. Our first bite into the Breakfast Baconator was… a little sour? The Swiss cheese sauce was a little sour and bitter, in the way Swiss cheese is supposed to be, but it was a little funky to be the first thing we tasted upon bite.

The sausage patty, too, was a bit bitter tasting. It didn’t have the same kind of spices that other fast food sausage patties have, giving it a totally unique flavor. The sausage meat also had a much looser grind, more like a regular hamburger than sausage. 

The egg was also very “eggy”. Was it that the egg was fresher than we’re used to, or not fresh enough? It didn’t stink or taste bad, it just tasted very very strongly of egg. It’s hard to describe, just the most subtle undercurrents of sulfur. It wasn’t runny, with the yolk cooked all the way through but not too grainy.

But the most important part of a Baconator is the bacon, and the bacon here was… just fine. Chewy, salty bacon, the same exact as what would go on a burger-based Baconator. In our opinion, the Breakfast Baconator would have worked better if it was crispier. Maybe that’s a bit nitpicky, but the bacon is the most important element, right? It’s a Baconator!

We’d also like to take some time to go over the potato wedges, the thing that was definitely the best part of this meal. Thank you, the ghost of Dave Thomas still living inside a necklace that Wendy Thomas owns that the executives of the Wendy’s company still consult when they need business advice, for putting potato wedges on the menu. These are the superior form of fried potato, no matter what. French fries are good, but wedges have the surface area to provide both crisp skin and fluffy insides every time. Hash browns can’t compare and almost always end up as a sodden mess in a paper sack. These potato wedges actually tasted like potatoes. Do you know how hard it is in this fast food game to get fried potato that still tastes like potato and not the bottom of a fryolator? 

4 out of 5 – Worth Trying (Worth Getting Again)

This meal sits in an odd space for us, because it doesn’t feel like it merits its rating, but we can’t pinpoint anything about it that we actively dislike. We’ll probably get it again… but we don’t know when. Its flavor was just a little odd, a little complex. What could have been done differently? Use a regular American cheese sauce, or cheaper sausage? That’s unthinkable – this is Wendy’s, they wouldn’t want to use anything less than the “fanciest” ingredients.

Wendy’s attempt to be the most “upscale” of the major hamburger chains has been to its detriment before, but on the whole their offerings remain fresh and perfectly edible. If normal fast food breakfast lets you down, give the Breakfast Baconator a try. Otherwise… why not try their breakfast chicken sandwich?

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