Last week, I talked about how the focus of fast food restaurants has undoubtedly shifted from the value menu to higher quality, higher-priced items in the last few years. What I did not mention is that Wendy’s has been one of the leaders on that front.
It seems it was just a short year ago one could get a Double Stack or Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger for $.99 on the Wendy’s value menu. And did I ever. I would often fill up with 2 Double Stacks and a small Frosty (also $.99) for just $2.97+tax. Then, last October, they revamped their burgers; along with that came raised prices. Double Stacks are now $1.69. I still get them instead of switching to the premium burgers, which tells you how astronomical the prices are. The Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy Single will set you back $3.99! Maybe that’s a reasonable price, and the previous numbers were extremely low. Either way, it seems Wendy’s has some of the highest prices out there. Enter the Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club.
Released nationally last week, Wendy’s newest addition is described as follows:
The Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club starts with Wendy’s original Spicy Chicken whole filet that gets its kick from Wendy’s own special blend of seven spices, and brings extra heat with a slice of all-natural pepper jack cheese. To balance the heat, add a zesty ranch sauce and creamy, natural guacamole. And, what’s a club sandwich without bacon? Wendy’s thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, a full slice of tomato and crisp, hand-leafed lettuce, all on a buttered toasted bun.
Consumers who live on the mild side can substitute the Spicy Chicken Filet for the Homestyle breaded Chicken Filet or Ultimate Chicken Grill, because like all of Wendy’s menu items, the Spicy Chicken Guacamole Club is made to order.
In my area, these bad boys are going for $4.79. I don’t think I’ve ever paid that much for a single item at a fast food restaurant. Scratch that, I’ve had 20 McNuggets for $4.99. But that’s 20 McNuggets. This is a single chicken sandwich. That would be about as ridiculous as if they charged $4.99 for a single cheeseburger with bacon. What’s that? The Baconator single is $4.99? Oh. Nevermind, then.
So I went to Wendy’s to pick up the Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club (from now on I’m calling it the SGCC; that name is way too long). I also got a Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy single, for which I had a coupon, thinking I might not eat all of the chicken sandwich. Sometimes I don’t finish the item I’m reviewing (see McRib).
When I got back home and opened the bag, I realized that the SGCC is enormous. It outweighed the burger, and it wasn’t even close. I opened it up and peered inside. I found a huge piece of chicken, a good bit of guac, a ton of ranch and a scant amount of bacon, as well as two pieces of lettuce and two slices of tomato. All on a pretty hefty bun. I started to see why it’s $4.79; this sandwich is a meal just by itself.
My favorite fast food chicken sandwich is, without question, the KFC Doublicious. No, not the one with two pieces of chicken. That’s the Double Down. I’m talking about the Doublicious. A boneless chicken filet with bacon, cheese, and Colonel’s sauce, on a sweet Hawaiian bun. I’ve been eating it semi-regularly for a couple years now. A quick Google search reveals that I may be the only person who enjoyed eating this sandwich. But I did, and I still do. So maybe my taste in fast-food chicken sandwiches is a little off. But I’ll tell you right now, the Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club (typed out for full effect) is the best chicken sandwich on the fast food market.
I don’t even know how to begin to describe the jamboree of flavors that is the SGCC. I guess since it’s a chicken sandwich we’ll start with the chicken. As I mentioned, the piece of chicken is enormous. It’s not juicy but not dry either. It is a spicy chicken filet, so there is a noticeable, lingering heat in the breading. Not so much that you breathe fire, but enough that you reach for your drink a couple of times.
That heat is countered by the creaminess of the guac and ranch. The guacamole is very good. I was expecting it to be pretty average. I mean, how good could mass-produced, fast-food guac be? But it was spot on. It had a robust flavor; very herby, if I may use a word that I’m not sure is actually a word. It also gave the sandwich an earthy component which was quite nice. The SGCC would still be good without the guacamole, but it would be very heavy. The guac gives the sandwich a great balance.
The “zesty” ranch sauce was applied liberally, and was very flavorful. Also countering the spicy chicken filet was pepper-jack cheese. I couldn’t really taste it through all of the awesomeness that was going on, but it did add another creamy element. I tore off a little piece to taste and it still didn’t have much flavor at all.
Next you have the bacon. There wasn’t much of it, but I could still taste it. Wendy’s new bacon (I say new, but it’s probably been a year or two since they changed it) is delectable. Crispy but not dry, with that great Applewood-smoked flavor.
If there’s one negative about this sandwich it’s the lettuce and tomato which, as always, I could’ve done without. They seemed to be good enough quality, but to me lettuce and tomato are just filler. Of course, it’s not a big deal since I can just take them off or better yet, order the sandwich sans veggies.
I almost forgot the bun; I quite liked it. Very soft; good, buttery flavor; nicely toasted.
Needless to say, I ate the entire thing and saved the burger for later.
So there you have it. The best chicken sandwich out there. I’ll be honest; I don’t know if I’ll ever order it again. Partly because despite the size and flavor, $4.79 is a lot for one sandwich, even though it is definitely worth it. Partly because 2 Double Stacks costs almost a buck and a half less and I like having multiple items. And partly because it’s one of the best things I’ve ever eaten, and I want to always look back on this sandwich as being legen- wait for it, and I hope you’re not lactose-intolerant because the second half of that word is – dary. Like cartoons from my childhood. I look back at them and reminisce about how awesome they were, but I’ve watched a couple of them recently and they weren’t nearly as great as I remember them. Not that the SGCC wouldn’t be just as amazing if I ate it again, but I don’t want to take any chances on ruining that memory. I don’t know if that made any sense. It’s 3 AM.
So if it’s the last thing you do in your life, eat this sandwich (and if you’re not much into spicy things, substitute the regular chicken at no extra cost). I promise you won’t regret it. Because you’ll be dead. But also because it’s delicious.