In the realm of fast food, Wendy's has a unique little niche.
The place is famous for delivering the highest class of fast food, just shy of wading out into the dangerous 'restaurant' territory.
Not only that, but several innovations have pushed Wendy's into the realm of collective consciousness. You've got those crazy square beef patties, the dollar menu, the variety of different menu items, and the stay-open-late policy.
So what did I do? I ate them all. All of those 99 cent items. I ate them all up and reviewed them all. Just for you.
What is Woodman's you ask? Only the greatest grocery store ever made, that's what.
Firstly, it's open 24 hours. Who's gonna fuck with that, tell me.
Secondly, it's got more variety than any other store I've ever seen. Whoever said that less is more would get a leg drop from Mr. Woodman himself if they came into the store.
Thirdly, it's employee owned, which means the workers at least have a say in the rules, and the money isn't going off to line Sam Walton's already bursting pockets.
Lastly, and not and definitely not leastly, its cheap. It's dammmmnnnn cheap. Kohl's? Cub? Goddamn Big-Y? This place has them beat in every single aisle. Thoreau had it right when he said "That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest."
Woodman's shares the same parking lot as the local Wendy's, so it was only natural we drop in for a few necessities. In Brett's case here, coffee and milk.
This is a picture of Brett comparing prices in the 'Cheap' coffee section. Is your mind spinning? Are your palms sweating? I sure hope so because there is a hell of lot of choices you have here.
But I mean what is a choice anyway? When it boils down to pure dollars and cents, you're gonna get the cheapest can of coffee you can find, which is exactly what Brett did.
Chase & Sanborn, $3.99.
The milk. There is alot of milk. A hell of alot of milk. And not only that but it sells for $1.90 a gallon, a buck less than some places are selling gasoline.
Did I mention I love this place?
So lets drive over to Wendy's.
Wendy's had the original 'open late' policy, where the drive thru will stay open until 1am at least. For this reason, I have frequented Wendy's alot. I love it. And even more, I love their 99 cent value menu.
Let's look at two options here. You're goddamn hungry, and you drive up to the local Wendy's. Are you gonna cough out over $5 for one of their value meals that consist of one overpriced burger and a thing of cold fries? Or are you gonna buy three Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers and five chicken nuggets for $4?
i mean seriously.
It was around 12:00 when we got to the Wendy's, which means the lobby was well closed up. That won't stop noone however, not when they've got a camera in their hand and a pocketful of bills.
When ordering, I just went down the value menu, ordering everything for 99 cents. It turns out that the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger was in fact $1.09. I figured that there had to be some sort of grandfather clause with the ordering, since the Junior Bacon Cheeseburger had been a staple on the 99 cent menu since it was first conceived, maybe 6 or so years ago. So Tom ended up fronting the extra 10 cents.
See, my strategy was to eat the chili first because I figured it would go through me the fastest, being chili and all. Then the potato, while everything would still taste delicious.
I started off with the note taking, but that duty soon passed to Mark after the second item. His handwriting is better than mine, anyway. Tom and Brett kind of stood around looking at each other, chasing the occasional stray cat or playing video games.
So let's eat.
Let's talk about chili. Damn delicious chili this is, and damn filling. I was getting full getting spoons full of meat in this, especially at the end. There were plenty of nice peppers and just enough beans, but not too many.
Damn this was good chili. Sure it was served lukewarm, sure the spiciness was 'mild' at best. After eating it, I almost was not hungry afterwards, and it's worth a dollar of mine any day.
Grade: A friggin +
NOTE: Apparently there is a spice packet that is supposed to come with this, which makes it spicier I guess. I would have used this, which would have probably made it more delicious, which means I give it an extra +.
You like ice do ya? Want some drink with that ice? I added Hi-C to mine, figuring it to be the most neutral of all. And you know what? I was right. Toward the end I was drinking colored water is what I was doing. There was no reason for that much ice.
I'll be honest though, it sure was sweet while it lasted. The Hi-C that is. People don't typically hang onto a cup of icy Hi-C for more than 15 minutes.
But I'll be honest again. This was not worth a dollar. I would have gotten water if the damn drink wasn't selling for 99 cents. Fuck this drink.
Sam: What we need is a few good taters.
How right you are Sam... potatoes indeed. Wendy's servers theirs baked, with a sprinkle of chives and a sour cream packet.
Eating potatoes is the way to go if you don't want to be hungry. It happened to be that this potato I ate was more filling than half the other items put together. In a blender, I suppose. Really. Let's say if I hadn't eaten in 10 hours and I came to a Wendy's with a single dollar in my pocket, I would buy this potato.
Let's talk about taste now. I mean potatoes are bland, let's face it. They just don't taste like anything, which is why we try to smother them in cheese or boil them in salty oil before eating them. The chives trick didn't work, Wendy. It still tasted like nothing. Let's just say I wrote 'flaccid' in my notebook. I mean Wendy dropped the ball on making this taste like something, I'm sorry.
Because not getting hungry is a damn important thing in my book.
The chicken nuggets. The goddamn, motherfuckin', Wendy's chicken nuggets.
I've eaten so many of these damn nuggets it blows my mind. Really. I love these things.
So take it from me when I say these 5 nuggets turned out to be the 5 shittiest chicken nuggets ever made, ever. They were soggy, tasteless, and gross. It was like biting into a sponge soaked in oil, with the texture of an overcooked noodle. Lukewarm, barely, and let's just say I wrote 'flaccid' again. Not only that but I didn't get my damn BBQ sauce.
Poor form, Wendy.
Who can say that getting a Frostie is ever a bad decision?! It's gonna be runny, maybe 60% of the time, but that's ok because a Frosty is damn delicious. Mine tasted exactly like chocolate milk with almost too much chocolate, and I got a cold headache to boot.
This one was drippy, sure, but it's still nice to have a chocolate milk once in a while, and why not pay a dollar for it! I mean it's worth it, I suppose.
The Junior Bacon Cheeseburger
Or as it is affectionately called by it's all encompassing fanbase, the JBC.
A JBC has six ingredients: 2 strips of Bacon, one leaf of lettuce, 1-2 slices of tomato, cheese, bun, and a goddamn beef patty. (You can get mayo, but why one would ever put mayonnaise on this is beyond me.) In this age of technology, it's nearly impossible to screw that combination of ingredients up. I like these burgers, but mostly, I like bacon.
This particular beef patty was slightly dry, and seemed to have a shit ton of cheese smothered on it. Or maybe because I was inspecting it and all, and had just never noticed it before when I would mindlessly eat 3 or 4 of these without speaking a single word.
Sometimes you're gonna want some fries. It's healthy to get a few fries working their way through your system once in a while. I was looking forward to eating these fries. But hold on, look at that picture, these fries were leaving stain marks on the cardboard. These things were far, far greaser than the chicken nuggets. It's like I was eating straws full of oil.
Saving these things till now did nothing to keep them warm. Wendy's fries are served notoriously cold, and these ones were no exception. Holding them in the wind didn't help matters either. These fries were very very bad. They still tasted like fries, sure, and they were damn salty, but I was definitely fighting my way through these. Ketchup would have helped, but no dice tonight.
The cheeseburger deluxe is exactly the same as the JBC, except instead of bacon, you get pickles, onions, and ketchup. This means, I almost never buy this hamburger, because bacon is far more filling than onion pickles and ketchup.
I, however, was not in the market for curing hunger at this point, and the change in flavor was very much welcomed. Eating this was like after watching a really boring speaker lecture on and on, the next guy shows a Simpsons clip.
The dill pickles slices, however delicious, were not at all crisp, and had a count of exactly 3.The onions were even more pitiful, amounting to two tiny discs.
There was also a nickel-sized patch of uncooked dough in the bun, with the texture of slightly dried flour-water paste. One thing is for sure, you get what you pay for.
At this point I was definitely looking forward to these salads. And this particular salad was without a doubt the tastiest salad I've had in quite a while. Wendy knows what's up with the Caesar. It's got full green leaves of romaine lettuce, plenty of bacon bits, some sort of cheese and an amazing dressing. The flavor was cool and mild, and the lettuce was crisp and fresh-like.
Eating this at this point was absolutely perfect. A good Caesar salad is something you just don't get every day. This sucker is big, too. Real big. And they didn't skimp on any bacon either. Is it real bacon? I don't know for sure but it tasted just fine to me. They didn't give me any croutons, but at this point, I didn't mind one bit.
Note: Wendy's actually forgot this item, and it wasn't until I was eating the fries till someone noticed and then Tom had to go back and get it.
After the last salad, I was thinking to myself, how could Wendy top that last salad? How is it even possible?
Turns out, it isn't possible. Especially with the house salad. This salad was a disgrace in every sense of the word. What they give you is some chunks of iceberg lettuce, three cherry tomatoes, a handful of carrot peels, another two onion discs and three of the thinnest cucumber slices you've ever seen. I mean really. I've seen bibles paper with more heft than these cucumbers.
Oh and salad dressing. Wendy will give you plenty of salad dressing with this here salad. I chose House Vinaigrette, and used maybe a third of the package and my salad was still swimming in oil. This was nasty, straight up, served cold.
The tomatoes were alright, but you can only eat so many tomatoes. In my case, it was three. The lettuce? Tasted like oil. I even got the iceberg rind in there. There was some discussion as to whether or not I was obliged to eat it, but I settled that discussion by throwing it off into the darkness.
Christ this salad was bad. For whatever reason one tends to eat slower the worse it tastes, and I was chewing mightily slowly towards the end here. What a way to end.
Oh right, there were some saltines that we found at the end that i guess are supposed to go with the chili. I am including them here just to make a point that eating these saltines was far more enjoyable than eating that last salad. I hated that damn salad.
So there we have it. Wendy's. All of it.
The important part anyway.