Review: Bacon Portabella Melt from Wendy’s

On October 1, Wendy’s will roll out their new Bacon Portabella Melt nationwide. The new sandwich includes three strips of Applewood smoked bacon, two slices of American cheese, an all-beef patty, cheese sauce and mushrooms. However, the label “new” should be taken with a grain of salt. So far, it seems like the only difference between this sandwich and Wendy’s Bacon Mushroom Melt is an extra slice of cheese on the new Portabella Melt, as well as designated portabella mushrooms and cheese sauce instead of just regular mushrooms and cheese sauce.

Luckily, the sandwich is already available in Minnesota so I had the chance to try it early. The Bacon Portabella Melt at my local Wendy’s in Maple Grove, MN was $4.39 for a single ($6.59 for a meal) while a double was priced at $5.49 ($7.69 for a meal). A triple patty was also available at $7.39 for the sandwich, ($9.75 for the combo), but for my order I went down the middle of the road and chose a double patty. The sandwich came wrapped in plain white paper, propped up in a typical Wendy’s sandwich box with the “Quality Sandwiches Made Fresh…” slogan. Which is to say, no special packaging for the Bacon Portabella Melt, at least not yet.

The sandwich itself was a medley of several flavors that worked well in some places and not so much in others. Fittingly, the starring ingredient of the Bacon Portabella Melt was the mushrooms. They were soft but not slimy and provided little explosions of savory flavor. And as it turned out, the sandwich needed those explosions of flavor – although the quality of the ground beef was decent, there was just too much of it, which resulted in a big volume-to-flavor ratio. Luckily, the bacon and cheese/cheese sauce brought it home. Actually, the bacon was a little bit of a disappointment, considering it won GrubGrade’s recent poll of the best bacon in fast food. It was made up of mostly fat and was not crispy, nor did it have any mind-blowing texture. However, it did have a nice understated salty/smoky flavor that paired well with the mushrooms and the rest of the sandwich. Finally, the cheese and sauce gave the sandwich that extra you’re-definitely-going-to-have-a-heart-attack-before-you’re-fifty oomph.

In the end, this is was a decent sandwich – worth getting if you’re on the run and need grub stat. However, I’d go with a single patty in stead of a double because it’s a more reasonable price and has less plain ground beef to drown out all the other flavors.

Business-wise, Wendy’s is in a good spot right now, having passed up Burger King as the number two fast food restaurant in the country back in March. Will their thinly-disguised efforts to promote old sandwiches under fancy buzzwords like “portabella” pay off in consumer interest? We’ll find out on October 1.

Pros: Stand-out mushrooms, flavor cohesion with a single patty.

Cons: Kind of expensive, sad bacon, too much ground beef with a double or triple patty, shameless re-branding.

Taste: 6.50/10
Value: 5.75/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.50/10
Price: $4.39 (single), $5.49 (double), $7.39 (triple)

Overall GrubGrade: 6.25/10

More Info: Wendys.com
Nutrition Facts:
Nutrition Info Not Available

20 comments on “Review: Bacon Portabella Melt from Wendy’s

  1. ljay says:

    Nice review.

    Double meat on most burgers is overkill imo. From 5 Guys to Wendy’s, the single version always seems to provide better balance. The possible exception to that rule is the Mcdonalds double cheeseburger simply because the patty is so thin.

    Two items that I’m not a fan of on burgers. BBQ sauce and liquid cheese. 9 out of 10 times I’ll pass on a burger if it contains one of these items.

  2. lswaidz says:

    I was reading your review as I was eating one of these, as I was curious what the sauce was… I’m thinking your Wendy’s made this wrong, Sam. The sandwich I received had a sauce on it, but I wouldn’t cnosider it a cheese sauce – it tasted almost like the thousand-island that Burger King puts on their Stackers. The bacon on my sandwich was thick cut and the beef patties were perfectly cooked. The mushrooms were firm and tasted almost like they’d been marinated in soy… I was VERY impressed with this sandwich. It’s been my impression that fast food places doing mushrooms is akin to buying those canned mushroom caps, but this was large, full slices of portabella with a sauce that complimented the mix of beef and mushroom flavors. Looking at the pictures of your sandwich, I’m thinking somebody messed up. Maybe give it a week and try it again? I was extremely impressed with the one I had today, and would go as far as to say it’s the best mushroom-based fast food burger I’ve had from a big chain.

  3. F. Michael says:

    I would get the single patty but then I’d want two burgers instead of one double cheeseburger… Yep I’m fat like that lol
    Might have to get this instead of a baconator next time.

  4. Griffin says:

    Didn’t Wendy’s win the Bacon Poll?

  5. Jrdunn says:

    Get the single, take the dollar you save go across the street and invest in a side order mcdouble!

  6. Cc says:

    What is up with that pricing?

    Really random, Wendy’s. Maybe they will sell a quad for $20 too?

  7. sherm says:

    @Ryan – so I guess I have my answer regarding the other contributors haha

    @Sam – nice review. Maybe I’ll give the single a spin if I see it at my local Wendy’s.

  8. Joe says:

    I don’t get it either. $1.10 between single and double and $1.90 ($2.06 if you get a combo) between double and triple? Too expensive, anyway. over $7 FOR THE SANDWICH (nearly $10 for the combo) even for a 3/4 lb triple (which is too much for me anyway) is too much for fast food.

  9. JF says:

    Never been a fan of mushrooms, but I just had to say based on the promo picture and the real picture, aside from no comparison at all, the real thing looks down right nasty.

    Even if there weren’t mushrooms on it, I don’t think I could eat whatever that was, no matter how hungry I was, based on the pictures.

    I do like Wendy’s, my 2nd favorite FF place (behind Carl’s Jr). But those pics make me loose my appetite.

  10. Scrape says:

    Cal me crazy, but I prefer the canned button mushrooms, both on this and on pizza (I miss them on Pizza Hut Pan Pizzas)

  11. Bubbs says:

    Great pics to give us real perspective!

    Hmmmm… the bacon doesn’t appear unusually fatty at all, it seems actually pretty standard for traditional bacon, I’m wondering what sort of bacon the reviewer has been eating if that seems unusually fatty. Too bad about the lack of crisp in the bacon, I think under the moisture of the sauce and wet mushrooms you would find any bacon go from crackly to tough even after being cooked to crisp.

  12. MP says:

    Two words: HELL YEAH!!

    Mmmm soft fatty bacon. Crispy bacon is for the birds.

    No nutritional info but I’m sure it’s par with the old BMM:
    560 calories
    Fat 29g (44%)
    Sat. Fat 12g (60%)
    Cholesterol 90mg (30%)
    Sodium 1410mg (58%)

    For me: $2 off with coupon survey, no fries (theirs suck) & no soda (have my own) = fast food bliss. Not a bad value considering a single w/ cheese is like $3.79 here.

  13. Pamela says:

    To MP: I LOVE Wendy’s fries! I can’t wait to try this sandwich!

  14. Alex K. says:

    Yeah, so. I had one of these today. I seriously feel like Wendy’s burgers have gotten smaller. I haven’t had them in awhile, and this almost looked like a Jr. Bacon Burger in size, maybe a little bit bigger. Still, I really liked it. I’d give it about a 7 for taste. I agree with your review for the most part, except my bacon was great. Keep it up, Ryan! Love the site and the reviews.

  15. MP says:

    I had mine this afternoon. The bun held up just fine. However cheap on the cheese sauce, very salty & I actually prefer the old crisp canned mushrooms. While the portbella is a better quality mushroom choice, they didn’t clean the gills off & flavor was meek & it felt more like an oversalted bacon burger.. Burger pattie was actually pretty big & thicker from what I remembered. $4.59, Chicagoland area.

  16. Christopher says:

    Used a coupon to pick one of these up 1/2 price…
    The bacon was generous, but there were perhaps three tiny mushrooms and only a faint mist of the cheese sauce in the very center of the top bun :(

  17. Hot Sauce says:

    Wow, these pictures look horrible… and it’s not the photographer!

  18. Jady says:

    I had one last night. Granted, it was late and I was starving, but I really liked it. I haven’t been to Wendy’s in probably a year, and this burger patty was thicker and less greasy than I remember. The Mushrooms were not slimy and I love me some good, earthy mushroomy flavor, so they worked great. The ratio of bacon was fine, and the bacon really is one of the better quality fast-food bacons out there… but let’s face it: We can always use more bacon! The sauce: I’d have to agree that it’s not just a “Cheese” sauce, there’s something going on in there. Creamy, seasoned, something. Good something. I’m also a fan of the soft, slightly sweet bun that held up even with all this going on between it. I did add ketchup, which I think helped break the “creamy-cheesy” factor up a bit. I will definitely be back for another one before they get rid of it!

  19. Cassbee says:

    I had one of these the other day, and I’ve got to say I wasn’t disappointed. I was excited when I say they came out with this as I was a HUGE fan of the previous version, and very sad when it disappeared. I had nice crispy bacon that mixed well with the combination of cheese sauce, mushrooms, and burger. I’m actually not a fan of Wendy’s or any burger for that matter, but I LOVE these!!

  20. greg says:

    The double was way small i took one bite half gone. A two bite snack and greasy as all hell it sucked

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