Review: Flatbread Grilled Chicken from Wendy’s
I recently read an article about how chicken options have surpassed beef on fast food menus. Chicken has the nugget advantage, the salad advantage, the wrap advantage… I could go on and on. Fast food chicken is just a lot more versatile than beef and when a hamburger attempts to fall into chicken territory (Big Mac Snack Wrap comes to mind), things just get a little weird. Wendy’s played it safe with their latest menu items by offering nothing wild or gimmicky and sticking with the tried and true chicken. Introducing Flatbread Grilled Chicken from Wendy’s. I tried both the Smoky Honey Mustard and the Asiago Ranch and here’s my review. My first observation with Flatbread Grilled Chicken is the name. The name feels backwards to me and I’m trying to figure out the intention. Grilled Chicken Flatbread works better in my opinion, but maybe the “Flatbread” is such a big deal it needed to be the first word. Whatever the case, the flatbread really is the key ingredient and the only true new ingredient you’ll be experiencing with this sandwich.The Smoky Honey Mustard Flatbread Grilled Chicken is a toasted multi-grain flatbread, grilled 100% premium chicken breast, spring mix, two slices of tomato and smoky honey mustard sauce. I thought the Smoky Honey Mustard version was a bit too plain as it really only offered a honey mustard sauce as its key ingredient. It’s described as smoky, but it lacks any real depth of flavor. The honey mustard was more sweet than anything else. By skipping out on the cheese and bacon and fatty dressing, the Smoky Honey Mustard Flatbread Grilled Chicken only clocks in at 370 calories and 15 grams of fat. The bulk of the calories comes from the 5-grain flatbread which contains 200 calories by itself. The flatbread wraps the sandwich with a hinged end and is quite hearty and thick which provides a strong base for the rest of the ingredients. It’s a nutty dense bread that I was surprised to find out only contained 2 grams of fiber. I think your opinion of the flatbread alone will dictate your overall feelings on the Smoky Honey Mustard version. I found the flatbread to not be as toasted as I’d like to actually be noticeable. Taste-wise, the flatbread has a very mild hint of honey sweetness.The grilled chicken is a half piece of the Ultimate Grill Chicken Fillet which is conveniently sliced into five tenders, while still staying attached. This type of cut made the sandwich easier to handle and consume in five rather large bites instead of tearing into one entire half-piece fillet of grilled chicken. The spring mix was forgettable, but necessary as I’d actually miss it if it wasn’t included… not much to say about a spring mix really. My biggest gripe came from the sliced tomatoes as they were too large for the sandwich to contain. You’re getting two whole slices of tomato and while they were exceptionally crisp and fresh, this sandwich would’ve been a lot better off with maybe just one large tomato slice cut in two. I paid $3.57 for my Smoky Honey Mustard Flatbread Grilled Chicken and I found the quality of the ingredients to be slightly above average for fast food standards, yet this wasn’t an overly impressive menu item. Smoky Honey Mustard Overall GrubGrade: 5.75/10 The Asiago Ranch Flatbread Grilled Chicken is a toasted multi-grain flatbread, grilled 100% premium chicken breast, Asiago cheese, Applewood Smoked Bacon, two slices of tomato and spring mix topped off with ranch dressing. Since this flatbread had a lot more going on in the ingredient department, it was a more memorable and tasty experience. The trade-off for that tasty experience is a messier sandwich with more calories and twice the fat content of the Smoky Honey Mustard version. The Asiago Ranch Flatbread Grilled Chicken comes in at 530 calories and 30 grams of fat, but its mix of bacon, cheese and ranch dressing equals lots of added flavor. I love Wendy’s bacon and most of you seem to agree. You get three generous slices of salty Applewood Smoked Bacon in the Asiago Ranch Flatbread sandwich and there is a harmonious combination when mixed in with the grilled chicken and creamy ranch dressing.You can tell from the pictures that this isn’t some sad, dried-out flimsy bacon. Normally I would say cheese would get lost in a situation where there are two other strong flavors trying to get your attention, but the slice of Asiago provided just enough sharp flavor. Asiago has an almost Parmesan-like quality to it. It usually stands out and Wendy’s utilized it well in this sandwich. As I mentioned before, it’s a messy sandwich so it’s a tough sell for grubbing on the go. I wanted to love this Flatbread, but in the three I’ve had over the last few weeks, all of them struggled to contain the ingredients and that soured my opinion a bit. Also, I paid $4.07 for mine and I think it’s a bit too high to get a strong recommendation from me. Prices with Wendy’s vary more than any other fast food joint I’ve been to (Wendy’s suggested price on this is $3.99) so keep that in mind. It’s a mess of a sandwich, yet had a great balance of flavors I enjoyed. If you plan on grubbing on the go with this thing, good luck. Considering a knife and fork to handle a flatbread sandwich doesn’t bode well when you are strapped for time and need a quick bite. Asiago Ranch Overall GrubGrade 7.25/10I’ve tackled five of these Flatbreads since mid-March. The dust has settled, and I’ve come away thinking I’m ready for a burger. I like that I can actually taste the higher quality in the fast food options at Wendy’s, but I’m not overly convinced that Flatbread Grilled Chicken is the preferred option for me. The Asiago Ranch version is especially flavorful, but all these ingredients for the most part are already familiar to me. The flatbread was the newcomer to possibly start a new wave of change and that alone isn’t enough to get me to make it a regular order.
Pros: Quality. Hearty thick flatbread is a break from the traditional wraps and buns. Wendy's bacon. The especially tasty Asiago Ranch version.
Cons: Messy and you're likely to need napkins. Mediocre value. The Smoky Honey Mustard lacks the "smoky".
Grubbing on-the-go: 3.75/10
Overall GrubGrade: 7.25/10 for the Asiago Ranch and 5.75/10 for the Smoky Honey Mustard
More Info: http:www.Wendys.com
Smoky Honey Mustard: 370 calories, 15 grams of fat, 38 grams of carbs, 22 grams of protein
Asiago Ranch: 530 calories, 30 grams of fat, 35 grams of carbs, 30 grams of protein