Wendy’s New Signature Sides

A few new “signature” side items are now available at Wendy’s and can be purchased a la carte for a recommended price of $2.49.

  • Wendy’s Macaroni & Cheese features large spiral noodles smothered with a cheese sauce made with fresh milk, fresh cream and real white Vermont Cheddar and American cheeses—all topped with real shredded Cheddar.
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes are U.S.-grown, handpicked and freshly baked in-store throughout the day. They’re served with a Buttery Cinnamon Spread on the side.
  • Chili Cheese Fries start with Wendy’s natural cut fries with sea salt that are covered in a sauce made with Cheddar cheese and real milk, Wendy’s famous rich and meaty chili, and then topped with real shredded Cheddar cheese.

GrubGrade reader Parrish tried the Mac & Cheese and Chili Cheese Fries.  Observe:

I dont think either portion size was worth $2.50. Now I have a very open mind about fast food but this had to be the first order from a fast food place where I actually could not stomach more than a few bites.  The Mac and Cheese had large spiral macaroni noodles which looked promising of a higher quality mac and cheese but upon tasting it I was shocked to find it actually tasted worse than the mac and cheese that come in those frozen Kid Cuisines, the texture and taste were very similar to that.  The cheese sauce was watery and barely tasted like cheese.  I would never order this again or even give it to my kids.

The Chili Cheese Fries were also awful.  They were covered in a thick almost chunky orange cheese, it wasnt a cheddar and it wasnt a cheese sauce, Im thinking maybe it was cheese paste, I have no other way to explain it, it was bleh.  The fries and chili were Wendy’s standard but the fries acted like a sifter, allowing all the liquid and sauce to sink to the bottom and leaving just beans, peppers and onions and beef ontop of the fries.  Wendy’s chili is a favorite of many and it is great as a standalone or on a baked potato but on these fries it was not working.  I have no idea how you can make a chili taste bad by just adding it to fries but that is what happened.  The fries needed something more along the lines of a hotdog chili and the cheese needed to be more smooth.  Again I would never buy these again and will get my chili cheese fry fix from Sonic.

57 comments on “Wendy’s New Signature Sides

  1. SmoledMan says:

    How about try a high fibrous salad for a change instead of ingesting all this high-fat garbage?

    • Ryan says:

      Who are you talking to?

    • Allokago says:

      This is a fast food review site. They review fast food. I’m unsure what the problem is…

      Hey, I’m glad someone was brave enough to try these things! Saves me some money. Ugh. I’m a huge mac and cheese lover, I totally would have gone for that dish. Not anymore!

    • Scrape says:

      Wendy’s used to make an awesome salad that had the chili on it, and tortilla chips. It was terrific, and I got it quite a bit when there was a Wendy’s near where I used to work. Nothing like chili on a salad, especially in the winter. Anfd no high fat/high sugar dressings needed (like is usually served at FF restaurants) You can get your fast food, and eat it, too.

      I don’t know when or why they took it off the menu.

    • TJ says:

      How about stay away from fast food blogs if you don’t like fast food? Alright now I’m going to go to an atheist blog and tell them they’re doomed… yea or I’ll just pray for them once in a while 😉

    • Dustin says:

      Why did you post the exact same thing here and on the Pizza Hut cheesy bites pizza page?

      • Manavee says:

        I’m not the original poster, but I’m the one who posted the same comment on the cheesy bite thread. I was just joking around with the absurdity of the comment.

    • Lindsay says:

      Blargh, I want to read about fast food and other goodies not salads.

    • Jeff in Middletucky says:

      Dude, why are you even on this site?

  2. Bill says:

    I tried them last week and liked them both. Mac and cheese was just good but chili cheese fries were great. McDonald’s large fries are 2.09 so I was happy with 2.49 at the Wendy’s. And you get chili and cheese. Did not try the sweet potato.

  3. Natalie says:

    The macaroni and cheese is a very random menu item to add. I can’t see a lot of people ordering that as a side to go with their burger.

    The chili cheese fries are an obvious combination of ingredients and I’m surprised they’re just now coming out with them. My boyfriend always dips his fries in their chili as it is.

    I’d be interested in trying the sweet potato. It’d be a nice change from the standard baked potato. I don’t see how it could be too bad, unless it’s just undercooked (or undermicrowaved).

  4. JF says:

    I love mac & cheese… so any feedback on that would be appreciated. Not aware of any FF places that have that on the menu.

    Also regarding the fries, I don’t like beans, so if they are beanless chili, love to know that as well.

    • Roger says:

      For mac and cheese don’t forget KFC, Popeye’s and Captain D’s.

    • JF says:

      I did know about BM, although never really had been a fan of them and the closest one to me is about 10 miles away. Don’t really do KFC (Popeye’s fan myself) but I know the one near me does not have Mac & Cheese on their menu (side note : I noticed they reduced their menu on the website with just main items and the disclaimer that the menu will vary by restaurant).

      BK, no thanks. 10+ years of avoiding them, no plans on going back. And if it’s Kraft Mac & Cheese I can get a box for 99 cents and do it myself.

      I never noticed it at Popeye’s, but next time I’m there and if it’s on the menu, think I will try it as a side!

      Of course reading the mac and cheese review from Wendy’s would probably avoid that as well.

      I know Safeway has a good Mac and Cheese side, so maybe I’ll stick with that.

      And did re-read the chili cheese fry review, and knowing that Wendy’s chili has beans, no surprise the fries do as well.

      Off topic a bit, but do any FF places do a chili cheese fry without beans? Maybe Sonic of Good Times?

  5. Ryan says:

    I’ve been a fan of Wendy’s chili for years, but I don’t see it working on fries. If you want chili-cheese fries, you need a chili that will actually stick to the fries. I immediately thought Wendy’s chili is too soupy to work; the reviewer saying all the liquid seeped to the bottom and left everything else on top seems to confirm that.

    I’m not sure about the mac & cheese or fries, but I’ll definitely try the baked sweet potato if I see it in my area. I wonder if they might cut the price to make it closer to the regular baked potato, though?

  6. Crysta says:

    I agree, Wendy’s chili is way too thin for fries. It works with a baked potato because it can soak in. The mac and cheese is a bit of a strange move, but I like the idea of a baked sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are awesome.

  7. Tiny2819 says:

    I saw Wendy’s prep the chili cheese fries, and the cheese is a shredded cheddar looking cheese.. just so you know 🙂

  8. Klee says:

    My Wendy’s have always had the chili cheese fries, maybe not with the new “cheese paste” and shedded cheese. I jus remember them being a hot mess, all soggy and what not.

    The sweet potato was the review I was wanting, I’ll have to give it a whirl w/out GG’s input… I’ll try and remember to report back.

  9. jamesela says:

    Heck yeah on the baked sweet potato! A lot rides on the “buttery cinnamon spread”. It might be worth it just to bring it home and dress it up with real butter, cinnamon and brown sugar.

  10. KTK says:

    The only one I’d try out of those is the Mac ‘n Cheese. I think that could actually be an awesome (and probably nutritionally horrifying) side with a burger, if done right. I still might try it, because the fast food restaurants around here seem to be of pretty good quality. The other two don’t interest me at all.

  11. Biff McGee says:

    With Wendy’s new burgers, you’d think they would season the beef patties for flavor? All of those ingredients on top of a bland patty don’t cut it. Put some salt/pepper or something on them!

    • PlatyTheConqueror says:

      They do season ’em, the patty is just ground beef & salt (and plenty of it) – Some people’s taste buds have been a little desensitized to seasoning though because of their diet or smoking habits, etc. Someone who eats fast food nearly every day, for example, will barely notice even high amounts of salt in their food.

      • Adam M. says:

        I personally like that the patties are not over-seasoned (other than salt). One thing will lead to another, and you end up with a seasoned patty that tastes more like a meatloaf burger than a hamburger. With the new Wendy’s burgers, I can taste the beef and it really lets the subtlety of some of the other ingredients shine through.

        Anti-salt people kill me with this, though…and I’m not directly accusing you of being one of these people (although it did sound like you were leading a bit in this direction) but the people that complain about things being “loaded with salt!” all the time are the same people that think if you put a little Mrs. Dash on your green beans you’ll never miss the ham hock and butter that you normally cook them with.

        Sure, it is possible to over-salt something…but the main reason that people say it “never tastes the same at home” is because at home most people just won’t (for whatever reason) use the amount of fat and salt that restaurant chefs fearlessly season their dishes with.

        For as unpleasant as having something be noticably over-salted is (and for as bad a chef as it would make you for serving it), serving something that is noticably under-salted is (in my opinion) just as unforgivable.

        You may now return to your regular (non-rant) programming.

  12. Sascha says:

    From the pics, these look quite disgusting, and I’ll agree as well that the Wendy’s chili just isn’t suited for chili fries, unless they use a different product for them. You need a thick sauced chili like Steak ‘n Shakes if you want true chili fries.

  13. DerekLutz says:

    Worked at Wendy’s in the early 80’s, we were making chili cheese fries if for no other reason than sheer boredom with the normal menu.

    Things that made ours better – we double fried the french fries, held up to the chili better. We strained off some of the chili liquid and beans. Cheese was from the salad bar, Wendy’s had those back then.

  14. kikurage says:

    These looks terrible bad. Color blows my intention to eat. These looks like oil based paints.

  15. Lindsay says:

    When I first some the article I was so excited! Now I’m very sad….why Wendy’s? How did you manage to mess this up!?

  16. Sandy says:

    Am I alone in missing Wendy’s salad bar?

  17. Jon says:

    Tried both the chili cheese fries and the Mac today. The fries were pretty good, the mac was just plain gross. It had globs of what tasted like cheddar cheese on it but the texture was off. I am pretty sure it was some sort of imitation cheese. I wasn’t aware imitation cheese really existed until I got a membership to the Restaurant Depot recently. I think they used the same cheese on the fries but there wasn’t as much of it so it wasn’t so offensive.

  18. Griffin says:

    Boston market MAC n cheese…hands down win

  19. Zachary Jacob Zblewski says:

    Wow, this has to be the first review on GrubGrade that I’ve completely disagreed with. I tried the Mac & Cheese with my burger last night and the girlfriend had the Chili Cheese Fries with hers. Both containers were filled to the brim. The Mac & Cheese was creamy and I liked it better than KFC’s. If you like Wendy’s Chili, you’ll probably like it on the fries. I thought they were excellent. For $2.50, the Chili Cheese Fries would make a filling snack on their own.

    No, I don’t work for Wendy’s.

    • ChrisW says:

      But you thought a burrito and a taquito were the same thing, so can we really take anything you say seriously?

      • Zachary Jacob Zblewski says:

        I have yet to see someone post a photo of the Loaded Grillers. From everything I’ve seen and heard from Taco Bell, they are very similar.

        • Zachary Jacob Zblewski says:

          I guess I should have added that I know what a real taquito is. Taco Bell’s Taquitos were not true to the real thing. They were made with flour tortillas and grilled.

    • diane vee says:

      It was horrible. It was so bad that I lost my appetite. I threw away the burger along with the Mac & Cheese.

  20. ChrisW says:

    I went out after reading these reviews and tried the baked sweet potato. Amazing.

  21. Klee says:

    Tried the sweet potato last night, and it was pretty dang good. Fresh, hot, and creamy it was much better than I thought. It came with a generous side of cinnamon icing, tasted like a cinnamon roll. I’ll definitely be getting another

  22. John says:

    Tried the chili cheese fries tonight. You know what? Not bad.

    There wasn’t a pool of liquid or anything. Some of it might have been absorbed by the fries by the time I got home with it, but everything blended together well, and the new, seemingly less processed, fries were tasty. For a 1.00 upgrade on a meal, I would do it again.

  23. […] her advising a woman to upgrade her lunch with Wendy’s new Signature Sides. Here’s a not so flattering review of the sides from GrubGrade. But now, enjoy Morgan Smith Goodwin and all of her redheaded, Alyson […]

  24. Mitzi says:

    Wow! I heartily disagree! I’m a night worker so I’m doomed to fast-food if I fail to get around to making myself something to eat. Wendy’s is always open late & I can get salads there and baked potatoes. When I saw the ad today on t.v. that Wendy’s had mac ‘n cheese I had to swing by and get a single burger with a side of mac’n cheese and a sweet tea. Well, they were out of tea so I settled for a sprite. I like their burgers because they’re not real greasy & the vegetables are large and fresh (as opposed to stringy, tasteless and wilted). Yum, the mac ‘n cheese is tasty & I’m sure it’s real cheese. My isn’t watery AT ALL, in fact it’s almost too dry like the problem I have when I make mac ‘n cheese at home using real cheese. It’s so rich I can barely finish the tub. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it’s temporary. Go Wendy’s and thanks from a night-worker.

  25. Dr. RG Fuller says:

    I THAT MAC & CHEESE……………..

  26. Julie says:

    After reading this review, I went to Wendy’s on Monday for lunch specifically for the sweet potato. I got in, ordered my meal (which came to nearly $11!!!) and stood around waiting. Ten minutes went by and finally one of the cashiers informed me that they were out of sweet potatoes and it would be “a really long time” before they would have any more. Sooo disappointing. 🙁 She talked me into trying the macaroni and cheese instead even though I was pretty wary of it based upon the comments on this site. When I got everything, the mac and cheese was about 1000 degrees. I am not sure how they cook it. It was really not very good at all. If you like pasta mixed with canned (or bagged) cheese pudding, then you will love this stuff. To add insult to injury, I also had the Cheesy Cheddarburger and that was just a very pathetic burger patty with similar cheese pudding on it. I can’t believe I paid so much $$$ for this food. GROSS! Thinking back, I’m not sure I have ever had a great meal at Wendy’s. I think it is on par with Burger King, just much more expensive. I don’t understand the hype!

    Moral of the story: Buyer beware!

  27. S'st says:

    I tried the mac and cheese and cannot explain how nasty it was. I wanted to try the sweet potato, they were out. I won’t be back to try it.

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