Fast Food Review: Monterey Ranch Chicken Sandwich from Wendy’s

Imagine my apprehension when approaching my local Wendy’s drive-thru today.  I’m looking for something advertised on the Wendy’s website for 99 cents.  Hmmm, a new value menu item called the Monterey Ranch Chicken Sandwich.  Sounds good, looks good.  I’ve ranted in the past about how I never quite know what to expect when it comes to Wendy’s and their prices.  So on this day, I wasn’t surprised to find this new “Value Menu” sandwich for $1.89!!! Damn you Wendy’s!!!  Yeah, yeah… I know all about “at participating restaurants” or whatever, but I find that to be a bad way to do business when you are trying to compete for fast food domination.  I don’t encounter issues like this in places other than Wendy’s for whatever reason.  Anyways, I got my Monterey Ranch Chicken Sandwich for $1.89 cents and got this experience started off in disappointing fashion.

The Monterey Ranch Chicken Sandwich is described like this:

Crispy fillet of all-white meat chicken topped with all-natural Monterey Jack, fresh lettuce and zesty ranch sauce.  All for just 99cents.  Not only will your taste buds thank you, your wallet will too.

I’m all for a cheap sandwich with a tasty description.  Since the Monterey Ranch Chicken Sandwich was 90 cents more than all the advertising I see on TV, I just considered this to end up being a failure.  I’ve always appreciated the freshness of the veggies at Wendy’s and the “fresh” lettuce was indeed fresh.  Fresh, crisp and cool, just the way I’d like it to be but this is just pale iceberg with a nice extra crunch.  The all-natural Monterey Jack was a miss in my opinion.  I’m not usually too crazy about cheese on a chicken sandwich… I could take it or leave it.  The Monterey Jack had a flavor that left me unimpressed… it didn’t have much impact.  That said, I’m glad this wasn’t  cheddar or American cheese.  The “zesty” ranch dressing, was decent but I still felt the flavor impact was a little off.  The chicken patty is kind of just there… nothing special but I was actually surprised that the patty wasn’t incredibly small (but that could just be the tiny bun making it seem a lot bigger).  Maybe if bacon was added on this sandwich, I would feel the price was more fair and the taste would’ve been more complete.

If your local Wendy’s actually has a “My 99” value menu, you’d probably enjoy the Monterey Ranch Chicken Sandwich more than I did.  I just can’t get over the constant barrage of advertising for this thing and I just paid $1.89 for it.  The value menu at my local Wendy’s is definitely not a “My 99” type of menu.  Boo Wendy’s.

Pros: Pretty fair sized chicken patty (as compared to the other value menu offerings).

Cons: Paid $1.89. Ingredients tasted surprisingly weak. Would benefit from bacon.

Taste: 6.75/10
Value: 4.75/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.50/10
Price: $1.89

Overall GrubGrade: 5.50/10

More Info: Wendys.com
Nutrition Facts:
Monterey Ranch Chicken Sandwich
Calories – 400
Total Fat – 20 grams
Saturated Fat – 6 grams
Cholesterol – 45 milligrams
Sodium – 950 milligrams
Carbs – 38 grams
Sugars – 4 grams
Dietary Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 17 grams

28 comments on “Fast Food Review: Monterey Ranch Chicken Sandwich from Wendy’s

  1. Adam says:

    Leave it to a Wendy’s in MD to be overpriced. Back in Utah the value menu was actually set at 99 cents. Amazing to think that fast food places don’t ever get the idea to make their cheap chicken sandwiches with bbq sauce. That I’d go for.

  2. Matt says:

    Wow, $1.89 for a double stack also? Your Wendy’s is a complete rip off. I hope you sent in an email about that! I wonder if the ranch is the same as on the Asiago Ranch Chicken Club.

  3. Justin says:

    Wait a second… NOTHING on the value menu is 99 cents? What the hell?

  4. Steve says:

    I see what you mean. We have in here in Utah for 99 cents and it makes a world of difference. However they took the double stack off the My 99 menu and replaced it with a “cheeseburger” deluxe or something like that, which very much upset me. Generally I hate fast food chicken sandwiches outside of chick fil a, but Id get this one again for 99 cents. Sorry MD doesnt feel the need to follow suit.

  5. maxchain says:

    Chriiiiiiiist almighty. I genuinely thought it didn’t get any worse than the prices at mine. Also, oops, I commented in that very rant that I was done with Wendy’s for that very reason.

    Well, I’m done again. Starting now.

  6. Mikey F Baby says:

    My Wendy’s here in Ohio is the same way. They have maybe 2 items at $.99. One of them is a cup of mandarin oranges.

  7. marianne says:

    I agree … that is NOT a value menu. My Wendy’s did take the Double Stack off the .99 price point, but there are other items available.

  8. mitchery says:

    I also hate the inconsistency in their prices. Aren’t most fast food restaurants franchised out? It seems that only Wendy’s has different prices. Every now and then I stumble across a cheaper Burger King or Taco Bell but most of the time their value menus match up with the others. Boggles my mind how this is not false advertising.

  9. Nasir says:

    This is false advertising, plain and simple. At my Wendy’s, there is almost nothing at 99 cents even though I see commercials for it all the time. I thought it was my location but I have a feeling most if not all are like this.

  10. Lylat says:

    well at my wendys it was at 99 cents though the price of the double stack is a ripoff over here is $1.09 and the crispy chicken sandwich and ceasar wrap are also 99 cents

    other than that i really like the monterey ranch chicken sandwich it was really tasty to me

  11. Mike N says:

    Just had one of these last night — for $.99 — along with a small chili ($1.29). The sandwich was not bad, really. Probably a little too mellow for my tastes, though, as I tend to go spicy when I can. Not to sound like Adam (heh) but I can’t help but feel that the cheese and sauce don’t add enough flavor to account for the fat and calories.

  12. SPM says:

    The Wendys around the corner from my house is notorious for being overpriced on everything, nothing on their “value” menu is under $1.49 or so. I have also had the manager have a huge issue with me asking for 2 sour creams on their full sized baked potatoes. It just leaves a bad taste in the customer’s mouth (no pun intended) when the local franchise can’t honor the prices in the ads.

  13. Q says:

    Wow. Wendy’s corporate should even let them label that a “value menu.”

  14. tiny2819 says:

    This has got to me my MOST FAVORITE 99c sandwich ever. True that the cheese doesn’t have the potency of your typical montery jack, it’s pretty mild but you can still taste it, and it compliments the ranch “sauce” nicely (i say “sauce” because its not like normal ranch dressing, its ranch flavored.. i don’t know what, its weird, but still tasty) and the chicken patty is the same chicken they use on their regular 99c crispy chicken sandwich. mind you this isn’t supposed to be some ultra indulgent sandwich, its just a really good, very different cheap value menu sandwich

  15. Jesse says:

    Although I know a lot of you guys are pretty cheesed off with the so-called false advertising, but those My 99 ads probabky do have fine print at the bottom stating “At participating restaurants”

  16. scott says:

    i never write businesses to complain, but i did write to wendys once i realized that absolutely zero wendys in the dc metro area offer anything remotely resembling the prices they advertise on tv. they do point out that prices are different in nyc and hawaii, so if theyre going to black out the entire dc market, they should include that too, was my point.

    their excuse was that i only see the commercials for 99 cent prices in national ads, and they couldnt change the ads. that seemed fishy to begin with, because there are plenty of huge regional companies that manage to advertise during prime time national broadcasts, on cable, etc, for their specific markets only. seems to me wendys could easily have tailored a “my $1.59-$1.89” commercial for the dc market in order to not blatantly lie

    then i pretty much immediately noticed that wendys was running the lie ads on all kinds of locally syndicated programming through channels only broadcasting to the dc area. wrote back, got no response.

    now i live in syracuse, which is a low cost-of-living craphole, and they dont have anything for 99 cents here either

    not sure where the line is legally. can they have one location somewhere in rural montana thats open for 30 minutes a week that sells 10 cent large sized combos, advertise that price nationally, say prices and participation may vary, and continue to charge $7.69 for a #5 literally everywhere else?

    • PlatypusTheConqueror says:

      The .99 price is at participating restaurants only.

      I think you missed that, it’s on all advertisements you’ve seen.

      “blatantly lie”, “lie ads”, “not sure where the line is legally” …..

      You are just as welcome to go to the participating restaurants like any other hungry tummy and order their .99 items. They’re all over the country. You’re not being “lied to”, there is no legal line they are treading across…. simmer down now.

      • STLTide says:

        I don’t think most people are suggesting that Wendy’s is legally lying or falsely advertising. It’s just a bad business practice to widely advertise a low price when you KNOW that a significant number of your locations are not going to honor that price. Pretty much every other fast food chain is somehow able to get the vast majority of their franchises on board with special prices. Why can’t Wendy’s?

      • scott says:

        My point is that they throw the ads up in local markets, on local programming, where not a single Wendy’s in the coverage area offers the price.

        If that’s not a lie, I don’t know what is.

        I could half-buy the argument for the national ads, but it’s beyond disingenuous to intentionally air ads in local markets when you don’t honor the advertised price anywhere in that market.

  17. Keith says:

    Hey Ryan, a Jersey Mike’s recently popped up in Hagerstown – any out there by you? I ate there today and they had a lot of trouble getting my ridiculously simple order correct.

    Seems, like Quiznos’ gimmick is toasting, Jersey Mike’s is that they slice the meat when they make your sandwich. Big whoop.

    • Ryan says:

      Yeah a Jersey Mike’s opened in Frederick a few months ago. I haven’t been to the Frederick location yet, but I’ve been to the Germantown one.

    • Colleen says:

      None of the Wendy’s in or near Hagerstown are offering the 99 cent menu. You’d have to drive to Martinsburg, WV to get a 99 cent chicken ranch sandwich. They don’t even have all of the 99 cent menu items (i.e. sour cream & chives potato). I called Wendy’s corporate office and it went back and forth… “It DOES say at participating Wendys”… so I asked which Wendys actually participate? and if none of them participate in Hagerstown, then WHY did they air the commercial on WHAG?? I am so done with Wendy’s. I will NEVER step foot in one again. Like I told the guy on the phone, it feels so much like a good ol’ “Bait & Switch.”

  18. Brandon says:

    It is 99 cents here in Mass. I liked it. Good value for the price. If you need Bacon that bad, just tell them to put some on! Yeah, it might cost a little bit more, but everyone in MD must be rich anyway for putting up with rip off joints like the one you went to.

  19. Matt says:

    I think everyone is missing the point. The Monterey Chicken sandwich is not a new sandwich, Wendy’s had it before. The first time it came out everyone loved it and it sold like crazy. Then Wendy’s discontinued it. The next year Wendy’s starting selling it again. Since it was one of the greatest sandwiches every swarmed Wendy’s and ordered whenever they had a chance. Wendy’s did this cycle a few times because they knew they had a great sandwich, and it was. I was stoked when I heard they were doing the sandwich again. But Wendy’s has failed epicly with the latest version. The point isn’t price, it’s that Wendy’s completely ruined the best thing they ever had on the menu.

  20. Aimee says:

    Not even a plain potato is 99 cents here, but yeah, you’re all kinda missing the point (except Matt) which is:

    This new sandwich is not the Monterey Ranch & I feel insulted that Wendy’s would even TRY to pass it off as such. Do they think people are that stupid?????

    Missing components:

    Kaiser bun–strike one
    chicken fillet, not a fricken chicken patty–strike two
    no Monterey Ranch sauce (ranch sauce with bacon & tomato pieces)–strike three

    I’m guessing that no one @ corporate was there for the original or they never would tried to pull this off. I’ve tried to recreate the sauce recipe at home to no avail. 🙁