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.
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 Info Not Available