Review: Bacon Queso Burger from Wendy’s
Wendy’s has dabbled with queso in test markets as far back as last summer so the latest LTO might be the first in a line of queso products to come. Now available nationally is the new Bacon Queso Burger, Bacon Queso Chicken Sandwich, and Bacon Queso Fries. For my first experience, I went for the Bacon Queso Burger.
Wendy’s describes their new Bacon Queso Burger like this:
A quarter-pound of fresh, never frozen beef topped with warm and spicy poblano queso, three strips of Applewood smoked bacon, fire-roasted salsa, red onions, and shredded cheddar cheese, all served on a toasted red jalapeno bun.
It’s difficult to tell how much better this new burger could have been. I found it to be pretty good, but with no glaring flaws to point to. Mark it up to my exact mood at that exact moment for this specific product. I must say, the Bacon Queso Burger was better than I expected it to be.The familiars present such as the quarter pound of beef seemed beefier today. Also I got lucky with a perfectly cooked trio of Applewood smoked bacon… hearty pieces too. I was pleasantly surprised, impressed even, by the queso topping. The thickness was just right. It was gooey enough to be a noticeable cheese sauce, but thick enough to not be a complete mess to eat. I counted two minor spots of queso spills when I was done with the Bacon Queso Burger and that was an unexpected victory. The queso has small chunks of poblano pepper strewn about which made for a well-rounded queso texture that wasn’t so one dimensional. It’s a mild chili pepper, but the queso is clearly spiced up with a mix of earthy, smoky heat. The fire-roasted salsa also added to the spice and it was reminiscent of a pasty mole that kicked in some extra peppery flavor. The two red onion rings seemed unnecessary, but luckily they didn’t get in the way. It seems trivial, but too many times there are sandwiches that can be completely thrown off in its flavor and texture balance by just one simple ingredient. In this case, I felt the onions would likely be the culprit and I was wrong. I didn’t think the shredded cheddar cheese would be all that crucial, but I’m thinking that the drier texture change helped contain some of the melty queso goo. The toasted red jalapeno bun is hearty and built to hold together the burger well. From a flavor perspective, any standout flavor that may come from the bun is overtaken by the combination of the queso and salsa. I think the main reason why I ended up sort of impressed with the new Bacon Queso Burger was that it seemed to be a product that couldn’t have been easy to pull off. This isn’t a lazy creation by Wendy’s and I give them points for taking the risk.At a price of $5.19 for the burger alone, I’m finally at a point with premium-priced Wendy’s sandwiches to say I was surprised it wasn’t priced slightly higher. The burger was filling enough on its own so I wasn’t sorry I didn’t shell out another couple of bucks for a small combo. In closing, the new Bacon Queso Burger introduces enough impactful new flavors and textures to be a worthy recommendation. It’s got a little heat, but nothing that I would say is too overwhelming. What I appreciate most about this new burger is that the queso topping wasn’t a halfhearted attempt. The queso could have easily been just a spiced nacho cheese sauce, but Wendy’s made it a quality component that turned out to be worthy of being featured in a burger.
Pros: Queso's thickness worked surprisingly well in a burger. Fire-roasted salsa.
Cons: Red onions didn't seem necessary. Toasted red jalapeño bun would've been a better standout component in a milder flavored sandwich.
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.00/10
Overall GrubGrade: 7.50/10
More Info: wendys.com
Calories - 550
Total Fat - 32 grams
Saturated Fat - 14 grams
Cholesterol - 110 milligrams
Carbs - 36 grams
Sodium - 1140 milligrams
Fiber - 2 grams
Protein - 33 grams