Review: Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger from Wendy’s

It’s the 4th of July and I’m sure to be grubbing on some burgers from the grill later today, but my weakness for new fast food burgers got the best of me this afternoon.  The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger from Wendy’s has been on my radar for months and it’s finally here.Pretzel Bacon CheeseburgerWendy’s describes their new Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger like this:

A delicious new twist on our classic hot n juicy cheeseburger with a sweet & smoky honey mustard sauce, melted cheddar cheese and applewood smoked bacon all on a warm, soft pretzel bun. Now a specially crafted cheeseburger is closer than you think.

So it looks like pretzel bread is catching on lately and this is probably the beginning of a growing trend.  Red Robin caught my eye with a pretzel bun in recent years with their Oktoberfest Burger and Steak ‘n Shake had one too.  Just the other day, Sonic introduced us to Pretzel Dogs.  It’s only a matter of time before other chains catch on and offer something of their own.  I’m not quite sure who will execute the pretzel bun ingredient the best, but I’m starting out with the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger from Wendy’s to get some experience under my belt.

Pretzel Bun Wendy'sIt kind of baffles me that Wendy’s comes out with this Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger and makes the decision to stuff it with so many ingredients that you almost forget about the pretzel bun.  While the pretzel bun is a dense and sturdy, passable bread for a burger, it’s really not too special with this item.  Once you get past the look of the bun with its slit-crossed browned top bun, it doesn’t stand out in any way.  Maybe you can say it’s a tad bit more soft and chewy on the inside, yet saying that feels like a stretch to find something worth describing.  The fact of the matter is everything in between the pretzel bun is a lesson in failing to understand the importance of not overdoing it.Pretzel Bun Bacon CheeseburgerThe 1/4 lb. beef patty is a “fresh, never frozen” favorite of mine in the fast food world and it rarely disappoints.  The balance between beefy, salty flavor and juiciness without being greasy is a highlight for me with Wendy’s burger patties.  Our recent discussion on mistakes in fast food came to mind as soon as I laid my eyes on that familiar Wendy’s leaf of iceberg lettuce.  The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger is supposed to come with a spring mix and mine did not.  Before tackling this burger and looking at the ad pictures and ingredients list, I felt like, “what’s the point of a spring mix?”… the fact that it was missing and replaced by the iceberg lettuce didn’t bother me… spring mix probably would’ve been equally as lost the iceberg.  The slice of tomato and two small rings of red onion felt rather forced too as if to say they just have to make an appearance in all burgers.Pretzel Bun Wendy's BurgerWhat stood out most to me with the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger was the honey mustard sauce and the melted cheddar cheese.  They both stood out mostly in the mess they made and the honey mustard alone stood out in the flavor department.  I felt the burger was dominated by the taste of the honey mustard sauce which was indeed sweet and smoky.  The mustard sauce flavor and the applewood smoked bacon slices together worked best to define the overall taste of the burger.  I found the extra slice of cheddar in addition to the cheese sauce was overkill and would have preferred one or the other and not both.  To cut down on the mess I’d probably choose to scrap the cheese sauce for just the slice of cheese. Pretzel Bacon Burger from Wendy'sFor me this wasn’t a “delicious new twist” as Wendy’s describes it and that’s because they failed to really highlight the pretzel bun.  I wanted the pretzel bun to stand out more and what I was left with was just the memory of the price.  For the 1/4 lb. burger patty size the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger cost me $4.97 before tax.  The choice of making it a double for the half-pound size was a buck more and I’m still shaking my head at the combo prices.  The 1/4 lb. combo was priced at $7.19 and the 1/2 lb. combo was $8.19.  In the end, I still say the idea of using pretzel buns in fast food products is something positive to look forward to, but I just wish the first Wendy’s attempt wasn’t so average.

Pros: Applewood smoked bacon and smoky/sweet honey mustard sauce flavors work well together.

Cons: Price. Too many ingredients takes the focus away from the pretzel bun. Messy.

Taste: 6.25/10
Value: 4.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.00/10
Price: $4.97

Overall GrubGrade: 6.00/10

More Info:
Nutrition Facts:
Calories - 680
Total Fat - 36 grams
Saturated Fat - 16 grams
Sodium - 1110 milligrams
Carbs - 46 grams
Sugars - 7 grams
Fiber - 2 grams
Protein - 37 grams

43 comments on “Review: Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger from Wendy’s

  1. Lauren says:

    Ugh! I had this for lunch today too. I took one bite and had to take off as much of that cheese sauce as I could. It was awful. I too was in it for the pretzel bun and it didn’t have a chance to shine with all the extras. So sad….

  2. BigBelly says:

    I had one of these back around December or so (we must have been a test market too) I ordered a double, and wasn’t all that impressed with it either.
    on a side note, if you want to make your own, these things are incredibly good if you can find them near you
    sorry if links to products are against the rules, I have no ties to them, just sharing something really good 🙂

    happy 4th all!

  3. Mattitude says:

    I had one tonight…it was delicious!…then again, it depends if your Wendy’s is good or not

  4. Cecil says:

    Instead of this, get a Baconator and sub the pretzel bun. It’s only 30 cents extra and compliments the bacony goodness perfectly 😀

  5. TheHotToddy23 says:

    Not surprised about the average review as just about everything Wendy’s does anymore is average, at best, in my opinion. The price is beyond ridiculous. $8.19 for a double combo? I remember when $5 was expensive for a combo meal! Anyhow, ever since Wendy’s switched the Dave’s Hot and Juicy the food just isn’t that good. I know many people are fans of the new burger and Wendy’s in general, but I think the restaurant has gone down hill despite all the new and “premium” products offered. Dave’s Hot and Juicy is an awful and somewhat gross name for a burger, too. Thought I’d throw that out there.

  6. Jay says:

    My first thought when this burger was originally posted on this site was…that’s way to many ingredients. I for one don’t want cheese sauce on my burger..especially if it already has cheese.

    And quite frankly, something simple like regular mustard will suffice for a condiment. Mustard with a pretzel..oh the delicious simplicity..don’t reinvent delicious simplicity. Just go with it Wendy’s.

    Shame overall because that appears to be a nicely constructed burger compared to most but without even taking a bite it just sounds like overkill.

    On another note…I heard a rumor that Hardees/Carls was testing fresh baked buns for all their burgers in some markets. That might be a game changer if that actually happens. For me, almost all great sandwiches start with good to great bread.

    • Raiders757 says:

      I have to agree. All this burger really needs is sliced cheese and regular mustard, not cheese sauce and some sort of honey mustard concoction. I’ll take the onions and bacon though.

      I’ll add that Wawa is getting on the pretzel bun train as well. One of my local Wawa’s is offering a pretzel bun roast beef sandwich.

  7. Bethany says:

    Mine had the spring mix and I would have much preferred the iceberg, at least that has a bit of crunch to it. Not impressed, wouldn’t order it again. But I do like the idea from above about subbing a pretzel bun on the Baconator. Better luck next time Wendy’s.

  8. Kevin says:

    Fail! But nice try, Wendy’s. If you want a sandwich with a well-executed pretzel bun, proceed to Hannah’s Bretzel. Not sure if they’re in every market (yet) but we have several Hannah’s locations here in Chicago and new locations seem to be popping-up. Their pretzel buns are excellent, and while you’re in line to order you pass by a “wall of chocolate.” Leave it to the Germans!


    • Ross The Boss says:

      Hannah’s is only in Chicago, which is too bad for everyone else, because their sandwiches are really good. However, they don’t serve burgers there and are definitely not in the same category as Wendy’s, so I don’t think it’s fair to compare the two.

  9. Bill says:

    >I wanted the pretzel bun to stand out more

    Pretzel illogic, if you will.

  10. Ric Flair says:

    I once beat Dusty Rhodes until cheese sauce ran freely from his forehead.


  11. zxGriffin says:

    Best burger I have had on a fresh-made Pretzel Bun was downtown Chicago @ Millennium Park. It may have changed but the restaurant right in front of the ice rink. It was simple- Pure 7oz Kobe beef patty- Grilled onions- Quality grain mustard. It was 100% Amazing… I can’t imagine Wendy’s trying to get close to experiences like this unless Wendys made their buns homemade- and kept it simple with zero cheese or a mustard-beer cheese mixture.

  12. Jonathan Wayne says:

    I got it the other day, it was not bad, a little pricey though.

  13. Chuckito says:

    Had one last night…. really couldn’t taste the pretzel in the bun… Steak N Shake had a decent octoberfest burger with a pretzel bun that basically had the meat, some mustard and some grilled onions and I think some cheese, that one was pretty decent. This one was a waste of time, kind of makes me wonder how they get past the test markets with these. Maybe they need to spend some time in Philly and see what a soft pretzel is all about.

  14. Agree – too many ingredients. Except the mustard sauce was missing on mine. The spring mix was a casualty of the gooey mess of cheese sauce, it was limp and ruined and mostly removed. The sauce and tomatoes resulted in tons of bun slide, making it hard to eat with any decorum. Also agree with Dubba from the last Nosh Show – did not taste the bacon at all, wouldn’t believe it was there if I hadn’t seen it. Did like the bun, when tasted alone it had a nice pretzel-bread flavor.

  15. Kendall says:

    Pretty forgettable IMO. Mine also came with Spring mix rather than iceberg and honestly, I don’t recall whether or not it had bacon because they were so heavy on the sauce. Swing and a miss by Wendys.

  16. Thomas says:

    Thought this was excellent. Adding bacon and a delicious pretzel bun to IMO the best major fast food chain burger is a win for me.

  17. mandi says:

    I thought it was absolutely delicious I can’t get ebuf of it..although I skip the honey mustard and let oniont an Tom..just bun cheddar meat bacon cheese sauce..delicious and juicy yummy wish I had one now

  18. Karen says:

    I love it. Don’t knock the cheese and mustard sauces either. I got one of these over the weekend that had very little cheese sauce and no mustard sauce and it was very bland. I think the sauces really make it.

  19. rob says:

    Should be 1/3 pound patty for that price

  20. John says:

    This was an easily forgettable sandwich. I had such high hopes!

    Too many toppings/sauces, even covered up the bacon, which is hard to do at Wendy’s, no discernable flavor from the pretzel roll.

    The slice of cheese was flavorless, it should be a regular american slice instead of the oily cheddar.

  21. tiffiney says:

    I thought the pretzle bacon burger was excellent. But maby because it was freshly made.and it depends on what Wendy’s u go to. And remember always check the food score at the restaurant b4 u eat at it.

  22. Just had this one today – a little odd because you expect there to be salt on the pretzel! The bun was chewier and tastier though. Mine did have the spring mix – and the vegetables were very fresh, which you never know with some places. Overall, I thought the ingredients worked very well together.

  23. JoeyF says:

    I’ve had 2 of these, the double was too big and too expensive but the single was just right and had very fresh tomatoes and was excellent. You can sub the pretzel bun for 30 cents and i was thinking a Spicy Chicken with bacon, swiss, tomatoes, and red onion would be pretty delicious.

  24. Daisy G says:

    I had high hopes for this burger as well, they should have left off the cheese sauce. The spring mix, does nothing for the burger either. Wendy’s just needs to bring back their salad bar!!

  25. Joe says:

    I just got one about a half hour ago it was too messy, no bacon, it had no taste, and the pretzel but sucked. All in all it was aful.

  26. Kortana says:

    I had this for lunch today, without honey mustard. I thought it was pretty darn good. Mine looked much better than your picture, and it was a lot bigger. I really liked the texture of the bun, but it had no taste whatsoever. No pretzel taste, not yeast-like, no sweetness, just nothing.

  27. MP says:

    I don’t like that cheddar cheese on there. See how it doesn’t melt very well? It basically comes off as a bland piece of plastic with no flavor. They should have used American cheese on there.

  28. Yummy says:

    I thought this burger was delicious. I would give this a 10/10 when comparing it to other fastfood. Not all stores are equal so if you had a bad burger, give it another try somewhere else. I think Wendy’s hit a homerun with this burger.

  29. MP says:

    I finally tried this a few nights ago. It wasn’t listed anywhere inside Wendy’s & came out to $4.89 but with my $2 off receipt coupon it was $3.13 with tax.
    Basically it tasted like a honey mustard burger. The smokey sauce had a very murky flavor to it & I got no flavor from the cheddar cheese because it was overpowered by the sweet smokey sauce & the bacon seemed lost. The beef patty was very juicy & was the best part. I don’t think the tomatoes, onions or fancy greens were necessary.
    Honestly I thought the pretzel bun was too thick – the top bun was thinly sliced and soft & just the right thickness but the bottom bun was almost an inch thick & did not leave a pleasant flavor on the tongue & lips. Overall disappointing – 1.5 out of 5 & I would not get this again. Smokey sweet is weird to me.

  30. […] once again be offering the pretzel bun which debuted in 2013.  The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger (review) features a hamburger patty, cheddar cheese sauce, Applewood Smoked Bacon, honey mustard, a slice […]

  31. […] once again be offering the pretzel bun which debuted in 2013.  The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger (review) features a hamburger patty, cheddar cheese sauce, Applewood Smoked Bacon, honey mustard, a […]

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