This week, I reached out for a returning, again and yet again, Big Bacon Classic from America's No. 3 burger flipper, Wendy's with 6,700 restaurants from sea to shining sea.
The Big Bacon Classic was introduced with two strips of bacon in 1992. Five years later, the Big Bacon Classic was ditched in favor of the iconic Baconator, maybe the best name for a burger in Drive-Thru Land. The Big Bacon Classic returned in 2007 under a new name, the Bacon Deluxe. In 2012, the Bacon Deluxe went bye-bye. And now it's back under its original name, the Big Bacon Classic, only this time with three strips of bacon. Make up your mind, why don't you, Wendy's?
Here's the 2020 Big Bacon Classic breakdown: a quarter-pound patty make with fresh, never frozen North American beef, two slices of American cheese, three strips of Applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, raw onion, pickles, ketchup, and mayo on a toasted bun. Total calories: 640. Fat grams: 40. Sodium: 1,260 mg. Carbs: 38 g. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Protein: 34 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $5.29. The Big Bacon Classic also is available with double and triple patties for an extra beefy price.
It's not necessary to delve into the taste of a Wendy's burger — it's got a clean, fresh flavor, as good as it gets in the drive-through. The story here is what goes on top, and there's a lot to talk about. Between the two slices of cheese and three strips of thick (by fast food standards) bacon, plus the lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and condiments, you may have to squish this burger with 100 foot pounds of force to fit it in your mouth. (I know I said foot pounds, but please use your hands.)
This is a heavy-duty, high-octane burger with no shortage of calories and fat. Quick tip to skinny-up the Big Bacon Classic: hold the mayo. You might lose the raw onions, too, especially if you're headed back to work. All in all, the Big Bacon Classic indeed is a classic American cheeseburger. One will hold you to dinner for sure, no need to upgrade to a double or triple. Save the extra tonnage for weekends or those times when you just give up. We've all been there.
More important news from Wendy's concerns the nationwide introduction of breakfast next month. Wendy's isn't making a half-effort, hiring 20,000 employees and spending $20 million to make sure everybody knows that Wendy's means business at breakfast. There will be nine wake-up sandwiches, served on biscuits, buns, and croissants. Every egg sandwich will be made with freshly cracked eggs, none of that "pasteurized egg product" poured from a wax carton. Hate that stuff.
Among the sandwiches: the Breakfast Baconator, with sausage instead of a beef burger, Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit (take that, Whataburger) and a Maple Bacon Chicken Croissant, which sounds crazy good.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.