This week, I reached out for a new Barbecue Cheeseburger from the new "Made to Crave" menu at America's No. 3 burger buster, Wendy's, with 6,600 restaurant coast-to-coast, north and south.
New burger and new menu and, for a change, straight to the permanent menu, here to stay forever, which in Drive-Thru Land, could mean a week from Tuesday. Let's see how it sells.
Here's the Barbecue Cheeseburger breakdown: a 1/4-pound, never frozen, North American beef patty, two slices of American cheese, crispy fried onions, three pickle slices, and a good shmear of sweet and smoky, KC-style barbecue sauce on a toasty bun.
Total calories: 630. Fat grams: 34. Sodium: 1,360 mg. Carbs: 53 g. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Protein: 30 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.79. Your mileage may vary.
Wendy's new "Made to Crave" menu debuts with three burgers, with the headliner S'Awesome Bacon Cheeseburger, made with three strips of bacon, crispy onions, lettuce and tomato, and a lot of S'Awesome sauce. Also on the menu, a Peppercorn Mushroom Melt with sautéed fire-roasted mushrooms, Asiago cheese, and smoked peppercorn aioli.
Third on the bill, but stealing the show, is the Barbecue Cheeseburger, which may be saddled with a bland name but packs big-time flavor. This is your basic backyard cheeseburger: beef 'n' cheese, topped with crispy onions and legit strong barbecue sauce.
There's nothing weird with mayo, no fancy name that says nothing or cheese you can't find in a supermarket, and forget a French bakery bun. Are you looking for a good, solid, heavy-duty cheeseburger? This one's for you, bud.
Okay, so maybe a few strips of bacon would put the Barbecue Cheeseburger over the top, but that would boost the price into $5 Guys territory. Wendy's Barbecue Cheeseburger is as really good as it gets without having to rummage through your car's console for nickels and dimes to cover the tab.
The beef patty is freshly grilled, served hot and juicy, the double cheese slices are m-m-melty and the onions lend some fun crunch. I'm not missing the lettuce and tomato. Wendy's is famous for its reliable, excellent burgers and this is a standout addition to the lineup.
By the way, the other two rollouts — S'Awesome Bacon Cheeseburger and Peppercorn Mushroom Melt — ring the register at $5.29 each. I think there's a crinkled-up dollar under the passenger side floor mat.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.