This week, I reached out for a new Homestyle S'Awesome Bacon Chicken Sandwich, part of the Made to Crave menu at America's No. 3 burger buster, Wendy's, with 6,700 restaurants coast to coast, plus Alaska and Hawaii, also protectorates Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Trivia question: Which U.S. state has the largest number of Wendy's restaurants? Answer: Florida, with 512 Wendy's. Texas is No. 2 with 412.
Wendy's also is adding two other chicken sandwiches to its Made to Crave menu: Avocado BLT and Barbecue Chicken. Each has a different style of chicken filet offered at Wendy's. The S'Awesome Bacon Chicken Sandwich comes with a homestyle filet, lightly dusted with mildly seasoned flour and deep-fried. The Avocado BLT comes with a grilled skinless filet. The Barbecue Chicken Sandwich has Wendy's classic spicy chicken filet, breaded, and deep-fried.
Here's the S'Awesome Bacon Chicken Sandwich breakdown: a homestyle white meat chicken breast, three slices of thick Applewood-smoked bacon, one slice of Muenster cheese, hand-chopped iceberg lettuce, tomato, and S'Awesome sauce on a toasted bun. If you're wondering what S'Awesome sauce tastes like, think of that orange Chick-fil-A sauce. It's tangy.
Total calories: 670. Fat grams: 34. Sodium: 1,530 mg. Carbs: 54 g. Dietary fiber: 3 g. Protein: 38 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $5.49. The Barbecue Chicken Sandwich is $5.49. The Avocado BLT is 50 cents extra. What is this, Chipotle?
Wendy's is known for tinkering with different kinds of cheese on its sandwiches. We've had Swiss, Asiago, American, Cheddar, Blue, and Gruyere. Now comes Muenster, which sounds like it should be from Germany, but it's from good ol' Wisconsin. Parrotheads know that Muenster is Jimmy Buffett's preferred topping for his Cheeseburger in Paradise: "Medium rare with Muenster'd be nice." Trust me, he's saying "Muenster'd," not "mustard." (Buffett will be performing June 1 at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands. How's that, a fast food review and concert calendar all in one. And yet the Pulitzer escapes me.)
While the standard issue S'Awesome Bacon Chicken Sandwich has a mild homestyle chicken breast, I freestyled and asked them to make mine with a spicy chicken breast. I'm so avant garde. I happen to think Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich is a Hall of Famer. After a 30-minute employee huddle and threatened labor strike, they let me have the spicy chicken breast. It was worth the wait.
The S'Awesome Bacon Chicken Sandwich is a hefty handful of quality ingredients and strong, satisfying flavors. It gets my big endorsement. Maybe Wendy's should lay out its sandwich toppings and let customers pick and choose, like at Subway or those new pizza assembly lines, like Mod Pizza and Blaze Pizza.
Deal alert: For a limited time, Wendy's is offering Frosty treats for 50 cents.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.