Drive-thru review: Wendy's Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger raises bun bar

By: Ken Hoffman King Features Syndicate
July 15, 2013 Updated: July 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Wendy's has been scheming this big reveal for years.

The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger was the best-testing product in Wendy's history. Customers flipped for the pretzel bun.

Wendy's is banking on the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger to steal the fast-food show this summer.

Here's the blueprint: a quarter-pound (precooked, never frozen) North American beef patty, one slice of natural cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, fresh spring mix made with nine different greens, red onion, tomatoes, sweet and smoky honey mustard and warm cheddar cheese sauce, all on a toasted pretzel bun.

Wow! This sounds like Wendy's is emptying the pantry - everything Wendy's does best is on this burger, and then some.

The headliner is the pretzel bun, baked dark on top with real soft-pretzel flavor. It's toasted, so you get rich, sweet flavor and slightly chewy texture. Each bun is hand-cut across the top. No two buns look the same.

You've seen hot dogs wrapped in pretzel dough at airports, right? Imagine a cheeseburger made that way, except made to order.

Wendy's has been driving the fast-food bacon wagon for years - first with applewood-smoked bacon, first with thick-cut bacon, and now they're frying the bacon fresh in every restaurant.

Nine different greens isn't a burger topping. That's a quick round of golf after work.

At Wendy's, the cheese is real, the tomatoes are washed and sliced at each restaurant and the honey mustard is made with light amber honey and delicate Dijon mustard.

There's a slice of cheese AND a dollop of cheese sauce. And then honey mustard. That's a lot of goop for one burger. This is the kind of burger you eat with a bath towel tucked in your collar.

Like any good cafeteria, they get you at the end - the cash register. The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger is $4.69, not cheap, even for a burger with more toppings than a frozen yogurt shop. There's a ton going on, and in your belly. The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger has more calories than a Big Mac.

But quality costs. This is one fabulous fast-food burger. Wendy's is clearly nudging the quality bar higher with the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger.

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