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Wendy’s Baconator: I’ll NOT Be Back…

By • Sep 1st, 2009 • Category: Burger Blog

By all rights, I should absolutely adore the Baconator from Wendy’s.  Two quarter-pound patties (“Fresh, never frozen,” like the ad says), 2 slices of American cheese, six strips of hickory-smoked bacon, and a so-bad-it’s-kinda-clever-in-that-hokey-B-movie-kind-of-way name.  I mean, look at this thing as it’s pictured on the menu:

baconatormenupic

The Baconator should be the best fast-food cheeseburger on the planet.  But it’s just not.

I first tried the Baconator when Wendy’s introduced it in summer ’07, under less-than-ideal circumstances.  I grabbed it to go on a road trip: not the best way to test-drive a new cheeseburger and savor its subtle nuances, I know.  But I did it anyway, and when I was done, what totally overwhelmed any impressions of taste was the extreme mess.  Sky-high slop factor.  The Baconator is simply a bad burger to eat behind the wheel.

The incident must have scarred me, because I went until yesterday without a repeat performance. It’s still around after 2 years, something surprisingly few fast-food menu items can say.  So they must be doing something right.  Right??? I breezed through the drive-thru, ordered up a Baconator, and took it home for a proper sampling.  This is what I pulled out of the bag:

baconator1

Not quite the same as the first picture, huh?  Now, I’m not under any illusions; I know that those menu pictures are more Photoshopped than Miss September.  But c’mon.  That’s not even close.

Not a feast for the eyes, to be sure.  But now I also smelled something fishy.  Make that “ketchuppy.”  I peeled back the bun and gazed at this:

baconatoropen

That’s presumably six strips of bacon, but who could tell with the flood of ketchup and mayonnaise it was swimming in?  I’m admittedly not a condiment guy, and I know that puts me in the minority.  But why can’t fast-food joints serve all burgers condiment-free? If I want ketchup, mustard, mayo… throw in the little packets and let me dress it up myself.  If you want the kid behind the counter to do it to save you those 8 seconds, you should be able to ask for it, by all means.  But I can never remember which burgers from which place are served with which condiments.  And because of that, now I was stuck with a soggy mess.  The bun actually tore in half after one lift-and-peek because it was so saturated… after only 6 minutes in the car.

baconatorbun

The bacon was terrible, as blasphemous as that sounds.  But if your burger is called The Baconator, you’d better have some damn fine pork product as the centerpiece. This was six (maybe?) pieces of that limp, chewy stuff that comes out of a microwave.  The kind where you’re pulling whole strips out of the burger because you can’t bite through it cleanly.

baconatortornbacon

It’s too bad, because Wendy’s generally does a fine burger.  Go back and check out mine fresh from the bag; that’s nice-looking beef and cheese.  But the heavy-handed condiments, the terrible bun, and woefully weak bacon make the Baconator a disaster.

I will not eat it in my truck.  I will not eat it; it does suck.

I must not be the only one who thinks so.  There’s news now that Wendy’s will introduce a new “premium bacon cheeseburger.” According to CEO Raymond Smith, this one will have “juicier beef,” an “improved” bun, and “bacon cooked from scratch.”  He means “freshly-cooked” bacon, but I won’t argue if he just delivers bacon that actually tastes like bacon.  I hope the new burger really has all of those things, so we can all tell the Baconator, “Hasta la vista, baby.”

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11 Responses to “Wendy’s Baconator: I’ll NOT Be Back…”

  1. 1
    monique (; Says:

    yummy i feel like such a fatty looking at this (;

  2. 2
    Amelmahay Says:

    Being a devoted bacon cheeseburger lover I, too, thought the Baconator would be the answer to my worst burger cravings. Like you, I found the Baconator a huge disappointment. It was just aweful. I had one brought home to me one evening. The bun was limp and soaked, the whole sandwich fell to pieces while trying to eat it, and the flavor in general was very lacking. The true burger devotee won’t generally worry that much about the grease content in a burger (for the most part). But, after only being able to eat a small portion of the Baconator, I wasn’t satisfied at all. I simply felt “dipped in fat”. It was horrible! The next time I went to Wendy’s to eat I ordered their fish sandwich. Now that was wonderful. Naturally, when I went back to have another they had discontinued it. Why is that? That’s really messed up. Don’t get rid of the good stuff!

  3. 3
    lani Says:

    that is gross! i once ordered a mcChicken, i never go 2 fast food places any more :-*

  4. 4
    Jared Says:

    What?! Baconator is my favorite burger, other than my local burger shack. I think it’s just the wendy’s you went to, because mine is always great. Best fast food i’ve eaten.

  5. 5
    JS Says:

    I work for a Wendy’s and honestly it looks like a disgruntled employee took anger out on your burger. I would have taken that back and demanded to speak to a manager. (The employee put wayyyy tooo much catsup and mayo on your sandwich unless you wanted extra.)

    Starting this month (October 2009) Wendy’s is rolling out a new kind of bacon called “Applewood Smoked Bacon” which my store started a couple of weeks back. The Applewood Smoked Bacon is prepared from scratch in our oven.

    Previously all sandwiches used a type of bacon that was microwaved but when your local Wendy’s starts the Applewood Smoked Bacon, the microwaved bacon will be used on the value sandwiches only.

    And all premium sandwiches now feature a new and improved bun to go along with the new Applewood Smoked Bacon. When your local Wendy’s starts to use Applewood Smoked Bacon you should notice a visible change with the Baconator as well.

    Once your Wendy’s starts to use Applewood Smoked Bacon, the Baconator will have three strips of the new bacon on top of the slice of cheese in the middle and three strips on the top. This is different as the picture in your article has the old build with the old bacon.

    I hope you will try the Baconator again, maybe at a different Wendy’s location that won’t butcher the sandwich to heck. It is one of my favorite sandwiches to eat.

  6. 6
    Jeff T Says:

    I tried one of the new bacon cheeseburgers tonight and was searching the net looking to see what others think.
    Oh my god, this is 1000000% better than the Baconator. The new bun is great, and the bacon is to die for. It was cooked perfect, crispy, not overdone, not under done. I inhaled the burger, give it a try, and I think you will love it. I will keep my eyes on your story to see what you think of the new burger.

  7. 7
    SB Says:

    I would actually eat any cheeseburger, no matter how much of a bacony-mess it is.

  8. 8
    Amanda Says:

    I am a manager at a wendy’s in Michigan and let me just say that i absolutely hated the old way we used to do our baconator. I too thought it was like taking old shortening and shoving it in your mouth. DISGUSTING! But I have to say that this new bacon is INCREDIBLE! I will never put the old bacon on a sandwich again! BTW SCHOOLCRAFT, MI WENDY’S ROCKS!!!!

  9. 9
    David Says:

    Yea.. The “new” baconator shares none of the qualities of the above review. Omgosh, I unfortunately love the baconator. ‘Unfortunately’ because after I have one, I crave it alll weeeek looooonngg!!!! That applewood bacon is out of this world. Yea go get another one and you’ll change your mind.

  10. 10
    bkallday Says:

    “But why can’t fast-food joints serve all burgers condiment-free? If I want ketchup, mustard, mayo… throw in the little packets and let me dress it up myself. If you want the kid behind the counter to do it to save you those 8 seconds, you should be able to ask for it, by all means.”

    yo dog you should just ask for your burger plain cause i like mines with condiments and it would be easier for you to order a plain burger rather than me ordering a burger with mustard ketchup mayo and what you suggest dont make sense cause some sauces make the burger like big mac and stacker cmon dog this is a burger site and you a burger blogger get a grip guy cmon todd

  11. 11
    Thatguy Says:

    I work at a wendys.. We are trained to put on condiments in a “w” form. Our bacon where I’m at is made fresh on the spot.

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