Reviewed by Wil Petty
Editor’s note: The Exception Magazine is on a quest to find the best fast food meal in America. Our reviewers rate and rank each meal on a 10 point scale, with each of the five criterion below eligible for up to 2 points.
Wendy’s continues to innovate with new flavors. I tried its Spicy Sriracha Chicken Sandwich meal and can confirm that it packs the heat you need to get through the winter.
Well it’s not cheap and you’re going to be paying prices more suited to local restaurants than your typical chain. The sandwich itself is $7.39. If you add the bacon Sriracha fries to the combo, which I did, it comes out to $8.14 before tax. That being said, the quality of food at Wendy’s is continuing to improve, so in this case, paying a dollar or so more is not a problem.
If you order the Bacon Sriracha fries by itself, it’ll be $1.99 before tax.
The best way to express my experience with this meal was that when I went inside the restaurant, it was freezing cold. After sitting down and eating my meal, that was no longer an issue. There is a certain element of heat to this meal that makes the winter months the perfect time to sell it. Of course, it was my typical Wendy’s dining experience: eating alone while eavesdropping on the people dining next to me. Not much excitement in that conversation though, just people being cold to one another.
I really could have done without the generic Christmas music blaring through the restaurant’s speaker system, though.
When you consider a burger or sandwich with a side of fries, you aren’t expecting anything special. The higher score is definitely given because of the bacon fries, though. No matter how bland something may look, it’s hard to say no when it’s covered in bacon, Sriracha and cheese.
The sandwich, well, it wasn’t sexy.
I’m not saying this was the nectar of the Gods but by fast food standards this is a meal that would be hard to top by most fast food restaurants. Maybe it’s that I’m always more drawn to the poultry products on the Wendy’s menu, but this was something special. Sure you had your typical bun, allegedly “Sriracha infused,” spiced chicken, lettuce and onions. The addition of pepper jack cheese and the sauce really brought out the flavors.
The fries, as I mentioned earlier, were beautiful. Like the sandwich, they were the perfect blend of creamy and spicy. Thankfully (in my opinion), the fries were not crispy or hard, but soft. That just made the addition of bacon even better for a crisp.
What keeps this meal from having a perfect score in taste? Well that’s easy. You see, I hate uncooked onions with every fiber of my being. If you forget to order this meal without onions, which I did, you’re going to lose at least 40 percent of that perfect sauce by the time you pull them off the sandwich.
Alright, this isn’t a Monte Cristo or a Chicken cordon bleu from a big city bistro, but there was actual quality here. The chicken wasn’t bland and in fact was juicy. The sauce and cheeses used in both products were on point. The lettuce and onion were typical, but I doubt we ever see a fast food restaurant have quality “vegetables” that really have no effect on our health but just make us feel that much better about keeping them on the sandwich.
I can say I have no complaints. Wendy’s has delivered what I believe to be the best incorporation of the Thai chili sauce on fast food menus. I’m sure I will order it a few more times before it’s inadvertently taken off the menu. At least in the future, I’ll know not to add onions.