Still hip to be square?
Still hip to be square?
Photo by Christina Uticone

Wendy's New! Dave's Hot 'N Juicy Cheeseburger

Thanks to the magic of DVR I don't watch a lot of commercials, so I have only been vaguely aware of the new ad campaign Wendy's has going on for its new "Dave's Hot 'N Juicy" cheeseburgers. I had to ask the interweb what was so new about these cheeseburgers, since I hadn't eaten a Wendy's burger in about seventeen years. I ordered the quarter pound single ($3.80) and patted myself on the back for resisting the temptation of a Frosty.

The patty is still famously square, an homage to Dave's aversion to "not cutting corners" but apparently they are using a patty with a higher fat content to improve juiciness. "Premium Toppings" like red onions, crinkly hamburger pickles, crispy lettuce and fresh tomato slices have been introduced, plus a "buttered, toasted bun". I was dismayed to see that mayo came standard, but at least they apply it to the top bun, making it easy to scrape off. I hit mine with a little extra ketchup to offset any residual mayo (take that Texas!) and went to town.

On the pro side of things, the Wendy's quarter pound Hot 'N Juicy is well-rounded, in spite of the square patty. There are lots of veggies for crunch and (relative) freshness, and the patty is indeed quite juicy. Not dribble-down-your-chin like a *real* hamburger juicy, but considerably good for a fast food burger. I like the taste of the bun, though I'm ambivalent about buttering; toasting is nice, especially when you hit the drive-through, as it offsets some sogginess. I love the pickle chips, which were nice and tart.

Unfortunately, this burger doesn't taste like much -- the meat isn't seasoned well at all. I should say, the burger is not seasoned at all. Someone needs to take a salt shaker to this thing. I was excited to see that there was plenty of cheese, and that it was nice and ooey-gooey, but again a lack of salt left me disappointed in the flavor category. The only sufficiently salty flavor element on the sandwich was the pickles. That said, from a texture standpoint it's much better than most fast-food hamburgers

Overall this burger is pretty good, although I would need a real Wendy's fan to tell me if it's an improvement over the classic fare. I would order this burger again, but only if there were no Whataburgers around.

Nutritional information: 580 calories, 33 grams fat, 1240 mg sodium, 105 mg cholesterol, 42 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams sugar, 3 grams fiber, 31 grams protein

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