The world of fast food has quickly and rapidly been progressing into a blurred reality, where the average Joe consumer wants not only quick food, but they want quality food quick. It's hard to blame consumers, with health concerns creeping further into society, we all want options whenever we go out to eat, even if it's at a "burger joint" or "dive". Wendy's is helping to blur this line by scaling up their image. With premium offerings such as the Asiago Ranch Chicken Club, Wendy's menu has begun to branch out in tasty and intriguing ways. Next on the product map, is their Grilled Chicken Flatbreads. A wild and adventurous, but more importantly tasty step towards fast casual.
We were at Wendy's HQ yesterday for a special blogger event focused on their new brand image and these new Grilled Chicken Flatbreads. Wendy's is really excited for these and for good reason. It's a diverse offering that the fast food competition currently isn't offering at least not in a quality way. We'll have a post soon to detail our visit to the HQ so be on the look out for that, but for now we'll simply focus on these two sandwiches.
While Wendy's was test marketing four different options, they ended up focusing the nationwide launch (which is next week by the by), on flavors that regulars will be familiar with: Smoky Honey Mustard and Asiago Ranch Club. The Smoky Honey Mustard option has similar elements to the Ultimate Chicken Grill, sporting lettuce, tomato, and the zesty, and bold honey mustard sauce. While the Asiago Ranch Club is a more savory and decedent option featuring Asiago cheese, bacon, and Ranch dressing in addition to the lettuce and tomatoes.
Some other important elements to focus on are the inclusion of Wendy's spring mix to the flatbreads. So you won't just get that typical and sometimes puny slice of ice berg, but you'll be seeing dark greens and even some purple here. The grilled chicken is also thick cut and sliced in a way we've never seen before from Wendy's. Big chunks of white meat are laid down and they present themselves very nicely. The main element that we were all excited for was the newest grilled chicken platform on the block: the multi-grain flatbread. Featuring 5 grains (millet, flax seed, sesame seed, rolled oats, cracked wheat) this isn't your usual spongy looking flatbread you're used to from Subway. Featuring a dark tone and thickness that is quite wholesome, we're really thinking America will catch onto it.
Wrapped up like an over sized taco, these definitely have a different footprint than your usual quick service sandwich. Unearthing the flatbreads was a fun task, as if you were ripping the curtain off that prized sports car.
First was the Smoky Honey Mustard variety. Weighing in at only 370 calories, 15 grams of fat, and 22 grams of protein this item will certainly be a crowd-pleaser for those watching their waist line. Biting down has a very cultured and bold feel. With having a simpler ingredient set, this sandwich really showcases the flatbread.
And showcasing it, is a very good thing. With earthy tones, a subtle crunch, and something that we've yet to taste at a QSR, Wendy's research and development for this really has paid off. We were really glad to see them go with a multi-grain approach instead of a bland and bleached one. The spring mix and tomato provide a great freshness while the honey mustard provides a nice bold but not too loud tone. The grilled chicken is thick cut and juicy, not stoic and rocky like others. We're giving the Smoky Honey Mustard a 4/5 star review. You should find this variety retailing for around $3.49.
The Asiago Ranch Club was the other option. As you can see, it is stuffed to the brim with toppings and flavor. Adding bacon, cheese, and ranch to any sandwich definitely increases the pleasure centers in your cranium. This was no exception, especially with us being so fans of this combination on the Asiago Ranch Chicken Club that Wendy's has perfected.
Biting into this one is a bit more of a challenge especially if you're trying to keep sauce off your shirt. But it's truly a labor of love. The great flavor combo makes its way onto the flatbread vehicle here. The rich taste of the Asiago cheese blends quite well with the Ranch dressing, while the bacon and grilled chicken pairing is second to none. While there are a lot of items wrapped up in the flatbread, it never really came across that there were too many, and we find that this sandwich has some truly great potential for those out there that want to splurge on taste.
You pay some for this taste. The Asiago Ranch will retail for around $3.99 in the open market. Also the nutrition facts are less than ideal for the dieter. Packing 30 grams of fat, 530 cals, and 30 grams of protein, you might want to eat a little leaner for your other meals on the day you try it out. The rich flavors, bacon factor, and amazing flat bread earn the Asiago Ranch Club a 4/5 as well.
So there you have it. The next wave of creativity in the fast food/casual realm. Wendy's has it and it's really tasty. While they might be a tad big sloppy and the tomatoes might be a little hard to contain in the flatbread, we really think you should go out and give them a try next week!
Smoky Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken Flatbread: 4/5
Asiago Ranch Club Grilled Chicken Flatbread: 4/5
~Fast Food Geek
Wendy's has released official information regarding nutrition and other tidbits of information. First of all, the Grilled Chicken Flatbreads are a limited time offer. It seems as though they will run from March 26th through late May. Second of all, we've learned that the spring mix lettuce blend in these bad boys has 9 different types of fresh greens. We also have full breakdowns on pricing and nutrition information on the two sandwiches:
Disclosure: Wendy’s provided compensation for Fast Food Geek's time and travel to Dublin, Ohio.