I Love Wendy’s But Somebody Should Do A Stretch In Prison For Their New Burger


It’s true, Wendy’s is by far my favorite of the mega-fast food chains. It would be difficult to improve upon their classic #1 combo with cheese, no pickles, and a Coke. That, my friends, is perfection in a sack. And their chicken sandwiches, salads, and even French fries are all shockingly good. If I wasn’t so fat and easily winded, I’d threaten to fight anyone who disparaged the good name of Wendy’s.


On Saturday I went there with my younger son, for a quick and easy lunch. And even though I watch almost no television, this commercial had somehow tunneled its way into my brain, and caused me to commit a tragic error.

steakhouseClearly I wasn’t paying close attention, but latched on to the phrase “steakhouse.” I didn’t understand what that meant, really, but liked it. It triggered thoughts of no-nonsense all-American food, in generous portions. Maybe even hints of a greasy barroom burger wrapped in wax paper and nestled in a filthy basket. Oh yeah, “steakhouse” was flipping all manner o’ switches inside my brain, and causing my mouth to water.

So, I ordered three of those bad boys – two for me, one for the youngling. Plus, a medium fry to share, and a couple of sodas. And we settled in with our hand-pumped condiments by the window, said a prayer to the gods of heart valve replacement, and dove in.

And what in the everlovin’ shit?! I was expecting a delectable combination of ground beef, lettuce, tomato, and onion. But I got instead a powerful blast of spices, and GARLIC. Freaking garlic, on a fast food burger! Somebody should be tried at The Hague, and sent to a South American prison.

My lower jaw retracted, which meant a vomit sequence had been set into motion. But I’ve got skillz, and was able to maintain. I ejected the foul intruder into a napkin, sat there silently for a couple of seconds while regaining my composure, and finally began howling in protest.

The boy also had a look of confusion and alarm on his face, and we started dismantling our lunches.

There was some kind of white goo on top of the tomatoes and stuff. Was Satan himself in the kitchen, polishing his staff? I gave it a sniff, and it was clearly the source of the overpowering garlic. And what the hell?? Garlic has insinuated itself into all walks of life by this late date. Can’t it at least leave our burgers alone?

The boy shouted, “Look underneath!”

I lifted the burger, and there was a thick coating of black spices on the bottom bun. My mind was having trouble processing what my eyes were seeing. Seriously: WTF? What demented person conceived of such a thing? And how did it make it all the way to market?!

dave thomasNext time I’m in a Wendy’s I’m going to pay special attention to the photo of Dave Thomas in the dining room; I have no doubt there will be actual tears falling from his eyes, dampening the carpet underneath.

I grabbed my phone. I needed to find out what I’d just half-eaten, half-hocked into a napkin. The website says something about “garlic aioli.” I have no idea what that is, but in my mind it falls into the same category as ethnic cleansing.

And that crap at the bottom? “Steakhouse seasoning.” To my knowledge, there is no such thing. It’s like saying “hardware store seasoning,” or “post office zestiness.” They’re just stringing random words together at this point.

In a panic, I threw my almost-two burgers into the trash, and had nothing to eat for lunch – except for half an order of medium fries. I considered returning to the counter and buying a normal-people burger, like the ones they enjoy on planet Earth. But there were a bunch of portly lasses up there, with dingy once-white bra straps exposed. NOT a good look. And by the size of those ladies, I knew the kitchen crew had their hands full. So, screw it.

I sat there while the boy actually ate his entire burger, occasionally wincing and grimacing… And that taste! Why wouldn’t it fade? Shouldn’t it be fading by now?! Would my life ever be the same again? I was belching up despair.

When I got home I went straight upstairs, and brushed me teeth. When I spit there was a load of black dots in the sink. Then I used mouthwash, and let it slosh around in there for a good five minutes. Again: a load of dots. Fuck me!

I’m not kidding, this is not hyperbole… the new Wendy’s Steakhouse Jr. Cheeseburger is one of the worst things I’ve ever tasted. And I tried those booger, vomit, and earwax Jelly Bellys a few years ago. Blecch!

The guy below actually likes it, which blows my mind. HOW?! I think he farts at the 21 second point, and again at 28. I’m not sure if that’s relevant or not, but thought it was worth mentioning.

Heck, maybe I’m the strange one? Maybe I’m that one-in-a-million guy who doesn’t like to bite into a hamburger and get knocked across the room by a garlic wallop and the contents of an entire spice rack?

I wear it like a badge of honor.

Buy something cool at Amazon! It’s the American way.


  1. Janet Rinn says


  2. Aioli is mayo. They took a disgusting condiment and fd it up. Your kid is a tropper. He’ll go far.

    • johnthebasket says

      Jesus Christ, Stormy. Accusing Jeff’s son of being a tropper right at the top of the comments, then compounding the mopery by asserting that aioli is mayonnaise (aioli is garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and usually egg yolks). And you misspelled “fucked”. All in 20 words.


      • The sad part is I corrected tropper from something else. I accept all criticism and will try to change my ways.

      • Dang, JTB – one comment from you can sour an entire gallon of milk lately. What’s up with that?

        • johnthebasket says


          I was flipping t-storm a little shit for using the word tropper instead of trouper. I was trying to do so in a light-hearted faux-grouchy way. Sorry if it came across as curdling. I guess it’s just the way of my people. My intent was comedic.


          • johnthebasket says

            …and I do appreciate your honest feedback. I guess I don’t always know how I sound to others and your willingness to confront that was generous. Thanks.


          • I took the humor as humor. If I was gonna get my feathers in a bunch on this site I’d have to go fuck myself

        • Jazzbone Swirly says

          Hear hear. This is not very much fun anymore (i.e., see response to Brenda below).

          • johnthebasket says

            Yeah, Jazz. This is a nice but peculiar place. On the one hand, we eschew political correctness, and on the other we get upset at a little lighthearted zinging. I’ve been going round with t-storm for going on a decade. I respect his intellect and his writing, so it’s fun to zing him when he messes up. However, other people read the comments and deem them unladylike.

            And indeed, in another context they would be. I’d never make those comments to a new correspondent, or, in fact, to anybody but a few long-time starship troopers with true grit. It wouldn’t be fair, and it would be mean. I think it’s good that Tiff stepped in to defend t-storm, obviously not knowing of the years of banter that preceded the comment. She’s a nice lady and she was just addressing what looked like bullying. That’s why I sincerely thanked her for her comments.

            I guess we just need to feel our way along and keep our intentions clean and our language dirty. People will be offended, but that’s part of the fun out here. I’d rather apologize after the fact than write with my head down. Thanks for your comment.


            • We all need to get a room.

            • Jazzbone Swirly says

              JTB – As I recall, once you told us that you prefer the burgers at Pick-Quick in Fife over those at any corporate burger chain. I agree with you on that one. I might just need to get a couple of them next week when I am driving from Olympia to Seattle to see the Mariners play the Twins next Wednesday night.

              • johnthebasket says


                You can’t go wrong with Pick-Quick. The burgers are actually 100% beef with no filler, and they are stacked with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and grilled onions and secret sauce, the recipe for which is carefully guarded by the Fife Police Department. The Banana shakes are made with actual bananas; the strawberry shakes are made with strawberries grown about two miles east of the place. The outside dining, picnic tables in a mixed-species grove of trees on the edge of a slow-moving creek, is relaxing and fun. I just don’t see how either you or the Mariners can go wrong.


  3. I’m glad you took one for the team here, because I would’ve tried this. Burgers with pungent goo of questionable origin on them are not acceptable. Mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise only, not all at the same time (depends on the application) and in strict moderation, are the only semi-liquid substances authorized for use on any sandwich I eat.

  4. I’ve also tried that shitburger and was put off by the overwhelming spices. Terrible. Good update. I laughed quite a bit because I could relate.

  5. The idiot in the video did fart…twice. I suppose if compared to a hot, boiled egg or cabbage fart, this burger may not taste too bad. And I don’t even like mayo on my burger, even without the garlic thrown in. Give me mustard or give me death. You would think old Dave would have sense enough not to know that new products aren’t always a good thing. I bet this item disappears from the menu within a month.

    • Yep. I think the “jazzed up” offerings are only meant to suck you in once, then they fall off the menu after the suckers have shelled out their six bucks. No exageration, EVERY “upscale” sandwich I’ve ever tried at MaDonalds tasted like hammered dogshit.

    • “Give me mustard or give me death,” hear, hear! I concur, wholeheartedly.

  6. johnthebasket says


    Expecting heaven on earth for a buck forty-nine seems a little – well – optimistic for a guy who thinks that people who drive with their windows open are agents of Satan and that people who work at Subway are out to get you. What you’re actually going to get for your six quarters is 860 milligrams of sodium (I guess since you ordered an additional burger, you’d need to multiply both numbers by two). In terms of cardiac risk factors, you might as well get a pack of Camel Lights for dessert.

    To be fair, I don’t think you’d actually metabolize all the sodium if you continued the practice of spitting the partially chewed burger into a napkin, but that seems to defeat the low price advantage.

    Fast food is for people under 30 who have existing contracts for cryogenic freezing services or have no particular reason to live much longer.

    I don’t believe in healthy eating: life is too short for oil and vinegar dressing. But my laissez faire food attitude falls short of a death wish. Hell, the Mariners might make the playoffs this year, and I’d like to survive the season.

    best wishes,


    • M’s in the playoffs??,,,,dude it’s not even July, The king gets zero support, That being said, i too wish to remain alive until October or so to see that miracle…you may resume normal drinking

      • johnthebasket says


        It’s a day before July, Felix is 10-2, with a 2.10 ERA and 137 SO. I know this story never ends well, but usually it doesn’t last until July.


  7. Brenda Love says

    Thanks for letting us know about this Jeff…now I don’t have to try it! Which means I don’t have to tell anyone about it, which means opening myself up to people who love to lecture on food choices and how their choices are so much better.

  8. I used to eat at Wendy’s weekly, in fact the infamous finger-in-the-chili Wendy’s was my local. Wendy’s messed up their entire menu a few years back, their product is not right any more, it’s been at least 2 years since I ate there. I was informally talking to someone from Wendy’s corporate and they agreed their product had been fucked up!

  9. “And by the size of those ladies, I knew the kitchen crew had their hands full.” –That one line had me rolling! Great fast food update.

  10. Phil Jett says

    I was on a three state road trip this weekend to spend four hours at a graduation party. We cruised through Wendy’s during a five minute feed the car and ourselves pit stop. My wife had a single which is hard to fuck up and I had the spicy chicken sandwich. No complaints from either of us though the video reminds me of the chewy tomatoes they have on the sandwiches. I’m not a big fan of a barely red, hot house tomato. At least you never have to worry about too much of them. They never put more than one which barely covers two thirds of the diameter of the bun.

    The fries were pretty good too. I like garlic but not on my burger.

    • That’s why I don’t bother with any of those vegetable related condiments. All that does is screw up a good burger.

  11. Brenda Love says

    By the way, Jeff, if you are craving a steak sandwich, I recommend the Delmonico steak sandwich from Lone Star Steakhouse. You can sit at the bar and enjoy a drink while you wait for a to-go.

    • johnthebasket says

      Taking a fine American food name like Delmonico and using it in a corporate fast food joint borders on the criminal, but is probably less criminal than the Lone Star Bubba Burger which manages to pack 1,087 calories and a hard-to-believe 4,268 milligrams of sodium. The average American over 50 can use about 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day. Anything over that will, over time, affect cardio health. If you’re a runner, I’d go ahead and have the Bubba Burger. It will reduce the number of years you have to run.

      Lone Star my ass.


      • johnthebasket says

        Sweet sainted arteries of Clara Peller. I’m just saying.


        • Brenda Love says

          Jeff, if I were you, I would consider this guy’s sanctimonious squawking to be a glowing recommendation to try the Delmonico.

          • johnthebasket says


            I fear there are those in this forum who don’t go in for humor of the subtle variety. I do, indeed, object to the crap big corporations put in fast food, but I’ve never felt holier-than-thou about it. I also object to the use of the name of a great American institution to sell faux-food. I really don’t care what people eat; I just prefer full disclosure.

            I don’t know how to say this without sounding like the s-word, but you might want to look up the history of Delmonico’s, then look up the definition of sanctimonious. I suggest this cheerfully, but I fear you won’t hear it that way. C’est la guerre.



            • Brenda Love says

              Well John, you may think you’re coming off as humorous, but you’re really not. Maybe you should inject [*humorous*] after the posts where you think you are being funny, so the rest of us will know “oh that’s humor, not him just being an asshole”

              • johnthebasket says

                Thanks for speaking for the group. They’re busy tonight. I can’t include imbedded laugh cues for only the slow. It’s everybody or nobody, and after a decade, I suspect most people either understand humor by exaggeration or choose to not read and just move on. I suggest the possibility. I really don’t get my kicks by offending you. I get my kicks on Route Sixty-six.


  12. Jazzbone Swirly says

    I am a level-five vegan, so I don’t eat anything that casts a shadow.

    • Jazzbone Swirly says

      I am willing to try this Wendy’s steakhouse burger however, because there appears to be nothing in there that is actually composed of food.

  13. Jeff tweeted about this on Saturday, but kept the offending sandwich anonymous at that point. Somehow, someway, something told me it was the steakhouse burger.

    And here I was all excited about trying one for the first time. Not now.

  14. I know I would have spit this out, too. Garlic does not belong on a burger. Or on a steak, for that matter. Funny, some of us gals a work went out last Monday to a place called The Burger Barn. They had a goat cheese and arugula burger on the menu and the picture looked really good. But, I declined and opted for a regular cheeseburger, ketchup, onion, lettuce. Sometimes these things sound great in theory but I wasn’t going to blow $13 (did I mention the Burger Barn is a fucking rip off?) to try something new. Keep it pure and simple.

    Damn, now I want Wendys for lunch but I’ll have to console myself with the chili dog I packed.

  15. Aioli has garlic in it by definition, so “garlic aioli” is like “wet water.” And I do sometimes like a hit of garlic on a burger, but it needs to be at my direction – not as a nasty surprise.

  16. Jeff, you’re one of my favorite people I’ve never met.

    But good lord, man. Garlic makes everything, including birthday cake, better. It’s the true spice of life. Unless you’re a vampire (you’re not are you?), you should embrace garlic.

    Over here in the mitten we have the largest Arabic population in the world outside of the middle east. And say what you want, both those folks know how to treat garlic. They take 3 heads of raw garlic, some sunflower oil and a little salt, puree and whip up a very fluffy garlic condiment that goes with just about anything. It’s fan-freaking-tastic.

    And as for steakhouse seasoning, Lawry’s steakhouse in Chicago practically invented it. It’s where you get Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. Steakhouse seasoning is as American as the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

    Come, join team garlic. It will be great, I promise.

    • johnthebasket says

      Arguing about taste is like driving in a cul-de-sac. You can move at speed and make noise, but ultimately you’ll end up back where you started.

      I think that was said by either St. Augustine or Mario Andretti.

    • 40 cloves and chicken is my go to chicken recipe, and if the chicken isn’t reason enough, you end up with 40 roasted garlic cloves soaked in chicken fat that make the most awesome garlic bread. Holy crap it’s a good meal.

  17. Lucie in Tampa says

    lmfao!!! so I know not to try it!!! Thanks Jeff!

  18. Lucie in Tampa says

    Hey have you tried the Draft Beer Jelly Bellies?

  19. Public Service Announcement: Garlic makes you stink, too. If you eat garlic, your co-workers are aware of that.

    Thank you for the review of this burger. I think the name of it was misleading. I watched the video just to see if the guy really farted, and I think he did.

  20. Erica in Charlotte says

    No one’s going to comment on God’s Gift to Cheap Burger Reviewers?? First the visual examination: “Here’s the burger. And there’s the cheese. There’s the spices.” Then took a bite. Then informed, “Yep. They added some steakhouse spices to their regular cheeseburger.” He takes this shit SERIOUSLY, y’all. Filming his opinions right there in the parking lot. That’s dedication.

  21. Perhaps the kitchen taste testers were not planning on or even in their wildest dreams considering someone ordering this epicurean epileptic fit inducing , economy priced palate, pleasing parcel…without pickles. Someone most likely thought pickles tied the experience together and then you come along and rip the rug out from underneath them and say…”No Pickles”.

  22. Does the current Wendy girl seem a little unsettling to anyone else?

  23. Garlic is not as offensive to me as ketchup on a hot dog. But, then again, I dislike ketchup intensely. I would imagine that when I put mustard on my hamburger I offend my share.

  24. Ghost of Dave Thomas says

    I’m gonna haunt those morons like they’ve never been haunted before!

  25. Some Guy on the Innernets says

    Always liked Wendy’s. What other fast food joint sells respectable chili, baked potatoes, non-toxic milkshake-like semi-solids in a cup? None that I know of. Their fries are pretty good too. This new sandwich sounds like something dreamed up in some corporate nuthouse, though. Thanks for the warning, Jeff! I might well have attempted to eat one of those nasty things myself.

    Wendy’s had a really great burger years and years ago called the Big Classic or something like that. It was a round burger on a different kind of bun than the normal Wendy’s burgers, with just the right stuff on it. Just as I got to be a loyal customer and pretty well hooked on that particular sandwich, they discontinued it. Drat! At some point not long after that, they started selling the Classic Bacon Burger or some such, which was pretty much the same as the discontinued one except with bacon. Never really liked that on a burger. I love bacon, love chocolate, love popcorn, but none of those things belong on a hamburger. Sorry, it’s just not right. So of course I tried ordering the new sandwich without the bacon a few times, but often as not it would so confuse the person behind the register that they’d seize up like my old Dos computer, and stare blankly at me for much too long. Oh well. A regular old Wendy’s burger is pretty darn good.