Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fast Food Review: Wendy's

Dave's Hot 'N Juicy 1/2 lb. Double

How often do you plan a visit to a fast food establishment? It's usually an impulse decision, is it not? With only two Wendy's franchises left in DC (3900 Georgia Avenue, NW and 100 New York Ave., NE) I scheduled a trip to the Arlington Courthouse area to try several items (burgers, fries, nuggets & even my first Frosty) for review purposes. Think of it as killing several birds with one stone.

Almost $13 and an upset tummy later, I now understand why DC has only two locations still open. For starters, the once-novel, square-shaped burgers not only look weird... they taste weird too. At $4.67 for the sandwich alone, Dave's Hot 'N Juicy 1/2 lb. Double is anything but. Hot? No. Juicy? Nope. Half a pound? Perhaps way, way before it ever hit the grill. My double burger was greasy and poorly assembled. Big wads of iceberg lettuce, one thin slice of onion and tomato, plus two of the saddest, tiniest pickles you've ever laid eyes upon. Topped off with a cold bun, and two misformed patties that appeared to be falling apart, you'd hardly call it appetizing. Unfortunately for me, I had to call it lunch.

Wendy's recently changed their french fries to "natural-cut with sea salt." When I first tried them, I was impressed. Not this time around. My fries were drenched in salt at the top (none in the middle or bottom.) They were also cold and damp. Damp? That means greasy five minutes ago. Yuck. P.S. At $2.49 for a large, they cost more than McD's and Burger King.

Service was abysmal. The manager was my cashier, and he couldn't have been more surly or unfriendly. He also failed to offer me sauce for my nuggets (requiring trip #1 back to the crowded counter.) When I sat back down, I noticed my Jr. Hamburger (I wasn't lying about trying everything) was in fact a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. Back to the counter to ask for my proper sandwich. That was even worse (see my capsule review in Budget Burgers.) Stranger still was the Wendy's floor employee who stood dazed and confused (cleaning cloth in hand) for almost five minutes, not ten feet away from me. She wasn't working: She was literally just standing there, staring off into the distance. Creepy.

I wonder if I'll ever come back?

Atmosphere: C- (The restaurant is big and spacious; but who wants to eat fast food under a TV spitting out high-decibel music videos?)
Burger: D- (It's not worth a dollar, yet alone $4.67)
Fries: D-
Service: F (Quick turnaround, but two mistakes... and I ordered mine to go, on a rainy day. Lucky for me, I decided to eat in.)
Value: D-
Overall: D- (To think I travelled out of my way... to be dissatisfied.)