Review: Wendy’s “Baconator”

by Jay HOLLEY
 

Wendy’s “Baconator” sandwich is a culinary failure. Commercials advertising the burger boast of its “six strips of bacon piled high atop two fresh, never-frozen beef patties,” but while Wendy’s delivers the beef, upon first unwrapping the sample sandwich this reviewer was left wondering where they’d concealed the bacon. I lifted up the warm kaiser roll and found six translucent strips of pork, each about the width of a piece Scotch-brand ‘Magic tape’ and the thickness of 20 lb. copy paper. These six fragments of reconstituted bacon were set in a thin mortar of ketchup and mayonnaise, the only standard condiments on this double 1/4 pounder with double cheese—there’s no pickle unless you order it, no onions unless you ask. The Baconator is conceptually intriguing: like what the Dogme 95 movement did for cinema and Spoon does with rock’n’roll, the Baconator formula seems as though it will strip the extraneous and leave just the essence of a bacon cheeseburger: two hot patties, two slices of cheese, a thick layer of bacon, and just enough condiments to bind bacon, burger, and bun. The formula might’ve worked if Wendy’s included enough bacon to compete with the burger, but six tiny pieces do not warrant the ‘-nator’ suffix; in this reviewer’s opinion they barely justify the generic ‘bacon cheeseburger’. Contemplate the word “Baconator” as if it were one of Plato’s Forms. “Baconator” implies not only an adequate bacon ratio, as Wendy’s burger almost delivers, but a ratio so high as to be capable of great destruction. Wendy’s had the vision to see the word—Baconator—but there their vision halted. They might’ve ground bacon strips into bacon bits and mixed them in into their fresh all beef patties, adding a healthy dose of real bacon atop for overkill. Such a burger might earn the name “Baconator.” They could’ve weaved their thin strips into a kind of crude cloth of pork, folding it over three, four times, or with the right machinery perhaps knitting bacon into a sort of greasy mobius strip. Such a burger might earn the name “Baconator.” Instead Wendy’s phoned it in.

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