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We know when it’s real: Reviewing Wendy’s new burger

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Wendy’s latest offering: The Hot ‘N Juicy
Photo: Steve Marcus
Rich Coleman

Dave Thomas, the gentle old man from all those old Wendy’s commercials, always described his classic hamburgers as “hot and juicy.”

Were they hot? Yeah, most of the time. Were they juicy? Ehh.

The whole “our-burgers-are-square” novelty is neat, but at the end of the day Wendy’s beef patties always had a rubbery texture and lacked in the value department. But it seems that Wendy Thomas, Dave’s daughter, has decided to alter the original recipe and change the name to Dave’s Hot ’n’ Juicy Cheeseburgers. Best of all, she’s letting us Las Vegans test them out before the rest of the country gets them in June. Suck on that, everyone else!

The commercial boasts that the beef patty is juicier and thicker, the vegetable toppings are now “premium” fresh, and the bun is buttered and toasted. As a self-proclaimed expert on eating food that is terrible for you, I set out to see if the Hot ‘n Juicy delivers what it promises.

The patty

The beef patties are a lot bigger—one single beef patty seems equal to two classics. (So, beware: If you decide to go for a triple Hot ‘n Juicy, you’ll be tackling a lot of meat.) But size isn’t everything. So, is the new patty juicer? Short answer: Yes. The Hot ’n’ Juicy doesn’t disappoint. Gone is the rubbery texture and meh-taste, replaced with something that tastes and feels more like a burger should.

The veggies

Worrying about fresh vegetables at a fast-food chain is like worrying about whether you’re going to be able to understand Saw 3D because you didn’t see Saw VI. It really doesn’t matter. But, if you’re curious, the fancy-pants vegetables in the Hot ’n’ Juicy look and taste the same as the ones in the Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe—no matter how many crinkles are in the pickles.

The bun

I can appreciate what they’re trying to do with the bun—buttering and toasting and whatnot—but what they don’t mention is that the top of that bun is smothered in mayo and ketchup. So, if there is buttering going on here, I’m certainly not tasting it.

The verdict

The Hot ’n’ Juicy is a fine replacement for Wendy’s classic cheeseburgers. If you were a fan of the classics—or at least found them tolerable—chances are you’ll dig the Hot ’n’ Juicy. ... But it’s still no In-N-Out.

Sorry, Wendy.

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