Reality Check: We Try Wendy's New Pretzel Pub Chicken Sandwich

Fast Food

Would you like fries (or onion rings or chicken tenders) with that?

[This photograph: Wendy's; All others: Lee Movic]

Pretzel buns are the new black.

Better, (from Twitter, original writer unknown): "It looks like pretzel buns have hired the same PR firm that represents bacon. #everythingonapretzelbun"


As a sequel to their summer 2013 Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger blockbuster, Wendy's has introduced the Pretzel Pub Chicken Sandwich. Because #everythingonapretzelbun.

But, as is the case with many sequels, this one fails to reach the same heights as its predecessor. Described as "a lightly breaded chicken breast topped with natural muenster cheese, honey mustard and a warm cheddar sauce all atop a soft pretzel bun," this sandwich, in short, just doesn't work.

To be fair, it looks great. A side-by-side display with two other Wendy's chicken offerings—the value-priced Crispy Chicken Sandwich and the Homestyle Chicken Fillet—left no doubt as to which sandwich you'd want to grab. Alas, looks can be deceiving...


The more rigid (and, in my opinion, overly dense) pretzel bun made eating the Pretzel Pub Chicken Sandwich difficult. Heeding previous reader feedback about unfairly 'dismantling' sandwiches, I was careful not to pick this one apart—at least, not literally. However, the positioning of the mixed greens (which actually added a complimentary bitterness), the thin tomato sliver, and the honey mustard-cheese blend (yes, I'll get to the sauce in a minute) between the chicken and the crown created a lubricant layer that constantly shifted the top off of the sandwich. The other sandwiches, with their simpler lettuce and softer buns, hit no such obstacles. Having to re-crown your sandwich multiple times is a momentum killer, plain and simple.


But my biggest beef is with the sauce. As far as I'm concerned, yellow sauce on a fried chicken sandwich means one thing and one thing only: honey mustard. Perhaps I should have done more research before eating the sandwich, but THE YELLOW SAUCE ON THIS SANDWICH HAS SOME KIND OF CHEDDAR CHEESE SAUCE IN IT! So no, you're not crazy if you think the sandwich smells/tastes like nacho cheese. And no, you're not wrong if you think the globs of mayonnaise on the other chicken sandwiches are a better complement for a subtly spiced chicken patty. You, my friend, are right.

Perhaps the pretzel bun will find its groove again—it's certainly getting plenty of offers for roles. But for now? Let's just say I'd rather have take a Crispy Chicken Sandwich any day...