I love newspaper food pages, what with their Bolognese sauce recipes and reviews of locavore bistros. They tell us how to eat well, and that’s something of real value. Putting thought into what we put in our bodies is never a bad thing.
That said, sometimes I just wanna grab some garbage food and shove greedy handfuls of it into my dumb face. There’s not much coverage of junk food in the food pages, and this feature seeks to remedy that.
In every biweekly edition of Pat Eats Garbage Food, I’ll review a different fast food item or convenience store snack and let you know what works and what doesn’t. (You’ll note I didn’t say what’s good and what’s bad; it’s all bad. That’s the point.)
• The food: It’s not just one food this week, it’s the $5 Wendy’s Biggie Bag, which includes a Bacon Double Stack, four chicken nuggets, small fries and a small drink. I am a complete sucker for these kinds of fast-food bundles, which means I often end up ordering food I otherwise wouldn’t. “What’s that? You say you have a Snack Crave Monster Bonus Box for just $3, and it’s got $9 worth of food I don’t really want? SIGN ME UP!” This one’s not quite that bad, though I’d wouldn’t normally get the nuggets and I think double cheeseburgers are never as good as single cheeseburgers.
• The damage: $5, as you likely deduced from the fact it’s called the $5 Wendy’s Biggie Bag. This is another insidious marketing ploy that always works on me. Put the price in the name, and I’m much more likely to buy any collection of cobbled-together value-menu items. “Hmm. Five bucks, eh? That’s how much a fast-food meal ought to cost. I’ll take it. … Uh, what’s in it again? Oh. Uh. No, yeah, sure, fine. I still want it.”
• The other damage: The Wendy’s website says the full Biggie Bag has 970 to 1,350 calories. It doesn’t have any other info. I could do some simple math based on the a la carte items. But I’m not going to. Nor am I going to try to parse the reasons for such a wide range of caloric possibility. Suffice it to say, a meal featuring a Bacon Double Stack, fries, nuggets and a drink is not the sort of thing to eat more than once in a while.
• Official description: Per www.wendys.com, “Sometimes, you need more than a meal. So, we created a deal so big it got its own bag. Introducing the Biggie Bag: a Bacon Double Stack, 4 pc. nuggets, small fries and drink for just five bucks. It’s not every day you get this much food for such a small price. Unless, of course, you come to Wendy’s every day, which we highly recommend.”
• My description: It’s fine. Really. The burger is fine. The fries are fine. The nuggets are superfluous and made from heavily processed chicken, broken dreams and sodium. But they’re fine. The Coke is a Coke. So, you know, fine. The Biggie Bag is not the best way to spend $5 at Wendy’s, but it’s far from the worst.
• How does it feel? A little like disappointment but mostly like way too much food. That line from the official description, “Sometimes you need more than a meal,” isn’t true. You just need a meal.
• Will I eat it again? I want to say no, but a month from now if they rebrand it as a $6 Biggie Bag and put, like, one extra nugget in there, I’m pretty sure I will. Such is the depth of my idiocy.
• Overall rating: 5 out of 10, inoffensive but that’s the best I can say for it.