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Fast Food Test Drive: Wendy's New Salads

Mar 18, 2014 at 2:55 PM Chime in now

Fast Food Test Drive: Wendy's New Salads


When we were initially pitched the idea of trying a fast food salad, one of my colleagues said, "fast food does not equal real food." Which is how we came up with this brand new column, Fast Food Test Drive. Every so often, we'll taste test the latest wares from culinary joints around Canada and we'll give you the down-low on whether they're tasty, terrible or a toss-up (depending on your budget or food tastes). First up in the series is the product that inspired us to start this column, Wendy's new salads.

The What: Wendy's has just debuted a new line of salads that will be a permanent fixture on their menus. There's an Asian Cashew Chicken Salad, a BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad and a Taco Supreme Salad. The idea behind the addition it to show that Wendy's can serve up more than just burgers to their customers.

The Price: $8.49 for a full-size salad; $4.99 for the half; $6.49 for a mix of two.

The Trial: At 370 calories, the Asian Cashew Chicken Salad seemed like it would be something that was up my alley. I'm trying to eat healthier (I've started tracking my food consumption to see how many veggies I eat on a daily basis) and it offered me a bit of protein (I will never be a gal who can subsist on just kale). I opted for the large size because, well, half a salad sounded small.

At first glance, the veggie bowl was relatively appetizing. It contained lettuce, some red peppers, edamame, cucumbers and grilled chicken. Though the press package I received said the salad was rife with 11 different kinds of field greens (think chard and spinach), my particular dish was a little lacking in the ruffage department. That said, once I dug in, I was pleasantly surprised by the salad's flavour. It was fresh and the dressing -- a light spicy Asian chili vinaigrette -- wasn't overwhelmingly greasy (like I find most on-shelf dressings are).

One thing that shocked me was the salad's size: the fully loaded option was way too much for me to eat in one sitting (which means I have lunch leftover for another day).

The Verdict: A good source of fiber (5 grams) and low in fat, this is a salad that's worth investing in if your only food option is to swing by a fast food joint. It also provides a decent bang for your lunchtime buck (buy the large and save half for another day).

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