Review: Wendy’s Store #2869 (Drive Through)
4123 South Staples
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
Hours: Mon – Sun 10:00 am – 12:00 am
Wendy’s and I have had an on again off again relationship for years based on the tendency of the local franchise locations to be very hit or miss when it comes to quality, service and cleanliness of their restaurants. I’ve had some of the best fast food at some Wendy’s locations, and then I’ve had some of the absolute worst, in terms of service and quality. At one point I didn’t go for years after getting the worst chicken sandwich I’ve ever been served at a Wendy’s location (not this one, I got that at Wendy’s Store #3248, 45012 Ayers). It so happens though that the good has generally brought me back because when Wendy’s is good, it’s usually very good and there is a location that isn’t far from the house which comes in handy when I just want to drive through and grab something to take back to the house as was the case on this occasion.
On this occasion I decided to go with an old favorite of mine, the spicy chicken sandwich, and a newer item on their menu, the “W” burger, plus a side of their new fries. Since I went through the drive through and didn’t actually go into the dining room, I can’t comment as to the cleanliness of the restaurant. The employee working the drive through was friendly and professional while taking my order, although I found her volume level on the speaker to be a little on the low side. Overall, the service was friendly and quick, which I appreciate. The one complaint I have was while paying, right behind the employee taking my payment, a large group of employees were gathered and talking about personal things loudly enough to be clearly heard out the window. On the plus side though, my order was to me very quickly and accurately and I was on my way home.
First I tried the “W” burger, one of the newer additions to the Wendy’s menu. Wendy’s describes it as “two patties of 100% pure beef, two slices of American cheese, thick-sliced tomato, and our savory signature sauce — all on a buttered, toasted bun” and technically it does have most of those things on it. Let’s not beat around the bush here, the “W” is Wendy’s Big Mac without the middle bun. It is a smallish burger with two smallish patties, two slices of cheese and the signature sauce, like McDonald’s secret sauce, is a variation on thousand island dressing. That having been said, it seems to be a little bit more substantial than the Big Mac, although while Wendy’s is trying to play it off as a great value for the money, the truth is it isn’t a great value. It strikes me as being a tad bit on the expensive side considering the size of the burger. I did enjoy it from a taste perspective. They aren’t reinventing the wheel, but it’s a decent entry into the field of “me too” Big Mac wannabe burgers. I will note however that if the bun is toasted and buttered, I couldn’t tell from eating it. In fact, I found the bun to be very pedestrian.
Next I tried the spicy chicken sandwich. There was a time that this was my favorite chicken sandwich, sadly due to uneven quality over the years that is a time long past. I decided to give an old favorite another shot though. The one I got received on this occasion looked absolutely terrible. It was misshapen, crushed, and just really not very appetizing to look at. Still, I enjoyed the flavor of the coating used on the chicken, although because of it’s weird shape, there was a thin end that was cooked dry and to the point of almost being burnt, while the other end was done perfectly. The lettuce and tomato were pretty standard as far as that goes, and thankfully it didn’t have way too much mayo like often happens when I get a chicken sandwich at McDonald’s. Unfortunately, it was served on the same poor bun that the “W” burger was served on and that took away from the overall sandwich.
Finally I tried the fries. The “new” fries aren’t really all that different from the old fries to me, and this time the fries I got were cold, limp and under salted. On top of that, my large order of fries looked more like a medium order of fries in a large container. I’ve noticed this trend not only at Wendy’s but at other places as well, and I’m not certain if it’s something that is a systematic attempt by fast food establishments to save a few pennies by cheating their customers or if it’s a lack of managerial control combined with lazy employees, but whatever the reason it’s ridiculous, especially considering the way that prices have risen and the amount of food for that higher price has gone done.
After consideration, I can’t unequivocally recommend Wendy’s Store #2869. It isn’t terrible, but it isn’t great and considering all the competition in the immediate area, there are other, better options based on this visit. That being said, I will say it was good enough that going there occasionally is something that I will be doing, mainly to see if the spicy chicken sandwich rebounds and gets back to what it once was, and hopefully next time the fries are hot and properly salted. The plus side is, the service was friendly and quick and that certainly makes for a better experience. On a note unrelated to this particular visit, don’t get Wendy’s chili cheese fries, they are absolutely terrible.