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Five for 5: An in-depth review of the iconic Wendy’s 4 for 4

I’ve always wondered why Wendy’s beef patties doesn’t require freezing. I emailed the company and a spokesperson referred me to According to the website, Wendy’s sources its beef from ranches close to its restaurants and ships it through refrigerated trucks. 

For my first actual review in this “worthless” column series, where I try to find a five-star meal in Athens under $5, I decided to try the Wendy’s 4 for 4, the inspiration behind the name of this column.

After asking a few friends, I went with what I guessed to be the most popular option: the Junior Bacon Cheeseburger sandwich with a Coke as the drink of choice.

I also asked friends in what order the sandwich, nuggets and fries should be consumed. The answers were less helpful as I was told to “start by eating the bun and drinking barbecue sauce straight out of the container,” by fellow columnist Noah Wright. Our sports reporter, Jack Gleckler said he preferred to eat the bag first.


A picture of my Wendy’s 4 for 4 sitting on a newsroom desk.

I decided to start with the sandwich, and not touch another piece of the meal until I was done with an item. The Coke was the exception, of course.

The Junior Bacon Cheeseburger consists of six elements: bun, “fresh” beef patty, bacon, tomato, lettuce and mayonnaise. 

The burger was what I expected right out of the package; its size fit its junior label perfectly. The structural integrity of the sandwich was solid, with nothing sliding off once it lost the support of the wrapping surrounding it. I’m happy to say the structure remained intact throughout the meal, with only some mayonnaise dripping from the bottom — an inconvenience for any customer on the road.

The cheese itself was dry and at parts, hard enough that it had a solid texture. Luckily, the bacon had the right amount of crispness which was able to cover up the texture of the cheese.

The beef itself certainly didn’t taste old, so I guess it falls into the “fresh” category. Apart from the tomato, which wasn’t really detectable throughout the eating process, all the components of the sandwich blended together very well. 

I do think, however, that it could have benefited from the addition of some onions, which would have added more flavor to an otherwise one dimensional meal item.

The nuggets were the most impressive part of the meal. I ate all four nuggets in the newsroom and couldn’t count a single crumb from the breading on my desk. For something that crispy, I certainly expected a bigger mess.

The fries and drink was where the meal fell short. The fries were a bit too moist and not crispy enough for my liking. The barbecue sauce wasn’t able to save it. 

Meanwhile, by the end of the meal, I was pretty sure I was just drinking water. I opened the lid of my Coke to find out almost half of the small drink was filled with ice. Sure, I could have asked for no ice. But going into this column, I told myself I was going to try the meal the way the restaurant intended for it to be consumed. I guess for Wendy’s, that means excessive ice, even in late January.

The Wendy’s 4 for 4 has been revolutionary for the restaurant. I remember in high school, some of my friends would go across the street during lunch to a Wendy’s, but I always felt it was too expensive. As a broke college student, I’m thankful for the existence of a satisfactory meal for only $4.08.

Add that to the fact that it took 73 seconds from getting my receipt to my name being called, it’s a meal I would recommend for anyone in a rush.

But, as convenient as it can be, the 4 for 4’s flaws in its fries and drink hurt its rating. While I gave the sandwich a 3.5/5 and the nuggets a 4/5, the drink was only a 2/5 (for being 2/5 full of ice) and the fries were a 1/5.

Final rating: 2.63/5

Kevin Pan is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you know where can Kevin find a 5-star meal for $5? Tell him by messaging him on Instagram at @thenextbigming.

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