5.031 TERRP 11(1.11) Wendy's: Baconator Mushroom Melt

 -Cycle 5, Item 31-
5 (Wed) February 2014

Baconator Mushroom Melt


at Wendy's (Robinsons Place)

-Ermita, Manila-


Try Every Restaurant in Robinsons Place (TERRP). In Manila through mid-April, living above Robinsons Place, I'm going to attempt eating my way through the mall.  As far as I know, nobody has ever done anything like this, so this could be my unique contribution to the food/blog scene of Manila. Given time constraints, I'll begin with the 40 establishments (currently) on the first floor, whenever possible, working my way up.  

This is the 11th restaurant in the series.  Pedro Gil Wing.

Previously covered restaurants:

- 01(1.01) Jan 13 / C2 Classic Cuisine (Filipino) (see generally 5.008 Chicken Pork Adobo...) / 2.5 / $$
- 02(1.02) Jan 15 / Banana Leaf (Asian) (see 5.010 Stir-Fried Noble Leaves with Garlic) (Malaysian) / 3.5 / $$
- 03(1.03) Jan 16 / Holy Cow! (American) (see 5.011 Lonestar Grilled Pork Chop) / 2.0 / $$$
- 04(1.04) Jan 21 / Super Bowl of China (Chinese) (see 5.016 Pork Strips with Kangkong...) / 3.5 / $$
- 05(1.05) Jan 23 / TGI Friday's (American) (see 5.018 Filipino Platter) (Filipino) / 2.5 / $$$
- 06(1.06) Jan 24 / Tempura (Japanese) (see 5.019 Ramen Burger) / 0.0 / $$
- 07(1.07) Jan 28 / Hainanese Delights (Singaporean) (see 5.023 Hainanese Delights) / 2.5 / $
- 08(1.08) Jan 29 / Mr. Choi Kitchen (Chinese) (see 5.024 Egg Fuyong with Scallops) / 3.0 /  $$
- 09(1.09) Feb 3 / Shawarma Snack Corner (Mid-East) (see 5.029 Chicken + Beef Shawarma Sandwiches) / 1.5 / $
- 10(1.10) Feb 4 / Maru (Korean) (see 5.030 Ggot Deung Sim) / 1.0 / $$$

Wendy's is an international American fast food chain.  Founded in 1969.  Currently with about 7,000 locations across the globe--several in the Philippines, including a branch in Robinsons Place, Pedro Gil Wing--zero in Korea, not since the mid-90s--Wendy's is world's the third largest chain--after McDonald's with 31,000 and Burger King with 12,000.  Nothing special, no signature items, except the square patty.  Supposedly named after the founder's daughter Wendy, even though her name was actually Melinda Lou.

Actually, this is what had drawn me in, but I ordered the wrong item.

In all seriousness, during my time at WHO, I'm going to propose pushing for restrictions on point-of-sale marketing--well, at least nix on food pix; pix of chix will always be okay.

This kind of thing is also dangerous, which is why t-shirts with Joe Camel and the Marlboro logo were banned.

When I was in high school at Seoul International School back in the late 80s, we had a Wendy's in the cafeteria instead of a typical food service.  And I don't mean just Wendy's products prepackaged and ready-to-go, I mean an actual franchise right there on the premises, with the uniformed employees and the signage and the backlit menus and the grills and the soda fountains and everything.  One good thing about Wendy's, the only thing, compared to other fast food chains, was that it had a slightly broader choice of items, beyond burgers, such as baked potatoes and salads--coulda been worse, like Arby's.  Estimating 36 weeks in an academic year, 144 weeks in 4 years of high school, about 4 times a week--probably more, but accounting for truancy, illness, field trips, away games (sports), the occasional brown-bag--that's 576 lunches at Wendy's.  I can't recall ever thinking that eating fast food everyday may not be such a great idea.

Tonight was the first time that I've eaten at Wendy's since graduating high school in June 1991.

My next project will be to compare all the fast food fried chicken in town.

The Baconator Mushroom Melt is a burger at Wendy's.  2 beef patties--square, of course--2 slices of cheese--according to the photo, at least--mushrooms, bacon, kaiser roll.  246 pesos for just the burger, 298 pesos with drink and fries.  

Terrible.  Just 1 slice of processed American cheese on one layer and cheese sauce on the other.  The mushrooms were from a can, which can be okay sometimes--say, in a Chinese stir-fry--but here, buried under everything else, they didn't taste like anything and just felt kinda rubbery.  The beef patties were totally dry, like square meat bricks.  And after a few bites, the bun began to crumble.  No matter, because I was sick of it by that point and put it down, good riddance.  

All You Can Eat (AYCE) is a food program on History 2 (H2).  Hosted by comedian John Pinette, a fat guy whose material is mainly about food/eating, as the titles of other specials/shows that he's done would suggest (e.g., "Show Me the Buffet").  Each episode of AYCE focuses on some topic (e.g., desserts) and goes around the United States to showcase restaurants known therefor.

I don't really watch AYCE.  Generally, although I do love cooking programs more than anything, I hate programs about restaurants--what's the point of looking at other people eat food that I'll probably never get a chance to experience myself?  Even worse, the host of AYCE is a total dweeb, one of those comedians who tries to be funny in obvious ways, like with silly facial expressions.  But I've caught a couple episodes because my TV is set to H2 (for programs like Pawn Stars and Storage Wars; come to think of it, along with The Pickers and Kings of Restoration and Counting Cars, most of the H2 lineup is about playing with junk) (incidentally, my cable package doesn't include Food Network, which is where the TV would otherwise be fixed).

I would actually like to taste the Flatliner Fries "fried in pure lard," maybe just a couple.

This must be the dumbest world record and the easiest one to break.   

In the episode on EXTREME FOODS, the first segment features Heart Attack Grill, a burger joint in Chicago.  The gimmick, not so much tongue-in-cheek as in-your face--god, do I hate blatant irony--is that everything is medically themed: the servers are dressed as nursest, the cooks as doctors, the customers as patients, and the signature item is the Quadruple Bypass Burger.  Frankly, I don't think that a four-patty burger would taste very good; at that point, it's just a big pile of ground beef.  

In addition to the promotion of poor diet, notice the perpetuation of sexual stereotypes--wouldn't be surprised if the dishwashers were all spics, the doormen were all niggers, the delivery boys were all chinks, and the accountants were all kikes.

See what I mean about the silly faces?  What a dumbfuck.

As one of my colleagues said when I mentioned this to her: "Let them eat themselves to death.  Just don't pay for their health care with insurance money taken from my taxes."

Patients who can't finish get spanked by the nurse; too bad Wendy's doesn't offer the same service.

In any case, what I found so disturbing is the perverse pleasure that the host, and presumably the audience, takes in such disgusting, unhealthy behavior.  This kind of food, even without going to the extremes, just a single patty at a time, once a day, everyday--like, say, for lunch throughout high school--is killing people.  Why be so proud of it?  In fact, the founder of Heart Attack Grill famously died of a heart attack last year, a point that the host mentions with glee, like a punchline.  I mean, imagine a program that shows heroin addicts shooting up with a shared needle, or bulimic teenagers binging and purging themselves, and then laughs at them and applauds them and encourages them.  Obscene.  

OVER 350 LBS EATS FREE--this is outright mean/cruel/spiteful/malicious/obnoxious; for this reason alone, I would never ever set foot in this restaurant; again, imagine if the offer were for the mentally retarded or child paraplegics.

And no, from what I've seen of him on other episodes, I don't think that he's being satirical or subtly sardonic about any of it.

On the following segment, featuring a different establishment, the Redonkadonk Burger: beef patty, bacon, ham, Spam, egg, cheese, lettuce, and tomato, between a pair of grilled cheese sandwiches.