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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Post# 278 - Wendy's Hot N' Juicy: The Tomato Isn't Centered

I sent this on 11/6/2011:

Dear Wendy's,

As my orchestra's conductor, I seek perfection.  The perfect balance of woodwinds, percussion, strings, and brass.  Anything less is a disservice to my audience.  Anything more is a musical journey to be cherished forever!  

The same goes for food.  The ebb and flow of interwoven flavors and textures in a well-composed recipe or culinary happenstance create a concert for our palate and taste buds.  This is truly an art, forgotten by most cookie-cutter quasi-bar chains and fast food joints.  That is, except for Wendy's.

Wendys has been my "game changing fuel" for years.  I chose to change cities at one point, because the orchestra hall in "Town B" was within walking distance from a Wendy's.

Every Friday, before my weekly performance, I order a #1 combo (Quarter Pound, no cheese).  I enjoy a small vanilla Frosty as my grand finale.  For over forty years, this has served as my inspirational "springboard" into an awesome performance.  Perfect ratios of beef, onion, tomato, mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup translate into perfect ratios of woodwind, percussion, strings and brass.

When I heard  that my favorite restaurant was re-inventing the hamburger, I was a little concerned.  Would Orff re-tool Carmina Burana?  Would Lennon and McCartney tweak Sargent Pepper?  Would Bach ask for a do-over on Toccata and Fugue in D minor?  I think not.  You can't tweak perfection.

This past Thursday, curiosity got the best of me, and I veered off of my normal plan.  I ordered your new Hot 'N' Juicy.  I was expecting that perfect concert in my mouth.  I envisioned a bigger patty, buttery toasted bun, red onion, crinkle cut pickles, whole fat mayo, ketchup, and melty cheese performing the culinary equivalent of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. However, I was slightly disappointed.

The burger comes in a box, vertically stacked, and wrapped in paper.  This makes for a striking visual presentation, much like a polished violin or tuba.  However, while in transit, gravity imposes its will on the sandwich toppings.  Red onion, pickle and tomato, riding a vertical wave of mayo, slide down, creating a flavor imbalance on the top side.  As I bit the bottom end, I experienced a whirlwind of taste.  As I bit the top end, there was no balance.  The toppings were not centered.

That night, my performance stunk.  Musical imbalance was the overwhelming comment.  The two elder critics in the area, the equivalent of Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets, screamed for my head.  I was told by our board of directors that I'd better "shape up or ship out."

Those old codgers blame me.  I blame Wendy's.  The flavor imbalance of sandwich toppings that were not centered through me off of my game.  I recommend serving those bad boys horizontal to keep things in place.  This isn't an incident that you can address at one location.  I would expect this to be a policy change.


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