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Wendy’s introduces new chicken wraps

By Daily Herald - | Apr 21, 2008

This week I reached out for a new Spicy Chicken Go Wrap at America’s “Hot ‘n’ Juicy” burger chain, Wendy’s, with 6,000 restaurants in all 50 states and around the world.

Now, you know our No. 1 rule in the drive-thru, right? Dance with what brung you. Order what the sign says. For example, you might want to try the pizza at, say, PIZZA Hut, or the burger at BURGER King.

On the other hand, let’s kick up our heels and try a chicken wrap at Wendy’s. After all, with all those Spicy Chicken Sandwiches sold, Wendy’s is hardly just a cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger joint anymore.

Here’s the blueprint for a Spicy Chicken Go Wrap: a chicken strip made from half of a breast fillet, dipped in spicy breading and deep-fried, lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese and ranch sauce, all wrapped snugly in an 8-inch flour tortilla.

Total calories: 320. Fat grams: 16. Dietary fiber: 2 grams. Carbs: 28 grams. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price: $1.49. Your mileage may vary.

Wendy’s is introducing its line of Chicken Go Wraps as a handy, eat-on-the-run snack to blunt the success of McDonald’s Snack Wraps and KFC’s Toasted Wraps.

There are differences. Foremost, you know our No. 2 rule: Less is not more; more is more. We like big food. And Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Go Wrap just feels bigger and more filling than the competition’s snackers. This is no measly chicken nugget that’s been strip-stretched. It’s a meaty half of a breast. The strip is battered senseless in Wendy’s spicy breading and then deep-fried. You love Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwiches — well, this is pretty much the same deal, only shrunk and twisted up tight in a flour tortilla.

Usually, drive-thru catchphrases are a bunch of hot air, not to be taken literally. To be honest, there’s an excellent chance that I don’t deserve a break today. But with new menu items like a Fish Sandwich, made with legit cod instead of mystery white fish, and this Spicy Chicken Go Wrap, maybe Wendy’s is waaaay better than fast food. At the very least, you’re getting some real bang for your buck. And 49 cents.

Wendy’s uses a real, non-surgically enhanced breast that came from one chicken. It’s not glued ‘n’ chewed, particleboard fillets from several chickens who probably never even met.

The chicken is fried to order and served fresh and glistening hot. Watch that first bite. There may be some squirtage.

The ingredients, or “build,” as we like to say in corporate, are first-rate. Wendy’s uses a blend of romaine and iceberg lettuces, and the lettuce is always chopped daily in each restaurant. They don’t buy 50-pound bags of pre-cut lettuce like you see at Sam’s Club. Even the chicken strips are cut from whole breast fillets on the premises. It’s like a Benihana back there in the kitchen. The ranch sauce is Wendy’s standard issue. They’re putting ranch on everything these days.

The whole idea of these half-breast wraps is portability — you can eat them on the go. That’s why they’re called Go Wraps. But when you make ’em big like this, that’s a bite more than a typical snack. You’re talking 320 calories and 16 grams of fat. Don’t pop ’em like Pez.

Wendy’s also makes Go Wraps with grilled chicken strips and regular nonspicy fried strips. And there are more variations of Go Wraps in the pipeline.

Chicken Go Wraps are on the permanent menu, no limited-time-only threat. So go wrap your fist around one, but no need to hurry.

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