Tuesday, March 30, 2010

100% Organic Wendy's Bacon Deluxe Meal

A classic burger and fries meal seemed appropriate for my first organic re-creation. Since my resident fast food connoisseur, The Expert, once explained to me that the only reason you should ever walk past a Wendy’s and not go in is if you are headed to an Arby’s, Wendy’s it was. (Arby's, apparently, does not serve burgers!)

The Expert’s meal of choice at Wendy’s is the Bacon Deluxe Combo, which includes fries and a drink. A small is listed at $6.29 at a Brooklyn location and comes to $6.84 with tax. Behold:

Nom nom nom. A check of Wendy’s surprisingly useful nutrition website let me know I would need the following ingredients: for the burger, a bun, ground beef, smoked bacon, pickle slices, American cheese, ketchup, mayonnaise, onion, tomato and lettuce.

For the fries I’d need potatoes, frying oil and salt, and, short of an organic Coca-Cola factory and Coke’s secret recipe, sugar and black tea to replicate Wendy’s option of sweet tea for the drink.

I found USDA certified organic versions of everything I needed at just three stores: Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods in Manhattan and a Sunac natural market in my Brooklyn neighborhood:

And, so you know I'm not hoodwinkin' ya, here's a table of each ingredient and its price per meal. Check out my calculation explanation for more on how I calculate each total - it can get confusing!

Drum roll please...The total comes to $5.77 per meal! More than a dollar less than the original, even though I included larger amounts of certain ingredients (what can I say, I love tomatoes.) Come on, you know this is more appealing than the first picture:

Of course, assuming you have none of this stuff in the house, the grocery bill comes to $58.52. Yikes! But I fed four people: myself, The Expert, and two dinner guests, leaving somewhere around $35.44 spent on ingredients for other meals. If you're just feeding one, check out the recipes below for tips on freezing what you don't cook. Also look out for my next post, Tomorrow's Lunch, on how to use up some of the leftover ingredients, and don't forget that staples such as sugar, salt, salt and even American cheese will probably last until your clothes go out of style.

But a picture will only tell you so much, of course. Let's hear from a pro:

The Expert's Verdict: “Too tall! It's like eating a Wendy's triple stack. The main difference is the bun, I like a flat bun so my teeth hit the meat faster. But the meat was much better, it’s thicker and juicier. The Wendy’s burger has a uniform taste, and in this meal you can taste the individual components, especially the vegetables. The bacon is crispier and not as stringy. The fries are a little floppy but that’s okay, so are Wendy’s fries. These are also sweeter and not as cakey. I’d like the ketchup to be a little saltier.”

Resemblance to original meal: 6
Overall deliciousness: 8

Click the pictures below for links to each recipe!: 
Bacon Deluxe
Sweet Tea


  1. your blog looks so professional! great job!

  2. I love this blog! It's such a great concept and the execution is fluid and polished -- love it.

  3. Well done, & yes, that meal was delicious! :p However, Arby's does have burgers. Behold, the roastburger!


  4. I don't know, The Expert says it has to have ground beef to be a real burger! Looks like an interesting item to re-create though.