Fast Food

Wendy’s Now Testing Build-Your-Own Sandwich Program


Wendy’s has always been a touch bougier than fellow burger-shillers McDonald’s or Burger King — what with its fancy pretzel buns and sea salted french fries — but now it seems the red-haired farm girl wants to go full fast casual, with a build-your-own sandwich test program out in Columbus, Ohio.

Like similar customizable platforms Smashburger or Five Guys, Wendy’s customers get their druthers from within five different categories: Proteins, Buns, Cheeses, Sauces, and Toppings. That is, single, double, or triple hamburger patties or homestyle or spicy breaded chicken patties; regular, pretzel, or no (“protein-style”) buns; Asiago, American, Cheddar cheese slices, blue cheese crumbles, or cheddar cheese sauce; mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, honey mustard, bbq sauce, asiago ranch, or garlic aioli; and, finally, pickles, red onions, tomato, lettuce, spring mix, jalapeños, sautéed onions, and/or bacon. Most ingredients are included in the base BYO price, though some are available for a small upcharge.

Last year McDonald’s tested a similar concept in Laguna Beach, Calif. Wendy’s build-your-own sandwich program is currently only on trial at two locations in Columbus near Wendy’s HQ, though Brand Eating notes that any Wendy’s burger is customizable if you ask for it. Pretty sweet, but when can I order bacon in my Frosty?

H/T QSR MagazinePicthx Wendy’s

Fast Food

Panda Express Innovation Kitchen Now Shilling Boba, Orange Chicken Burritos


In Pasadena, Calif., Chinese American fast food chain Panda Express is currently testing a trendy new concept that’s somehow Chipotle, Teavana, a mom and pop boba shop, and good ol’ fashioned Panda all at once.

Just opened last week, the Panda Express Innovation Kitchen looks like the love child of Panda Express and one of the newer, sleeker Starbucks-es. According to Los Angeles Magazine, there’s a tea bar serving up a bevy of hot or iced teas, fruit teas, milk teas, all the requisite add-ons like boba and egg pudding, as well as a Chipotle-esque assembly line that lets guests compose their own rice, chow mein, or salad bowls, or scallion pancake “burritos.”


In case the name didn’t give it away, the key here is innovation, meaning nearly all Panda toppings are on the table, even, as LAMag illustrates, fried rice and Orange Chicken. Yes, in a “burrito.” Yes, like mothereffing Kogi Truck. Sure, you could just snooze it up with an Eggplant Tofu salad, but we doubt you’d be on this site if you would.

As of now, there’s no news of Panda Express 5.0 making its way outside of Pasadena, but it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea if it did.


As for us, we’d like to order a Double Wide with Honey Walnut Shrimp and Orange Chicken and chow mein and fried rice and cream cheese rangoons. Washed down with an Orange Chicken milkshake, of course.

H/T + Picthx LAMag, Yelp

Fast Food

7-Eleven Taking Cheese-Stuffed Doritos Loaded on Nationwide Food Truck Tour


In case you’re not willing wait for the official nationwide roll-out in July, 7-Eleven is taking their latest Doritos/mozzarella stick hybrid on a multi-city Doritos Loaded sampling tour starting this week.

7-Eleven’s “Cruncheesy” food truck popped by select 7-Eleven stores in Dallas to sling the overloaded cheese triangles yesterday, and will be visiting two other locations in Los Angeles on Friday. More details can found at Or you could just make your own (they’ll probably taste better anyway).

H/T Grubstreet

Fast Food

Carl’s Jr. Testing Ridiculous New Burger Covered in Mashed Potatoes


Every couple of days, we complain that our American fast food branches are so boring. While Wendy’s Japan gets lobster and caviar burgers, we’re stuck with sriracha everything. Well, even though these mashed potato burgers from Carl’s Jr. aren’t exactly caviar, they’re still about a million steps in the right direction. Guys. It’s happening.

Testing in Compton, Calif., new Carl’s Jr. Mashers are a monstrous twist on the hot roast beef sandwich with gravy. Instead of roast beef slices, the burgers feature your choice of breaded chicken. beef patty, or larger Thickburger-sized beef patty, which is then heaped with gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, and onion straws and served on Carl’s signature “Fresh Baked Buns.”

Insanely enough, test prices on this strange and indulgent line start at just $2.99 and go up to $4.99 depending on size and protein. Combo extra, best served with a side of chili-cheese fries for the full barbecue experience.

H/T Brand Eating

Fast Food

Jack in the Box Hacks Menu with New ‘Hella-Peño’ Burger, Breakfast Tacos


No lie, we kind of love how shameless fast food has gotten lately. It’s as if some genius development guy finally realized most people don’t wander into Jack in the Box at 2 in the morning because they want something healthy; they want something dank.

Thankfully, the giant bobble head is all too happy to oblige. Late last year, Jack tested a new addition to its late-night Munchie Menu in San Francisco: an orgastic cheeseburger swelling with fried jalapeño poppers, spicy jalapeño coins, creamy nacho cheese, and ooze-worthy taco sauce, appropriately dubbed the Hella-Peño. Now, fans of the glorified money shot will be pleased to know the Hella is finally available nationwide as a $6 Munchie Meal, with two tacos and a side of Halfsie fries. You know, because the grilled cheese burgers and cheese and ranch-loaded chicken nuggets on the rest of the menu weren’t ridiculous enough.


For the other half of the day (or whenever, since Jack is just godly like that), Jack is also introducing a new jumbo Breakfast Monster Taco, loaded with scrambled eggs, American cheese, and taco sauce.

Along with the two artery-killing superstars are a couple other, less riveting additions, like a new BBQ Cheeseburger and Jalapeño Ranch Ultimate Cheeseburger.


H/T GrubGrade + Picthx Jack in The Box

Fast Food

Wendy’s New Beef Brisket Cheeseburger Has a Corn Bread — We Repeat, CORN BREAD — Bun


From pretzels to ciabatta, Wendy’s has been destroying the burger bun game for at least the past year or so. Their latest effort? Corn bread. For a barbecue brisket cheeseburger. Yeah, we know.

Spotted by a Brand Eating reader in Jacksonville, Fla., the limited time Beef Brisket Cheeseburger combines the best parts of a good old southern barbecue in the most inglorious ways possible. Strips of sliced beef brisket slathered in barbecue sauce, melted cheddar cheese, and crispy fried onions all make an appearance. And that’s on top of the quarter pound beef patty and inside the two halves of Wendy’s new cornbread-style bun: the first of its kind as far as we can tell.

Trust, no one’s ever been more jealous of Florida than right this second.

Fast Food

#Trendy Subway Tests Hummus as Sandwich Topping


In case Subway’s creamy sriracha sauce no longer gets your sandwich-loving panties in a bunch, the chain wants you to know you still have options. Namely, that old health nut standby, hummus.

Since early April, Subway has been testing hummus as a sandwich topping in certain markets in an effort to “keep pace with changing eating trends,” says the Associated Press. In an interview Tuesday, Subway’s chief marketing officer Tony Pace stated that individual franchises may have offered hummus in the past, but this would be the first time the spread receives a national release, should the test prove successful.

Considering a large portion of Subway’s customer base already visits the store seeking vegetarian options, the potential demand for hummus doesn’t seem too far fetched, although we would feel much more enthused if 1) it also meant a national roll-out of falafel or gyro meat 2) we could get Sabra + pretzel packs as a side instead of chips. Just. Saying.

Fast Food

Taco Bell Tests New Chicken Flatbread Grillers


In the world of wrapping flatbreads, you have two camps: your tortilla people, and your “flatbread” people. And while you’d think a brand like Taco Bell would easily fall into the former, its newest test items don’t seem to give a fuuuuu.

Spotted testing in Southern California by Brand Eating are these new Chicken Flatbread Grillers. Available in Chicken Ranch, with avocado ranch dressing, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, and white meat chicken pieces, or in Spicy Chicken, with chipotle sauce in place of ranch, the Grillers are currently available for $1.29 each — the same price as the Loaded Grillers.

Sure, flatbread “wraps” at a taco spot are just about as authentic as a Doritos Locos Taco, but at least it’s not any weirder than a chicken waffle taco at the same spot.

Picthx Brand Eating