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wendys spicy chicken caesar salad

It's pretty hard to mess up a Caesar salad. Given enough dressing, all you really need is some sturdy lettuce and decent-tasting parmesan cheese. Wendy's plusses up this recipe with the addition of a spicy chicken breast. It's pretty obvious that this is the same crispy chicken that goes into their sandwiches - my chopped pieces still retain the original shape and it looks like it could be transported to a bun at a moment's notice.

This salad is fine, but surely nothing to write home about. The spicy chicken breast, fried, tastes a bit out of place in a Caesar and I'd prefer a juicy grilled chicken instead. The lettuce was cool and crisp. Tomatoes, non-standard in a Caesar, are of the "grape" variety. They were juicy and had a satisfying pop when I bit into them. Fresh.

The salad comes with a "three-cheese blend" with asiago and romano keeping the parmesan company. You also get a side packet of croutons and one or two packets of dressing. I say one or two because I think Wendy's standard M.O. is to provide one with the half size and two with the full and you never know if a particular store will be stingy with the sides.

Nutritionally:

Item Calories Fat (g) Sat Fat (g) Sodium (mg) Cholesterol (mg)
Full 720 43 13 1760 155
Half 550 30 8 1360 115

The spicy chicken breast and Caesar dressing are the culprits in the nutrition department and really clobber any goodness you might feel you're getting out of eating a salad. I cannot tell from the Wendy's website whether or not they factor a second packet of dressing into the Full nutrition data but given the difference in bulk between the half and the full is mostly a matter of lettuce, my guess is they do. I think it's no secret that Caesar salads are barely salads from a health standpoint and this one is no different. In fact, matching up the above categories you'd be better off having a Dave's Single with Cheese than the full size Caesar.

If you opt for this salad, I'd recommend going with the half. You'll still get pretty much the same thing but less lettuce and no need for a second packet of dressing.

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