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Published July 29, 2013, 10:00 PM

Wendy’s tries to go gourmet with pretzel bacon cheeseburger

FARGO – Wendy’s is putting a new twist on the bacon cheeseburger.

FARGO – Wendy’s is putting a new twist on the bacon cheeseburger.

The fast food chain unveiled its new pretzel bacon cheeseburger – a hamburger patty served with melted cheddar cheese, cheese sauce, bacon, and a sweet and smoky honey mustard served on an artisan pretzel bun.

The new menu offering, which costs $4.99 for a single and $5.99 for a double, comes with a bit of hype. In press releases about the burger, Wendy’s claimed that in test markets, the burger outperformed “any other promotional hamburger in recent Wendy’s history.”

Right off the bat, the burger definitely looks different. The pretzel bun is a little darker than a normal bun and has a cross-cut slit on the top. It has a softer, richer taste than a typical burger bun, but isn’t as noticeable or as “pretzely” as one might expect.

That’s partly due to the many other toppings on the burger, which actually seem to overwhelm the taste of the bun. The cheese and mustard, in particular, stand out as the burger’s most noticeable tastes.

Despite that, the burger could probably be considered one of Wendy’s better offerings. It has more taste and flavor than a typical fast-food burger, and it could be popular enough for Wendy’s to add it to their regular menu.

Be warned, though, it’s one unhealthy burger. According to the Wendy’s menu, it has 680 calories and 1110 milligrams of sodium. For comparison, a Big Mac from McDonalds has 550 calories and 970 milligrams of sodium, according to the chain’s website.

But if things like calories and sodium aren’t enough to deter you from trying it, the pretzel bacon cheeseburger is currently available for a limited-time offering through the summer, according to Wendy’s.

Other pretzel options

If the Wendy’s burger gets you craving for more pretzels, there are a few other options in town.

• Cousin’s Subs, 702 N. University Dr., Fargo, offers a special pretzel bread that can be ordered for any of its sandwiches.

• Smashburger, 1801 45th St. S., Fargo, also offers a pretzel bun for its North Dakota burger, which is served with spicy grilled onions, cheddar and Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo. The burger costs $5.99 for Smash size and $6.99 for Big Smash size.

• Fargo Billiards and Gastropub, 3234 43rd St. S., Fargo, cooks up a Bavarian pretzel made from scratch and served with spicy mustard or cheese, for $3.

• Pretzelmaker, inside the food court of the West Acres Shopping Center, serves up a wide variety of soft pretzels, stuffed pretzels and pretzel bites.

• Marcus Theatres: Even the local movie theaters are getting in on the pretzel action. Both Fargo Marcus Theatre locations – Century 10 at 3931 9th Ave. S. and West Acres Cinema at 4101 17th Ave. S. – offer a bucket of pretzel bites for $6.99.

• Beyond those options, many area bars offer a more basic basket of pretzels and side sauces as an appetizer. These include Dempseys Public House, 226 Broadway, Fargo, ($1.25 or $3 during the late night menu), the Pickled Parrot, 505 3rd Ave. N., Fargo ($2.50) and Big D’s Bar & Grill, 1515 42nd St. S., Fargo ($2.50).

• It’s a little bit further away, but Sonic Drive-In, 1601 35th Ave. S., Minot, recently introduced a limited-time pretzel bun for its hot dogs. The Minot location opened its doors on July 22, and it was announced in February that a Fargo location would be opening sometime in the next 18 months.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535