Having properly mourned the passing of the classic Wendy's dollar menu, Gut Check's former favorite grab-bag of fast-food bargains, we decided it was time to check out the chain's latest innovation in low-price, high-value fast food: the "Moonlight Meal Deal," described in a company press release as targeted at "millennial males."
Released earlier this month, the deal is available at Wendy's locations across St. Louis.
After finding a designated driver to swing through our neighborhood Wendy's (2130 Hampton Avenue; 314-781-4569) drive-thru, Gut Check completed the first phase of our Moonlight Meal Deal, um, research.
Checking in at a mere five bucks, the MMD features a "Double-Stack Hamburger" (two junior-hamburger patties topped with American cheese, ketchup, mustard, pickles and onions), a generous portion of chili cheese fries and a soda so copious you could drown Michael Bloomberg's grandkids therein. The
catch gimmick: You can only order it after 10 p.m.
Along with the dimensions of the soda (and the vastness of the soft-drink selection, thanks to Wendy's Coca-Cola Freestyle machine), we were immediately impressed by the chili cheese fries. These were served piping hot, covered in Wendy's ever-reliable chili and topped with cheese sauce and shredded cheese. They tasted great, though they're definitely not an eat-on-the-go proposition. Nosiree, thems a sit-down side dish that requires more than a few napkins.
The "Double-Stack" is substantial as far as fast-food burgers go, but nowhere near the size of Wendy's Hot N' Juicy or Baconator offerings.
As for the whole bit about targeting the meal at millennial dudes? Wendy's says it's due to a recent survey conducted by Braun Research, which found that this demographic, specifically, wants convenience, quick service and food options for $5 or less when considering where to sate their "late-night dining" needs.
While there's no denying the power of the $5 price tag, eating chili cheese fries after 10 p.m. always feels like a bad idea. Gut Check'll definitely be ordering the "Moonlight Meal Deal" again -- we just wish we could do it in the light of day, perhaps while toying with that Coca-Cola Freestyle machine and sitting by the fireplace in Wendy's dining room.