20 November 2008

Lunch on the road at Wendy’s in Clear Lake, IA

There must be something between me and fast food and Clear Lake, Iowa. I’ve written before that I’m not a big fan of fast food, nor a frequent consumer of it. In fact, I haven’t eaten at a fast food joint since spring of 2007. But a strange thing happened a couple of weeks ago. I was driving home from a meeting in Ames, Iowa. It was around 1 p.m., and I was feeling a little hungry. The next stop was on the freeway was Clear Lake. I decided to stop at the Wendy’s restaurant for a quick lunch.

The last time I ate fast food was at an Arby’s in Clear Lake. Now, here’s the freaky thing. Earlier this year, the same company that owns Wendy’s bought Arby’s. Whoa! What are the odds? I even ignored my own advice. In my posting from my visit to Arby’s in Clear Lake, I suggested taking an extra few minutes to drive into town and eat at a real café. I totally ignored my own advice and swung into the Wendy’s off the freeway.

So I had a BBQ Flavor-Dipped Chicken Sandwich value meal. It wasn’t too bad. The barbeque sauce was a little sweeter than I normally like. But it had a nice tangy flavor. And the chicken was a real chicken fillet. It was tender and juicy, not at all dried out or tough. The small value meal came with a small order of fries and a Coke.

The fries were nice and crisp. Very tasty. And the Coke? What can I say? It was bubbly and sweet and gave me a jolt of caffeine. And get this – absolutely no fat! Wow! What a nutritional deal.

So here’s the nutritional stats for that lunch: Calories = 930. Fat = 28 grams (12 from the sandwich and 16 from the fries). Sodium = 1720 milligrams. The meal provided 2% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A, 40% of the RDA for vitamin C, 10% of the calcium and 20% of the iron.

By the way, when you check the nutritional analysis of this meal, the standard serving size for the chicken sandwich is two (2). If you had 2 sandwiches, add another 450 calories and 12 grams of fat.

I still would rather eat Wendy’s or Arby’s than McDonald’s or Burger King. But I still would recommend driving into town for a lunch at a real café.

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