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[Photograph: Grub Grade]

It seems the fast food gods have heard my prayers and are responding. After five months of 2011, I realized I hadn't had much terrific fast food. And then, bam—Wendy's Bacon Mushroom Melt appeared before my eyes. I had intended to order a Baconator until the Mushroom Melt caught my eye. A bacon cheeseburger with cheese-suspended mushrooms? This was something I had to try.

The Bacon Mushroom Melt has garnered somewhat of a cult following. Dating back to the '90s, it has disappeared and reappeared from menus across the country. I found this one in Orange, New Jersey, not more than three weeks ago. As it turns out, there's no information on the Wendy's website. Hopefully, this post will flush out some more data on a burger as elusive, it would seem, as the McRib of yore.

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[Photograph: John Edwards]

All of Wendy's patties are grilled in the store, and they're some of the better fast food beef you'll find. The mushroom melt starts with their Kaiser roll, a juicy patty, and two slices of American cheese. Then they layer on two strips of fairly smokey, thick and chewy (but lukewarm bacon), and add sauteed mushrooms and Wiz.

When I looked at it, I was furious. The American cheese never melted on the burger; I could still see the square edges. It's as if at the last fast food industry conference, it was decreed that American cheese shall henceforth be served unmelted. Knowing the industry stance was unjust for customers, Wendy's introduced its cunning solution: Wiz. What's amazing is that you can taste the difference between the Kraft-style American singles and the semi-sweet hot Wiz.

The Wiz makes this sandwich. You don't taste the mushrooms at all; they disappear into the whole package. The Mushroom Melt effectively becomes the Bacon and Wiz burger. It's not healthy in the least. It is everything that makes the French dislike us. But damn, is it good.

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