Wendy’s SuperBar

Of all the things Wendy’s tried through the years, the Superbar was the idea that I liked the most, and is very possibly the fast food item/gimmick that I miss more than all the others.  When it first debuted at Wendy’s, my whole family was eager to try it. As you may remember, my dad would be out of town most of the week, and when he would come home on Friday, he would take the family out to eat. Once we tried the SuperBar, we were hooked, and it became our Friday night destination more weeks than not for at least the first year it was available.

The SuperBar was a set of three food bars that expanded Wendy’s dine-in options several times over and was a big hit with a large part of their customer base.  The first of the three bars was a salad bar that featured what you see at most salad bars. There was lettuce, tomato, carrots, cucumbers, and various dressings. The salad bar was also where the dessert options could be found. The dessert options weren’t mind-blowing by any means, but for an eleven-year-old like myself at the time, it served its purpose. At least at our local Wendy’s, there was vanilla pudding and chocolate pudding, and on occasion, there would be Ambrosia. I guess you could count the mixed fruit as a dessert as well, but no self-respecting kid would be caught picking that over the pudding options.

The next bar was the Mexican Fiesta bar, which was my personal favorite section of the whole thing. There were all the things you needed to make tacos and burritos like chili, seasoned beef, salsa, taco sauce, shredded cheese, melted nacho cheese, taco shells, and soft tortillas.  Of all the bars, this was the one I would make the most trips to on every visit.

The third bar was the Pasta Bar which featured spaghetti noodles, fettuccine noodles, spaghetti sauce, and alfredo sauce as the pasta quotient of the bar. But the best part of this bar was the garlic bread which was made by flattening and grilling their hamburger buns with garlic salt and butter.  It was delicious, and on every trip out to Wendy’s to indulge in the SuperBar, I would eat five or six pieces of this bread.

While the SuperBar as it was presented was just fine, there was a little something else that could be done with it. My dad would order a baked potato, and when you ordered a potato, you could take it to the SuperBar to top it. I don’t remember if that was an extra cost or not though. But my dad would go to the Mexican Fiesta bar and load his potato with the chili and melted nacho cheese. I saw him do this a couple of times and decided to try it myself. After I had topped my potato, I sat down and started to devour it just like my old man…and it was delicious! But he stopped me after a couple of bites and told me that I was doing it wrong. I was perplexed at the age of 11 years old and he could see that, so he enlightened me. He explained that to get the most out of the experience, you first consume just the chili and cheese from the potato, and then you go back and refill the potato with more chili and cheese. Then you consume the whole thing as I was previously doing.

The SuperBar was our go-to while they had it in their stores.  A lot of those Friday or Saturday nights that Dad would take us out were spent eating at Wendy’s while we talked and laughed as a family before we would hit the department stores in town where Mom would do her shopping for the week.  

The SuperBar is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Wendy’s, and it’s a shame they had to get rid of it. As I’ve read in years since, the bar was a loss leader for the stores, and it provided so much extra work for the staff to keep it neat and clean. I understand why it died off as a concept, but that doesn’t mean I miss it any less.

Before I go, here is a video of a news report detailing the Wendy’s SuperBar from around the time of its launch.

One thought on “Wendy’s SuperBar

  1. I didn’t experience the whole SuperBar so much as the salad bar, and I really miss that. I’d sometimes dress up a baked potato there, too!

    The breadsticks they had (different from the garlic bread) were really good, too.

    I miss those and the freshed stuff pitas dearly.

    I think my parents steered me clear of cream sauces earlier on. I wish they hadn’t. It turns out I enjoy them vastly more compared to tomato sauces, and that might have made the pasta section more worth going for.

    I’d love it if Wendy’s spun off the concept into a slightly higher-end, more focused restaurant. That way the employees wouldn’t have to divide their time between the fast food side and keeping the SuperBar stocked and clean. I feel like it’d be a good fit in today’s environment, alongside your Chipotles and other above-burger joint level places.

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