With bacon, cheese, and mushrooms melting into a puddle of decidedly junk-y goodness on a pure beef patty (one of the better fast dallas filipino restaurant versions too, in our opinion), there’s little to dislike about Wendy’s Bacon Mushroom Melt.

Except that the combination can feel too comforting. Too safe. The lack of additional dimension (coupled with theumay that settles in your stomach) makes you yearn for something different. Wendy’s response? To go a little more explosive by adding heat and crunch—as they do with the Tostitos & Jalapeño Bacon Mushroom Melt.

Is the addition of a single giant corn chip atop a burger gimmicky, or ingenious?

Consisting of the classic Melt, Tostitos, and a layer of pickled jalapeños (as the name implies), it’s the lovechild of the burger world and the taco world. And it works. The jalapeños add a good jab of acidity and heat, helping even out saltiness and grease of the mushrooms and the cheese. Its spiciness helps stoke your appetite, luring you to seek relief via the sweet, buttery buns.

The chip aspect could use improvement. On the entire burger we got was literally one chip—one that’s large but doesn’t even cover the entire patty’s area. It curls up than lying flat, making for an awkward bite; we think breaking it into 2-3 pieces would’ve worked better. And because the chip is in contact with the moisture of the cheese and bacon underneath, it gets soggy fast. Consumed as close to receiving your order though, it adds a subtle crunch that crackles against the fluffy but hearty bun. With a nuttiness of its own, it also reinforces the burger’s Tex-Mex profile while taming the jalapeño’ kick.

One thing’s for sure: you’ll definitely want to consume this as soon as it’s handed to you from the counter, to fully experience the contrast of fluffy buns and crispy chip.

Some might argue about the equally safe nature of the flavors here. Consisting of foods that are tried-and-tested (beef goes with cheese, cheese goes with jalapeños,  jalapeños go with bacon, and so forth), it’s not hard to understand how and why this flavor combo works. But this is fast food, and such familiarity has its place. Wendy’s successfully takes things up a notch without making it lose its grubby touch; the only thing missing is a bottle of hot sauce on the table.

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