Like you, we eat at Wendy’s sometimes. Okay, we eat at Wendy’s often. The fast-food staple is most famous for its freshly prepared burgers and that “Where’s the beef?” lady, but its spicy chicken options are plenty tasty, too. Wendy’s menu also features the incomparable Spicy Chicken Sandwich and the affordably snacktacular Spicy Chicken Go Wrap. (R.I.P. Spicy Chicken Nuggets.)
Ramie Makhlouf, local comedian and host of The Wendy’s Big Show on 105.7 FM The Fan, was kind enough to appear on our On The Record podcast last week. At one point during the ‘cast, Ramie mentioned that he’d like to take part in one of Milwaukee Record‘s self-inflicted food challenges. It got us to thinking. Because we value Ramie’s well-being more than our own, we would need a way to slowly bring him into our sad and scary world without turning him into that guy from Big Trouble In Little China.
At 2 p.m. on a cloudy December afternoon, we found that way. We tuned our car radio to 105.7 FM and ventured out to try and eat one Spicy Chicken Go Wrap from the drive thru at all 11 Milwaukee Wendy’s locations before The Wendy’s Big Show’s end at 6 p.m.
With the golden tones of Ramie’s voice on the radio, it’d be just like having him there with us as we ate thousands of calories in a car, but we wouldn’t have to buy him 11 Go Wraps. Buckle up.
1. 627 E Capitol Dr.
At 2:01 p.m., we tackle the first $2.01 wrap of the day. It’s open at both ends, which is unusual, but it hardly matters as it exists for all of about 10 seconds. Should we just order 11 right away at this first stop and call it a day? On-air, Ramie declares that there will be quite a bit of Badger Football coverage to go along with Packer coverage today. We’re still a little sore about Bucky’s recent loss so we’d rather not hear a bunch of Badger talk, but whatever. Wraps.
2. 2725 W Capitol Dr.
There’s a long drive thru line this time, which is a bummer. Time is the challenge eater’s enemy. But, the wrap is excellent. Really big and hot and tasty. Also, we hear that DeAndre Jordan has signed with Jason Kidd’s agent. (Shout out to Bucks and Wendy’s enthusiast Junior Bridgeman.)
3. 6225 W Capitol Dr.
Passing a Popeye’s on the way to this location only strengthens our taste for chicken, but watching a completely destroyed car drive into the neighboring body shop feels like a bad omen. Anyway, after ordering, we roll up to the window only to find that the computer just went down. That’ll happen. Ramie is discussing the Packers’ running back situation with Gary Ellerson and Sparky Fifer while we wait. There are signs everywhere talking about a delicious Frosty offer, but now’s not the time. After just a few minutes, we’re back in business and grubbing on another solid wrap. Third and long.
4. 8331 W Brown Deer Rd.
Passed TWO Popeye’s on the way to this location. Are you following us, Popeye’s? Gary discusses his concerns with Wisconsin’s lack of Ohio State-caliber athletes, completely sucking the energy out of the car. He says we need at least one bonafide superstar to emerge and push the Badgers into serious contention. The wrap is really hot and has fancier-than-usual lettuce on it, but the Badger talk has us a little bummed. The sign for the #1 Sports store across the parking lot feels like it’s mocking us a little, but maybe the sign is actually, um, a sign. Maybe we are #1? “We’ve got four hours to kill,” says Ramie.
5. 11201 W Silver Spring Dr.
A guy calls the show to say he recently tweeted that the Badgers would never win a national championship with Alex Hornibrook as QB. According to said guy, Hornibrook responded to his tweet with just 3 words: “Yes, we will.”
Ooh. Energy is back up. We power through wrap #5 just as a guy on a crotch rocket speeds past with his fists in the air like Rocky. Also, we’re pretty sure Ramie just mentioned Imelda Marcos’ shoes. We’re pumped and possibly hallucinating. Thanks, #12.
6. 4601 W North Ave.
We drive past this location about once a week and this time is no different, except that this time we’re supposed to actually go there. We realize our mistake three blocks past and go back for #6 at 4:07 p.m. The little detour allows us to see some kids fighting with lightsabers around the corner. Our wrap only costs $1.96 at this stop, but it doesn’t feel any smaller. We’ve passed the midway point, both in wraps and in time, so we’re on track to finish. Still, traffic and stomach capacity are going to tighten up real soon.
7. 914 N 27th St.
Maybe it’s the ranch dressing talking, but we like the layout of this location’s parking lot. After ordering, something crawly falls into the car through the window; we never end up finding it. Whatever. The lot is full, so we drive a few blocks and eat our seventh and largest wrap of the day in front of Rickey’s On State. Rain starts to fall on the windshield as Ramie discusses the turning point in Sunday’s Packer game: a 62-yard Dean Lowry fumble return for a touchdown. Shut up, Ramie. And Wendy. And Rickey.
8. 633 W North Ave.
Ramie declares himself cautiously optimistic about the Packers, yet deflated about the Badgers. Deflated indeed. The next wrap weighs a billion pounds. We finish up round eight in non-record time and head west for 20 blocks before realizing our next stop is actually to the southeast. Time, traffic, and pants are getting very tight.
9. 3050 S Chase Ave.
For the first time all day, spice really starts to play a factor. As does traffic. The drive from West North Avenue to South Chase Avenue takes over 30 minutes and we’re feeling no less full from the break. Ramie talks about finishing dead last in fantasy football the previous week. This feels over. Upon our arrival at our first south side location of the day, we see the sign we should have heeded hours earlier. Minutes later, we accept our cool vanilla Frosty with a side of crushing defeat.
Much like the 2017 Wisconsin Badger Football Team, we just didn’t have the athletes to compete on such a big stage. Maybe we could’ve taken more efficient routes to all the locations, but that didn’t feel like the issue. As Gary put it earlier, it’d likely take the emergence of a superstar to have a realistic shot at going undefeated. Maybe Ramie is that superstar? Anyway, that’s enough spicy chicken for one day. Where’s the beef?