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Wendy’s Pitas Its Answer To Wraps

Ken Hoffman King Features Syndicate

This week I reached out for a Chicken Caesar Stuffed Pita at Wendy’s.

Here’s the blueprint: one pita bun, 2-1/2 ounces of white-meat chicken chunks, 1.2 ounces of romaine lettuce, 2 ounces of red cabbage, 2 ounces of shredded carrots, 1/2 ounce shredded Parmesan cheese and 0.6 ounces of lowfat Caesar dressing. (Not 0.5 or 0.7, mind you, but exactly 0.6 ounces.)

Total calories: 490. Fat grams: 18.

The Chicken Caesar is one of four new Stuffed Pita sandwiches at Wendy’s, the others being ranch chicken, classic Greek and garden veggie.

Each sandwich is freshly made to order. The bread is heated and the insides are cool. The grated Parmesan adds a delightful, tangy touch. And there’s so much bread, you get real filled up for $2.99.

According to Wendy’s research, women dig pita sandwiches more than men do. This is fast food for dainty folks who eat with their pinkies extended.

Real men, like yours truly, slug down triple cheeseburgers. We pop ‘em like Pez. We like grease so much, we ask the ambulance driver to hum Olivia Newton-John songs on our way to the emergency room.

Stuffed Pitas are Wendy’s response to the wraps craze sweeping fast-food restaurants - only pitas are much messier.

Wraps usually involve a 12-inch tortilla. You pack the middle with goodies and roll it up like wholesale carpet. Tuck in the edges, and you’ve got a nice, neat sandwich with a built-in grease catcher.

Wendy’s pita bread is smaller and much thicker, about the size of an IHOP pancake. Instead of slicing the bread and cramming everything inside, Wendy’s covers the pita and rolls it up. But the pita isn’t big enough to go around (it’s like trying to hug Willard Scott). What you get is a loose-fitting taco mess.

And while pitas may look healthy, take a peek at the fat grams: That’s hamburger territory.

Still, on the merits of taste, I’m pleased to give the Chicken Caesar Stuffed Pita an enthusiastic two pinkies up.