Sandwiches in Review: KFC

September 24, 2009

KFC is an interesting brand.  Originally Kentucky Fried Chicken until everyone decided fried food was a federal offense, KFC now offers grilled chicken in addition to its signature fried chicken.  They also serve a variety of sides, generally with a more “home-style” feel.  Their menu expansion over the past few years has allowed them add a couple sandwiches, namely the Honey BBQ and Snacker.

Tastes like chicken!!!

Tastes like chicken!!!

Let’s begin with the Honey BBQ Chicken Sandwich.  This sandwich was somewhat suprising.  Generally, a barbeque chicken sandwich will consist of a chicken breast or other cut with some barbeque sauce on top.  Wendy’s took this a little bit farther a while back by dipping the entire piece of chicken in barbeque sauce, but KFC puts them to shame.  The Honey BBQ Chicken Sandwich is made up of somewhat shredded pieces of chicken mixed with a barbeque sauce, like a pulled pork sandwich.  It’s an interesting idea, but it kind of falls down because the chicken has different levels of tenderness throughout.  The Honey BBQ sauce was very good, not as sweet as I’d expected but still different enough to be noticable.  A meal of this sandwich, potato wedges and a drink costs $4.99, not too bad of a deal for lunch.

Objects in mirror may be smaller than they appear.

Objects in mirror may be smaller than they appear.

Now for the Snacker.  The Snacker follows an interesting and unfortunate trend in modern fast food, in which a chicken tender is wrapped in a little bit of bread (with some lettuce and possibly sauce added) and passed off as a legitimate sandwich.  The rationale behind these sandwiches is that they’re just supposed to serve as a snack, to tide one over between meals.  The Snacker has a nice piece of seasoned chicken, some lettuce and mayo (I believe), but it’s just not big enough to satisfy.  It’s ordered best in groups of three or four, or to bolster an existing meal.  At 99 cents, it’s not prohibitively expensive, but think of how far a dollar can get you in today’s fast food market.  McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King all certainly have bigger, more satisfying sandwiches available for the same price.

All in all, KFC’s sandwiches are interesting little curiosities.  If you’re there already, they’re cheap enough to try, but I wouldn’t recommend making a specific trip just to have them.

I was in Kroger the other day when I stumbled across a brand new sandwich opportunity.  In the deli meat section, I discovered Oscar-Meyer’s Deli Sensations.  The Deli Sensations are boxed sandwich kits which include the ingredients to make one complete hot sandwich.  They were available in a variety of sandwich styles and flavors for about $3.50 per box, or two for $5.00 (with a Kroger Plus card).  I selected two, so I could get a better picture of how these sandwiches stacked up.

The first sandwich, unopened.

The first sandwich, unopened.

I began with a focaccia sandwich, the Steakhouse Beef and Pepper Jack.  The box contained a sandwich bun and bags of chopped beef, shredded pepper jack cheese, and a Three Pepper Ranch sauce.  I was slightly disappointed with how small the sandwich was going to be, although the ingredients looked tasty.  Preparing the sandwich consisted of opening the bags and emptying the contents onto the buns.  Quick and painless.  After putting the sandwich together, I microwaved it for 40 seconds on high.  As a side note, I was using a friend’s microwave which for some reason played Auld Lang Syne to announce it was finished.  Make of that what you will.  I then let the sandwich cool for 30 seconds before eating.

Bigger than a slider, but smaller than I'd hoped...

Bigger than a slider, but smaller than I'd hoped...

The sandwich was actually very good.  The steak (which was precooked) had a definite steakhouse flavor with being overcome with an A1-ishness.  The pepper jack was flavorful, although not entirely melted in the center of the sandwich.  The Three Pepper Ranch was not a spicy as I had expected, and was a great complement to the Italian Herb focaccia.  The sandwich was tasty but not hugely filling.  It couldn’t be a meal by itself, although it was large enough to get a good feel for its taste.  Fortunately, I had purchased not one, but two Deli Sensations!!

Kind of like a classy Lunchable.

Kind of like a classy Lunchable.

The second Deli Sensation was the Chicken Bacon Ranch Flatbread.  Astute observers may point this out as a violation of an earlier policy regarding the definition of a sandwich, and to you I say it’s my blog and I’ll eat what I want.  The Chicken Bacon Ranch consisted of a thick flatbread tortilla-type thing, chopped chicken, cheddar cheese, and a Bacon Ranch sauce.  That was kind of a blow to me, I hadn’t expected full strips of bacon, but even a packet of bacon crumbles would been better than it supposedly mixed into the sauce.  Nevertheless, I assembled the sandwich and popped it in the microwave.  50 seconds and one rendition of Auld Lang Syne later, I removed the flatbread and prepared to eat.

You have NO IDEA how difficult this was to pose.

You have NO IDEA how difficult this was to pose.

The Chicken Bacon Ranch was pretty good too.  The chicken was delicious, and the cheese was thoroughly melted, which probably had as much to do with my adding an extra ten seconds to cooking time as anything else.  The Bacon Ranch sauce was fine, but I still would’ve preferred an attempt at real bacon, no matter how poorly executed.  The sandwich was a little bit tougher to eat, I ended up having to eat it from both sides.  The box showed a kind of sleeve for holding while eating, but I couldn’t find anything like that inside.  All in all, Oscar-Meyer’s Deli Sensations are an interesting snack.  They’re a little bit overpriced and somewhat undersized to be worthwhile on a regular basis, but I’d definitely recommend them as a quick, easy way to break out of a boring routine.

A Note on My Updating Schedule (or lack thereof)

I haven’t been updating Sandwichtalk as regularly as I’d like, and I apologize for that.  I recently went back to school, and I have obligations (classes, homework, etc.) more pressing than my blog about sandwiches.  I have another two reviews planned out which I hope to have up by this time next week.  I’ll try to update with at least some kind of new content once a week, but please bear with me if I need to take a break every now and then.  Thanks.

This is kind of a different review, in that the sandwich I’m reviewing isn’t on the menu at most Big Boys anymore.  However, I still need to dedicate an entry to it because this particular sandwich was one of the most delicious I’ve ever tasted, and I know that it’s still available in some Big Boys.

The sandwich in question is the Big Ringer.  The Big Ringer is one of a series of Big Boy sandwiches which could be prepared with either a grilled chicken breast or a hamburger patty.  The Big Ringer consisted of your chosen meat, ranch dressing, melted mozzarella cheese, and two onion rings.  For the purposes of this entry, I’ll be describing the sandwich with the chicken breast. 

The Big Ringer is a success in two ways.  The first is in terms of concept.  Onions on a sandwich is pretty commonplace.  They’re not bad, but they’re generally not noteworthy.  Onion rings, on the other hand, are something different.  The combination of onion rings and ranch dressing on a sandwich is definitely some outside-the-box thinking.  The second way the Big Ringer succeeds is in execution.  The grilled chicken breast is cooked to perfection.  The melted cheese is important as well.  I sometimes feel like mozzarella gets passed over sometimes in the sandwich world for more flavorful cheeses like cheddar or swiss.  The mozzarella adds a lot to the sandwich without being overpowering.  The onion rings are a great choice too.  Whenever I ordered the sandwich they were huge.  Onion ring was present in most bites, a level of consistency sometimes lost by those little onion “straws” which seem to be all the rage now.  The ranch dressing complemented the mozzarella well and really brought the sandwich together.

Overall, the Big Ringer is one of the greatest sandwiches I’ve ever had in my life.  It doesn’t appear on the most recent update of the Big Boy menu, and I couldn’t even find a picture of one online.  However, I do know that some older Big Boys still serve it.  If, by the grace of God, you are ever in the situation to order one, do it.  It may change your life.

Marco’s Pizza is a Midwestern pizzeria franchise, with (generally) well-priced pizzas, subs, and the usual sides (chicken wings, cheesybread, etc.).  Their subs are delicious, filled with high-quality ingredients on fresh baked bread.  It’s difficult to choose just one, but I’ll go with my favorite (at the moment), the Chicken Club.

Marco's Chicken Club, the sub most others aspire to be.

Marco's Chicken Club, the sub most others aspire to be.

Marco’s Chicken Club consists of chicken, bacon, tomatoes, cheese, and mayo on a sub roll.  The chicken and bacon are generously portioned and savory.  The tomatoes, while occasionally too dried out, add a lot to the overall flavor of the sandwich.  The beauty of this sub is in its simplicity.  While it may not boast as many ingredients as the latest Subway sandwich, Marco’s has hit a balance which is truly perfect.  This and other Marco’s subs usually run for around $5-6, a great value for a great sandwich.  I know this has been a comparatively short review, but there’s not much to say besides the fact that this is one of the best sandwiches on the market right now.

Links page added

September 2, 2009

I’ve added a Links page at the top, partially to practice adding pages with WordPress.  There are only a couple of links up at the moment, but I’ll probably add to it eventually.  Check it out and enjoy!!

I only added this picture so this would seem like a longer entry.  Although you have to admit, its one interesting sandwich.

I only added this picture so this would seem like a longer entry. Although you have to admit, it's one interesting sandwich.