A few weeks back, a number of Jimmy John’s locations hosted a customer appreciation day, in which their core lineup of subs were available for only $1 each.  It was a nice promotion, but it wasn’t hugely publicized, which is why you may not have been aware of it (or else your local Jimmy John’s didn’t participate).  Anyway, it was there that I tried the J.J.B.L.T., the subject of today’s review.

Can't really think of a clever caption, sorry.

The J.J.B.L.T. is a pretty basic sub, consisting of (you guessed it) bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo on a sub roll.  It’s a cold sandwich, so the bacon obviously isn’t the freshest, but overall the ingredients are pretty high quality and generously portioned, which was impressive considering that at the time they were cranking out subs nonstop.  I don’t know if I would’ve ordered it if it weren’t on sale (I usually upgrade to the Ultimate Porker), but as store-bought B.L.T.s go, it was pretty good.

P.S.  Jimmy John’s recently set up a blog to post JJ-related content.  It’s up and down, but it’s probably the best source for their contests and promotions.

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In keeping with the theme of wretched excess, I decided to risk my life and try the “McGangBang“.  Don’t try to look for the McGangBang on McDonald’s website, you won’t find it.  This unofficial sandwich is a combination of a McDouble cheeseburger and a McChicken chicken sandwich.  It’s known by a number of questionable names, including the McGangBang, the McStroke, and the McMacro (a variant incorporating a side order of french fries and ketchup; I was not so adventurous).

A schematic diagram illustrating the concept.

Now, there’s a lot to discuss regarding this behemoth.  One is ordering it.  It’s possible the cashier at your local McDonald’s has heard of the McGangBang, and will whip one up for you.  It’s also possible that he or she reads Sandwichtalk, and will quickly add it to his or her repertoire.  It’s more likely, however, that your order will be met with a vacant stare, or worse, derision.  This is an easy issue to fix.  Both component sandwiches are on the dollar menu, so you can order them and assemble it yourself, like a puzzle.

The other thing about the McGangBang is that there’s not always a concensus on how it should look.  For example, a number of them look like this:

As you can see, it’s a pretty literal combination, with one sandwich sandwiched inside another.  It works, but I feel it lacks a certain amount of finesse.  I put a bit of a personal spin on it with mine:

Simple yet elegant.

Now before you all tell me I’m “doing it wrong”, remember that I transferred all the elements of the McChicken (chicken, lettuce, mayo) into the McDouble, I just didn’t use the bun because it seemed like overkill.  Also, it’s my blog and I’ll make disgusting sandwiches however I want.  Now, onto the review!!

The sandwich was actually much better than I expected.  It’s definitely over the top, but the grocery list of ingredients (two hamburger patties, chicken, ketchup, mustard, cheese, pickles, mayo, lettuce, and onions) come together in interesting ways throughout the sandwich.  One bite is a juxtaposition of chicken and beef, while the next combines the chicken, pickles, and mayo for a Chik Fil A style taste.  The flavors are continuously changing and recombining.  If I were to do it again, I might include the heel from the McChicken to break up the meat a little bit, but hindsight is 20/20.  It’s a unique sandwich experience, to say the least.

It’s also cheap.  As I discussed before, you can make it yourself for a mere $2, or try to bargain with your cashier.  I can only imagine the carbs, fat and sodium involved, so obviously I have reservations recommending it, but if you want an interesting, inexpensive sandwich and a story to tell your friends, the McGangBang is for you.

P.S.  Don’t worry, Sandwichtalk isn’t going to turn into some Man v. Food-esque show of me choking down ridiculous meals.  This was a suggestion from a friend, and the way current trends are going, I figured I should do it now before it ends up on the menu and becomes more expensive.

On the heels of their last travesty, the grilled cheese burger thing, Friendly’s has released their latest creation, the Mac and Cheese Quesadilla.

You know, people really need to stop making jokes about this stuff, it's only giving them ideas.

The quesadilla is a kids menu entrée option, and can be served as shown or with that addition of bacon or a hot dog.  Now, I’m all for interesting combinations.  I’ve had a number of quesadillas with unconventional ingredients, including stuff like barbeque pulled pork and steak sauce, but this is just kind of gross.  In the same way the Double Down had too few carbs, this looks to have far too many.  Even with the addition of the pickles, ketchup, or optional meat (mexican classics all), I can’t imagine it being a very satisfying meal.  If there’s a Friendly’s in your area, feel free to try it, but at your own risk.

Branching out a bit here, I’ve decided to review Taco Bell’s Bacon Club Chalupa, a new addition to their Mexican-themed menu.  As a forewarning to anyone familiar with Mexican food, Taco Bell’s chalupa bears little resemblance to the traditional fare.  Instead, it looks like this:

Looks kinda like a taco to me…

The Bacon Club Chalupa consists of chicken, bacon, lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheese, and a “club sauce”, which is basically ranch dressing.  The final defining element is the shell, which is a fried wheat flatbread.  The ingredients work deliciously together, but they don’t taste particularly Mexican.  It really is more like an interesting flatbread club sandwich than anything else.  However, you really can’t beat chicken, bacon and ranch together, and the chalupa shell is a nice change of pace from the usual corn chip shells and flour tortillas.

If you’re not sold on the BCC yet, consider that it’s available in a $5 box combo.  This combo includes the titular chalupa, a bean burrito, a crunchy taco, an order of the cinnamon twist side, and a medium drink.  That is a ton of food for a comparatively low price (specialty burger combos at places like Burger King or Wendy’s generally go for a bit more, and include fewer items).  The Bacon Club Chalupa Box is a great deal for a great sandwich.

EDIT:  One thing I forgot to mention is the TV spot for the BCC, which I’ve included here.  I find it interesting that no one in the ad ever eats or even discusses eating the chalupa, it’s just used as an air freshener/guy bait.  Lucky for Taco Bell there’s guys like me out there, actually selling you on how the food tastes.

Stouffer’s recently began a line of microwaveable sub sandwiches.  They have a couple different varieties, and are actually advertising them comparatively heavily, with TV spots and other multimedia ads.  I picked their Meatball Marinara sub, which appears to be the flagship sandwich of the line.

Not actual size.

The major problem with this sub is that it’s packaged frozen.  Being frozen works for things like flatbread sandwiches or hot pockets, but a sub just has too much bread.  The ads promise that it “crisps in the microwave”, but it really just gets soggy.  The rest of the ingredients are fine.  The meatballs are a bit on the small side, but the peppers are actually pretty good for being frozen.    Like most boxed sandwiches, it’s not a meal in and of itself, but it could work as a snack.  All in all, I wouldn’t particularly recommend this sandwich.  If you want a microwaveable sandwich, go with something with more substance and less bread.

Sorry for the lack of content this week, check back next week for more sandwich news and reviews!!

A friend showed me this, and I figured I should let you all know.  TIME magazine is reporting that McDonald’s is phasing out the Big ‘N Tasty, as well as their Mac Snack Wraps.  The Big ‘N Tasty was kind of their answer to the Whopper or other “Deluxe” burgers available from competitors, and the Mac Smack Wraps were like their chicken wraps, but with half a hamburger instead.  Neither has been selling well lately, which is part of the reason dropping them.  Personally, I don’t think they’ll be missed, especially with McDonald’s Angus Third Pounders serving the same purpose as the Big N’ Tasty.  The article goes on to mention the introduction of oatmeal and other healthier fare, but unless they’re putting it in a sandwich, it’s a bit beyond my purview.

Now cracks a noble heart. Goodnight, sweet prince; and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

In other news, I’ve updated the tags on the reviews and other entries, so you can click on a restaurant and see all of the reviews/posts I’ve done about it.  Check it out!!

Before we get started, I’d like to thank my aunt for her generosity in helping to fund Sandwichtalk.  Thanks Aunt Kathy!!!

Burger King has always favored larger, more expensive burgers and combos, and their latest line is no exception.  The Steakhouse XT (short for “extra thick”)  Burgers feature a huge, 7 oz. patty and a number of “Steakhouse” accoutrements (like the Arby’s Steakhouse Sub, these sandwiches don’t seem to understand that steak is a specific kind of meat, as opposed to a meaningless adjective).  There are several to choose from, but I settled on the Smoky Cheddar, given that it’s a Limited Time Offer.

EXTRA THICK

The sandwich does live up to its “extra thick” moniker.  The patty is enormous, with a seasoning that adds an interesting, almost steak-like flavor.  The cheese and bacon are fine, as is the A1 sauce.  A lot of the sandwich is made up of the lettuce and tomatoes, which are piled high.  It’s tasty, but definitely a mouthful.  Don’t order it without a pretty big appetite.

The combo costs about $6.50, with the other XTs being comparably priced.  It’s actually pretty reasonable given just how much food you’re getting.  I’d recommend this burger, but not to the faint of heart (or stomach).

P.S.  Not entirely sandwich-related, but Burger King is running their 50/50 scratch off contest again, this time with a Twilight theme.  This contest is quite the deal, in terms of getting free drinks, cheeseburgers, and other value menu items.  I’d highly recommend checking it out.