March 27, 2012
Subway has been running a scheme this month. They’ve introduced their “Italian Collection,” a line of subs featuring combinations of pepperoni and marinara sauce. These subs are a bit more expensive, running in the $6-7 range for a footlong. To make them seem a bit more like a bargain, Subway has decided to nuke their footlong of the month deal by offering the truly inexplicable Jalapeno Tuna Salad sub, which I will not be trying. Well played, Subway, well played.
The Chicken Pizziola includes chopped chicken breast, pepperoni, marinara sauce, and cheese. Mozzarella would’ve been great, but since my Subway doesn’t offer it I went with American. I also added banana peppers, which as I may have mentioned before can turn a good sub into a great one. Here, they just helped the sub go from mediocre to decent. I wanted this sandwich to be good. I love chicken, and I love pepperoni. But they didn’t come together in a way that tasted real at all. The sub was a little dry, which may have been my fault for not asking they include more marinara. I think this sub in theory could work well, but it’d require more of a vision behind the counter than Subway can provide (maybe Quiznos?).
The Chicken Pizziola runs for around $7. It’s not terrible, and if you really like chicken and pepperoni on a sub you could check it out, but the $5 meatball sub is a much better use of the marinara sauce. I can’t speak for the rest of the Collection, but it seems to me like a great Italian sub was there on the menu all along.
March 26, 2012
This year, Arby’s introduced a Reuben as a seasonal tie-in to St. Patrick’s Day. You know, because it has corned beef on it. Here’s the problem: the Reuben is a traditionally Jewish sandwich, not an Irish one. It’s a common delicatessen offering, but there isn’t really anything Irish about it. But hey, A for effort, at least.
The thing that makes this Reuben “super” is the addition of turkey. I don’t think it helped or hurt very much one way or another, and I’m sure you get pretty much the same effect with their regular Reuben. The Super Reuben was pretty good, as fast food Reubens go. The corned beef was surprisingly thick cut, and the sauerkraut was of a higher quality than I’d expect from a chain restaurant. Make no mistake, it’s still not on the level of most Coney Islands or delis, but if you need a quick Reuben fix, this is a pretty good option.
The Super Reuben runs for around $6-7 in a combo, which is a little pricey. However, I believe the normal Reuben goes for about a dollar less, and is pretty much the same, unless you’re a die-hard turkey fan. It’s worth checking out, if you’re in the mood.
March 20, 2012
In the tradition of the KFC Double Down and other infamous meals, Taco Bell has released the Doritos Locos Tacos, a taco supreme wrapped in a Doritos Nacho Cheesier corn chip shell. Weird naming issues aside (“tacos” is used a the singular form here?), it’s an interesting concept, and the combination of two heavyweight junk foods has promise, at least from a novelty standpoint. But does it deliver?
Barely. Really, the problem with this thing is that it’s not over the top enough. The taco supreme base is standard ground beef with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and cheese. There’s nothing there that’s super interesting. The shell is alright, but the Nacho flavoring isn’t strong enough to make it worthwhile. The combination of Doritos and sour cream is a start, but there needs to be another sauce or something. Again, it’s not so much that it’s bad, it’s just not very different from a normal hard-shelled ground beef taco.
The Doritos Locos Tacos is about $2 and can be bought as part of a $5 box meal. It’s worth checking out once if you’re curious, and more times if your happen to really like taco supremes. Outside of the novelty though, there’s not much to recommend for this one, so don’t feel bad if you miss it. I do hope they go back to the drawing board on this one, I’d like to try a more innovative take on it.
March 15, 2012
A couple of years ago, I had a pancake-wrapped sausage and it blew my mind. Although I had spent years dipping sausages into maple syrup, it never occurred to me how wonderful this combination could be. On the advice of a couple of friends, I decided to try the McGriddles, a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich with a pancake-like bun. However, I was blinded by my love for bacon, and essentially forgot why I had come. While the Bacon, Egg and Cheese McGriddles isn’t bad or anything, I thought it was high time I reviewed the McGriddles the way God intended it.
And let me tell you, the Sausage, Egg and Cheese is fantastic. Although the concept of combining sausage and a sweet bun may sound strange, the combination of salty and sweet is one of my favorite flavors, and I wish more sandwiches would go out on a limb like this. The eggs add some body, and the inclusion of cheese, while subtle (it is McDonald’s American cheese, after all), rounds out the meal. My only complaint is that the ingredients taste a little bit too industrial. I know this is an odd complaint to levy on the world’s biggest fast food producer, but part of it is that I’m not quite used to fast food eggs yet.
Still, it’s a delicious, quick, and cheap breakfast option, especially for those of you like me, who have been somewhat underwhelmed by the average biscuit or bagel breakfast sandwiches. A combo runs for around $4, and the fact that it’s a sandwich means that unlike most pancake, egg and sausage breakfasts, you can eat it in your car on the way to work. Win-win!!
One of my most viewed posts on Sandwichtalk is my review of the Subway Seafood Sensation. This is due in no small part to the back and forth in the comments on whether or not their seafood salad contains real crab. (Pro Tip: if you have a shellfish allergy, you probably should check with the staff of the restaurant before trying anything which could potentially contain shellfish.) So when I heard that competitor (and better, in my opinion) Quiznos was offering a seafood salad, I had to give it a try. And make no mistake: this blend most certainly contains lobster.
The Lobster & Seafood Salad Sub is pretty simple. As a default, it comes with the seafood blend and lettuce. The presence of lobster in the salad does give it a nice authenticity and texture, but the finer shredding of the meat means you get a little bit less for your money than at Subway. The sub seemed to be missing something, so halfway through I added Quiznos’ horseradish sauce. It was exactly what the sub needed, I’d highly recommend you do the same.
The regular Lobster & Seafood Salad Sub retails for a bit more than $5, so it’s a little hard to justify over Subway. However, if you’re in the mood for genuine lobster salad and don’t mind paying for it, this is the sub for you.
March 2, 2012
I’ve been on kind of a hot dog/sausage kick recently, but this post is special. The Wurst Bar is a relatively new addition to Ypsilanti, Michigan, and came highly recommended to me from a friend of mine. It’s a pretty standard college bar, drinks-wise, but what separates it from the rest (and gives it its name) are the numerous bratwursts they prepare on site and serve. Their bratwursts range from classic style to some interesting variations, namely rattlesnake. You better believe I’m not gonna pass that up.
I opened with the Rattlesnake Chorizo. In addition to the snake meat, it had (primarily, I believe) pork, chipotle, oregano and red wine. I had it on a pretzel bun topped with sauteed onions and sweet peppers. It was surprisingly delicious. I don’t know if I could tell you specifically what rattlesnake tastes like, but the brat had a full flavor, and the chipotle gave it a heat which I feel is appropriate to eating the meat of a venomous animal. The toppings went well with it, and the saltiness of the bun helped offset some of the spiciness. I’d definitely recommend this one.
I followed it up with the PBR Poached Bratwurst, which is one of their standard brats. This was kind of a mistake on my part. While there was nothing wrong with it, it couldn’t really compete with the chorizo from a novelty perspective. The bratwurst included majoram, ginger, celery seed, and coriander along with the pork. It was a solid, tasty brat, but it didn’t have the hook that some of the more unusual fare did.
I’d definitely recommend checking out The Wurst Bar for some bratwursts I can’t imagine you’ll find anywhere else. They offer brats made from bison and lamb, as well as alligator (although if I remember from New Orleans, alligator basically tastes like chicken, but with a texture more similar to fish). The regular brats are $5.75 and the more whimsical are $7 a la carte, so it’s not the kind of place I’d go every day. Still, if you’re in the area and looking for something decidedly different, stop by.