January 24, 2013

Chipotle Chicken Chicken & Cheese shortages at Subway

This picture was supposed to show a Subway Chipotle Chicken & Cheese on flatbread. Read on to find out why it shows ham instead.
It was 7 degrees when I woke up this morning -- below zero. Seven below. Negative 7. That's positively frigid.

What with all of the arctic air freezing my beard the moment I step outside, I've been making a concerted effort to spend more time indoors. No winter birdwatching for me these days! No late-night jogging sessions, either. Worst of all, I've cut my winter beach volleyball sessions down to nil. Which is a shame, because you can't play winter beach volleyball in any other season.

All of the extra time that's been freed up has left me taking stock of my debts. And I believe I owe my loyal foodie followers a review of Subway's $5 Footlong of the month, the ampersanded Chipotle Chicken & Cheese.

I promised such a review a couple of weeks ago during my writeup of the centipede incident. After the multilegged paratrooper spoiled my prepared lunch, I fled to the open arms of America's favorite franchised sub shop, where I ordered the bargain sub du jour.

Only we had a slight problem. A couple slight problems actually. First, my local Subway had run out of prepared chipotle chicken, or at least that's what my sandwich artist claimed. To cover, she took some regular roast chicken and sprayed on a generous helping of chipotle sauce. I'm pretty sure the difference is minimal if it exists at all, but I make note of it out of respect for the scientific method, the principle of full disclosure, and my dedication to minutia.

Second, and more importantly, my local Subway's sandwich toaster was broken. Since it was a month with a $5 Footlong best served hot, I can only blame Murphy and his stupid law for this tragedy. He'd better watch out, because I will have my revenge, which, incidentally, is best served cold.

The Subway made a valiant effort at heating my sandwich using their microwave. It's just not the same, though. Microwaves promote sogginess where toasters promote crispiness. They also create a different flavor profile, running everything together.

Therefore, I attempted to sample a second Chipotle Chicken & Cheese last week. I did so in the Rochester airport after waiting in an enormously long line. When I finally reached the front, the sandwich artist kindly informed me that they were out of flatbread -- the suggested medium for CC&C.

Fine. I could live with white bread, I told him. Only to learn they were out of white bread.

OK, wheat bread will work, I said. Can I have a footlong Chipotle Chicken & Cheese on wheat bread?

You guessed it. They were out of Chipotle Chicken. They were out of regular chicken, for that matter. Meatballs, too.

Which is how I ended up with a 12-inch ham sub on wheat bread. I did try the honey mustard on ham for the first time, and I can report it's a very successful combination. Throw some red onions and tomatoes on there, and you have a sandwich that can almost cover for the tragic fact that Subway moved the Spicy Italian off of the $5 Footlong Menu.

Alas, none of you want to hear about ham. Who does, really? It's the most overrated of the meats. You want to hear about chipotle chicken, as you were promised! So I'm left to give my impressions of the microwaved sub from early in the month. Fortunately I took notes, so we don't have to rely on my Swiss-cheese memory.

My microwaved Chipotle Chicken & Cheese was ... pretty good, actually. It turns out that dousing everything in chipotle sauce and using radiation to blend the flavors is an excellent way to make a cheap flatbread sandwich. It even covered up for Subway's roast chicken, of which I've never been a fan -- something usually tastes off about it.

However, something could have tasted off about my Chipotle Chicken & Cheese, and I wouldn't know about it. I had no control group, no way to compare a standard toasted sandwich against its makeshift microwaved brother. This won't keep me from assigning a spork rating, though. Actually, the shortages factor pretty heavily into said rating.

Two sporks. If I were evaluating on taste alone, we'd probably be looking at something in the three- to four-spork range. To Subway's detriment, I'm not looking at taste alone.

What can I say? Shortages leave me coldhearted.

No comments:

Post a Comment