Recently, Jack in the Box tempted fast food eaters around the nation to try their new Grilled Sandwiches by offering a free one with the purchase of a large drink. But there’s a catch: only one free sandwich per person, and there’s two sandwiches to choose from: Deli Trio or Turkey, Bacon & Cheddar. A cruel move, but one that seems to be the crux of Jack’s marketing campaign, as illustrated in the commercial used to promote Jack’s free sandwich day. I wonder how long it will take me to succumb to the temptation of using the term “sammich.”
The scenario of the commercial is as follows: Jack’s in his office, and two relatively attractive women are sitting on a couch before him, each holding one of the new samm– sandwiches. They proceed to argue over which sandwich is better, not-so-subtly sneaking in the highlights of each sandwich and the fact that you could get it for free on February 23rd. Jack turns to the camera and proclaims that this is the worst commercial he’s ever been in, which is a bald-faced lie, as you’d know if you’ve ever seen the commercial for his Mini Sirloin Burgers, in which he sits at a campfire surrounded by little people dressed as cowboys. Furthermore, one of the semi-hotties responds with the suggestion, “We could kiss?” In the battle between small cowboys and hetero-flexible sort-of-hot businesswomen, I think we all know who wins. Unfortunately, us, the viewers, do not win, because the commercial ends before the ladies throw their’ sandwiches to the floor and start furiously making out. Another point in Jack’s corner for cruel marketing.
Jack ups the indecision ante in a promotional email, saying, â€œI can’t decide which one I like better. I’d imagine that’d be like having to choose which of your fraternal twins you like better. Except in that case, one is usually evil.
You think you’re so slick, Jack, forcing me to pull a homeless man off the street and into my car so that I can order two large drinks and get two free sandwiches. Well, the joke is on you, because I went into that drive-thru alone, paid $2.19 for a large drink, got my free Deli Trio, and then paid $3.99 for the Turkey, Bacon & Cheddar. Take that, Jack! I worked the system, and I worked it good. Added bonus: no lingering hobo smell in my car.
Sandwiches acquired, without the head-scratching confusion I usually get from fast food employees when I try to purchase a new menu item, I headed home, sipping my ridiculously large drink that I didn’t really want in the first place. I’m not a big drink orderer. In case you’re the type of person who judges others on what they drink, I got an unsweetened iced tea. Judge me as you will.
Deli Trio Grilled Sandwich
The Deli Trio Grilled Sandwich is described by JitB as â€œGenoa salami, sliced ham, roasted turkey, Provolone cheese and pickle filets with a creamy Italian dressing on grilled artisan bread.â€ Sounds interesting enough. I’m a big fan of salami, and I find the phrase “pickle filets” just delightful.
It’s certainly bigger than I expected, which is a pleasant surprise. They even went so far as to cut it in half for me at a jaunty angle. Right off the bat, though, I’m disappointed by the “artisan bread.” Looks to me like a regular ol’ slice of sourdough, which doesn’t exactly scream “artisan.” The top piece of bread on the Deli Trio had some nice grill markings, but the grilling was inconsistent on both sandwiches. They were also very greasy, but that’s to be expected when you’re handling a piece of bread that’s been slathered with butter.
Initial smell is mostly pickle (filets) and a tangy smell that I’m assuming is the creamy Italian sauce. It’s a nice, meaty sandwich, but the ham seems to overwhelm a lot of the other flavors, including the salami, which I was really hoping would be one of the more prominent flavors. Upon inspection, it appears that there is one layer of pickles, one paper-thin slice of salami, four slices of ham, two of turkey, and two of the provolone. I definitely would have liked more salami and less ham, but I’m assuming salami is the more expensive of the two. However, the ham was quite good; I’d say all of the ingredients lived up to JitB’s promise of deli quality ingredients. While the ham does its best to take over, you can still catch a taste of all the other ingredients, and they play pretty well together. The tangy sauce and the brine of pickle offset the meatiness nicely.
Overall, the Deli Trio Grilled Sandwich makes for a tasty meal when you’re on your lunch break at work, but it’s not going to rival a similarly constructed sandwich you could get at your local deli. Flavorful and satisfying, but it doesn’t really bring anything mind-blowing to the table. I’d go ahead and pick one up if I was in a hurry and craving a meaty sandwich, but if I had the time, I’d probably just head to the deli for a sub. I’ll give Jack in the Box some props, though; for a big-name fast food joint, they did their best, and their best is not horrible. In other words, way to not totally fail, Jack.
Turkey, Bacon & Cheddar Grilled Sandwich
Mmmm. Bacon. Everyone loves bacon. Which is kind of annoying, actually. I believe bacon has actually become an Internet meme, which I never would have thought could happen. But, you know what, that’s a rant for another time. Let’s just get to this sandwich!
Initial olfactory reports: smoky bacon, tangy cheddar, something else I can’t quite put my finger (nose) on, but overall, it smells promising. Jack describes this sandwich as “Roasted turkey, bacon and cheddar cheese with a Sun-dried Tomato sauce on grilled artisan bread.” We’ve already addressed the “artisan” bread issue, and I’m not even going to start on the inappropriate capitalization, but the sun-dried tomato sauce may be the mystery smell.
I gotta say, I like this sandwich. The bacon is actually crisp, no small feat for a fast food joint, and the cheddar is sharp and full of flavor. Even though the turkey gets kind of swallowed up by these other two strong flavors, it adds a good, meaty platform. I’m a little disappointed by the sauce. I was looking for it, and I think it was struggling to be noticed, but I just couldn’t get a handle on it. So I peeled open the sandwich, and what I found was a disappointingly small amount of sauce on the bread. I took a little bite of just the bread and sauce, and it was really quite good. I feel that it’s a shame there wasn’t more on there, but I’m a big sauce fan, so maybe it would be acceptable for other people. I’ll just ask for extra sauce if I wind up ordering it again.
Much like the Deli Trio, the Turkey, Bacon & Cheddar Grilled Sandwich couldn’t stand up to a real deli sandwich, but for a fast food offering, it does its best. The quality of the ingredients is solid, and both are full of flavor; I think for both sandwiches, the thing that stops them from really shining is the balance of ingredients. Deli Trio had too much ham; the other had too little sauce. They may be minor grievances, but for me, it prevents both of them from going from a good sandwich to a great one.
So, the question that Jack apparently wants everyone to ask themselves: which sandwich is better? As much as I hate to say it, I agree with Jack — I can’t decide. Both are flavorful but slightly flawed, and they have very different tastes. It’s the dilemma of apples and oranges; it would be unfair to compare them to each other. Maybe watching some sexy Jack in the Box executive businesswomen get freaky would help me decide. I’m just saying.
(Nutrition Facts: Deli Trio – 627 calories, 28 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 2,461 milligrams of sodium, 450 milligrams of potassium, 54 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugars and 37 grams of protein. Turkey, Bacon & Cheddar – 647 calories, 30 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 93 milligrams of cholesterol, 2,128 milligrams of sodium, 423 milligrams of potassium, 53 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of dietary fiber, 4 grams of sugars and 39 grams of protein.)
Item: Jack in the Box Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Deli Trio and Turkey, Bacon & Cheddar)
Price: Free with the purchase of a large drink, $3.99 for the other sandwich
Size: 1 sandwich
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Deli Trio)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Turkey, Bacon & Cheddar)
Pros: Deli quality meat. Fast alternative to hitting a deli. Argument-induced spontaneous lesbianism. Pickle filets. Flavors working well together. No hobo smell in my car. Bacon.
Cons: Not enough salami on the Deli Trio. Not enough sauce on the Turkey, Bacon & Cheddar. Getting cock-blocked from lesbianism. Bread not exactly artisan. Sandwich vs. sammich. Uneven grilling.