I can’t say I was super excited to try Tims Crispy Chicken Sandwich — and yes, that’s Tims, not Tim’s. Just as Tim Hortons is oddly missing an apostrophe, so too is this sandwich. Clearly, someone at Tim Hortons hates punctuation.
When a fast food item doesn’t even look particularly good in its publicity shot, you know you’re probably in trouble (though to their credit, the actual sandwich looks remarkably similar to its beauty shot, so they’re at least not trying to trick you into thinking you’re getting something that you’re not). But after my pleasant surprise with the Tim Hortons Pretzel Bagel, I went in hoping for the best.
If, when you look at the picture of this sandwich, you think to yourself, “That looks like something I could buy from the freezer section at Costco,” you are correct. It tastes like something you could buy from the freezer section at Costco. If, on the other hand, you look at that picture and think, “That looks pretty good,” you are wrong. Get better eyeballs.
I will give this sandwich one thing: they’re not kidding around with the whole “crispy” thing. I’m fairly certain the chicken is baked rather than fried, so I was expecting something in the middle ground between crispy and soggy, but that was absolutely not the case. In fact, I’d say crispy isn’t even the right word, as that implies a delicateness that isn’t present here. This was full-out crunchy.
That sounds like it should be one of the best qualities of this sandwich; crunchy breaded chicken is delicious, right? Right. Well, usually. Somehow, with the style of breading employed here, it just comes off as oddly overbearing. It’s nothing too offensive, but it’s slightly off-putting.
The breading otherwise doesn’t have a ton of flavour, other than that generic saltiness that you’d expect from the el-cheapo breaded chicken you’d dig out of the back of the freezer at the supermarket.
As for the chicken itself, it’s processed chicken slurry formed into a sandwich shape, rather than an actual piece of chicken breast. It’s dry and slightly spongy, with only the vaguest chicken flavour. Mostly, it just tastes of the aforementioned generic, processed saltiness.
Otherwise, the toppings are completely no-frills: a couple of mealy tomato slices, some lettuce, and a little bit of mayo. The soft, fresh bun was actually pretty good, and almost certainly the best thing about the sandwich.
Seriously, this is a mystifyingly mediocre sandwich. This is hospital-cafeteria-caliber food. That wouldn’t be so bad if it were being marketed as a budget offering — say, two bucks, or three at the very most. It would still be a bad sandwich, but at least you could justify it somewhat. “It’s not very good,” you’d say, “but at least it’s cheap!” The sadness in your eyes would belie the truth — that nothing could possibly justify willingly consuming such a blatantly mediocre sandwich — but at the very least you could take some small solace in its affordability.
But no such solace is provided here: they’re charging a full $4.99, putting this right in line with the premium chicken sandwiches at other fast food joints. And those sandwiches are, across the board, much, much better than this thing. Heck, the location I ate at was a Tim Hortons / Wendy’s combo restaurant, which means I could have walked a few steps to the right and purchased a far superior sandwich for the exact same price. A sandwich made out of an actual chicken breast, with a texture that doesn’t resemble a meaty sponge, and with breading that doesn’t taste like sadness.
This certainly isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever eaten. I’d go as far as to say that it’s perfectly edible; there’s nothing particularly gross about it. But there’s nothing particularly good about it, either. And it’s flat-out offensive that they’re charging a premium price for what is ever-so-clearly not a premium product.
(Nutrition Facts – 440 calories, 15 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0.1 grams of trans fat, 1000 milligrams of sodium, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fibre, 3 grams of sugar, and 20 grams of protein.)
Item: Tim Hortons Tims Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Purchased Price: $4.99 CAN
Purchased at: Tim Hortons
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: The bun is pretty good. I feel like I should put something else here, so, um… the condiments were fine?
Cons: About on par with something you’d get at a cafeteria. Way overpriced. Dry, spongey, processed-tasting chicken. Overly crunchy breading. Tastes like sadness.