REVIEW: Jack in the Box Jack’s Blazin’ Chicken Sandwich

Written by | April 17, 2014

Topics: 7 Rating, Fast Food, Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box Jack's Blazin' Chicken Sandwich

I don’t think Jack’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich from Jack in the Box is spicy. Whenever I’ve eaten one, I’ve never felt the need to reach for whatever Coke beverage that came with my meal, or jump over the cash register counter at Jack in the Box and place my mouth under the ice cream machine’s nozzle, in order to soothe my oral cavity.

Because of my feelings towards Jack’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich, I was hesitant to believe a new Jack in the Box chicken sandwich with Ghost Pepper Ranch Sauce would satisfy masochistic desire to burn my taste buds and give me a good reason to jump over a Jack in the Box cash register counter so I can suck on an ice cream machine’s teat.

For those of you who aren’t Scoville scale scholars, Ghost Peppers, or Bhot Jolokia, were once the hottest peppers in the world. In 2012, the title of world’s hottest pepper was taken by the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, and, in 2013, both peppers were overtaken by the Carolina Reaper from the PuckerButt Pepper Company. I mention the other peppers because with the information I just gave you, I believe you can now consider yourselves Scoville scale scholars and it allows me to put “PuckerButt” into a paragraph.

Well, it turns out my feelings about the sandwich’s spiciness were right because Jack’s Blazin’ Chick’n Sandw’ch is not blazin’ and its name doesn’t contain that many apostrophes. I added a couple extra.

Jack in the Box Jack's Blazin' Chicken Sandwich Sauce

With the Ghost Pepper Ranch Sauce, I was hoping for a level of spiciness that would, um, make me tear up a little as if I was watching Toy Story 3′s ending, but that didn’t happen. It didn’t even make me sweat. While the Ghost Pepper Ranch Sauce has some heat, the sliced jalapeño are spicier, which emphasizes how tame the sauce is. The sandwich comes with the same spicy chicken patty used in Jack’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich, but as I mentioned at the beginning of this review, it’s not spicy to me. However, the chicken patty did have a little crispiness, but it was also slightly dry.

If your mouth prefers the extreme safe side of the Scoville scale, this sandwich still might be a little too much for you. To give you a reference point for how spicy this sandwich is, it’s noticeably less so than McDonald’s Habanero Ranch Quarter Pounder or their Southwest Premium Chicken McWrap, both of which have made me sweat a little.

But even though it’s not blazin’ and the lettuce I received with my sandwich was the saddest looking piece of lettuce I’ve ever seen, it’s a tasty sandwich.

The flavor from the pickled jalapeño stood out, followed by the Ghost Pepper Ranch Sauce, which has a nice smokiness and pepperiness. It also kind of tastes like a milder version of McDonald’s Habanero Ranch sauce.

The sandwich is also topped with grilled onions, Swiss-style cheese, and tomatoes. I didn’t get very many grilled onions on my sandwich, and I thought it was weird to have grilled onions on a chicken sandwich, but they didn’t add anything flavor-wise because they got lost behind the jalapeño and Ghost Pepper Sauce. The Swiss-style cheese’s flavor does come through a little bit and it slightly tempers the sandwich’s spiciness.

Again, even though it’s not blazin’ to me, it’s a really good sandwich. And I guess it’s a good thing it wasn’t blazin’, because if it was overly spicy, the heat would’ve distracted my taste buds from the flavors. Jack’s Blazin’ Chicken Sandwich is a giant step up in terms of flavor and heat from Jack’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich, and, to be honest, I wish Jack in the Box would replace their Spicy Chicken Sandwich with it.

(Nutrition Facts – 665 calories, 269 calories from fat, 30 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1172 milligrams of sodium, 662 milligrams of potassium, 70 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 32 grams of protein.)

Item: Jack in the Box Jack’s Blazin’ Chicken Sandwich
Purchased Price: $4.99 (sandwich only)*
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: A giant step up in terms of flavor and heat from Jack’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Ghost Pepper Ranch Sauce may not have a lot of heat, but it does have a nice flavor. Crispy jalapeño provided most of the flavor and heat. Slightly crispy chicken. Thank goodness they used Swiss-style cheese instead of American cheese. Toy Story 3.
Cons: Ghost Pepper Ranch Sauce is not blazin’. My computer’s autocorrect correcting “blazin’” with blazon. Received the saddest piece of lettuce. Grilled onions didn’t add anything. For some reason not available in Austin, Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Laredo, McAll/Brownsville, Palm Springs, Reno, or Tulsa. Jack’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

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SPOTTED ON SHELVES – 4/17/2014

Written by | April 17, 2014

Topics: Spotted on Shelves

Here are some interesting new and limited edition products found on store shelves by us and your fellow readers. If you’ve tried any of the products, share your thoughts about them in the comments.

Limited Edition Ha?agen-Dazs Banana Split Ice Cream

Do you miss Häagen-Dazs Banana Split Ice Cream? Did you know Häagen-Dazs Banana Split Ice Cream was gone from shelves? I didn’t know. But if you did know and you miss it, here’s your opportunity to buy a few pints or buy a new standalone freezer and fill it with Häagen-Dazs Banana Split Ice Cream. (Spotted by Josh at Giant Eagle.)

Yuengling's Ice Cream

Do you miss Yuengling’s Ice Cream? Have you ever heard of Yuengling’s Ice Cream? If you’re under the age of 30, you probably haven’t. But they’re back after 30 years of just making beer. Oh, I should clarify that. Yuengling is also, according to Wikipedia, the oldest brewery in the United States. (Spotted by Davina at Redner’s.)

Breyers Blasts! Sara Lee Strawberry Cheesecake

Do you miss Breyers Sara Lee Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream? Well, it’s kinda sorta back, in Breyers Blasts! frozen dairy dessert form. (Spotted by Ryan at Fred Meyers.)

Lunchable Jr.

Do you miss products that aren’t ice cream? Well then, here’s a bunch of Lunchables Jr. flavors. (Spotted by Sylvia at Walmart.)

Thank you to all the photo contributors! If you’re out shopping and see an interesting new or limited edition product on the shelf, snap a picture of it, and send us an email (theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com) with where you found it and “Spotted” in the subject line. Or reply to us (@theimpulsivebuy) on Twitter with the photo and the hashtag #spotted. If you do so, you might see your picture in our next Spotted on Shelves post.

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COMING SOON – Limited Edition Dr Pepper Vanilla Float

Written by | April 16, 2014

Topics: Coming Soon

Limited Edition Dr Pepper Vanilla Float

The 2000s was a great decade for new Dr Pepper flavors. There was Dr Pepper Red Fusion, Diet Cherry Chocolate Dr Pepper, Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper, Berries & Cream Dr Pepper, and Dr Pepper Cherry.

This decade we’ve seen, um, Dr Pepper Ten…and that’s it. However, that will change in mid-May when Dr Pepper Vanilla Float hits shelves. It will bring together Dr Pepper and the flavor of vanilla ice cream. It’ll be available in 20-ounce bottles, 2-liter bottles, and 12-ounce 12 packs.

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SPOTTED ON SHELVES – 4/16/2014

Written by | April 16, 2014

Topics: Spotted on Shelves

Here are some interesting new and limited edition products found on store shelves by us and your fellow readers. If you’ve tried any of the products, share your thoughts about them in the comments.

Wonka Peel-A-Pop

I’ve been waiting for these to hit the U.S. I should really eat real bananas instead, but I really want to eat these. OH. MY. GOODNESS. Look at what junk food has done to me! Look at what it has done to me! …and scene. (Spotted by Kevin at Walmart.)

Wonka Push-Ups

Hey Crossfit folks! I’m going to enjoy these Wonka Push-Ups, while I watch you do push-ups that I should really be doing because I’m eating Wonka Push-Ups. (Spotted by Nick at Price Chopper.)

Frigo CheeseHeads Sharp Cheddar & Beef Sticks

Frigo CheeseHeads String Cheese & Pepperoni Flavored Meat Sticks

The term “pepperoni flavored meat sticks” scares me. (Spotted by Kayla at Safeway.)

Pillsbury Big Deluxe Limited Edition Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme

A cookie with cookie flavor? Incookietion? (Spotted by Nicolas at Meijer.)

Thank you to all the photo contributors! If you’re out shopping and see an interesting new or limited edition product on the shelf, snap a picture of it, and send us an email (theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com) with where you found it and “Spotted” in the subject line. Or reply to us (@theimpulsivebuy) on Twitter with the photo and the hashtag #spotted. If you do so, you might see your picture in our next Spotted on Shelves post.

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REVIEW: Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich with Chick-fil-A’s New Grilled Chicken

Written by | April 15, 2014

Topics: 9 Rating, Fast Food

Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich

The way I see it we can start this one of two ways. The first is periphrastic, if not predictable. I tell you some sad story about how urban life deprived me of backyard cookouts as a child (a lie), or maybe I opine with a completely unnecessary (but eloquently articulated) treatise on how grilled chicken is the bastard stepchild of the fast food community and should never be ordered when a deep fried and crispy counterpart is available.

Or I could just cut the bullshit and tell you that Chick-fil-A’s new Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich is one of the best grilled chicken sandwiches I’ve ever had.

Yes, ever, and certainly the best rendition from a fast food or quick service restaurant. And no, that’s not an indictment of my own grilling ability, nor should it be confused with a history of rarely ordering grilled chicken sandwiches. Simply put, the new and improved marinade, combined with the preparation on what’s being labeled a “proprietary grill,” yields a flavor and texture that’s unlike the boring and prefabricated “grilled” chicken breasts served half-assed by other fast food restaurants.

Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich Sauces

I was skeptical at first. Opportunity cost and its ever-present threat of regret make ordering anything but the classic Chick-fil-A sandwich virtually impossible for me, while a natural prejudice against fast food items above the five dollar mark made me initially question my decision. Still, with a full court press campaign touting what a game-changing sandwich this is, I figured it couldn’t hurt to go grilled over crispy at least once. If nothing else, it would give me an excuse to replenish my precariously low stash of Chick-fil-A sauces.

Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich Grill Marks

Let’s just say I was more than pleasantly surprised. Actually, I was blown away, and plan to come back for more. The chicken breast itself is head and shoulders above what most fast food restaurants dole out. Unlike the “chicken breast filet with rib meat” patties at places like McDonald’s, the Chick-fil-A breast retains its natural shape, and doesn’t have any off flavors from injected sodium filler used to plump it up. Instead, the marinade and the grill contribute the main flavors. It’s got a nice apple cider vinegar tang and lemon zing while still having a really herby element and a touch of sweetness. The grill flavor is pronounced and authentic—I kid you not, had you blindfolded me and thrown a Frisbee at my head, I would have sworn I was at a backyard cookout (I would have also chucked the Frisbee back at your head, sicko.) Finally, it’s beyond juicy. Succulent sounds about right to me.

Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich Bacon

The rest of the fixings really push the sandwich over the top and help validate the $5.36 price tag. Unlike most club sandwiches, it divorces the usual swiss cheese in favor of Colby-Jack. I think it’s a good move because it has a richer, more milky-sweet taste than domestic slices of “swiss cheese,” although for the full flavor to come into effect, it’s best to let the cheese steam while in the container. The bacon has an enjoyable smoke flavor that really helps bolster the taste of the cheese and chicken, but it’s middle of pack texturally speaking now that McDonald’s has upgraded to thicker slices. Still, the produce is fresh if not a bit excessive, while the bun, which might just boast every whole grain on the planet, has a pleasant give and complex flavor. It’s not cloying like all these newfangled “brioche” style buns or dense like the old Chick-fil-A wheat buns, and instead tastes solidly of toasted grains without tasting too healthy.

Finally, the removal of pickles (which appeared on the old Grilled Chicken sandwich) does wonders, getting rid of any last vestment of “canned” flavor and producing something unabashedly fresh in every sense of the word. It was so enjoyable that, after taking several bites and being greeted by the symphonic flavors and textures, I completely forgot about the seven separate sauces I was provided with for, uh, “testing” purposes.

Look, I get it. It’s a grilled chicken sandwich, and not something 90 percent of us who eat fast food regularly are going to get excited about. Having subjected myself to grilled chicken sandwiches from the likes of McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s in semi-regular spats of misguided healthy-eating, I really can’t fault you for having low expectations. But this sandwich is different. It really is a game-changer, and looks and feels every part of a perfectly cooked grilled chicken sandwich you’d expect to pay at least eight or nine bucks for at a full service restaurant. I’m no branding expert, and I definitely don’t plan on getting into bovine linguistics, but with a club sandwich this good, the cows might want to change their slogan to “eat more grilled chicken*.

*translated, roughly, from “moooo.”

(Nutrition Facts – 440 calories, 14 grams of fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 1090 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, 38 grams of protein, 25% DV calcium.).)

Item: Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich
Purchased Price: $5.36
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Chick-fil-A
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Unbelievably succulent chicken breast with amazing chargrilled flavor. Lemon, herb, and garlic marinade completely permeates the meat. No rib meat slime or “butter oil” flavor. Colby-Jack cheese has milky-sweet notes. Bacon has good smoke flavor, produce is fresh and clean, and bun is exceptional. No extra charge for ridiculous sauce requests.
Cons: Cheese flavor is better once warmed and slightly melted, so better to get to-go. Bacon could be thicker and more assertive. Size of the lettuce leaf makes it awkward to eat.

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