REVIEW: Subway Smokehouse BBQ Chicken Sub

Subway Smokehouse BBQ Chicken

I have good news and I have bad news when it comes to Subway’s new Smokehouse BBQ Chicken sandwich. The good news is that’s it’s significantly better than just smearing BBQ sauce over Subway’s “Oven Roasted” Chicken. The bad news is that you may very well incur the wrath of an esteemed sandwich “artist” in ordering one.

If the guy smoking freshly-killed chicken with Applewood out back in his shack in the North Carolina woods is the Rembrandt of the barbecue universe, then I suppose we should extend the metaphor and proclaim Subway’s very own “artists” as the equivalent of first graders during arts and crafts time.

I knew the sandwich was new and expected some kinks going in, but the look of befuddlement I received when asking for the sandwich (despite, I should add, several prominent displays in the windows for it) was enough to make me wonder if my artist had even brought her brushes to work. That she continued to refer to the meat as “pork” and asked me if I wanted cheese with it made me question if it wasn’t “switch place with your spouse at work day,” but the real kicker was when she proceeded to grow noticeably angry at my polite insistence that she construct this masterpiece to include whatever the picture called for.
Clearly, I must not understand tasteful art.
But I do understand barbecue, and when it comes to something you can order at a suburban fast food restaurant, this is about the high point. Obviously that’s not saying a lot should you live south of the Mason-Dixon Line, but who are we kidding, this is a Subway review. The chicken itself is an admirable stab at smoked and pulled chicken. Despite coming from one of those dreaded pre-portioned containers held in a refrigerator, it manages to convey a certain less-than-cloying sweetness with an unexpected lightness of acidity and tang of apple cider vinegar.

Subway Smokehouse BBQ Chicken Innards

The shredded chicken has a mild spice and hint of smoke flavor, which, I’m almost 100 percent certain, was conveyed in the meat and not just the sauce. The meat avoids any fatty strings or cartilage, and has a succulent taste about it which could pass for the kind of really solid imitation pulled chicken BBQ your Weight Watchers Aunt (or Charles Barkley) makes in the slow cooker. Above all, it’s a step up from Subway’s floppy Oven Roasted Chicken, which, even with barbecue sauce, mostly just tastes like rib meat and salt.

Subway Smokehouse BBQ Chicken Next To Oven Roasted Chicken with BBQ

That said, the portion is meager and looks nothing like the advertisement. Crunch (like slaw) is needed on top, while a potato bread base could go a long way to imitate the authentic barbecue experience. Some shaggy interior decorating and southern rock music wouldn’t hurt to inspire the faux atmosphere either, although something tells me that may clash with the artist process.

Subway Smokehouse BBQ Chicken Portion

If you prefer chicken to beef, have exactly four dollars (plus tax) to spend, and decline to dine outside the confines of fast food restaurants, I can see this being a frequent purchase. If, however, you happen to just be some schmuck who’s running late for work and falls victim to unrealistic advertisements (like me), then I would suggest passing. That is, unless you insist on some finger painting and stick figure drawing, for which I’m sure your sandwich artist would be happy to provide on your complimentary napkin.

(Nutrition Facts – 6-inch sandwich – 380 calories, 60 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 950 milligrams of sodium, 57 grams of carbohydrates, 5 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 32 grams of protein.)

Item: Subway Smokehouse BBQ Chicken Sub
Price: $4.00 (6-inch)
Size: 6-inch
Purchased at: Subway
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Chicken gets good BBQ sauce coverage and has a nice smokey-sweet flavor. Not too salty. Better than Oven Roasted Chicken. 32 grams protein (allegedly). Fingerpainting.
Cons: Getting yelled at by a sandwich artist. Holding up the line at Subway. Too little meat. Needs crunch. Bring your own Skynyrd. Admitting I don’t dislike healthy crock pot “BBQ” chicken.

12 thoughts to “REVIEW: Subway Smokehouse BBQ Chicken Sub”

  1. Pulled bbq chicken is one of my favorite foods.

    Tried this myself today for lunch. Extremely disappointing. I hate the sandwiches at Subway they just “plop” the trays of per-preparred meat on the bread. The minute I saw them do this I already lost my appetite, kid you not.

    I just stick to the deli-style cold subs.

    For hot sandwiches – try Potbelly.

  2. It never fails to make me laugh when I ask for a new product and they have no idea what I’m talking about. Often I point to a sign and they go find their manager and ask what the hell it is.

    My favorite experience though, bar none, was last fall when I got the annual Popeye’s Crawfish po’ boy and the employees had no idea what it was and actually asked ME how to make the sandwich.

  3. I just saw the ad for this and was like WTF. You don’t put lettuce and tomato on a BBQ sandwich. Where I am from you could put on the onion and some pickle slices and possibly some jalapenos. No greenery goes on BBQ.

  4. I was excited for a whole half a minute when I found out that Subway had the BBQ chicken again. It is disgusting, no where comparable to the old BBQ sandwich they had a couple years back. The BBQ pork is much worse than this sandwich. Subway, stick to your roots and serve the deli-style sandwiches, you are in no way competing with the real BBQ joints that sell fresh BBQ food.

    Next, I bet Subway comes up with their own concoction of McDonalds McRib, if so, bye bye Subway I will no longer eat your food.

  5. That looks like a bloody mess of a conception. I can’t imagine the sandwich held well in the wrapper and was falling apart at the seams when being carried. I can’t say I’ve been to a Subway in the recent years, as the only sub I really got was the foot-long Turkey and Ham, but I shake my head in shame at whomever at the board room meeting rang up this harebrained idea.

  6. As someone who used to work at a Subway in high school – Yes, they should know how to make the new subs, but it really is a pet peeve when someone asked us to make it “like the picture” – that entails having to crane my neck to see the damn thing, stare at the picture and guess which vegetables are on it, and then hope that I’m not getting it wrong. And yes, asking for the sandwich as its “intended” to be is understandable, but referencing the advertisement also makes us think you’re being like those really terrible customers who ask us to make it look “like the picture” as in, “why doesn’t this sandwich look like the one in the picture crafted by professional photographers who used fake things,” and so the gut reaction when hearing the words “like the picture” is probably just anger despite the rationality behind the question. With that said, I did ask for this sub yesterday and they told me they didn’t have it – despite postings of 3 different advertisements for it. Thanks, Subway!

  7. I had this today and it wasn’t too bad. I got it toasted but put it right in my fridge because I wasn’t hungry initially. I found it to be a lot better cold.

  8. LOL – Sandwich artist? I know that’s what they call them, but at least where I’m from subways have the worst employees of any chain. They’re off the boat which is fine with me, but many can’t speak English, hate anything that’s not the exact same as the rest of their routine (i.e. new sandwiches) and don’t really like people (though on their behalf, most of this is probably because they can’t speak the language).

  9. I cannot relate to these comments and the article in relationship to the employees being horrible and lacking good english. In my midwest city/suburbs, Subway usually employs high-schoolers, and like any other fast food restaurant – of course they don’t give a crap about their job or put much effort into each sandwich. Nonetheless, I feel like that should be expected as well as the fact that all food advertisements actually do use artists and more inedible methods to making the photo look 3x better than the best possible real-made sandwich/meal/whatever.

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