REVIEW: Jack in the Box Really Big Chicken Sandwich

The Jack in the Box Really Big Chicken Sandwich isn’t really big.

Heck, I don’t think it can be even considered just “big” by today’s fast food standards, which have been set by burgers like BK’s Steakhouse XT and whatever monstrosities Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s come up with. To me, even the Big Mac shouldn’t be regarded as “big” when compared with the latest fast food burgers.

The sandwich has two chicken patties, but even with them it looks small. But if the Really Big Chicken Sandwich can be considered big, then there are certain men out there who should have no reason to buy a 450-horsepower sports car to make up for particular inadequacies in their nether regions.

The size of this Jack in the Box chicken sandwich disappoints me not only because I feel it’s false advertising, but also because if there’s a fast food company that should understand what “really big” is it’s Jack in the Box, whose fake CEO has a head so comically large that I’m surprised people who come near him don’t get caught in his gravitational field and orbit around his head.

Jack in the Box’s Really Big Chicken Sandwich is made up of two crispy chicken patties with two slices of Swiss-style cheese, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and mayo-onion sauce in between a bun. The sandwich kind of looks like the reproductive result of what would happen if a KFC Double Down and a McDonald’s Big Mac got all hot and oily with each other.

While I don’t think it’s really big, I do think it’s a mighty tasty sandwich, mainly due to the mayo-onion sauce and an ingredient that seems to make almost everything better. No, not the tears of a child whose ice cream has fallen off of its cone and onto the ground; I’m talking about bacon.

The strips of pig may not be visible in the pictures above and they may not be crispy, which is almost always the case with fast food bacon, but they do add a pleasant smokiness to the sandwich. The chicken patties were crispy and flavorful; the cheese was hardly noticeable; the lettuce and tomato allowed me to say I ate a serving of vegetables; and the bun was surprisingly durable and not bad tasting.

A Jack in the Box Really Big Chicken Sandwich small combo will run you $3.99, even in Hawaii, which is a reasonable price for what you get. But it would be an even better deal if the Really Big Chicken Sandwich was actually really big.

Wait a second…If the Really Big Chicken Sandwich isn’t really big, then shouldn’t we also be wondering if it’s really a chicken sandwich?

(Nutrition Facts – 1 sandwich – 748 calories, 44 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat* (*contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat due to the use of partially hydrogenated oils), 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 1834 milligrams of sodium, 471 milligrams of potassium, 56 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar and 30 grams of protein.)

Item: Jack in the Box Really Big Chicken Sandwich
Price: $3.99 (small combo)
Size: Small Combo
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Tasty sandwich. Bacon gives it a smokiness. Affordable combo price. Awesome source of protein and potassium. Mayo-onion sauce is tasty. Eating vegetables. Durable bun. Tears of a child whose ice cream has fallen onto the ground.
Cons: Not a really big chicken sandwich. Awesome source of sodium and fat. Cheese was hardly noticeable. Looks like what would happen if a KFC Double Down and a McDonald’s Big Mac hooked up.

REVIEW: Jack in the Box Grilled Sandwich (Deli Trio and Turkey, Bacon & Cheddar)

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, “I 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 “Genoa salami, sliced ham, roasted turkey, Provolone cheese and pickle filets with a creamy Italian dressing on grilled artisan bread.” 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.

REVIEW: Jack in the Box $2.99 Big Deal

Earlier this year, Jack in the Box came out with their $2.99 Jumbo Deal, which consisted of two beef tacos, a small fries, a Jumbo Jack and the feeling in your stomach that you’re doing something horribly wrong by eating it all. It was great for those who wanted their Jack in the Box saturated fat and sodium fix in this tough economy.

But, like most of the money in everyone’s retirement funds, this cheap meal disappeared. Thankfully, Jack has been kind enough to bring back a $2.99 meal, and this time it’s got a name that was probably conceived with the help of the old name and a Roget’s Thesaurus — The Big Deal.

The name is not the only thing different about this $2.99 meal. It comes with a small fries, a beef taco, either a chicken sandwich or cheeseburger and, most importantly, a beverage, which was something the Jumbo Deal didn’t have, making it hard to satisfy your thirst caused by consuming all the sodium in it. This orgy of trans fats, which by the way is the least sexiest orgy ever, has enough variety to make sure there’s something for even the pickiest stoner.

Despite having variety, none of the items in the Big Deal were new or interesting. The cheeseburger was so boring that I’m surprised the microwave oven used to warm it up didn’t fall asleep. If you’ve had a mediocre cheeseburger in any time of your life, whether it be in a school cafeteria or at some shitty diner at 3 a.m., you’ll have an idea of what this wimpy cheeseburger tastes like.

As for the beef taco, well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Jack in the Box beef taco is one of the most vile fast food menu items. It takes some huge balls to deep fry an entire taco and then sell it to the public. Not even Taco Bell is willing to do that, and they put out a lot of crap.

Jack in the Box’s Natural Cut Fries may not have been circumcised and still have the potato skin on them, but they are quite possibly the most limp fast food fries around. I’m talking seeing your grandma naked and in spread eagle position limp.

By themselves, the boring cheeseburger, deep fried taco and limp fries, aren’t going to encourage me to raise my blood pressure and harden my arteries by eating them. But when all of them are offered together with a medium drink for only $2.99, it makes the cheeseburger a little exciting, the fries a little crispy and the taco a little less greasy.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 Big Deal with cheeseburger minus drink – 764 calories, 37 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 6 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 1414 milligrams of sodium, 80 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar and 26 grams of protein.)

Item: Jack in the Box $2.99 Big Deal
Price: $2.99
Size: Enough
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Good variety of food. It’s only $2.99. Nice amount of food. It’s only $2.99. It comes with a drink. It’s only $2.99. Its price makes everything slightly better than they truly are. It’s only $2.99. High in protein. It’s only $2.99.
Cons: 6 grams of trans fats (Seriously? 6 grams? If KFC can go trans fat free, then JITB should too). High in sodium. Boring cheeseburger. Greasy deep fried taco. Limp fries. Mental erectile dysfunction caused by seeing your grandma naked and in spread eagle position.

REVIEW: Jack in the Box Mini Churros

Mmm…churros.

They’re a staple at carnivals, amusement parks, sports stadiums, movie theaters, Renaissance Fairs, Civil War battle reenactments, and underground cockfights. But now you can get them any time you want, without having to pay admission, dress up in clothing with poofy shoulders, or choose whether you’re a part of the Union or Confederacy, just as long as you have a Jack in the Box nearby.

The Jack in the Box Mini Churros are shaped like most churros — they look like something that comes out of a Play-Doh fun factory, except it doesn’t come in psychedelic colors that makes the hippies say “whoa” and the little kiddies scream. You can get them in either five or ten bite-sized pieces. I purchased the five-piece one, which was reasonably priced and, when combined, seemed to equal a regular-length churro.

The churros may look like shorter versions of the ones you eat after flashing your boobs on Disneyland’s Splash Mountain, but instead of the traditional sprinkling of the sugar and cinnamon on the churro, the mini churros are injected with a cinnamon and sugar filling.

The cinnamon and sugar on a regular churro you got after taking a spin on the gravity machine at the county fair is there to cover the greasy taste of the fried dough, but the cinnamon and sugar filling in the Jack in the Box Mini Churros wasn’t very successful with masking the oily taste. There’s a hint of cinnamon and sugar, but since it appears everything was dipped in oil, the sweet flavors hardly survived after being fried. The only good thing about them being fried is that they’re crunchy, but then again, everything that’s fried is crunchy.

It’s hard to believe it’s taken this long for one of the big fast food chains to deliver their own version of the deep-fried pastry, after all if there’s any group that’s known for their deep-frying, it’s fast food chains…and people with really crispy turkeys on Thanksgiving. I’m surprised Taco Bell didn’t come out with a churro before everyone else, since they’re number one in fake-Mexican fast food. Yes, I know they have cinnamon twists, but why don’t call them churros? Maybe churros are just too authentic for them.

Since I didn’t really care for the Jack in the Box Mini Churros, I guess I must continue getting my deep-fried cinnamon and sugar pastries at underground cockfights. I just hope I don’t say the wrong password before I enter.

Item: Jack in the Box Mini Churros
Price: $1.49 ($1.00 in the rest of the US)
Size: 5 pieces
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Reasonably priced. Crunchy. Bite-sized. Play-Doh.
Cons: Greasy-tasting. Not very sugary or cinnamon-y. Sugar and cinnamon are injected in filling form, instead of being sprinkled on. Getting churros at underground cockfights. Saying the wrong password at a cockfight.