Monday, May 17, 2010
Carl's Jr. Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich
I have a loudly professed dislike of chicken. I have said so in more than one review, and those that know me in real life know that I next to never eat it for non-review purposes. (And as you can look up for yourself, there's not a huge amount of chicken reviews to be found here.) "But Gigi," you are probably screaming at your computer right now, "Everybody loves chicken!" If by "everybody" you mean the rest of the universe minus me, then yes, I guess you are right. Me, personally...not so much. It has actually been said to me that perhaps if I could just learn to embrace if not to downright like or even love chicken, that perhaps the vast forces of the universe will see fit to conjoin all of its infinite powers upon me, the glow of good karma will start to smile upon me, my chakras would align, the Force would be with me, and...I dunno, there might be rainbows.
All of that sounded pretty deep, and I like to think that I am open-minded and reasonably non-picky. And if at least attempting to becomes friends with the humble chicken is what it takes to get in better with the universe, well, ya know what? I am down!
Jamie Oliver may have cured me of ever wanting a chicken nugget again for life -- and I cannot thank Jamie enough, but that is an entire other post. Nuggets might be out, but a grilled chicken breast sandwich? Well, that certainly had potential. (Hear that, universe? I said it had potential!) This sandwich also had the good luck to be made of the same grilled meat that the only other chicken sandwich I happen to like is also made from (I do truly like the Carl's Jr. Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich), and this sandwich has teriyaki sauce! Does that get me extra cool points, I wonder? Besides, who doesn't like teriyaki?
Yes, Carl's Jr.'s Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich consists of a charbroiled chicken breast, teriyaki glaze, a grilled pineapple slice, melted Swiss cheese, tomato, mayo, red onion, and lettuce all sitting on a honey wheat bun. (You may notice my sandwich is on a white bun -- my local Carl's Jr. was out of the honey wheat bun, so...)
So after all of that, am I not one with the Universe or what?
The teriyaki glaze is good, sweet, just a little salty. It would actually be good enough on its own to eat over steamed rice. Caveat: I say that about the sauce while it is still warm. Once it cools down, it seems to become saltier and a little stronger. It's still not bad, but it does change.
The lettuce and onion add a little crunch but not much flavor. But the lettuce is the standard Iceberg, and it's red onion, which is very mild to begin with, so that's no surprise. The tomato on mine was a single slice and added some tang. The pineapple is sweet and tastes exactly as you would expect a fast food pineapple to taste -- yeah, from a can, but let's be fair: It's canned pineapple, and it's pretty hard to screw up canned pineapple rings. I have to admit I had them skip the mayo. I know that's kind of cheating, since it comes with mayo by default, but I just could not stomach the thought of mayo and teriyaki together. It might be great, and maybe someone who has eaten it will chime in. But I skipped it.
The Swiss cheese: There is indeed a cheese slice. It's fast food Swiss cheese, which is to say it's melty but there is not a lot of taste. It's simply there. I wouldn't go out of my way to get it, and if they forgot to put it on I probably wouldn't miss it.
The chicken: Again, for all the bagging I do on chicken, I actually do like the grilled breasts used by Carl's. They are lean, relatively juicy, and they aren't tough or gristly as a rule -- and this particular breast was no exception. It does in fact have that fire-grilled taste. I usually ask them to put a little extra char on mine because I like that.
So... did I like the sandwich or not? Actually, yes I did. I liked it a lot. Personally, I would always have it on the white bun, and I would continue to skip the mayo -- but I would definitely order this again.
So, Universe, I have taken a tiny step forward. Do I love chicken or even like it? Well, that's still going a little far...but maybe if I put some trust in you hopefully you will put some back in me. There is hope... or something deep and mystical like that.
510 calories per sandwich.