In conjunction with the latest indication that we will all be subservient under the brilliant, gentle, malevolent, enlightened tyranny of the sublime Jennifer Lawrence,
Subway has rolled out the latest in cross-promotional synergy with a series of spicy ass sandwiches. It’s capitalism at work, baby! Among their offerings is the Sriracha Chicken Melt.
I’ve found that if you talk about (or effusively and repeatedly fawn over) something enough, people will eventually look to you when something new arises in the culture that pertains to whatever it is you’ve talked about (or breathlessly and, perhaps, excessively praised – same diff), and ask your opinion.
As your resident Sriracha enthusiast, I’m proud to report as of Friday afternoon at approximately 1:00 pm, I’ve sampled Subway’s Sriracha Chicken Melt, and it is good. Here’s a full report.
After an unfulfilling breakfast of Peanut Butter Cheerios, an ill-advised Americano from Starbucks, and waiting for fucking ever for one of my co-workers to call me all morning (she never did), I left the office late and made my way to Subway. On the way, Kristin called me and wanted to hear about my morning and discuss plans for the following week. I sat impatiently in my car as we discussed these things with unprocessed caffeine terrorizing my nervous and digestive systems until I could take no more and said hastily, “Look darling, I’m going to have a fucking panic attack if I don’t eat soon, can I call you back in a bit?”
She obliged, but improbably, one of my consultants hopped on the phone next with pressing business, and ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, UNIVERSE? WHAT’S A GUY GOTTA DO TO EAT AROUND HERE? Being the professional I am, I professionally managed to stifle those words (as badly as they wanted to come out) and straightened out the vital issues professionally, in a totally professional manner. Professional.
Nevermind that I used profanity, like, 9 times in the conversation. Professional. Now then, onto ordering. I stepped up to the Sandwich Artist™ and announced my intention to order a 6” Sriracha Chicken Melt on wheat. He asked what kind of cheese I wanted.
I responded, “Pepper jack.” Why? Because, like Dadboner, I LIVE for bold flavors. He asked if I’d like it toasted. I wasn’t sure, but remembering the professionalism with which I handled the previous call with my consultant, I decided to defer to his professional expertise.
I asked, “What do you recommend?”
With the cocksure swagger of an Old West gunslinger, he casually flipped this rejoinder back at me, “Oh yeah. You want it toasted.”
Your smooth charm has me weak-kneed, good sir, and also, I’m really fucking hungry, and you just made it worse. Oh yeah, you want it toasted. This guy knows, man. This guy knows.
“Do you want the sauce on before or after?”
Again, stumped. “Again, what do you recommend?”
“Have you ever had Sriracha sauce before?”
He has no idea who he’s talking to. Have I ever had “Sriracha sauce” before? Well, hmmm, let me think. There was one time I can remember where I was ordering sushi at a business dinner and I told the woman I was with she had “bitchmouth” because she couldn’t handle Sriracha’s spiciness. Oh, and there was that other time where I kept a blog that has a page dedicated to all the items (48 and counting) I’ve improved by adding Sriracha to them, so yeah, I think I’ve maybe come across this once or twice.
“Uhhh yeah, lots,” I said lacking for a witty response due to my crippling hunger, “but never here,” I added.
“You’ll want it after toasting.”
Onto the next part of our sandwich journey. I ask for Sriracha, and she grabs a squeeze bottle labeled “Creamy Sriracha,” which, ok, now I’m a bit worried, but there’s no turning back now. She puts a healthy amount across the melted cheese and chicken blob, and then adds onions and green peppers. In truth, I was trying to make it look as close to the poster as possible both because I’m a mindless slave to marketing, and because I’m looking for this to be as close taste wise as God and Subway intended.
But then I saw the spinach sitting there, and I like spinach on my sandwiches, so on it went. Fuck you, corporate overlords! Punk rock sandwich!
I grabbed chips and a drink, and sat down. This is how it looked.
Not exactly like the poster (and the spinach is really fucking up that photo’s juju), but after spending two ill-advised months as marketing manager for an energy drink company, I learned food photography is its own batshit insane world unto itself, and nothing you ever eat will look like the poster. Quick aside that proves my point: When you see a still photo of a cold, sweaty bottle of whatever, that’s not actually water, that’s glycerin applied all over the bottle or can by a dude with tweezers. So yeah, I’m not eating photography, so let’s get on with the food.
First bite: Good. Surprisingly good, actually. The crustiness of the toasted bread with the gooey softness of the warm chicken and melted cheese combine with the heat of the Sriracha, and the roastiness and slight piquancy of the onions and peppers. Spinach provides a nice fresh counterweight to all of it.
Second bite: Even better. I can see why Expert Mr. Sandwich Artist™ up there recommended toasting. Toasting gives this thing the structural integrity it needs, and keeps everyone pushing in the same direction like a black football coach trying to manage a newly integrated high school (with a long history of success on the gridiron) in the face of impossible circumstances around him. I guess what I’m saying is toasted bread is Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans, which, I suppose, makes spinach like “Sunshine” Ronnie Bass in this analogy.
Anyway, the thing that’s most surprising is this Sriracha is legit. Despite being labeled “Creamy Sriracha,” it’s got that trademark sustained burn and buoyant garlic note to it that lasts long after the sandwich is over. My guess is, Subway made a Sriracha mayo mixture, which, whatever, despite not being the world’s largest mayo fan, as a delivery vehicle for Sriracha, it’s totally serviceable and doesn’t detract from the inherent brilliance of Sriracha.
I would absolutely order this again, and good on Subway for not pussing out and dialing down the spiciness of Sriracha for the boring, jerkface masses. If you can’t handle it, then move right along. More Sriracha for the rest of us. Highly recommended.
Now then, I for one welcome our new Jennifer Lawrence overlords. And as a trusted Sriracha enthusiast and blogger, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in her underground sugar caves.