Sunday, March 2, 2014

Pop Culture Curiosity: Subway's Fritos Chicken Enchilada ...

Listen. Putting Fritos on a sandwich isn't exactly competing, science-wise, with Louis Pasteur. It's a pretty organic progression: Here's my sandwich, here are some Fritos, I like crunch, Fritos crunch, the top of this sandwich just, like, opens, this allows for easy access to my sandwich, I can put Fritos on there, etc ...

I've been putting Cool Ranch Doritos on PB&Js for about a decade, but that was born of Ruffles on Turkey who knows how long ago. Before that I was putting pickles on potato chips and for a curious spell in the late 1980s I would chew a Saltine cracker then spit the wet cracker wad onto a fresh Saltine cracker, and then eat it. Also: I invented the "Got Milk?" campaign, in my head, when I was a teenager.

But I digress.

This is not some kind of "I was listening to that band's sick beats when they were still in utero." Ba-bump, ba-bump, ba-bump. This is just to say that I have experience with this, and feel qualified to speak about the Chips On ... movement.

And so: Subway's Fritos Chicken Enchilada. Or Chips On a Sub.

Shredded chicken bathed in a subtly spicy enchilada sauce. Approximately six Fritos. Popped into a warmer. I added a dash of Sriracha Cream Sauce to mine. Risky move, I know. These two spicy components might have clashed.

Is it good? Hell yes. But, as is always the case in these science experiments, it has more calories (almost 600) than I want to spend on something that isn't slathered in chocolate and oozing with a custard-like filling. 

Aside: One of the employees gave me a Psst just as I was about to pay.
"You know what tastes good on that?" she asked.
I get insider treatment once in a while, probably because I never ask the sandwich artists to toast my sandwich if there is a long line. (At least not since I stopped worrying about listeria).
I cocked my head, pressed my eyebrows together: "What?"
"A container of nacho cheese," she said and made the universal sign for Gas Station Nacho Cheese Container, her fingertips touching.
"Where do I get that?" I asked.
She nodded in the direction of the convenience store next door.
I didn't do it, but I admired her palate's moxie.

Double aside: She and I recently had an awkward sitch where she put so much Sriracha on my sandwich I thought I'd need a straw to eat it. I'd made a noise, kind of a click-beep with my tongue, and she'd looked up from the spice bath to say: "I thought you liked Sriracha?"
I've tried to make things comfortable between us since that day. Let her know it's no big. One day, one sandwich. This nacho tip says we're back to our special Customer v. Sandwich Enhancer relationship. Phew.

The Fritos Chicken Enchilada is getting big billing right now with a larger-than-life sign outside of my home shop. It has the kind of "Did you hear Subway is putting Fritos on a sandwich" incredulity that is usually reserved for, say, bacon on a sundae. But this isn't at all whacky by fast food standards. Not in a world where a waffle masquerades as a taco shell (review pending) or two chicken tenders ape bread.

I like to consider myself pop culture curious, but there are whole categories of things that go by unnoticed in a way that suggests I've never seen the internet. In order to educate myself, I've set aside time and space to conduct scientific research on the foods, TV shows, songs and see-through pants that are getting chatter. This all started with a review of The McRib, which is here.

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