Thursday, October 10, 2019

RE-REVIEW: Fast Bites Breaded Chicken Sandwich (Dollar Tree)

NOTE: This is a re-review of a product that I unfairly criticized, rather harshly, for being unhealthy. The original review can be found here.

What a difference 4 years can make: from delicious, to dog food.
In my original review, I noted that the flavor of this sandwich was good, but was offset by the negative nutritional value. While it’s true that the vitamin content is rather lacking (and the sodium, fat, etc. departments are bountiful), this isn’t a health blog, and I would venture to guess everyone purchasing a frozen chicken sandwich is already aware of the potential health ramifications—it was a completely illogical review, especially considering that I actually liked the taste. So with that in mind, I have sat down to re-review this item from the ground up, hoping to right my previous wrong.

And now, it would appear, that I am right, although it would also appear to be as a result of a recipe change: just looking at the old packaging—which shows a deliciously lopsided, enticingly crunchy patty encased between two pieces of bread—compared to the new one--which depicts a perfectly circular patty completely devoid of all character--tells you all that you need to know. This is a rather flavorless, overly salty patty that is nowhere near the same level it reached all those years ago. In fact, back then I would have compared it to a fast food chicken sandwich, courtesy of an addictive flavor, ridiculously low price point, and easy 60-second prep that made it a solid choice for a quick meal on the go.

That is not the case any longer, as this hunk of “chicken” needs some serious dressing up to even be remotely palatable. The original version I hold in my mind cooked up almost crispy, with a delicious blend of spices within the patty that gave it a solid taste on its own, with minimal dressing up needed. This time, I tried throwing some mayonnaise on it one day (I’m trying to keep things simple so as not to ruin the original flavor), and then discovered a packet of Arby’s Horsey sauce at work on another day; neither condiment did much to make the sandwich any more appetizing.

This is just a slab of a tasteless thing that appears to be chicken in appearance only, but has very little resemblance to the actual animal in taste. It's almost like eating a vegetarian version of the meat, only it's the real thing, so you're left wondering where all the flavor went. As alluded to earlier, I got one of these, was so underwhelmed and disappointed with it that I thought it might have been a prep error on my part, or a batch error on the manufacturer, so I grabbed a second one, only to be let down in a very similar way. I might have been wrong in the past, but in attempting to correct that, the only thing I found is that I seem to be pretty adept at predicting the future.

Overall: 1.5/10. It's not as bad as my original review made it seem—it's far, far worse. The deliciously-spiced patty from yesteryear, where adding condiments and vegetables was simply a way to take the flavor from “good” to “delicious”, has been replaced with a listless slab of would-be chicken that now requires you to smother it in as many different things as possible in order to get any enjoyment out of forcing it down your throat. It's a shame, but my attempt to wrong a previous review has completely backfired, because I wouldn't even feed this to my dog. The only genuine pluses are you'll only waste a dollar and a minute of your time if you ignore my advice.

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