Monday, April 20, 2009
TBG Eats: Mini Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sandwiches from Jack in the Box
Current Weight: 168 lbs.
I might've mentioned that I have a marketing degree. And, while I haven't done much with it since graduating in the fall of 1997, I managed to rack up some real-life experience in the industry as a student at San Diego State.
I took a Marketing Research class in which my five-person team measured the short-term and long-term potential of online banking opportunities. In another semester, there was the marketing plan that my group and I developed for a local tea and coffee distributor. I'm most proud of my final project where I led our entire Advertising class in a weeks-long promotion of SDSU's newly-opened Cox Arena. Our two featured events?
Men and women's hoops doubleheader and a taping of WCW Monday Nitro.
So, it goes without saying that I know how to identify great marketing with great brands. Still, I'm not sure I get the point of this new "mini" food craze.
Burger King introduced Burger Shots a few months ago (along with a separate breakfast-time sandwich companion). Jack in the Box, meanwhile, already has Mini Sirloin Burgers:
To me, it seems like a WAY belated attempt to mimic the model of White Castle. At least, it would until one notices that JitB's three-pack of mini-burgers goes for almost $5.00, making it one of the more expensive sandwiches on the menu.
The Mini Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sandwiches are $4.29 for a box of three. These are not to be confused with JitB's (relatively) high-end "Homestyle" line of deep fried chicken-flavored meat products. The chicken here is closer to those frozen breaded chicken patties often found on the value-menu.
Each mini-wich is dipped in Frank's Red Hot sauce and then slathered in ranch dressing. Honestly, it's been a few weeks since I had this and I've already forgotten if there's lettuce, onions or any other ingredients. Wow. The Fast Food Writers Association of America will have my head for this.
I do remember that this was a perfectly inoffensive meal, though. Yes, yes…ranch dressing IS an abomination when brought together with anything "Buffalo". And, I'll concede that the usual Western New York elitists – looking down on us from atop "Mount Eventual Angioplasty" – won't be impressed with the laughable attempt at authenticity that the Frank's brand is supposed to provide here. And, despite the full meal price, these mini-sammiches aren't the least bit filling.
Still, unless we're buying it by the bottle, there aren't many menu items anywhere out here that feature Frank's. And, JitB's ranch dressing (which almost surely comes from a surplus drum) isn't as watered down as most fast food versions. It all makes for an edible melding of flavors, featuring a wee bit of heat tempered by a few tablespoons of cool
Grade: 2.5 (out of 5)