Tuesday, August 25, 2009

TBG Eats: Subway's NEW Orchard Chicken Salad Sandwich

Current Weight: 167.8 lbs.

Can we all agree that there are two – and only two – differences between white folk and African-Americans?
The first is that white people have names like "Lenny" whereas black people have names like "Carl". The second is our unbreakable bond with black barbers.

Since 1991, I've had two barbers. Eric took care of my cuts until 1996. He brought my way dated fade down a few feet, which – not coincidentally – introduced me to a whole new world known as "girls". I loved me some Eric. He was something of a Long Beach celebrity as that era's most famous rappers (Warren G! Tha Dogg Pound!) could be found in his chair at any given time. Skip ahead to the 1:50 mark of
this video for Eric's MTV debut.

I moved from Long Beach to San Diego in 1995. It took me three months to find a steady black girlfriend. It took me 12 months to find a single black barber. During my entire first year at San Diego State, I drove back to Long Beach every few weeks so I could work some hours at my old frozen yogurt shop in the Belmont Shore section of town. Those itty-bitty paychecks covered the cost of gas, a six-pack of Rolling Rock and a haircut by Eric.

Then, one day, Eric just disappeared – as black barbers with shady ties and a teardrop tattooed under their eye are known to do.

I found my current barber – Jon – on the recommendation of my girlfriend. She had a friend whose fiancé owned a barbershop in downtown San Diego. I walked in just as Jon was finishing up with someone. Since his was the only empty chair, I sat on down. The rest is 13 straight years of haircuts by the same guy.

Of course, when my son was born, the "personal barber" became one of those obligatory passed-down-from-the-previous-generation concepts like baseball and farts. And, while my white friends were taking their sons to Supercuts, Fantastic Sam's or
the racetrack; I proudly took Jalen to Jon for his first haircut.

Not pictured above is the flood of tears that accompanied each and every one of Jalen's subsequent haircuts. Fortunately, there was – and still is – a Subway restaurant right next door to my barbershop. (See? You knew we'd get there, eventually.) For years, Jalen referred to Subway as "the cookie shop" since I'd buy three chocolate chip cookies to cram into his screaming cry-hole whenever Jon took the clippers to Jalen's quivering head.

These days, Jalen takes his haircuts like a champ, but we still stop off at Subway afterwards for a $5 footlong (for me) and cookies (for the boy). And, for any mothers reading, don't give me that look. It would take 30 minutes for me to find just the right sandwich combination that my picky-ass son would actually eat. I'll take the eventual cavities and immediate peace of mind, thank you very much.

Last week, I ordered Subway's new Orchard Chicken Salad sandwich. I've long been a fan of mayonnaise-based meat "salads" and Subway's version is made with white meat chicken, cranberries, apples, golden raisins and light mayo. My sandwich artist added lettuce, tomato, onions, salt and pepper (on white bread) at my request and under my watchful eye.

With apologies to you deli purists (sorry, Tom) and you chicken salad traditionalists (sorry, "Mrs. S – Arizona"), this was a soo-POIB sandwich. The sweetness from the fruit wasn't too sweet and nicely complemented – of all things – the onions and the salt. The texture of the chicken salad was smooth and creamy, without the gloppiness that comes with over-mayonnaising the meat. I finished mine in record time and without a hint of the heaviness that usually hits my stomach during "footlong epilogue".

This sandwich isn't featured anywhere on Subway's website, so it might either be a regional release or one of those "limited time only" teases. If it's the former, I encourage you to move to wherever Subway is selling it. If it's the latter, hurry!

Grade: 4.5 (out of 5) Calories (6-inch): 340, Fat: 7g


Mrs. Nick'a said...

Cry hole. Awesome.

Tom said...

For the record: I'm not anti-Subway... I'm anti-Subway lunch meat... because it's gross. I loved their Angus sub, the sweet-onion chicken teriyaki, etc. Although, I do kind of fear this because I also find Subway's tuna to be suspect.

Anonymous said...

i work at subway, i tried it in my subway a few days ago, nearly barfed from its grossness of the first bite

Collin said...

I just saw the commercial for the orchard chicken salad, so I 'googled' it and found this blog. I enjoyed reading this so much that I added it to my favorites lol

Amanda Feliciano Rucker said...

Like Collin, I also happened upon this blog after having Googled the sandwich. Haha, nice blog you've got going here.

Aaron C. said...

My sincere thanks for accidentally stumbling upon this lightly-read blog, Amanda and Collin! And, thank YOU Subway for creating such an ambiguous chicken salad!