Archives for posts with tag: Sonic

This post will cover the second item from my trip to Sonic back in the fall. Sonic’s Fiery Cheeseburger interested me because I like spicy food (in lieu of a single link, you can check out virtually every post on this blog). Since I knew I was going to try the popcorn chicken, I wanted to pair that with the cheeseburger, so I wasn’t doubling up on fried chicken. Unfortunately, whether due to an ordering mistake on my part or a worker error, I wound up actually eating Sonic’s Fiery Ultimate Chicken Sandwich, the other option in their fiery sandwich lineup.

The Fiery Ultimate Chicken Sandwich was “a premium thick-cut, all-white chicken fillet with a crispy golden outside [with] pepper jack cheese, sliced jalapeños … red jalapeño spread” on a Brioche bun. Of course, I used the past tense because the sandwich doesn’t seem to be currently available. I don’t have pricing information anymore (the receipt has long since been lost to the recycling bin), but this was the most expensive part of an expensive meal (this lunch seriously cost around $30).

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To get back on topic, like the Garlic Parmesan Chicken, the Fiery Ultimate Chicken Sandwich had a pungent smell. The sandwich’s main odor came from the pickled jalapeños on top of the sandwich. It permeated the car before I even unwrapped the sandwich. As I peeled away the foil, the sandwich looked like it was going to be a mess. Sauce and cheese were already oozing out the sides, and to be honest, considering the cramped quarters of my car (plus my shock upon realizing I didn’t receive what I’d intended to order) I wasn’t looking forward to eating it.

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My first few bites had a bacon-y taste, which was disconcerting because there was no bacon on the sandwich. This taste only appeared when I had bites which didn’t have any of the sauce. As I got further into the sandwich, the jalapeño taste took precedence. It wasn’t an overwhelming heat, but I was starting to feel a tickle at the back of my throat. I should also note that sensation was solely from the jalapeño spread. Due to suboptimal sandwich construction, the pickled jalapeños were only on one half of the sandwich.

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While I normally disdain cheese as a topping for a chicken sandwich, I have to compliment Sonic here. The cheese was nice and gooey, It didn’t bunch up or congeal or get too messy on its own. While I’m not sure it added much (unless it somehow was the source of that bacon taste?), it wasn’t unwelcome.

I finally hit the pickled jalapeños on the back half of the sandwich, and things started to get a little heated in the car. And by things, I mean me. It was spicy. Swallowing was becoming a chore, and because they didn’t add any lettuce or tomato or other cooling agent to the sandwich, eating provided no refuge. I was taking gulps of my slush (Cherry Ocean Water!) after pretty much every bite at this point, as the jalapeño spread and pickled jalapeños completely dominated everything in the sandwich. I think everyone knows what pickled jalapeños taste like, but the red jalapeño spread deserves some detail. It had flecks of pepper actually in the spread, and aside from the hotness, it had some acidity (I’m assuming some sort of vinegar) to contrast the rest of the flavors in the sandwich.

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As usual with a Sonic sandwich, the chicken was juicy and had a nice crunch. I couldn’t taste if it was well seasoned because my mouth was on fire, but I’m sure it would have been fine on its own.

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The eating experience was surprisingly clean. There wasn’t much leakage with the sandwich, which had been a serious worry with eating in my car. Any dripping was going to stain my pants, and luckily they survived to live another day. If I hadn’t been eating the Garlic Parmesan Chicken with this, I wouldn’t have needed many napkins at all. And though I don’t always like Brioche buns, the bread didn’t fall apart and it kept the sandwich ingredients in place.

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While the Fiery Ultimate Chicken Sandwich had some highlights, I’m not sure this is something I’d want to experience again. It certainly packed enough of a punch for me to consider it the spiciest fast food item I’ve ever eaten. Real heat seekers may find this lacking, but amateurs like me will be more than satisfied. However, the heat become too much towards the end, and the sandwich suffered. It needed some sort of vegetable to provide a break. Also, that bacon taste never went away. That may have been a store specific problem, but it counts here. Lastly, I ordered a cheeseburger.

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The first post of 2017 is also the first time I’ve visited Sonic on official blog business! Sonic’s reputation has long cast a farther shadow that its geographic reach. Sonic originated in southern areas because its drive in model was more conducive to warmer temperatures. Before this trip, I’d only eaten Sonic in places like Texas, California and Florida, because those climes were more suitable for year round drive-in sales. However, Sonic has recently made a push northward. Though we’ve seen their commercials for years, the chain has opened several locations in Massachusetts over the last several years. The franchise I visited had a much larger inside seating area, perhaps to compensate for people who didn’t want to sit in their cars in December or January, eating fast food.

My personal experiences have unfortunately been less than fulfilling. They boast an amazing milkshake and slush selection (Cherry Ocean Water!), but their insistence on slathering mayo on burgers and the discomfort of gorging on fast food while sitting in a parked car generally turn me away from the experience. This particular trip exacerbated the parked car predicament because it was cold, so not only was I in the car, but the windows were rolled up, creating a humid greenhouse of grease.

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Anyway, the first review from this trip will be Sonic’s Garlic Parmesan Boneless Wings. The boneless wings are “100% all white meat chicken … tossed in a buttery garlic parmesan sauce.” I ordered them as a side order to go with my meal, and it was $4.69 for six pieces. I thought that was insanely expensive until I actually received my order. These were not sized as a side order, so I got to overeat!

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My first impression of the wings was the smell. The odor was slightly sweet, like a packaged Italian dressing. When I pulled the box from the bag, I saw the wings were drenched in sauce, which is not how I generally like to order my fried chicken, but I should have known what I was ordering (I’m still angry at Denny’s in Reno for doing this to me unexpectedly). The problem is that it makes the wings soggy. The purpose of fried chicken in any form is that great crunch, and drenching the batter in sauce just makes it heavy and wet. It also created an acute problem with this particular meal because I had a burger to eat, so I couldn’t just concentrate on finishing the wings first. I decided to eat a wing first to get the proper experience, then alternate between the chicken and burger, which goes against my particular eating habits.

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The wings came with a plastic fork, which is weird for boneless wings; they should be finger food. I used the fork to pick up a wing to protect my hands from the sauce and make transitioning between the boneless wings and burger a seamless process. Of course, the thick breading combined with the weak structural integrity of a plastic fork to break one of the tines. That’s only the second time I’ve ever broken a plastic fork. When I finally got to eat the boneless wings, the taste was pretty good. The initial bites were still crispy, despite the sauce. The sauce itself was like a creamy Italian dressing, like a mid-range bottle. Nothing too fancy like Paul Newman, more like Wishbone. It was pleasant at first, but did get monotonous because none of the bites were sans sauce. It was tough to suss out the breading flavor from the dressing, but the wings at least looked well seasoned with pepper in the breading

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The chicken chunks were pretty big. I don’t regularly order boneless wings, but I’d compare them to thicker, more natural looking chicken nuggets. They were all white meat, and surprisingly juicy for a fast food boneless wing. In a genre of cuisine where the protein mainly serves as a sauce delivery vehicle, these more than hold their own. Of course, getting six large pieces of chicken as a side order was too much food, and I wish they had a smaller option.

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The two biggest issues with the Garlic Parmesan boneless wings were self inflicted: 1) despite my best efforts, I can only eat so fast, especially when taking notes and pictures, so they got too soggy and were kinda gross when I was only halfway through the order and 2) the burger I was also eating was quite spicy, and it definitely affected the flavor of the wings.

Overall, these were fine. It was a larger portion than I expected, but if I hadn’t ordered anything else, that would have been a plus. I initially liked the sauce, but if pressed to order again, I’d choose another flavor since I generally prefer hot sauce if I’m going to sauce chicken. I’d also ask for the sauce on the side because the chicken really didn’t need a sauce. So if you’re looking for a fast food chicken option that has good taste, decent sauce, and feels like eating real chicken, these are worth your time, though it seems the sauces are cycled every few months.

Bonus Fast Food Connoisseur Spouse Review: They looked good, but [I] didn’t like the taste. They were too salty and the sauce had a weird flavor.