Fast Times

Burger King's Poblano Chicken Sandwich Technically Does Not Exist

I've been riding a recent wave of fast-food good luck that peaked when I found the Whataburger Monterey Melt. I was so enamored of that particular sandwich that I began seeking out other fast-food burgers to compare it to. So when I drove away from the Burger King drive-thru the other day without the cheese-and-bacon-stuffed burger I intended to buy, I was a little puzzled. Not only had I ordered a chicken sandwich, I had ordered the crispy chicken sandwich! Crispy (read fried) chicken is something in which I rarely indulge. Drive-thru blackout? Something happened, but I still can't tell you what, exactly.

A few notes on the aesthetics of the sandwich: The bun was super-fluffy and light, the poblano dressing was applied to both the top and bottom buns, and the chicken filet was proportional to the bun size. All in all, I liked the look of this sandwich.

Although the iceberg lettuce/mealy tomato combo one usually finds on fast-food sandwiches doesn't do much during the "eating with your eyes" portion of the meal, the anemic-looking vegetables were not totally off-putting. Frankly, you could go without them -- they add neither taste nor texture -- but they weren't objectively bad on their own.

The bun was soft and eggy, and slightly sweet. Burger King is doing something right with the buns, you guys. As one commenter noted in the Whataburger Monterey Melt blog, Whataburger has a tendency to deliver squished-up buns, but the bun on this BK chicken sandwich was positively fluffy. Further, it held up really well in transport, in spite of the double-spread of poblano dressing (an aioli of some sort, though the BK Web site does not list this sandwich on its menu).

I was disappointed that the chicken breast was not fried in a seasoned batter -- it's just the regular old fried chicken filet -- but the aioli is very flavorful, enough to carry the sandwich. The mild spice and pronounced smokiness of the poblano is very distinct and gives the sandwich its own character. I'm puzzled by the lack of appropriate toppings (peppers and onions, anyone?), but it's a lot less snooze-inducing than a plain crispy chicken sandwich. There is room for improvement here -- TOPPINGS, PLEASE! -- so overall this sandwich is good but not great.

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Christina Uticone