Poor little sandwiches ...
By Sarah Fenske
It might sound weird to a normal person, but I stopped going to KFC because of the Pepsi.
There are two types of fast food junkies in the world: Coke people and Pepsi people. Some time during college, I realized I was a Coke head all the way. I wasn't one of those young hipster with their "choice of a new generation." I was into aging classics.
When you love Coke and hate Pepsi, you actually begin to plan your drive-through stops around the question of where your product of choice is carried. For me, that meant yes to McDonald's, no to Taco Bell; yes to Wendy's, no to Pizza Hut. Etcetera etcetera.
I mourned none of those fast food losses as intensely as my beloved KFC. For years, my perfect meal had been a bucket of fried chicken, greasy at the bottom; a little tub of coleslaw; a mound of macaroni-and-cheese, and one of those flaky buttermilk biscuits, squirted with a packet of faux butter. I'm getting hungry just remembering it. In my post-Pepsi days, I have to admit, I've occasionally planned a trip to KFC to pick up a chicken lunch -- but only if I have time to stop at Circle K on the way and pick up a Diet Coke first. I'm pathetic.
So I was pretty disappointed when I did one of my Circle K/KFC runs last weekend and realized I'm over the place -- and, this time, it's got nothing to do with the all-too-sweet taste of Pepsi.
The reason? KFC snackers. They are ostensibly KFC's answer to McDonald's ubiquitous pickled-and-ketchupped cheeseburger or Wendy's awesome Junior Bacon Cheeseburger -- little sandwiches perfect for holding in one hand while the other is on the steering wheel. Of course sandwiches like this are never quite as good as a Big Mac or a Whopper; by definition, they have less juice, less fixings, less spill-out-of-the-bun goodness.
But there is no reason for them to be tasteless, either.
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I tried two of the Snackers, the "ultimate cheese" and the buffalo. And I just wasn't impressed with either. The buffalo had the right seasoning, but it was garnished by just a little iceberg -- no bleu cheese here, and believe me, bleu cheese was called for. The ultimate cheese was even more disappointing. The cheese tasted like they'd melted down a hunk of boring old American. This was not "ultimate"; it was tedious.
When I'm eating fried food, it'd better be a salty, mayonnaise-drenched mess. I don't want to waste my calories on something that doesn't taste like a guilty pleasure. American cheese is simply never going to be worth the plastic it comes wrapped in. And if my buffalo sandwich is going to come plain, it had better be bursting with flavor. Not so this bland slider.
It was a good thing I'd stopped at Circle K. It took all the Coke in my 44-ounce Thirst Burster just to finish off my snack.