Recently, Chick-fil-A released a new take on their original chicken sandwich as a push to expand customers’ options when dining with the food chain. The new sandwich is called the “honey pepper pimento chicken sandwich”, and is based around the culinary influences of the Southwestern United States. This is the first variation of the Original Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich that has been tested as a seasonal item. Western North Carolina and the upstate of South Carolina have the opportunity to try this item now, as it is only available within those two regions. So is the sandwich worth a switch from the original sandwich?
At first glance, the sandwich is packaged in a Chick-fil-A box, as compared to the insulated bag that the original chicken sandwich is packaged in. The physical appearances of the sandwich though, looks no different than the original. The sandwich has all of the main ingredients of the original sandwich, but lacks the option of pickles. What it gains, however, are several jalapenos on the bottom of the sandwich, and a dollop of pimento cheese to top it off. In my taste test I could not taste any hint of the drizzled honey that was advertised as one of the main tenets. After taking a few bites you will find that the jalapenos do pack a punch, despite the claims of mildness. But, it must be considered that everyone’s tolerance for spice is different, and I certainly lack the ability to handle much heat.
The main thing I was looking to taste with this sandwich was a good balance between the contrasting elements: the pimento cheese and the jalapenos. What I found was that I ended up feeling the heat off of the jalapenos, with a lackluster contribution from the pimento cheese. This lack of taste from the pimento cheese is the result of my sandwich being served with a relatively small helping. On the merits of the pimento cheese itself though, it fit the bill perfectly.
On the whole, Chick-fil-A’s new honey pepper pimento chicken sandwich is a poor effort at reinventing the wheel. Chick-fil-A has a solid business, with a good standard for service and cuisine. This standard allows Chick-fil-A to set itself apart from other competitors such as McDonalds and Wendy’s. If you are looking for my suggestion, ditch the new sandwich, and stick with what put Chick-fil-A on the map in the first place.
By: Jonathan Austin, News Editor