Drive-Thru Gourmet: Subway debuts new chicken strips in Monterey Chicken Melt

//Drive-Thru Gourmet: Subway debuts new chicken strips in Monterey Chicken Melt

Drive-Thru Gourmet: Subway debuts new chicken strips in Monterey Chicken Melt

January 22, 2015 12:00 am  • 

This week I reached out for a new Monterey Chicken Melt, using new and improved Grilled Chicken Strips, at the world’s No. 1 fast-food chain, Subway, with 43,000 restaurants dotting this crazy blue marble. Whew, that’s a lot of people standing in line, pointing at lettuce and pickles.

Here’s the Monterey Chicken Melt breakdown: Subway’s new grilled white-meat chicken strips, shredded Monterey cheese, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and red onions on your choice of freshly baked bread. For the sake of argument, let’s go with 9-grain wheat bread.

Total calories: 360 (for the 6-inch sandwich). Fat grams: 8. Sodium: 65 mg. Carbs: 45 g. Dietary fiber: 5 g. Protein: 28 g. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price: $4.75. The footlong is $7.50. How about we split a footlong? You can pay for the $4.75 half.

Of course, you can micromanage the construction of your sandwich by picking whatever veggies and bread you wish. My personal choices are bell peppers (for crunch), pickles, black olives and tomatoes on Italian Herb & Cheese bread. There’s just more to Italian Herb & Cheese bread. I feel like I’m beating Subway for a few pennies.

Naturally, you’ll want the Monterey Chicken Melt toasted in Subway’s nuclear-powered Doppler 5000 megatron oven, which can zap a sandwich in mere seconds.

The new Grilled Chicken Strips also come in the Chicken & Bacon Ranch Melt sandwich and Jared’s low-cal favorite, the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sandwich.

Here’s the thing: These Subway creations taste pretty darn good — for Subway. And that means for millions of customers who slide past those glass cases every day. They’ve got something going on at Subway. They’re everywhere — in strip malls, shopping malls, supermarkets, convenience stores, airports, hospitals, schools and on practically every corner. I fully expect to see a Subway sandwich shop inside a Subway sandwich shop one day.

That’s the thing; now here’s the deal: They’re calling these “new Grilled Chicken Strips,” and Subway swears “They taste better because they are better!” They’re lightly seasoned, with no added flavors and no preservatives.

Let’s take Subway at its word. But have you ever been in a Subway and seen a grill? So where — and when — were these chicken strips grilled? You know, I wouldn’t mind a little preservatives in Subway’s meats, if they’re going to be lying in those little paper trays for hours.

I’d say here’s another deal, except Subway isn’t the lunch deal it used to be. The home of the $5 footlong is charging some pretty upscale prices these days. The Monterey Chicken Melt footlong is $7.50 — that’s a lot for a sandwich. The recent special the Hot Pastrami Melt was a toasty $9 — and that’s without fries (unavailable at Subway), chips, cookie or drink.

Subway’s prices are closing in on those at delicatessens, where the meat and cheese are cut when the customer orders a sandwich. I like that. Your choice.