Today I had the opportunity to do another restaurant-based review, so I seized that opportunity and took a big bite out of it. This time, I headed over to my nearest Quiznos (the only one left in this city, sadly) for a new sandwich the chain just unveiled. Descriptively labeled the Spicy BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, this menu item seeks to be the latest entry in the ever-expanding list of fast foods that cater to the chilehead community. Well, maybe. It’s also entirely possible that we’re looking at a “spicy in name only” creation. Regardless, I do love pulled pork sandwiches, so I’m sure I’ll be pleased either way.
Slow-Roasted Pulled Pork, Smoky Bacon, Aged Cheddar, Cilantro-Jalapeno Slaw, Signature BBQ Sauce, Jalapeno-Cheddar Bread
I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant about getting the slaw on my sandwich. I’m not a fan of cole slaw, but I also wanted to get the full sandwich experience here, so I went ahead and got the full list you see there. Everything else is totally cool with me though, especially since this sandwich comes with not one, but two types of pig meat. Mmm…
Well, like exactly 100% of restaurant menu items, there’s a bit of a discrepancy between the commercial presentation of the food and the actual appearance. You can see the as-advertised sandwich directly from the company’s website, and compare that to the actual sandwich above. To be fair, these sub sandwich places are generally better about getting close to the advertised appearance than the average burger chain, but very rarely do you get a sandwich that is absolutely piled high with ingredients like that. It still looks good, though!
Smell and Taste:
The barbecue sauce stands out as a nice combination of sweet and smoky, traits further accentuated by the slaw and the meat, respectively. Despite the presence of jalapeno in the slaw, there’s no real pepper smell to this sandwich. The pork, though, is just the way I like it: tender, chewy, and far from dry. There’s not one single component of this item that stands out as an overpowering part of the flavor; rather, everything works together properly to deliver a succulent meal.
Here’s the bad news: this thing ain’t spicy. And I don’t mean that in the “I’m a chilehead and nothing commercial will even phase me” sort of way; I mean that in the “Maybe they forgot something” sense. I’m not sure which part of the sandwich is actually supposed to carry the heat. If they’re relying on the slaw, that stuff is way too sweet and mild. The only other possible spicy component would be the sauce, but there wasn’t really a whole lot on my sandwich. I’ll concede that it is possible for this sandwich to be hotter, but I’m giving it a disappointing Mild, and even that’s after I added some extra jalapenos. On the other hand, the flavor works really well. I had my reservations about the cilantro-jalapeno slaw, but it works really well with the smoky barbecue flavor of the rest of the sandwich, creating an item that essentially delivers a whole multi-course meal between two pieces of bread. I wish my sandwich had contained more pork, since I wanted more of that juicy meat flavor, but what I had was good enough to warrant a Nice.
What to Expect:
To make a long story short, you shouldn’t really go into a Quiznos expecting that this sandwich will be that chain’s answer to the growing chilehead population. Get this one, though, if you want a decent barbecue pulled pork sandwich with a sweet twist.
If you know of any big-name chain restaurants that have potentially spicy menu items we have not yet reviewed, please let us know in the comments section!