Review: Philly Original Chicken Sandwich from Burger King

Burger King can’t catch a break here on GrubGrade and for good reason.  Actually, those Cheesy Tots that Sam reviewed seemed to leave a favorable impression, but lately it’s just been a lot of lackluster new menu choices at BK.  Many of the comments from our readers seem to lean towards the consensus that Burger King has fallen hard off the quality map. BK has been stuck in territory that has had us pining for the good ol’ days for far too long.  An offering that has been around for a while now is the Original Chicken Sandwich and the latest version, called the Philly Original Chicken Sandwich, is one I’d like to forget.Philly Chicken Sandwich Burger KingBurger King describes their new Philly Original Chicken Sandwich like this:

A lightly-breaded chicken fillet topped with traditional Philly-Style toppings – a colorful mix of bell peppers and seasoned grilled onions, served with American cheese and smothered with a creamy cheese sauce. All served hot on a toasted sesame bun.

Priced at $4.69 plus tax, the Philly Chicken Sandwich needs to wow me in ways that the Original, Club and Italian never could.  I figured that this creation would just be more of the same and I’d end up with an average to slightly below average chicken sandwich.  You call this a Philly, BK?  Attaching “Philly” to a sandwich, slapping on some peppers, onions and cheese… sorry Philadelphia. Burger King Philly Chicken SandwichThe “lightly-breaded chicken fillet” is actually a flat salt-soaked sponge of what I hope is actual chicken.  The biggest issue for me with the Original Chicken Sandwich, its two other styles and this creation is that they all have a dominating flavor that comes from the chicken.  It’s not a chicken flavor per se, but an oily pressed conglomeration of “stuff” that just screams sodium.  It’s hard to ignore how much the flavor of the chicken fillet takes over the sandwich and no amount of bell peppers, onions and cheese can help rescue it.Philly Chicken Burger KingAs for the green and red diced bell peppers, there were plenty.  There’s more of a taste of the peppers than there was any flavor of grilled onions.  On closer inspection, the onions were definitely present, but had zero impact.  Speaking of impact, the cheese had plenty of it because it was everywhere.  Burger King didn’t stop with just slices of American cheese… they went above and beyond with an extra slathering of cheese sauce to boot.  Cheese touches every bit of this sandwich and it’s unfortunate that there’s only a hybrid of American cheese and cheese sauce.  You can’t really differentiate one over the other in terms of flavor, just texture obviously.   Maybe American and provolone cheeses would’ve worked better here. The one saving grace was that the bread was toasted just right.  It’s sad that the bread stood out as the only slight positive and I think the reason behind that is everything else just fell below average.BK Philly Chicken SandwichIf you come across one of those buy one, get one free deals… I’m still not sure that I could recommend this sandwich.  I’d pay a buck fifty to sample it and still clutch my money with the thought that it’s going to be a mistake.  Try it for yourself and let us know what you think.  Burger King needs some help and the Philly Original Chicken Sandwich is only making things worse.  Stick with the Rodeo Cheeseburger, it’s a sure thing, and forget the onslaught of new nonsense.

Pros: The bread was toasted right.

Cons: Too much cheese. No flavor to the grilled onions. Incredibly salty. Expensive.

Taste: 4.75/10
Value: 4.25/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.50/10
Price: $4.69

Overall GrubGrade: 4.75/10

More Info: http://www.BK.com
Nutrition Facts:
Calories - 550
Total Fat - 25 grams
Cholesterol - 75 milligrams
Sodium - 1870 milligrams
Carbs - 54 grams
Sugar - 8 grams
Protein - 30 grams

45 comments on “Review: Philly Original Chicken Sandwich from Burger King

  1. TA says:

    I used to try virtually every new BK item. This one is a pass for me. The Avocado Swiss Whopper was horrific…this round of LTOs is a Fail.

  2. Robert says:

    I always want BK to be good again. Once every 6 months I stop by and try something hoping it will be good and end up not happy. This did not even look tempting. Sometimes I wonder if BK was ever good and if my taste in food was just really bad back in the day. Oh well I will keep on trying but, maybe once a year.

  3. scott spiek says:

    I think we just need to give up on ANY new BK item until they prove they have turned it around and any new Wendy’s “value” menu item until they roll back their prices. And speaking of high prices, let’s give up on Arby’s as well.

  4. Don D. says:

    I never trust stuff like bell peppers at a fast food place, esp one that has horrible tomatoes like BK. If you have the option, go with chik fil a which is real chicken and you wont have to worry about sponge like chicken byproduct.
    Burger King has a very good sandwich (the whopper) which could totally change bk’s image if they would up the ingredients and always make it fresh.
    Sorry but Wendy’s kills Burger King even if it costs more and isnt convenient enough.

    • Raiders757 says:

      The Whopper? Very good? Maybe twenty years ago, but not anymore. The one good sandwich BK does offer, is the Tendercrisp Sandwich. Sadly it’s overpriced.

  5. Justin says:

    I honestly don’t think I have ever eaten anything from a restaurant, including fast food, that was as salty as this.

  6. Todd says:

    I am actually a fan of their original chicken sandwich, but I think that I will pass on this one. Just on a side note, I tried to buy the original this past week. After sitting in the drive thru as just the 2nd car in line I waited for what seemed an eternity so I drove away. I decided they didn’t deserve my business. The exact same thing happened the last time I tried to purchase food from them. I personally think BK food CAN be good, but it seems I frequently have lousy service.

  7. Rebeka says:

    This attempt seems like it would be better on a grilled chicken breast of some sort

  8. Ralph says:

    If Burger King keeps going along this way…I look for them to close the doors for good….Very soon

  9. Sascha says:

    I drove through BK recently with the thought of perhaps trying this sandwich. Then I saw the price tag ($4.79) and there was simply no way. If I spend that kind of money, give me the Angus 3 Cheese and Bacon from Arby’s.

    I did, however, try the new nuggets. I waited for them, so they were as fresh as they possibly could be. I really enjoyed the crispness of the batter, almost a tempura style breading, so the start was pretty good. However, there was absolutely no flavor to the nuggets. Please, a little seasoning (even some salt and pepper) either on the chicken or in the batter would have gone a long way. These things were bla-a-a-a-and. And the Ranch I had with it was just as bland.

    Speaking of the 3 Cheese and Angus, kudos to Arby’s. I recently ordered one, and was enjoying the heck out of it. Thing is, I was 70% through the sandwich before I ever realized it had no bacon on it. Without hassle, Arby’s let me finish the sandwich (actually had my wife finish it, I’m not a freakin’ pig) and made a fresh one. Checkmark in the customer service box on that one, thanks Arby’s.

  10. Judy says:

    First time I had BK in probably more than a year and boy was this sandwich awful. Not sure what was worse, the chicken or the overwhelming taste of what tasted like some sort of imitation cheese product. Worse sandwich ever! I will stick with Wendy’s or even McDonalds.

  11. Zack says:

    I’ll admit, BK’s just firing wildly recently, but perhaps it’d be best to avoid letting the site as a whole get biased unfairly based on one reviewer’s taste? Many people enjoy the original chicken sandwich, myself included. Clearly Ryan doesn’t, which makes his review of any of the special LTOs based on the original pretty much a foregone conclusion.

    Everything being reviewed here on GG is fast / fast-cas food, where every item is bound to have haters and super fans. I’m not saying that reviews should be editorialized or watered down, but this review is one of the worst I’ve read on the site as far as objectivity.

    • Ryan says:

      Read my reviews of the Original and the other versions. I based my opinion on this one while considering how well the product works as the Original and then the other styles of the Original. This one is the 3rd style and I thought it was clearly the worst. Opinions are subjective. GrubGrade isn’t the arbiter on what’s good and what’s bad… if you think we are, you’re giving us too much credit. I’m just a regular guy giving my personal take and impressions. If you’ve had the product, feel free to comment with your own personal opinion and we can either agree on something or disagree. The only reviews I ever consider to be accurate and objective are video games. Movies, music, books, food etc are left to our personal likes and dislikes. This sandwich sucks and ill guarantee the consensus is on my side.

      • Bubbsy says:

        I get his point about having someone who obviously dislikes the original chicken sandwich review the variations of the original chicken.

        • Ryan says:

          Obvious dislike? Nah I just think the Original was average. Nothing great, nothing horrible… just something in between. I would’ve probably enjoyed the Philly a lot more if not for the overuse of cheese, lack of flavor in the onions. All 4 styles of this sandwich have the same chicken fillet and bread so any change to the Original is based on the new ingredients.

          Per my reviews:

          Original – 6.25 out of 10
          Club – 6.25 out of 10
          Italian – 5.75 out of 10
          Philly – 4.75 out of 10

          http://grubgrade.com/reviews/review-burger-king-original-chicken-sandwich-club-chicken-sandwich-italian-chicken-sandwich/

          • Bubbsy says:

            Oh, all I did was read his comment, and because he said you clearly didn’t like the sandwich, I just agreed with his point that someone who clearly doesn’t like it shouldn’t be the one who reviews the variations. I see now that I ran with flawed information about you the reviewer. I redact my comment! I redact it! Plus your response to this was restrained. So I’ll just say you’re bona fide, thank you.

    • JF says:

      I wouldn’t jump the gun and say the entire sites biased based on one persons review. Look st just about every BK story / review and you will see an overwhelming amount of comments from readers who have tried their items themselves and often times rate things lower than the reviewer.

      The simple fact is BK is poor in quality compared to just about everyone else and as one reader commented earlier, I’d have to agree that those of us that thought BK tasted good in the past due to lack of taste or experience of quality food. Reflecting back, I don’t think BK was ever any good, they were just a confidence when I was younger.

      • JF says:

        Should have been “convenience”.

      • Raiders757 says:

        Um no offense, but speak for yourself. Inexperience my ass. Twenty years ago I had already been eating food for twenty-two years, so that’s plenty of experience. I can say without a doubt that BK is nowhere near as good as it once was. The same with a lot of other places as well. In most cases, it has nothing to do with a younger preference or an “older, more refined palate”. The Whopper is just not the same anymore, as is, for example, the Pizza Hut pan pizza. While trying to keep the prices as low as possible, all these places have sacrificed quality. It’s as simple as that. The quality of fast food, across the board, has gone down in order to keep the prices competitive. The Whopper was once a tasty sandwich, because it actually was a tasty sandwich. My growing older has nothing to do with the suckatude of today’s BK menu.

    • Sascha says:

      Zack, I don’t care for the BK Original either, but I am a big fan of the Italian version. Somebody who doesn’t care for the one could easily like the flavor combo that this style adds. That just didn’t happen.

    • NayNay20 says:

      Reviews are opinions. Ryan gave the Original a 6.25/10 so he didn’t hate it. An average sandwich became below average with this philly one. Did you even try it?

    • Chefprotoss says:

      The site isn’t biased about anything. I have written for the site for almost two years now, and other than Ryan editing out some of my poorly written jokes I have yet to see any “GrubGrade” bias towards anything. The reviews are as honest as possible. There have been a lot of people who have written for this site over the years, and BK has let us down overwhelmingly. Considering that years ago they were rated the #2 fast food restaurant in the US for overall revenue, and now they are #5, bad reviews seem to fall lock in step with BK’s quality. We don’t want BK to suck as eating bad food and THEN having to write about it is a pain in the ass, but that seems to be the trend with BK. That’s just my two cents.

  12. alexg says:

    Their Tendercrisp Chicken Sandwich is pretty good though I last had it in 2005.

  13. Marianne says:

    BK needs to read these comments as then maybe they’d have some idea how the “regular” people feel about their food. The new menu items didn’t inspire me in the least.

  14. Rusty Shackleford says:

    ugh, BK just needs to fire whatever product manager they have, because these new random items are just awful. Hell, they could just bring back the A1 Steakhouse burger and I’d be happy.

    • Sascha says:

      It hasn’t been all losers, though. The Carolina whopper/chicken was pretty good, the White Cheddar whopper was better than McDonald’s CBO, and the Bacon Burger is currently among my favorites for $1 sandwiches.

  15. Raiders757 says:

    I find it hilarious that most every sandwich made with peppers, onions, and cheese outside of Philadelphia, is called a Philly. That has to make quite a few of those who live in that city scratch their heads. Especially when one considers these sandwiches get tagged as such due to it’s so called similarity to a Cheesesteak. Thing is, a real Cheesesteak is nothing more than beef and cheese with or without onions. Seriously WTF? This sandwich has absolutely nothing in common with a Cheesesteak sandwich, let alone the city of Philadelphia.

    A friend of mine from Philadelphia once told me that if “Philly is in the title of a sub, or sandwich, buyer beware”.

    • Bubbsy says:

      I think “Philly” is just a style that the public generally understand. If it is Philly style, it has cheese, peppers and onions, “authentic” or not… Yes that came to define “Philly” style because grilled onions and peppers make a great condiment to that signature sandwich. If someone hands you a glass of sparkling white wine and says “have some Champagne with us”, do you scold them with some diatribe about French geography?

  16. T.J. says:

    Agree with that – I can’t think of one thing in this sandwich that is remotely related to Philly. Although I’d hate to see how BK would try to make an actual cheesesteak.

  17. Matt says:

    I think Burger Kings has actually had the most varied and interesting LTO’s this past year, however they all have just been executed poorly. Out of the Big 3, their new items seem to have the most unique flavor and ingredient descriptions. They just make them poorly. I find myself getting old, dried out food at BK way more often than McDonalds or Wendy’s.

    Side note, I had the Avocado Swiss Whopper the other day and it was actually pretty good.

  18. Old Fogey Paul says:

    Burger King started going downhill a while ago, they could easily turn it around if they worked on a few core concepts.
    1. The flagship burger (Whopper) needs to be a better product for a better value
    2. The ingredients need to be fresher and more appealing
    3. The cost of a sandwhich combo shouldn’t be more than $5.00
    4. They need to stop trying what ammounts to gimmicks and work on a clean uniform product.

  19. Scrape says:

    Not entirely sure about this sandwich, and I sure as heck ain’t gonna try one, but there are a FEW good BKs around…as long as you order something they do okay. Two of my local BKs, and one that I hit as a halfway point on a repeated long trip I make, are both good for the staples like Whoppers. The roadtrip BK I would classify as excellent, and much better than the Sonic on the same exit. The food at these particular stores is always hot and it is made properly. The service is pretty decent, too, unlike the usual BK ‘f-u’ attitude that seems prevalent in some regions. While this sandwich, and too many others lately, appear to be flawed right from the corporate test kitchen, there still are some good BKs to be had. It all depends on the franchise owner and the local management.

  20. Mike N. says:

    At least you got plenty of toppings on yours; it really seems hit and miss with these LTO specials.

  21. sherm says:

    Seems like that nutritional info is wrong. The original chicken sandwich has 581 calories and 31 grams of fat, and that’s without all that cheese and cheese sauce…

  22. Stephen says:

    American cheese is not the cheese I would put on a Philly.

  23. Will says:

    I didn’t realize someone could be racist to a chicken sandwich. What race is it? Get a hold of yourself Manavee!

  24. SkippyMom says:

    I have been away for a while, but sad to see that y’all consider BK to have dropped so far in quality. I can understand that except for their Fish Sandwich and fries. Maybe it is our local BK, but on Fridays when I avoid meat but need a quick, fast food lunch [damn the sodium!] I head to BK for their fish because it is the only one of the biggies that has anything resembling a sandwich that is actually FISH. Whiting? I don’t know but it is delicious and our lettuce is always, ALWAYS fresh and abundant, fresh bread – and if you ask they will fry up a fresh batch of fries. Which, to me, is the only way to go with them. They are the meatiest of the FF fries, and rank next to Wendy’s and Roy Rogers with us.

    I would never have thought to order anything like this mess at our BK, but now that I read the review I am glad I didn’t. ICK.

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