Fast Food Review: Grilled Chicken Sandwich from Sonic
There are two reasons why someone orders a grilled chicken sandwich. A) They’re pointlessly trying to defy better judgment and instead trying to follow the advice of some dumb health magazine that tells them it’s the “smart option” or B) They’re at Chick-fil-A. I frequently fall into this latter category when choosing poultry sans oil and breading when eating fast food, and can proudly say that I can’t even remember the last time I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich at a Wendy’s or a Burger King.
That was until recently, when, attempting to offset a crapload of tater tots (read our review) at Sonic, I ponied up for the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. I quote the Utah State basketball game student section: “STUPID. STUPID. STUPID.” As usual, it was the propaganda machine which suckered me in.
100% all white meat grilled chicken breast topped with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise served on a wheat bun made with whole grain. *Wheat bun contains 10 grams of whole grain.
Where does one begin? The price, I suppose. For $3.99 for the sandwich alone, this had better be of premium quality. Judging by the limp, dead-looking iceberg lettuce, the single flavorless tomato, and the partially collapsed wheat bun, this didn’t seem apparent from the get-go. To Sonic’s credit, the breast itself looks more appetizing than many a grilled chicken product, and the bun – while unfortunately squished – had a subtle wheat and molasses sweetness that was good enough to eat on its own.
But I don’t pay 3.99 for a wheat bun (at least not just one bun, anyways, although I would gladly pay $3.99 and devour a package of Martin’s Whole Wheat potato hamburger buns). Putting my disassembled sandwich back together, I dug in.
It wasn’t God awful, and I have to admit I’ve had worse. Lets start with positives. It didn’t have any fake margarine style oil taste that some places cater to (it had that sheeny look), although it did have an off artificial “char-grill” flavor. Likewise, it was, or appeared to be, an entire breast and not some rearranged conglomeration of mechanically separated meat and hydrolyzed protein that I think my dining hall uses. But, unlike a moist, tangy Chick-fil-A breast, this meat was dry and lacked flavor penetration. It was also a little on the skimpy size, and dare I saw didn’t match the wheat bun. The flavorless lettuce and tomato added nothing, and only a heaping helping of BBQ sauce (which, by the way, is very good at Sonic) could save it.
Grilled chicken should not get the bad name it does. Why can’t every Grilled Chicken have a sturdy, not to dense but still airy wheat bun like Chick-fil-A, or a tangy, actually-marinated whole breast filet that’s both hearty in substance and nutrition? Is a whole slice of romaine really out of the question for $3.99? What, my God, if two bright and sweet tomatoes compliment said vinegar from marinating process? It’s a darn shame Sonic and most other fast food places can’t come close to Chick-fil-A on the grilled chicken question, because if it could, it would sure make me feel less guilty about ordering those two large side orders of tater tots.
Cons: Dry. Limp produce. Little seasoning and not very large. Four bucks I coulda spent on tots.
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.50/10
Overall GrubGrade: 6.25/10
More Info: Sonic.com
Sonic Grilled Chicken Sandwich (no mayo)
Total Fat: 5.1 g
Saturated Fat: 0.6 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 71 mg
Sodium: 899 mg
Carbs: 32 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 8 g
Protein: 27 g