Fast Food Review: Smokin’ Chipotle Chicken Sandwich from Arby’s

“Would you like to try our new SSSSSSSSSSSSSMMMMMOKIN’ Chipotle Chicken Sandwich for only $3.99 for a limited time!!!!!!!” was what I heard as I approached the Arby’s drive-thru speaker box.  The dude was loud and enthusiastic to say the least.  I did indeed come for the Smokin’ Chipotle Chicken Sandwich and I replied with a somewhat lackluster, “Uh… yeah can I get one of those please?”  It was odd.  Anyways, I was hoping to find this sandwich because it’s a limited time offer at a select number of locations.  Our news post made me crave it and I was happy to get my hands on one.

Arby’s describes the Smokin’ Chipotle Chicken Sandwich like this:

Kick up your mood a notch with Arby’s® Smokin’ Chipotle Chicken Sandwich. A new crispy all white-meat Prime-Cut™ chicken fillet topped with Chipotle BBQ sauce, pepper bacon, cheddar cheese and diced jalapenos on a toasted bun with lettuce and tomato. It’s spicy good!

Most everything about the description of the $3.99 Smokin’ Chipotle Chicken Sandwich is drool-worthy if you ask me.   I’m big on BBQ sauce and a chicken breast patty.  The addition of Arby’s pepper bacon and cheddar cheese are worthy additions that I’d welcome on most any sandwich.  I did enjoy the Smokin’ Chipotle Chicken Sandwich to some extent… I’m just not cut out for majorly spicy jalapeno peppers.  This thing was chock-full of some really crucial heat.  Chipotle BBQ sauce should already have an extra little kick of peppery goodness right?  This sandwich would be close to perfection for me if not for the heat of the jalapenos.  Sometimes you’ll get a mild batch and other times you’ll get the intolerable sort.  I can’t take much heat, but I can take a decent amount.  This thing was on fire.  It’s hard to give a solid description of specific tastes because of the jalapeno takeover.  I was also a little disappointed by the tomatoes, a little on the “too soft” side.  The toasted bun could’ve been toasted a little better and it fell apart easier than I’d like.  The usually tasty combo of cheddar cheese and Arby’s always solid pepper bacon unfortunately had almost zero impact after the jalapenos assaulted my tongue. As an overall package though, it’s tasty, just too spicy.  I’d gladly get it again and see if I could possibly have it without the jalapenos… or maybe get them on the side?  I think the jalapenos would make all the difference in the world.  I’m sure you could still call it “Smokin'” without the jalapenos.  There should just be the option.

The $5.99 combo. I subbed the Curly Fries for Onion Rings.

It’s not quite fair to give an assessment on something like the Smokin’ Chipotle Chicken Sandwich when I clearly can’t cope with my tolerance for spicy foods.  I wanted to love this sandwich, but in the end I felt it was just good, not great.  Maybe on a second visit I’d get lucky with some crisper produce and milder jalapenos.  I’m sure then I’d rave at the brilliance of this fast food gem.  For review purposes, I feel it’s necessary to order items “as is”.  So I guess the bottom-line here is watch out for the jalapenos.  They will more than likely make or break the meal based on how well you can handle your batch.  Knowing it’s a roll of the dice, I might just opt for asking to have them on the side and maybe apply one or two.  Ugh… take my man-card now, I don’t deserve it. 🙁

Pros: Looks good, smells better. Strong heat if you're a chile head. Tasty breaded, good-sized chicken fillet. Pepper bacon.

Cons: Produce was surprisingly lackluster, especially the tomatoes. Way too hot for my weak self... my batch of diced jalapenos were so hot that I couldn't get the full taste of the Chipotle BBQ sauce or cheese.

Taste: 7.75/10
Value: 6.25/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.75/10
Price: 3.99 for the sandwich alone, $5.99 for a medium combo

Overall GrubGrade: 7.50/10

Nutrition Facts:
Smokin' Chipotle Chicken Sandwich
Calories - 590
Total Fat - 23 grams
Saturated Fat - 7 grams
Cholesterol - 65 milligrams
Sodium - 1820 milligrams
Carbs - 60 grams
Sugars - 7 grams
Dietary Fiber - 4 grams
Protein - 35 grams

17 comments on “Fast Food Review: Smokin’ Chipotle Chicken Sandwich from Arby’s

  1. Adam says:

    Haha, sounds like we’re in the same boat Ryan. I’m a heat wimp too, but I think Arby’s may have changed their chicken recipe. Did you notice a change? To me this sandwich might just have too much going on. I love Arby’s bacon, but the idea of unmelted cheddar on a breaded chicken pattie isn’t something I’m down with. Kills the crunch if you ask me. Thanks for the review though. They have a special right now in their email club where you can get a small combo add-on for just the 3.99 sandwich price!

  2. Manavee says:

    Well, I thought it was spicy, but not THAT spicy. In fact, I liked it quite a bit, but then again, I like spicy…just not where it becomes physically painful. To me, this sandwich had the perfect amount of spice: enough where your felt it, but not where your tongue was on fire for the next five minutes.

    The BBQ sauce had a nice smokiness to it, and I liked the cheese and bacon. I thought this was a great sandwich. 9/10 for me.

    I would give yourself another five years. I used to be a spice-o-phobe, but as you get a bit older, I think your taste buds start to atrophy or change in some way such that you don’t get bothered as much by the heat.

    • Ryan says:

      Haha, good to know. I’m 30 so I figured I’d be grown up by now.

      • Adam says:

        Haha they say old people develop a taste for hot stuff b/c their taste buds start to go weak 🙂

        • Manavee says:

          Hey! I’m only 36!

          You young whipper snappers will be here one day, mark my words, guzzling extract of habenero peppers all day long!

          • Chefprotoss or dan says:

            I’m with you manavee and I’m only 28. =)

            I just wish ryan could have taken the heat as I am still looking for a fast food chipotle sauced item that tastes like chipotles and not liquid smoke. As delicious as chipotles are, none of the chains have done them justice yet, including (ironicly enough) Chipotle.

  3. Justin says:

    I wasn’t going to try this, because the Cravin’ chicken sandwich was so disappointing in terms of the chicken patty, and I figured this would be the same… but your description of the heat level makes me very curious…

    • Ryan says:

      Be warned. This is coming from a complete wimp. You might laugh at me if it isnt hot for you, but I’m prepared for the assault.

  4. Natalie says:

    I can’t handle jalapenos..I always pick them off nachos etc. I’m a wimp. That said, this sandwich looks delicious so I’ll probably order it and see if they laugh when I request no jalapenos.

  5. Shannon says:

    That’s why he put so much emphasis on smokin. He was trying to warn you.

  6. Hunter says:

    Wow, after this review I have lost a lot of respect for Ryan. This sandwich is not very spicy at all and I get extra jalapanos on mine. However (to my disappointment), the jalapanos are pickled which makes them not very spicy for the normal man. Forgive Arby’s for actually trying to create something spicy at a fast food establishment, but Ryan you are a perfect example of why most fast food places are too scared, which causes us all to suffer with tastless crap.

    • Crysta says:

      No need to be rude about it. Some people don’t like spicy food and some people (like me) just don’t like jalapenos. To you, the sandwich may not be spicy. To someone else, it may feel like their mouth has been set on fire. Don’t insult people just because they don’t like the same foods that you do.

  7. Nick says:

    Ryan,

    Was the “sssssmokin” line you heard when you pulled up prerecorded or did it actually come from the drive-thru attendant? I always get crossed up at McDonalds because I reply to the recorded message instead of the person.

  8. Matt says:

    Are onion rings a new thing at Arby’s? I never knew they had them before. But between the regular fries, curly fries, and potato cakes, i guess I never ventured out.

  9. Westley says:

    I have to agree with Ryan here — the sandwich I received had WAY too many jalapenos on it. I usually love burgers and sandwiches with jalapenos and often think that they skimp of them, but I have never had a fast food sandwich this hot before. By the last bites, all I could taste was jalapeno, and my mouth was burning.

    Before you call me (or Ryan) and a wimp and brag about how it wasn’t hot enough for you, please take into account that obviously this will vary from location to location. The guy who made my sandwich is not going to make yours, so I may have gotten more jalapenos on mine. I would probably get this sandwich again, but I’d take off some of the jalapenos.