Thursday, May 5, 2011

Jack's Spicy Chicken

I noticed, on one of my favorite blogs the other day, a post about Jack in the Box's "Jack's Spicy Chicken," and I got a little nostalgic. Well, as nostalgic as one can get when confronted with a fast food chicken sandwich. Hello, old friend. It's been many years.

And indeed it has been many years, but there was a time when there was almost nothing I enjoyed eating more. Do you ever have memories of things that seemed to occur all the time, even though you know they didn't happen quite as frequently as you remember them? Like maybe you remember a winter and it raining every day, even though you know it didn't. Or you remember a pretty girl who, in your memories, always seems to be clad in a yellow summer dress, even though you may have only seen her wear it twice in five years.

The first two years of high school, before I could drive, I would have basketball practice half the year until 6:30 at night, and my dad would pick me up. Every single night he would take me by Jack in the Box. Actually, no, that's not true. That's just how I remember things. It's possible we went there less than ten times in two years. Memory is a funny thing.

But I do know that on every one of those occasions, I ordered this sandwich, although in those days it was known as the "Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich." I would eat it with the toasted raviolis, a long-gone product that, as I've written before, was the single best fast food product I have ever had. And I'm sure I had fries and a Coke, probably pushing the meal up north of 2000 calories. (And I weighed 155 pounds. God it's depressing to remember that you could eat anything you wanted when you were 15 and played basketball for three hours per day.)

I know I've had the sandwich a few times since high school but every time I'm reminded of the sandwich by a picture or commercial, I immediately think back on those post-basketball practice dinners. I considered going to the park and playing ball for a couple hours and then going out for a Jack's Spicy Chicken, but that seemed like a lot of effort: it would be easier just to watch the Lakers game and do the same thing.

(Although, in retrospect, I would have rather run a barefoot marathon over broken glass than watched those apathetic players last night. About the only thing I can say in their defense is they cared slightly more than the coaches.)

I had forgotten that the sandwich came with tomatoes. That's just disgusting.

This is how I always ate the sandwich: no tomatoes, with at least half a packet of Jack in the Box's barbecue sauce squeezed onto the thing.

Did I like it? Definitely. The sandwich has a detectable - although not strong - amount of spice and is better than almost any fast food chicken sandwich I can think of.

Did I love it? Of course not. I'm not 15 anymore. It may be better than almost any fast food chicken sandwich, but that's no great accomplishment.


Michelle said...

That IS a good sandwich. So is Wendy's spicy chicken.

Nosh Gnostic said...

Wow. That sandwich looks almost gag-able, which is much more than can be said for most of the fast-food items featured on this blog.

Anonymous said...

pp- we, your loyal readers, all know and accept that u hate tomatoes. so why dont u order stuff w/o tomatoes? is it for the blog pics? do u do it for us, pp?

JustinM said...

Michelle: One of my best friends prefers the Wendy's version. Maybe I will write about that one day, too.

Nosh: I agree, it is much better than most of the promotions you see on this blog.

Anon: It's just easier to order the product and remove the offending tomato(es). I'm sure my parents get a kick out of that sentence, as they remember when I would not even eat a product if a tomato was served on the plate, let alone on the actual sandwich.

The Jack I go to is good, but other places (Wendy's, McDonald's, Church's) have enough trouble getting my order correct without special requests. Far easier for me to keep it simple and take care of it myself.