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Subway Testing Chicken Sandwich with Fritos

Subway Testing Chicken Sandwich with Fritos

The sandwich chain is said to be adding Fritos to a new sandwich melt with a Mexican twist

The Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt is currently in development and testing in Florida and Seattle according to the Huffington Post, and it isn’t at a Taco Bell. Subway is partnering with Frito-Lay to incorporate Fritos into its sandwiches with a Mexican twist.

Subway took a page out of Taco Bell’s book (read: the Doritos Locos Tacos), using Frito-Lay products to add a new aspect to its food. The new Subway melt will reportedly have chicken, enchilada sauce, Monterrey cheddar cheese, and Fritos, according to Food Beast.

This move surprises many, as Subway has prided itself on being an icon of healthy eating, sporting the likes of Olympic athletes and the famous Jared. Fritos aren’t exactly a health food, but Subway hopes to bring more inventive options to its menu with the enchilada melt.

As the New York Daily News put it, “the diet-conscious chain appears to be encouraging a cheat day. Since it’s still in the testing stage, there hasn’t been any final announcement about if and when it will hit stores nationally.


Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt Filled With Fritos Spotted At… Subway?

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Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt Filled With Fritos Spotted At… Subway?

The way to innovate now in fast food? If you’ve run out of all other ideas, just combine something like say, a taco, with snack chips. Case in point: Subway — not Taco Bell — is jumping on the chip bandwagon with a new crunchy chicken enchilada melt sandwich topped with Fritos.

Whether this has you going “Yum!” or “What in the what now?” it’s apparently a real thing, according to GrubGrade.

So there’s the chicken, which is shredded and smothered in enchilada sauce, and then there’s a bunch of cheese and oh yes, Fritos, Fritos, everywhere.

Thus far it seems to have popped up in only few places like Central Florida and Seattle, and is going for $7.50

“It was a bit of a mess, but quite delicious,” a commenter on GrubGrade’s site wrote.“It’s like a giant taco, a bit better quality than you would get from Taco Bell, but $8.”

If you see this sandwich lurking on your local Subway menu, let us know. And if you dare to take it on, mouth-wise, feel free to drop us a line as well at [email protected]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.


Subway test product copycats Taco Bell: Fritos-stuffed Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt

Subway is test-marketing the Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt, where the "Crunchy" is Fritos. That is correct: Subway now has a sandwich -- of sorts -- that is enhanced by stuffing the interior perimeter with Fritos corn chips.

Taco Bell started something. You know, with that Doritos Locos Tacos thing.

You know when a product has made an impact on an industry: Others try to emulate it. And that is apparently what is happening here. And why not? Over half a billion of both varieties of the Locos Tacos, the Nacho and the Cool Ranch, reportedly have been sold since Taco Bell introduced the item last March.

So now Subway looks to be getting in on the corn chips-infused food item idea. According to GrubGrade, the world's largest fast food chain is testing their new product, the Fritos-stuffed Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt, in central Florida and Seattle area Subway restaurants. This new product is made constructed of shredded chicken in enchilada sauce, Monterey Cheddar and Fritos chips.

Of course, a menu item like this won't win the restaurant any kudos from the health-conscious but, admit it, it does sound far more appetizing than the recently resurrected Orchard Chicken Salad Sandwich (diced chicken breast, chunks of apple, raisins and cranberries tossed in light mayonnaise, served with lettuce and tomato), which ended its limited run on July 4.

Besides, with studies showing that eating at Subway restaurants is barely healthier than eating at a McDonald's, Subway might as well go for maintaining their reign as the largest fast food restaurant chain in the world. According to their website, they now have over 39,500 stores in 102 countries.

Regardless, we all know where the idea for the Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt came from, right? Those crazy guys over at Taco Bell, who may or may not have stolen the idea from a federal prison inmate, have a hit product on their hands with the Doritos Locos Tacos. And who wouldn't want a catch a ride on that fast food shooting star and see sales go through the figurative roof?

So now we have the Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt -- if it makes it past the test markets, which it most likely will. And Subway could offer up several varieties of Fritos corn chips for stuffing. There are five flavors currently available from Frito-Lay (from Original to Chili Cheese to Flamin' Hot) and a sixth that is a lightly salted version of the original (for those who want to cut down on the sodium intake).

But in the end, the real winner in this push to put corn chips inside of standard menu items is Frito-Lay. Fritos and Doritos are both produced under the Frito-Lay corporate umbrella.


Subway Testing Chicken Sandwich with Fritos - Recipes

Subway's new Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt features pulled chicken in enchilada sauce and Fritos corn chips along with the standard choice of bread, veggies, cheese, and condiments.

I picked up a footlong for $7.25.

I went with a close approximation of the product pictures on the Subway website and got my sub on flatbread with shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and olives.

The chicken was fairly tender and juicy with some decent-sized chunks here and there. There's a pretty nice seasoned enchilada sauce flavor to it with a bit of a tang. It works pretty well with the vegetables I went with

Along with the pillowy flatbread, the Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt felt a bit like a Taco Bell Gordita.

The Fritos added a decent crunch and corn flavor, but I'd recommend eating it at the store for the best crunch.

I found the amount of cheese to be a little lacking. It didn't add enough flavor nor oozy stretch and didn't merit being called a "melt." It barely even registered.

Overall, Subway's Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt was fairly enjoyable and adds a new flavor profile to the Subway menu (at least while it's still around). It's a nice change up if you eat at Subway a lot and find yourself getting sick of cured meats. For $7.25, it really should live up to the "melt" portion of the name though.

Nutritional Info - Subway Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt - 6-inch (295g)
Calories - 580 (from Fat - 240)
Fat - 26g (Saturated Fat - 7g)
Sodium - 1170mg
Carbs - 60g (Sugar - 9g)
Protein - 25g


Subway Testing Fritos Stuffed Sandwich In Select Markets

You know what they say: if you can't beat them, stuff your sandwich full of Fritos and give up on life. Or something like that. Subway has stolen a page out of the Taco Bell playbook and has started testing a new Fritos sandwich called the Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt.

Taco Bell has seen huge success by combining junk food with more junk food. The Doritos Locos Tacos practically sold out the minute that they hit fast food windows. Well, it looks like Subway is trying to find success down the same path.

According to Food Beast, the Subway Crunch Chicken Enchilada Melt features Monterrey cheddar, shredded chicken, enchilada sauce, and, of course, Fritos.

Grub Grade reports that it's currently being tested in select markets including Central Florida and downtown Seattle.

No word on how the sandwich actually tastes but it's definitely one of Subway's more interesting offerings in recent years. The sandwich shop has been pretty focused on five dollar foot longs and breakfast menu items lately while completely neglecting the junk food combination market.

Subway is often regarded as one of the "healthier" choices when it comes to fast food but with Doritos Tacos, Pop Tart Ice Cream Sandwiches, and donuts burgers dominating the market, a restaurant's gotta do what a restaurant's gotta do. And in this case that's add Fritos to your sandwiches.

What do you think of the Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt? Will Subway score with its Fritos sandwich?


Fritos give Subway's Enchilada Melt some crunch

The chain's iconic burger with a shot of Tex-Mex, stuffed neatly in a warm, soft flour tortilla.

4 of 75 $10 Chicken Share Bucket

: A squatty, stubby version of KFC's famous bucket. It's designed to hold enough chicken for two people.

Total calories: 420 (for six Hot Wings). Fat grams: 24. Sodium: 960 mg. Carbs: 18 g. Dietary fiber: 0. Protein: 24 g.

What Hoffman says: There's no need to rate or review KFC's chicken. It's fine. It's terrific. We've been enjoying it all our lives.

5 of 75 Mighty Meat Lover's Skillet at Denny's:

A breakfast-sausage link and grilled sirloin-steak skewer served over mushrooms, fire-roasted bell peppers, onions and seasoned red-skinner potatoes. A sweet bourbon glaze and two eggs, any way you like 'em, are the finishing touches. It's a lot of food, about 1 1/2 pounds, and here come the nutritional numbers to prove it.

Total calories: 1,340. Fat grams: 90. Sodium: 4,110 mg. Carbs: 76 g. Dietary fiber: 4 g. Protein: 58 g. Retail price: $10.99. Add toast or tortillas for 99 cents more.

What Hoffman says:
The Mighty Meat Lover's Skillet arrives all prettied up, with a chubby sausage and a steak skewer sitting atop a colorful veggie medley and two eggs staring you in the eye. It's big food, and there's no fluff on that plate. Everything is cooked fresh to order.

But Hoffman does have some words of warning about this dish. Click here to read the full review and find out.

7 of 75 $5 Flavor Menu at Pizza Hut:

Seven items, each selling for $5. The only catch, you have to order at least two of them.

Nutritional values vary.

What Hoffman says:

The Hut is playing the "Price Is Right," fair and square. They're not offering scrimped-down portions or limiting toppings on the pizza. All seven items are cheaper than they were before the $5 Flavor Menu brainstorm. And the menu boasts a good cross-section of the best Hut stuff.

Hoffman is a stickler for one thing. Click here for the full review and find out.

8 of 75 Wendy's Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburger

: A ¼-pound beef patty, roasted chopped tomatoes, creamy rosemary garlic aioli, fresh spring mix, a slice of asiago cheese and applewood-smoked bacon on a toasted ciabatta bun.

Total calories: 670. Fat grams: 39. Sodium: 1,260 mg. Dietary fiber: 4 g. Carbs: 42 g. Protein 32 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.79.

What Hoffman says:

The new slogan is "gotta ciabatta," and I gotta tell you … another winner.

10 of 75 Buffalo Burnin' Hot bone-in wings at Pizza Hut:

Breaded chicken wings, deep-fried and tossed in your favorite sauce, wrapped in foil and delivered warm to your door.

Total calories: 240 (for two wings). Fat grams: 14. Sodium: 800 mg. Dietary fiber: 1. Carbs: 19 g. Protein: 8 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: eight bone-in wing pieces for $6. Boneless wings are eight for $5.

What Hoffman says:
I went with Buffalo Burnin' Hot because … the things I do for you dear readers. I'm your gastrointestinal crash-test dummy. Find out Hoffman's final verdict on the saucy wings.

11 of 75 Cupcake Pancakes at IHOP:

IHOP's iconic buttermilk pancakes, spiked with rainbow sprinkles, smeared with vanilla cupcake icing, more sprinkles, then topped with whipped cream.

Total calories: 450. Fat grams: 14. Sodium: 910 mg. Carbs: 73 g. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Protein: 8 g

What Hoffman says: Once all the extras are added, these Cupcake Pancakes really do taste like cupcakes - but not the packaged, indestructible Tastykake or Hostess cupcakes Mom put in your school lunchbox. IHOP's creations are more like bakery cupcakes, with a thick slather of vanilla icing and whipped cream on top. But that's not all Hoffman had to say about this breakfast treat.

13 of 75 McDonald's Egg White Delight McMuffin

Total calories: 250. Fat grams: 7. Carbs: 32. Sodium: 800. Dietary fiber: 5. Protein: 18 grams. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $2.70 (your price and mileage may vary).

What Hoffman says:
Egg White Delights are so low in calories and fat grams that big eaters might consider ordering two sandwiches and holding the hash browns. You'll actually save a few fat grams.

14 of 75 IHOP's Bananas Foster Brioche French Toast

Total calories: 980. Fat grams: 48. Sodium: 1160 mg. Carbs: 120. Protein: 19 grams. Dietary fiber: 5. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $5.99.

What Hoffman says:
IHOP's Bananas Foster Brioche French Toast keeps its promise. It's pure delicious and just as advertised - it'll have you rockin' and reelin' till lunch on a sugar rush. Try it for dinner, if you don't live in an apartment . your neighbors might not appreciate you vacuuming and running the dishwasher and doing pilates at 3 a.m.

16 of 75 Pizza Hut's Toasted S'mores Cookie:

a freshly baked, big ol' chocolate chip cookie covered with mini marshmallows, chocolate chunks and crumbled Graham crackers. Think of this as a dessert pizza.

Total calories (for one slice of the pie): 240. Fat grams: 10. Sodium: 100 mg. Carbs: 33 g. Dietary fiber: 1 g. Protein: 3 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $6.99.

What Hoffman says:
Someone in Pizza Hut product development is a smart cookie to think up this dessert. It starts with a humongous chocolate chip cookie - everybody loves those. Then the Hut adds the flavor and textures of s'mores - gooey marshmallows and more gooey chocolate. Good on Pizza Hut for coming up with a product that doesn't have customers wondering, "Whaaaa?" Like BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger and Buffalo Chicken with Sriracha Drizzle pizzas. Seriously, Pizza Hut, what were you thinking? Click here to read Hoffman's take on the pizza.

17 of 75 The Bacon Stuffed Crust Pizza breakdown:

a large hand-tossed, one-topping pizza with three cheeses and bacon bits stuffed in the crust.

Total calories: 370 (for one slice of a large pie). Fat grams: 19. Sodium: 980 mg. Carbs: 34 g. Dietary fiber: 1 g. Protein: 16 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $12.99 for the whole pizza … if you've just landed here from another galaxy and don't have a coupon.

What Hoffman says:
Last year, Pizza Hut hit rock bottom by introducing a Stuffed Crust Pizza with miniature hot dogs.

Hot dogs? That's not even a pizza topping. Franks a lot, Pizza Hut.

The Hut is redeeming itself with Bacon Stuffed Crust Pizza, though. This makes so much more sense and tastes a thousand times better. Bacon … cheese … pizza … it's a natural combination. Natural or not, click here to find out which ingredient stumps Hoffman.

19 of 75 Garlic Parmesan Pizzas from Pizza Hut:

Chicken, Bacon & Tomato Roasted Veggie and Five Cheese Please. All three pies feature a creamy garlic sauce laced with Parmesan and Romano, and a crust made crustier with more Parmesan and a Parmesan-parsley blend. Sounds like the Parmesan sales team scored big with Pizza Hut buyers.

Total calories: 290 (for a large slice of Chicken, Bacon & Tomato). Fat grams: 12. Sodium: 590 mg. Carbs: 33g. Dietary fiber: 2g. Protein: 14 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $10

What Hoffman says:

Pizza Hut's new Garlic Parmesan Pizzas are… different. And the difference is plain to see.The question becomes, are you ready for a pizza that looks and tastes different from your regular pizza? Check out Hoffman's verdict.

20 of 75 New Grilled Chicken Sandwich:

New has spring mix of different greens. Old had iceberg lettuce. New boasts a breast marinated in herbs and seasoning. Old had a blah plain chicken breast. New features a multigrain bun. Old used a dull, bor-ing burger bun.

22 of 75 Honey-Butter Biscuit Tenders at Church's:

three chicken tenders, plunked in biscuit batter, fried and sweetened with honey and butter. Served with, you guessed it, a Honey-Butter Biscuit. I thought there was a law against double jeopardy.

Total calories: 360 (for the tenders). Fat grams: 15. Sodium: 990 mg. Dietary fiber: 3 g. Protein: 24 g.

What Hoffman says:
Somebody in product development at Church's is on the ball. Two of Church's best, most popular menu items are chicken tenders (bigger than most chains) and biscuits (the best). Now they're together as an irresistible mash-up.

23 of 75 Nashville Hot Chicken from KFC:

Three KFC extra crispy boneless tenders slathered in Nashville-style sauce, a few pickle slices on top, a side of coleslaw and a buttermilk biscuit.

Total calories: 880 (for the chicken, slaw and biscuit). Fat grams: 55. Sodium: 2,130 mg. Carbs: 61 g. Dietary fiber: 4 g. Protein: 38 g

What Hoffman says:
KFC introduced Nashville Hot Chicken in a test run last year in Pittsburgh and reported "the most successful product testing in the company's recent history." You know what they say, as Pittsburgh goes, so goes the nation. OK, Ohio. This is great stuff. Really. And don't even think about trying to make this at home. It's too much work.

25 of 75 Southwest Chicken McWrap at McDonald's

: Slices of white meat chicken - your choice of "grilled" (boneless and skinless filet) or "crispy" (breaded and deep-fried), spring greens, shredded Cheddar cheese, tortilla strips, sliced tomato, cilantro lime glaze and habanero ranch sauce tucked inside a soft, warm flour tortilla.

Total calories: 680. Fat grams: 33. Sodium: 1,470 mg. Protein: 27 g. Carbs: 68 g. Dietary fiber: 4 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $3.99.

What Hoffman says:
Given a choice between grilled skinless, boneless, flavorless chicken and anything else, in this case, breaded fried chicken strips … bring on the crispy.

26 of 75 Smoked Gouda Chicken on Brioche at Wendy's:

A lightly breaded boneless chicken breast, topped with Dijon aioli, sliced red onions, spring mix greens, caramelized-onion sauce, and smoked Gouda on a toasted brioche bun.

Total calories: 600. Fat grams: 28. Sodium: 1,550 mg. Dietary fiber: 3 g. Carbs: 58 g. Protein: 32 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.79.

What Hoffman says:
Could it be that Wendy's has pushed the crazy meter too high this time? Here's the thing that makes Gouda not so Gouda on this sandwich. There's so much other stuff slopping up this sandwich, you can't taste any difference in the cheese. They could have slapped some Cheez Whiz on there and nobody would notice. Click here to find out what Hoffman says you should boldly order instead.

28 of 75 Tuscan Chicken on Ciabatta sandwich at Wendy's:

A "Homestyle" chicken filet that's lightly breaded and deep-fried, garlic and roasted tomato aioli sauce with chunks of tomato, spring mix with nine different greens, natural Asiago cheese and sliced tomato on a toasted artisan ciabatta bun.

Total calories: 580. Fat grams: 27. Dietary fiber: 4g. Protein: 31 g. Sodium: 1530 mg. Carbs: 53 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.69 plus tax.

29 of 75 McDonald's Chicken & Bacon McWrap

Total calories: 600. Fat grams: 30. Dietary fiber: 3. Sodium: 1,420 mg. Protein: 30 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $3.99.

What Hoffman says:
Don't confuse these new, substantial, weighty McWraps with the McDonald's long-running Snack Wraps, which are less than half the size of McWraps. Snack wraps are a nosh. McWraps are lunch.

31 of 75 BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad from Wendy's:

Grilled white-meat chicken chunks glazed with sweet-honey barbecue sauce, fire-roasted corn, applewood-smoked bacon, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheddar on a bed of 11 different kinds of lettuce and field greens. The salad is served with Marzetti Simply Dressed BBQ Ranch Dressing.

Total calories: 580. Fat grams: 29. Sodium: 1,460 mg. Carbs: 46 g. Dietary fiber: 5 g. Protein: 41 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $6.19 for the full size.

What Hoffman says: Wendy's is pulling away from the fast-food salad pack by creating imaginative flavors and combinations of quality ingredients. Find out which ingredients gives a kick that you won't find in the competition.

32 of 75 KFC's Original Recipe Boneless

Total calories: 200 (for a white-meat breast filet). Fat grams: 8. Dietary fiber: 1. Sodium: 610. Carbs: 6. Protein: 24 grams. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.99 for two pieces of chicken, plus one side dish (cole slaw, that's an easy one), one buttermilk biscuit and a medium soft drink.

What Hoffman says:
The shift in American taste from traditional bone-in chicken to boneless is unstoppable. Last year, for the first time, sales of boneless wings topped regular wings. This should be an outrage, particularly for literalists who scream "boneless wings are NOT wings!"

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34 of 75 Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt at Subway:

Shredded chicken, "authentic" enchilada sauce, Monterey Cheddar, a handful of crunchy Fritos chips, your choice of veggie toppings on your choice of bread, although Subway subliminally is suggesting flatbread.

Total calories: 1,160 (for a footlong). Fat grams: 52. Sodium: 2,340 mg. Dietary fiber: 14 g. Carbs: 120 g. Protein: 50 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $7.25 - your mileage may vary.

What Hoffman says:

When I first heard that Subway was developing an enchilada, I thought "fantastic!" Because there's probably not a Taco Bell for at least another 35 feet down the street. With 100 percent of the vote in, I am in position to call the Chicken Enchilada Melt a diet disaster.

35 of 75 Mini Skillet Bowl from Taco Bell:

A mini plastic bowl with seasoned breakfast potato "bites," fluffy scrambled eggs, nacho cheese and pico de gallo.

Total calories: 180. Fat grams: 11. Sodium: 430 mg. Carbs: 16 g. Dietary fiber: 1 g. Protein: 5 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $1.

What Hoffman says:

Taco Bell took its core ingredients, shook 'em up in a Yahtzee cup and scrambled them into new products. A result is that Taco Bell is like Olive Garden - everything sort of tastes, er, similar. However, the Mini Skillet Bowl is a tasty, perfectly fine mix of eggs, taters, cheese and pico. But there's just one problem. Find out what it is in the full review.

KEEP CLICKING TO SEE WHAT OTHER FAST FOOD MEALS CUT THE MUSTARD.

37 of 75 Fish and shrimp at Church's Chicken:

A good grabful of shrimp, breaded and deep fried, with a side of fries and one of Church's criminally addictive biscuits slathered in honey-butter.

Total calories: 680. Fat grams: 31. Dietary fiber: 3. Carbs: 80. Protein: 17. Sodium: 2250 mg. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $3.49.

What Hoffman says:

Shrimp and fish meals are Lenten-season regulars at Church's. It's a value and a tasty change from the same old, same old. Although for me, Church's hand-battered and double-breaded extra-spicy chicken never gets old.

38 of 75 The Meat Mountain (secret menu item) from Arby's:

Bun, two breaded and deep-fried chicken tenders, 1.5 ounces roast turkey, 1.5 ounces ham, one slice big eye Swiss cheese, 1.5 ounces corned beef, 1.5 ounces brisket, 1.5 ounces Angus steak, one slice natural cheddar, 1.5 ounces roast beef, three half-slices of peppered bacon, bun.

Total calories: 880. Fat grams: 42. Sodium: 3,400 mg. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Carbs: 45 g. Protein 83. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $10.

What Hoffman says:
The Meat Mountain is all right, if you enjoy telling survivor's stories. The flavors and textures get smushed into one meaty, salty mess. It's more confusing than pleasing. And $10 is a pretty beefy price point. Click here to find out which Arby's meal Hoffman says you should try instead.

40 of 75 Grill Dogs at Burger King:

Nothing special - plain ol' hot dogs, topped with the usual condiments, served on a hot dog bun. The Classic Grilled Dog has ketchup, mustard and relish. The Chili Cheese Grilled Dog has, well, chili and cheese.

Total calories: 310 (for the Classic). Fat grams: 16. Sodium: 960 mg. Carbs: 32 g. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Protein: 11 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $1.99.

What Hoffman says:
Burger King is flame-kissing its hot dogs on the same grill it cooks Whoppers. So the King's dogs don't have a rubbery texture like boiled or steamed franks. Burger King's dogs have a little char and snap to them - that's having it the right way.

But one thing did disappoint Hoffman. Click here to read the full review and find out.

41 of 75 Warm Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich at Baskin Robbins:

One scoop of Baskin-Robbins ice cream, squished between two freshly warmed cookies, rolled in your choice of toppings.

Total calories: 520. Fat: 25 g. Sodium: 370 mg. Carbs: 70 g. Dietary fiber: 1 g. Protein: 17 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $3.49.

What Hoffman says:

Everybody loves ice cream sandwiches, and Baskin-Robbins is clearly focused on taking them to a new level with warm cookies. But I do see a problem.

What's got Hoffman heated over this ice cream treat? Click here to read the full review and find out.

43 of 75 Stuffed Garlic Knots Pizza at Pizza Hut:

Sixteen cheese-filled garlic knots stuck around the edge of a one-topping large pizza. I'll pick pepperoni, the world's most popular pizza add-on, as my topping. I'm such a people pleaser. Frankly, it's been a problem, and it's held me back from attaining personal fulfillment.

Total calories: 460 (per slice). Fat grams: 18. Sodium: 1,120 mg. Carbs: 54 g. Dietary fiber: 3 g. Protein: 19 g.

What Hoffman says:

To pizza purists, Pizza Hut's weirdo add-ons threaten the integrity of America's favorite food. Why, when I was a kid … the good old days. But here's the thing. Everybody loves garlic knots.

44 of 75 5-for-$4 meal deal at Burger King:

A bacon cheeseburger, four crispy chicken nuggets, small fries, small drink and a chocolate-chip cookie.

Total calories: 1,170 (for the whole meal). Fat grams: 47. Sodium: 1,650 mg. Carbs: 164 g. Dietary fiber: 8 g. Protein: 26 g.

What Hoffman says:

There's nothing new about - or in - Burger King's 5-for-$4 meal, except the price. You're saving more than a dollar by grouping the five items. But at what cost? You might not like nuggets, or you'd prefer two bacon cheeseburgers and hold the cookie. Ain't gonna happen. There's no substituting or wiggle room, while you can still wiggle.

46 of 75 Fully Loaded Steak Boss Wrap from Taco Bell:

A double portion of grilled marinated steak, reduced-fat sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, three-cheese blend, pico de gallo and a crispy tostada shell wrapped in a hexagonal Crunchwrap flour tortilla.

Total calories: 760. Fat: 39. Sodium: 1,610 mg. Carbs: 69 g. Dietary fiber: 6 g. Protein: 32 g.

What Hoffman says:

Five bucks is serious freight at the Bell, but as Ron Popeil always says, wait, there's more. There's a whole menu of "tasty upgrades," like salsa (45 cents), jalapeños (30 cents), bacon (yay, 50 cents), black beans (30 cents) and more. What am I doing here, buying a car? I'm surprised Taco Bell isn't offering undercoating for 45 cents.

47 of 75 4 for $4 Meal from Wendy's:

A Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, a four-pack of Chicken Nuggets, small fries and small drink.

Total calories: 1,130 (with a Coke). Fat grams: 51. Sodium: 1,720 mg. Carbs: 143 g. Dietary fiber 6 g. Protein: 34 g.

What Hoffman says:
Like a "prix fixe" menu at any restaurant, you're surrendering the option of picking and choosing from the value menu. Prix fixe joints usually have a "no substitutions policy."

I'm not a nuggets guy. I would have preferred extra fries. Wendy's said no. They've been watching too many "Seinfeld" reruns.

49 of 75 The new Quarter Pounder with Cheese from McDonald's:

A 4.25-ounce all-beef patty with no fillers or extenders or helpers, two slices of melty American cheese, raw slivered onions, tangy pickles, mustard and ketchup, salt and pepper, on a toasted sesame seed bun.

Total calories: 540. Fat grams: 28. Sodium: 1,110 mg. Carbs: 42 g. Dietary fiber: 3.

What Hoffman says:
McDonald's has a new way of cooking the Quarter Pounder 2.0. The patty is grilled top and bottom at a higher temperature, which sears the meat, seals in the moisture and produces a juicier burger. The buns are toasted 5 seconds longer than before, so there's a little crunch to the bite. I'd toast them another 5 seconds. I like dark-brown toasty buns with a crispy char.

But Hoffman does have one quick, 5-second change that he would make to the burger. Click here for the full review and find out.

50 of 75 BBQ Pulled Pork Cheeseburger at Wendy's:

a classic Wendy's Hot 'N Juicy, never-frozen North American beef patty, a slice of cheddar cheese, a layer of pulled pork, crunchy broccoli coleslaw and barbecue sauce on a toasted brioche bun.

Total calories: 640. Fat grams: 33. Sodium: 1,260 mg. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Carbs: 42 g. Protein: 38 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.99-$5.49.

What Hoffman says:
Wendy's pulled pork and sauces are prepared off campus, then heated up and assembled in each restaurant. So Wendy's pulled pork doesn't compare to authentic barbecue joints with a 10-ton smoker out back.Though, it's as close to the real deal as you'll get through a drive-through window.

Click here to find out which ingredient -- the so-called "fatty buddy" to the beef -- is noticeably missing from this burger.

52 of 75 Wings at Golden Corral:

Grab a plate, pile on wings. Repeat as necessary, until unnecessary, until you wobble out thinking, "Well, they sure lost money on me tonight."

Total calories: 70 (per wing). Fat grams: 5. Sodium: 65 mg. Dietary fiber: 0 g. Carbs: 0 g. Protein: 6 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $10.99 after 4 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays.

What Hoffman says:
So my expectations were low when I approached the wing station at Golden Corral. Pleasant surprise No. 1: They were naked - no heavy, greasy breading. My low-carb will power wasn't threatened. Surprise 2: They were extra large - not the fractured bony winglets served in low-class wing joints that rely on 20 big screen TVs to bring in customers. But that's not the only thing that made it to Hoffman's review. Click here to find out what -- or rather, who -- Hoffman made a culinary connection with.

Leland A. Outz/For the San Antonio Express-News Show More Show Less

53 of 75 Jalapeño Double at McDonald's:

Two "mouthwatering" all-beef patties, breaded and deep-fried jalapeño strips, sliced jalapeños, smooth pasteurized processed white cheddar and McDonald's classic ranch sauce.

Total calories: 430. Fat grams: 23. Carbs: 35 g. Protein: 22 g. Sodium: 1,030 mg. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $2.

What Hoffman says:
McDonald's has a bad case of Olive Garden Syndrome - all the burgers taste pretty much the same. That's because McDonald's, with its target demo of … everybody, can't get too close to the edge. So the Jalapeño Double isn't fire-extinguisher spicy, it's McDonald's spicy. Ranch comes to the rescue. It's almost like McDonald's was thinking, "We're in trouble with this burger." Click here to find out what Hoffman says can help "spice up the party." A little.

55 of 75 Chips Ahoy! Blizzard from Dairy Queen:

Crumbled Chips Ahoy! cookies, plus chocolatey topping and chocolate chunks gently stirred, not shaken, in a cup of vanilla soft serve.

Total calories: 1,300 (for a 21-ounce large). Fat grams: 50. Sodium: 610 mg. Carbs: 192 g. Dietary fiber: 4 g. Protein: 23 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.49. That's a hefty tag for a hefty mixed bag of calories, fat and carbs.

What Hoffman says:
"Ever feel great and awful at the same time? That's what Blizzards do to you. Wow, they're delicious, from the first spoonful to that last scrape off the sides. But nothing hits home the fact that self-control may not be your strong point like a Blizzard." Find out why this cookie's fast food partnership is big news.

56 of 75 Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger from Burger King:

Two all-beef patties, two slices of American cheese, four onion rings and barbecue sauce on a toasted sesame seed hoagie bun.

Total calories: 590. Fat grams: 28. Sodium: 1,080 mg. Carbs: 62 g. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $3.59.

What Hoffman says:
Burger King is pulling Taco Bell's old trick of creating new menu items with standard fare already in the pantry. Put 'em all together and you've got a unique Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger. But is it enough to win over Hoffman's taste buds? Find out which item he says is the "best-tasting thing on the King's menu."

58 of 75 Norway Lobster Bites at Long John Silver's:

100 percent Norway lobster tail meat, lightly breaded and deep-fried, served in creative new packaging.

Total calories: 230 (for the 3.2-ounce shooter size). Fat grams: 9. Sodium: 520 mg. Carbs: 24 g. Protein: 13 g. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $1.99. For lobster? Seriously?

What Hoffman says:
These bites are a whole lot better tasting than the "sort of like lobster" bites from five years ago. The new Lobster Bites have a legit lobster taste. The breading is crunchy. No dipping in butter necessary. The flavor is built into the breading. All in all, pretty good deal. Treat yourself to some lobster for two bucks.

59 of 75 Big Hot Pastrami Melt at Subway:

Slices of lean pastrami, Swiss cheese, pickles and yellow mustard on Italian (white) bread.

Total calories: 1,160 (for the footlong). Fat grams: 62. Sodium 2940 mg. Carbs: 94. Dietary fiber: 10 g. Protein: 58 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $6.39.

What Hoffman says:
That was the blueprint, given my options at Subway. If I were building the perfect pastrami sandwich, it would have Swiss cheese and sauerkraut (affecting a Reuben flashback), kosher pickles and Russian dressing on crusty rye bread with seeds. That's a pastrami sandwich.

61 of 75 Denny's Prime Rib Cobb Salad

62 of 75 Smoky Honey Mustard Flatbread Grilled Chicken Sandwich at Wendy's

Total calories: 370. Fat grams: 15. Sodium: 550 mg. Dietary fiber: 3. Protein: 22 grams. Carbs: 38. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $3.49.

What Hoffman says:
Up front - both of these flatbread sandwiches are darn excellent. They're even pretty to look at, with greens and reds and yellows. Wendy's bacon is always a plus, it's a little thicker and smokier than what's found at most drive-throughs. The five-grain flatbread is toasty and easy to handle because it's … well, flat. You won't pull a mouth muscle wrapping your lips around it.

64 of 75 Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco Supreme

Total calories: 200. Fat grams: 12. Sodium: 370 mg. Carbs: 15. Dietary fiber: 3. Protein: 9 grams. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $1.89. Taco Bell has a stripped-down, slightly leaner model of Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos — hold the sour cream and tomatoes — for $1.39.

What Hoffman says:
The Taco Bell and Doritos marriage was such a natural . what took 'em so long? Brand-name connections are usually locks in the drive-through, and fast-food fans are pretty darn fond of Doritos brand anything in the chip aisle. Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch are beloved prefixes to a certain demographic — hungry guys in cars.

65 of 75 Hooters Mahi Sandwich

Total calories: 435. Fat grams: 5. Sodium: 2,020. Carbs: 46. Dietary fiber: 3. Protein: 53. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $9.99.

What Hoffman says:
The sandwich comes with Hooters' traditional curly fries or new Big Dippers, which are steak fries with built-in grooves, so you can dip them in ranch sauce and ruin all the good work you've done eating a somewhat low-calorie, low-fat lunch. You are your own worst enemy. So what's new?

Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

67 of 75 Wendy's Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger

Total calories: 680. Fat grams: 36. Sodium: 1,110 mg. Carbs: 46. Dietary fiber: 2. Protein: 37 grams. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.69.

What Hoffman says:
Wow! This sounds like Wendy's is emptying the pantry and throwing a Hail Mary - everything Wendy's does best is on this burger, and then some.

68 of 75 Arby's King's Hawaiian Roast Beef & Swiss Sandwich

Total calories: 600. Fat grams: 25. Sodium: 1,640mg (that's a lot). Dietary fiber: 2g. Protein: 34g. Carbs: 51. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.49 (that's a little, considering the heft and quality of this sandwich).

What Hoffman says:
Arby's uses real-deal King's Hawaiian buns - and you know how we feel about recognizable brand names in the drive-through . it gives us a warm, cozy feeling of familiarity.

70 of 75 Sonic's Hot Fudge Shake

Total calories: 1,510 for a 28-ounce large. Fat grams: 74. Sodium: 810 mg. Dietary fiber: 4. Protein: 20 g. Carbs: 191. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.20. Your mileage may vary. Many Sonic Drive-ins sell their shakes for half price after 8 p.m.

What Hoffman says:
Milkshakes are one of the great guilty pleasures - take your time with it. Let it slowly wash over your tongue, savor every drop of sweet chocolate glop before you swallow.

71 of 75 Wendy's Chocolate Frosty Waffle Cone

Total calories: 300. Fat grams: 6. Dietary fiber: 2. Protein: 7 grams. Sodium: 160 mg. Carbs: 54. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $1.49.

What Hoffman says:
Don't worry, Wendy's hasn't tinkered with the Frosty formula, they've just made the Frosty easier to eat with one hand . by swirling the soft frozen dessert into a crispy, sweet waffle cone.

73 of 75 Taco Bell's Beefy Nacho Burrito

Total calories: 470. Fat grams: 20. Sodium: 990 mg. Dietary fiber: 4. Carbs: 58.

What Hoffman says:
The Beefy Nacho Burrito scores several major points. First and most important, it's a Taco Bell burrito, and it tastes pretty darn terrific. Everything inside the tortilla goes together. It packs that distinctive T-Bell flavor. Just like the Bell's 14 other burritos.

>>KEEP CLICKING TO SEE SOME OF THE BEST FAST FOOD AND FAST CASUAL DISHES OUR CRITIC FOUND.

This week, I reached out for a new Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt, available for the dreaded limited time only, at the world's No. 1 fast-food emporium, Subway, with 41,300 restaurants covering the entire Risk game board.

When I first heard that Subway was developing an enchilada, I thought "fantastic!" Because there's probably not a Taco Bell for at least another 35 feet down the street.

Here's the Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt blueprint: shredded chicken, "authentic" enchilada sauce, Monterey Cheddar, a handful of crunchy Fritos chips, your choice of veggie toppings on your choice of bread, although Subway subliminally is suggesting flatbread.

Total calories: 1,160 (for a footlong). Fat grams: 52. Sodium: 2,340 mg. Dietary fiber: 14 g. Carbs: 120 g. Protein: 50 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $7.25 - your mileage may vary.

Has Subway run out of ideas for a traditional sandwich? You know our mantra in the drive-through, order what's on the sign outside. Subway &hellip I'll have a sub. Burger King &hellip a burger. Church's Chicken &hellip a drumstick sounds good.

Now Subway is offering an enchilada. What's next, a pizza? OK, bad example, Subway is selling individual-size pizzas called Flatizzas.

IHOP, you better watch your back &hellip and your pancakes.

The Enchilada Melt uses shredded chicken, a wise decision after Subway's distasteful dabble with pulled pork last year. The chicken does better, it's more consistent. The enchilada sauce, labeled "authentic" in Subway's promotion, does have a legit flavor and burst. The Monterey Cheddar melts smooth and gooey in Subway's supercharged turbo oven.

Like everything at Subway, the choice is yours, so any bread is game. But stick with Subway's wink toward flatbread. It's closest to the enchilada experience. Veggie recommendations: lettuce, tomatoes and olives. OK, if you lose the lettuce, you're not losing much. Lettuce is the packing peanuts of the sandwich world.

The big noise is made by the Fritos chips on top. They're loud 'n' crunchy. They add a lot of mouth "feel," and who doesn't love Fritos?

Is it a gimmick? Of course. But it's a brand-name gimmick, and recognizable supermarket names are comfort food in the drive-through.

Now let's head to the nutritional tote board, which looks like CNN on Election Night. With 100 percent of the vote in, I am in position to call the Chicken Enchilada Melt a diet disaster. Wow, 1,160 calories, 120 carbs, 2,340 mg. sodium? It's a landslide. Then again, you might lose a little weight in your wallet - $7.50 is steep.


Bread World Is Getting Flatter

A new Menu Insights report from Food Channel research partner Mintel International tells us that the world is flat. At least the bread world seems to be going that way. Flatbread is the culinary fashion food trend in restaurant chains across the USA.

As Mintel’s Kathy Hayden notes, flatbread, or foccacia, is not as thin as a burrito wrap, yet much thinner than a bulky roll or even two pieces of sliced bread. It brings new dimension, improved portability and (sometimes) fewer calories to sandwiches. It also fits well into panini grills.

Here&rsquos a roundup of the flatbread phenomenon.

McDonald&rsquos. The burger chain has been testing Chicken Flatbreads in limited markets. The bread is grilled, then stuffed with grilled chicken and upscale extras such as basil pesto, garlic aïoli and fontina cheese each of the four varieties being tested comes in at around 300 calories.

Buffalo Wild Wings recently revamped its menu to allow more customization options, including a new menu offering: Spinach Artichoke Chicken Flatbread.

Fazoli&rsquos. Flatbread&rsquos not a lower-calorie option here. The fast casual pasta chain is testing a concept that wraps carbs in more carbs. Its pasta wraps, in test markets this summer, include a sausage and pepper penne a spaghetti and meatball, and a chicken Florentine Alfredo.

Brixx. This pizza chain transforms its dough into sandwich bread, offering such menu options as a wild mushroom wrap with wood-roasted Portobello, shiitake and button mushrooms with roasted red peppers, gorgonzola cheese, fresh spinach and sun-dried tomato aïoli wrapped in toasted flat bread.

Subway. The sandwich chain has made a major push for its breakfast sandwiches this summer, including a flatbread option. Dunkin&rsquo Donuts and Starbucks have also introduced flatbread breakfast sandwiches.

Restaurant operators are attracted to flatbread&rsquos studier composition that helps sandwiches to hold up better to sauces, and to travel better as a grab & go choice. With so many flatbread variations available, including things like Southeastern roti, Indian dosa, and French crepes, Mintel predicts that menu developers will continue to explore how flatter bread can make for better sandwiches.

For more insights and innovations check out CultureWaves®, the place to go for the latest observations in the World Thought Bank &ndash events, ideas, trends and more. Add your own thoughts about anything in life &ndash entertainment, design, technology, well-being and, yes, food trends. And, take a look at a few of our other Hot & Cool Food Trends.


Fritos give Subway's Enchilada Melt some crunch

The chain's iconic burger with a shot of Tex-Mex, stuffed neatly in a warm, soft flour tortilla.

4 of 75 $10 Chicken Share Bucket

: A squatty, stubby version of KFC's famous bucket. It's designed to hold enough chicken for two people.

Total calories: 420 (for six Hot Wings). Fat grams: 24. Sodium: 960 mg. Carbs: 18 g. Dietary fiber: 0. Protein: 24 g.

What Hoffman says: There's no need to rate or review KFC's chicken. It's fine. It's terrific. We've been enjoying it all our lives.

5 of 75 Mighty Meat Lover's Skillet at Denny's:

A breakfast-sausage link and grilled sirloin-steak skewer served over mushrooms, fire-roasted bell peppers, onions and seasoned red-skinner potatoes. A sweet bourbon glaze and two eggs, any way you like 'em, are the finishing touches. It's a lot of food, about 1 1/2 pounds, and here come the nutritional numbers to prove it.

Total calories: 1,340. Fat grams: 90. Sodium: 4,110 mg. Carbs: 76 g. Dietary fiber: 4 g. Protein: 58 g. Retail price: $10.99. Add toast or tortillas for 99 cents more.

What Hoffman says:
The Mighty Meat Lover's Skillet arrives all prettied up, with a chubby sausage and a steak skewer sitting atop a colorful veggie medley and two eggs staring you in the eye. It's big food, and there's no fluff on that plate. Everything is cooked fresh to order.

But Hoffman does have some words of warning about this dish. Click here to read the full review and find out.

7 of 75 $5 Flavor Menu at Pizza Hut:

Seven items, each selling for $5. The only catch, you have to order at least two of them.

Nutritional values vary.

What Hoffman says:

The Hut is playing the "Price Is Right," fair and square. They're not offering scrimped-down portions or limiting toppings on the pizza. All seven items are cheaper than they were before the $5 Flavor Menu brainstorm. And the menu boasts a good cross-section of the best Hut stuff.

Hoffman is a stickler for one thing. Click here for the full review and find out.

8 of 75 Wendy's Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburger

: A ¼-pound beef patty, roasted chopped tomatoes, creamy rosemary garlic aioli, fresh spring mix, a slice of asiago cheese and applewood-smoked bacon on a toasted ciabatta bun.

Total calories: 670. Fat grams: 39. Sodium: 1,260 mg. Dietary fiber: 4 g. Carbs: 42 g. Protein 32 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.79.

What Hoffman says:

The new slogan is "gotta ciabatta," and I gotta tell you … another winner.

10 of 75 Buffalo Burnin' Hot bone-in wings at Pizza Hut:

Breaded chicken wings, deep-fried and tossed in your favorite sauce, wrapped in foil and delivered warm to your door.

Total calories: 240 (for two wings). Fat grams: 14. Sodium: 800 mg. Dietary fiber: 1. Carbs: 19 g. Protein: 8 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: eight bone-in wing pieces for $6. Boneless wings are eight for $5.

What Hoffman says:
I went with Buffalo Burnin' Hot because … the things I do for you dear readers. I'm your gastrointestinal crash-test dummy. Find out Hoffman's final verdict on the saucy wings.

11 of 75 Cupcake Pancakes at IHOP:

IHOP's iconic buttermilk pancakes, spiked with rainbow sprinkles, smeared with vanilla cupcake icing, more sprinkles, then topped with whipped cream.

Total calories: 450. Fat grams: 14. Sodium: 910 mg. Carbs: 73 g. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Protein: 8 g

What Hoffman says: Once all the extras are added, these Cupcake Pancakes really do taste like cupcakes - but not the packaged, indestructible Tastykake or Hostess cupcakes Mom put in your school lunchbox. IHOP's creations are more like bakery cupcakes, with a thick slather of vanilla icing and whipped cream on top. But that's not all Hoffman had to say about this breakfast treat.

13 of 75 McDonald's Egg White Delight McMuffin

Total calories: 250. Fat grams: 7. Carbs: 32. Sodium: 800. Dietary fiber: 5. Protein: 18 grams. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $2.70 (your price and mileage may vary).

What Hoffman says:
Egg White Delights are so low in calories and fat grams that big eaters might consider ordering two sandwiches and holding the hash browns. You'll actually save a few fat grams.

14 of 75 IHOP's Bananas Foster Brioche French Toast

Total calories: 980. Fat grams: 48. Sodium: 1160 mg. Carbs: 120. Protein: 19 grams. Dietary fiber: 5. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $5.99.

What Hoffman says:
IHOP's Bananas Foster Brioche French Toast keeps its promise. It's pure delicious and just as advertised - it'll have you rockin' and reelin' till lunch on a sugar rush. Try it for dinner, if you don't live in an apartment . your neighbors might not appreciate you vacuuming and running the dishwasher and doing pilates at 3 a.m.

16 of 75 Pizza Hut's Toasted S'mores Cookie:

a freshly baked, big ol' chocolate chip cookie covered with mini marshmallows, chocolate chunks and crumbled Graham crackers. Think of this as a dessert pizza.

Total calories (for one slice of the pie): 240. Fat grams: 10. Sodium: 100 mg. Carbs: 33 g. Dietary fiber: 1 g. Protein: 3 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $6.99.

What Hoffman says:
Someone in Pizza Hut product development is a smart cookie to think up this dessert. It starts with a humongous chocolate chip cookie - everybody loves those. Then the Hut adds the flavor and textures of s'mores - gooey marshmallows and more gooey chocolate. Good on Pizza Hut for coming up with a product that doesn't have customers wondering, "Whaaaa?" Like BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger and Buffalo Chicken with Sriracha Drizzle pizzas. Seriously, Pizza Hut, what were you thinking? Click here to read Hoffman's take on the pizza.

17 of 75 The Bacon Stuffed Crust Pizza breakdown:

a large hand-tossed, one-topping pizza with three cheeses and bacon bits stuffed in the crust.

Total calories: 370 (for one slice of a large pie). Fat grams: 19. Sodium: 980 mg. Carbs: 34 g. Dietary fiber: 1 g. Protein: 16 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $12.99 for the whole pizza … if you've just landed here from another galaxy and don't have a coupon.

What Hoffman says:
Last year, Pizza Hut hit rock bottom by introducing a Stuffed Crust Pizza with miniature hot dogs.

Hot dogs? That's not even a pizza topping. Franks a lot, Pizza Hut.

The Hut is redeeming itself with Bacon Stuffed Crust Pizza, though. This makes so much more sense and tastes a thousand times better. Bacon … cheese … pizza … it's a natural combination. Natural or not, click here to find out which ingredient stumps Hoffman.

19 of 75 Garlic Parmesan Pizzas from Pizza Hut:

Chicken, Bacon & Tomato Roasted Veggie and Five Cheese Please. All three pies feature a creamy garlic sauce laced with Parmesan and Romano, and a crust made crustier with more Parmesan and a Parmesan-parsley blend. Sounds like the Parmesan sales team scored big with Pizza Hut buyers.

Total calories: 290 (for a large slice of Chicken, Bacon & Tomato). Fat grams: 12. Sodium: 590 mg. Carbs: 33g. Dietary fiber: 2g. Protein: 14 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $10

What Hoffman says:

Pizza Hut's new Garlic Parmesan Pizzas are… different. And the difference is plain to see.The question becomes, are you ready for a pizza that looks and tastes different from your regular pizza? Check out Hoffman's verdict.

20 of 75 New Grilled Chicken Sandwich:

New has spring mix of different greens. Old had iceberg lettuce. New boasts a breast marinated in herbs and seasoning. Old had a blah plain chicken breast. New features a multigrain bun. Old used a dull, bor-ing burger bun.

22 of 75 Honey-Butter Biscuit Tenders at Church's:

three chicken tenders, plunked in biscuit batter, fried and sweetened with honey and butter. Served with, you guessed it, a Honey-Butter Biscuit. I thought there was a law against double jeopardy.

Total calories: 360 (for the tenders). Fat grams: 15. Sodium: 990 mg. Dietary fiber: 3 g. Protein: 24 g.

What Hoffman says:
Somebody in product development at Church's is on the ball. Two of Church's best, most popular menu items are chicken tenders (bigger than most chains) and biscuits (the best). Now they're together as an irresistible mash-up.

23 of 75 Nashville Hot Chicken from KFC:

Three KFC extra crispy boneless tenders slathered in Nashville-style sauce, a few pickle slices on top, a side of coleslaw and a buttermilk biscuit.

Total calories: 880 (for the chicken, slaw and biscuit). Fat grams: 55. Sodium: 2,130 mg. Carbs: 61 g. Dietary fiber: 4 g. Protein: 38 g

What Hoffman says:
KFC introduced Nashville Hot Chicken in a test run last year in Pittsburgh and reported "the most successful product testing in the company's recent history." You know what they say, as Pittsburgh goes, so goes the nation. OK, Ohio. This is great stuff. Really. And don't even think about trying to make this at home. It's too much work.

25 of 75 Southwest Chicken McWrap at McDonald's

: Slices of white meat chicken - your choice of "grilled" (boneless and skinless filet) or "crispy" (breaded and deep-fried), spring greens, shredded Cheddar cheese, tortilla strips, sliced tomato, cilantro lime glaze and habanero ranch sauce tucked inside a soft, warm flour tortilla.

Total calories: 680. Fat grams: 33. Sodium: 1,470 mg. Protein: 27 g. Carbs: 68 g. Dietary fiber: 4 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $3.99.

What Hoffman says:
Given a choice between grilled skinless, boneless, flavorless chicken and anything else, in this case, breaded fried chicken strips … bring on the crispy.

26 of 75 Smoked Gouda Chicken on Brioche at Wendy's:

A lightly breaded boneless chicken breast, topped with Dijon aioli, sliced red onions, spring mix greens, caramelized-onion sauce, and smoked Gouda on a toasted brioche bun.

Total calories: 600. Fat grams: 28. Sodium: 1,550 mg. Dietary fiber: 3 g. Carbs: 58 g. Protein: 32 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.79.

What Hoffman says:
Could it be that Wendy's has pushed the crazy meter too high this time? Here's the thing that makes Gouda not so Gouda on this sandwich. There's so much other stuff slopping up this sandwich, you can't taste any difference in the cheese. They could have slapped some Cheez Whiz on there and nobody would notice. Click here to find out what Hoffman says you should boldly order instead.

28 of 75 Tuscan Chicken on Ciabatta sandwich at Wendy's:

A "Homestyle" chicken filet that's lightly breaded and deep-fried, garlic and roasted tomato aioli sauce with chunks of tomato, spring mix with nine different greens, natural Asiago cheese and sliced tomato on a toasted artisan ciabatta bun.

Total calories: 580. Fat grams: 27. Dietary fiber: 4g. Protein: 31 g. Sodium: 1530 mg. Carbs: 53 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.69 plus tax.

29 of 75 McDonald's Chicken & Bacon McWrap

Total calories: 600. Fat grams: 30. Dietary fiber: 3. Sodium: 1,420 mg. Protein: 30 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $3.99.

What Hoffman says:
Don't confuse these new, substantial, weighty McWraps with the McDonald's long-running Snack Wraps, which are less than half the size of McWraps. Snack wraps are a nosh. McWraps are lunch.

31 of 75 BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad from Wendy's:

Grilled white-meat chicken chunks glazed with sweet-honey barbecue sauce, fire-roasted corn, applewood-smoked bacon, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheddar on a bed of 11 different kinds of lettuce and field greens. The salad is served with Marzetti Simply Dressed BBQ Ranch Dressing.

Total calories: 580. Fat grams: 29. Sodium: 1,460 mg. Carbs: 46 g. Dietary fiber: 5 g. Protein: 41 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $6.19 for the full size.

What Hoffman says: Wendy's is pulling away from the fast-food salad pack by creating imaginative flavors and combinations of quality ingredients. Find out which ingredients gives a kick that you won't find in the competition.

32 of 75 KFC's Original Recipe Boneless

Total calories: 200 (for a white-meat breast filet). Fat grams: 8. Dietary fiber: 1. Sodium: 610. Carbs: 6. Protein: 24 grams. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.99 for two pieces of chicken, plus one side dish (cole slaw, that's an easy one), one buttermilk biscuit and a medium soft drink.

What Hoffman says:
The shift in American taste from traditional bone-in chicken to boneless is unstoppable. Last year, for the first time, sales of boneless wings topped regular wings. This should be an outrage, particularly for literalists who scream "boneless wings are NOT wings!"

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Show More Show Less

34 of 75 Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt at Subway:

Shredded chicken, "authentic" enchilada sauce, Monterey Cheddar, a handful of crunchy Fritos chips, your choice of veggie toppings on your choice of bread, although Subway subliminally is suggesting flatbread.

Total calories: 1,160 (for a footlong). Fat grams: 52. Sodium: 2,340 mg. Dietary fiber: 14 g. Carbs: 120 g. Protein: 50 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $7.25 - your mileage may vary.

What Hoffman says:

When I first heard that Subway was developing an enchilada, I thought "fantastic!" Because there's probably not a Taco Bell for at least another 35 feet down the street. With 100 percent of the vote in, I am in position to call the Chicken Enchilada Melt a diet disaster.

35 of 75 Mini Skillet Bowl from Taco Bell:

A mini plastic bowl with seasoned breakfast potato "bites," fluffy scrambled eggs, nacho cheese and pico de gallo.

Total calories: 180. Fat grams: 11. Sodium: 430 mg. Carbs: 16 g. Dietary fiber: 1 g. Protein: 5 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $1.

What Hoffman says:

Taco Bell took its core ingredients, shook 'em up in a Yahtzee cup and scrambled them into new products. A result is that Taco Bell is like Olive Garden - everything sort of tastes, er, similar. However, the Mini Skillet Bowl is a tasty, perfectly fine mix of eggs, taters, cheese and pico. But there's just one problem. Find out what it is in the full review.

KEEP CLICKING TO SEE WHAT OTHER FAST FOOD MEALS CUT THE MUSTARD.

37 of 75 Fish and shrimp at Church's Chicken:

A good grabful of shrimp, breaded and deep fried, with a side of fries and one of Church's criminally addictive biscuits slathered in honey-butter.

Total calories: 680. Fat grams: 31. Dietary fiber: 3. Carbs: 80. Protein: 17. Sodium: 2250 mg. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $3.49.

What Hoffman says:

Shrimp and fish meals are Lenten-season regulars at Church's. It's a value and a tasty change from the same old, same old. Although for me, Church's hand-battered and double-breaded extra-spicy chicken never gets old.

38 of 75 The Meat Mountain (secret menu item) from Arby's:

Bun, two breaded and deep-fried chicken tenders, 1.5 ounces roast turkey, 1.5 ounces ham, one slice big eye Swiss cheese, 1.5 ounces corned beef, 1.5 ounces brisket, 1.5 ounces Angus steak, one slice natural cheddar, 1.5 ounces roast beef, three half-slices of peppered bacon, bun.

Total calories: 880. Fat grams: 42. Sodium: 3,400 mg. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Carbs: 45 g. Protein 83. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $10.

What Hoffman says:
The Meat Mountain is all right, if you enjoy telling survivor's stories. The flavors and textures get smushed into one meaty, salty mess. It's more confusing than pleasing. And $10 is a pretty beefy price point. Click here to find out which Arby's meal Hoffman says you should try instead.

40 of 75 Grill Dogs at Burger King:

Nothing special - plain ol' hot dogs, topped with the usual condiments, served on a hot dog bun. The Classic Grilled Dog has ketchup, mustard and relish. The Chili Cheese Grilled Dog has, well, chili and cheese.

Total calories: 310 (for the Classic). Fat grams: 16. Sodium: 960 mg. Carbs: 32 g. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Protein: 11 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $1.99.

What Hoffman says:
Burger King is flame-kissing its hot dogs on the same grill it cooks Whoppers. So the King's dogs don't have a rubbery texture like boiled or steamed franks. Burger King's dogs have a little char and snap to them - that's having it the right way.

But one thing did disappoint Hoffman. Click here to read the full review and find out.

41 of 75 Warm Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich at Baskin Robbins:

One scoop of Baskin-Robbins ice cream, squished between two freshly warmed cookies, rolled in your choice of toppings.

Total calories: 520. Fat: 25 g. Sodium: 370 mg. Carbs: 70 g. Dietary fiber: 1 g. Protein: 17 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $3.49.

What Hoffman says:

Everybody loves ice cream sandwiches, and Baskin-Robbins is clearly focused on taking them to a new level with warm cookies. But I do see a problem.

What's got Hoffman heated over this ice cream treat? Click here to read the full review and find out.

43 of 75 Stuffed Garlic Knots Pizza at Pizza Hut:

Sixteen cheese-filled garlic knots stuck around the edge of a one-topping large pizza. I'll pick pepperoni, the world's most popular pizza add-on, as my topping. I'm such a people pleaser. Frankly, it's been a problem, and it's held me back from attaining personal fulfillment.

Total calories: 460 (per slice). Fat grams: 18. Sodium: 1,120 mg. Carbs: 54 g. Dietary fiber: 3 g. Protein: 19 g.

What Hoffman says:

To pizza purists, Pizza Hut's weirdo add-ons threaten the integrity of America's favorite food. Why, when I was a kid … the good old days. But here's the thing. Everybody loves garlic knots.

44 of 75 5-for-$4 meal deal at Burger King:

A bacon cheeseburger, four crispy chicken nuggets, small fries, small drink and a chocolate-chip cookie.

Total calories: 1,170 (for the whole meal). Fat grams: 47. Sodium: 1,650 mg. Carbs: 164 g. Dietary fiber: 8 g. Protein: 26 g.

What Hoffman says:

There's nothing new about - or in - Burger King's 5-for-$4 meal, except the price. You're saving more than a dollar by grouping the five items. But at what cost? You might not like nuggets, or you'd prefer two bacon cheeseburgers and hold the cookie. Ain't gonna happen. There's no substituting or wiggle room, while you can still wiggle.

46 of 75 Fully Loaded Steak Boss Wrap from Taco Bell:

A double portion of grilled marinated steak, reduced-fat sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, three-cheese blend, pico de gallo and a crispy tostada shell wrapped in a hexagonal Crunchwrap flour tortilla.

Total calories: 760. Fat: 39. Sodium: 1,610 mg. Carbs: 69 g. Dietary fiber: 6 g. Protein: 32 g.

What Hoffman says:

Five bucks is serious freight at the Bell, but as Ron Popeil always says, wait, there's more. There's a whole menu of "tasty upgrades," like salsa (45 cents), jalapeños (30 cents), bacon (yay, 50 cents), black beans (30 cents) and more. What am I doing here, buying a car? I'm surprised Taco Bell isn't offering undercoating for 45 cents.

47 of 75 4 for $4 Meal from Wendy's:

A Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, a four-pack of Chicken Nuggets, small fries and small drink.

Total calories: 1,130 (with a Coke). Fat grams: 51. Sodium: 1,720 mg. Carbs: 143 g. Dietary fiber 6 g. Protein: 34 g.

What Hoffman says:
Like a "prix fixe" menu at any restaurant, you're surrendering the option of picking and choosing from the value menu. Prix fixe joints usually have a "no substitutions policy."

I'm not a nuggets guy. I would have preferred extra fries. Wendy's said no. They've been watching too many "Seinfeld" reruns.

49 of 75 The new Quarter Pounder with Cheese from McDonald's:

A 4.25-ounce all-beef patty with no fillers or extenders or helpers, two slices of melty American cheese, raw slivered onions, tangy pickles, mustard and ketchup, salt and pepper, on a toasted sesame seed bun.

Total calories: 540. Fat grams: 28. Sodium: 1,110 mg. Carbs: 42 g. Dietary fiber: 3.

What Hoffman says:
McDonald's has a new way of cooking the Quarter Pounder 2.0. The patty is grilled top and bottom at a higher temperature, which sears the meat, seals in the moisture and produces a juicier burger. The buns are toasted 5 seconds longer than before, so there's a little crunch to the bite. I'd toast them another 5 seconds. I like dark-brown toasty buns with a crispy char.

But Hoffman does have one quick, 5-second change that he would make to the burger. Click here for the full review and find out.

50 of 75 BBQ Pulled Pork Cheeseburger at Wendy's:

a classic Wendy's Hot 'N Juicy, never-frozen North American beef patty, a slice of cheddar cheese, a layer of pulled pork, crunchy broccoli coleslaw and barbecue sauce on a toasted brioche bun.

Total calories: 640. Fat grams: 33. Sodium: 1,260 mg. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Carbs: 42 g. Protein: 38 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.99-$5.49.

What Hoffman says:
Wendy's pulled pork and sauces are prepared off campus, then heated up and assembled in each restaurant. So Wendy's pulled pork doesn't compare to authentic barbecue joints with a 10-ton smoker out back.Though, it's as close to the real deal as you'll get through a drive-through window.

Click here to find out which ingredient -- the so-called "fatty buddy" to the beef -- is noticeably missing from this burger.

52 of 75 Wings at Golden Corral:

Grab a plate, pile on wings. Repeat as necessary, until unnecessary, until you wobble out thinking, "Well, they sure lost money on me tonight."

Total calories: 70 (per wing). Fat grams: 5. Sodium: 65 mg. Dietary fiber: 0 g. Carbs: 0 g. Protein: 6 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $10.99 after 4 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays.

What Hoffman says:
So my expectations were low when I approached the wing station at Golden Corral. Pleasant surprise No. 1: They were naked - no heavy, greasy breading. My low-carb will power wasn't threatened. Surprise 2: They were extra large - not the fractured bony winglets served in low-class wing joints that rely on 20 big screen TVs to bring in customers. But that's not the only thing that made it to Hoffman's review. Click here to find out what -- or rather, who -- Hoffman made a culinary connection with.

Leland A. Outz/For the San Antonio Express-News Show More Show Less

53 of 75 Jalapeño Double at McDonald's:

Two "mouthwatering" all-beef patties, breaded and deep-fried jalapeño strips, sliced jalapeños, smooth pasteurized processed white cheddar and McDonald's classic ranch sauce.

Total calories: 430. Fat grams: 23. Carbs: 35 g. Protein: 22 g. Sodium: 1,030 mg. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $2.

What Hoffman says:
McDonald's has a bad case of Olive Garden Syndrome - all the burgers taste pretty much the same. That's because McDonald's, with its target demo of … everybody, can't get too close to the edge. So the Jalapeño Double isn't fire-extinguisher spicy, it's McDonald's spicy. Ranch comes to the rescue. It's almost like McDonald's was thinking, "We're in trouble with this burger." Click here to find out what Hoffman says can help "spice up the party." A little.

55 of 75 Chips Ahoy! Blizzard from Dairy Queen:

Crumbled Chips Ahoy! cookies, plus chocolatey topping and chocolate chunks gently stirred, not shaken, in a cup of vanilla soft serve.

Total calories: 1,300 (for a 21-ounce large). Fat grams: 50. Sodium: 610 mg. Carbs: 192 g. Dietary fiber: 4 g. Protein: 23 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.49. That's a hefty tag for a hefty mixed bag of calories, fat and carbs.

What Hoffman says:
"Ever feel great and awful at the same time? That's what Blizzards do to you. Wow, they're delicious, from the first spoonful to that last scrape off the sides. But nothing hits home the fact that self-control may not be your strong point like a Blizzard." Find out why this cookie's fast food partnership is big news.

56 of 75 Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger from Burger King:

Two all-beef patties, two slices of American cheese, four onion rings and barbecue sauce on a toasted sesame seed hoagie bun.

Total calories: 590. Fat grams: 28. Sodium: 1,080 mg. Carbs: 62 g. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $3.59.

What Hoffman says:
Burger King is pulling Taco Bell's old trick of creating new menu items with standard fare already in the pantry. Put 'em all together and you've got a unique Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger. But is it enough to win over Hoffman's taste buds? Find out which item he says is the "best-tasting thing on the King's menu."

58 of 75 Norway Lobster Bites at Long John Silver's:

100 percent Norway lobster tail meat, lightly breaded and deep-fried, served in creative new packaging.

Total calories: 230 (for the 3.2-ounce shooter size). Fat grams: 9. Sodium: 520 mg. Carbs: 24 g. Protein: 13 g. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $1.99. For lobster? Seriously?

What Hoffman says:
These bites are a whole lot better tasting than the "sort of like lobster" bites from five years ago. The new Lobster Bites have a legit lobster taste. The breading is crunchy. No dipping in butter necessary. The flavor is built into the breading. All in all, pretty good deal. Treat yourself to some lobster for two bucks.

59 of 75 Big Hot Pastrami Melt at Subway:

Slices of lean pastrami, Swiss cheese, pickles and yellow mustard on Italian (white) bread.

Total calories: 1,160 (for the footlong). Fat grams: 62. Sodium 2940 mg. Carbs: 94. Dietary fiber: 10 g. Protein: 58 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $6.39.

What Hoffman says:
That was the blueprint, given my options at Subway. If I were building the perfect pastrami sandwich, it would have Swiss cheese and sauerkraut (affecting a Reuben flashback), kosher pickles and Russian dressing on crusty rye bread with seeds. That's a pastrami sandwich.

61 of 75 Denny's Prime Rib Cobb Salad

62 of 75 Smoky Honey Mustard Flatbread Grilled Chicken Sandwich at Wendy's

Total calories: 370. Fat grams: 15. Sodium: 550 mg. Dietary fiber: 3. Protein: 22 grams. Carbs: 38. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $3.49.

What Hoffman says:
Up front - both of these flatbread sandwiches are darn excellent. They're even pretty to look at, with greens and reds and yellows. Wendy's bacon is always a plus, it's a little thicker and smokier than what's found at most drive-throughs. The five-grain flatbread is toasty and easy to handle because it's … well, flat. You won't pull a mouth muscle wrapping your lips around it.

64 of 75 Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco Supreme

Total calories: 200. Fat grams: 12. Sodium: 370 mg. Carbs: 15. Dietary fiber: 3. Protein: 9 grams. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $1.89. Taco Bell has a stripped-down, slightly leaner model of Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos — hold the sour cream and tomatoes — for $1.39.

What Hoffman says:
The Taco Bell and Doritos marriage was such a natural . what took 'em so long? Brand-name connections are usually locks in the drive-through, and fast-food fans are pretty darn fond of Doritos brand anything in the chip aisle. Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch are beloved prefixes to a certain demographic — hungry guys in cars.

65 of 75 Hooters Mahi Sandwich

Total calories: 435. Fat grams: 5. Sodium: 2,020. Carbs: 46. Dietary fiber: 3. Protein: 53. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $9.99.

What Hoffman says:
The sandwich comes with Hooters' traditional curly fries or new Big Dippers, which are steak fries with built-in grooves, so you can dip them in ranch sauce and ruin all the good work you've done eating a somewhat low-calorie, low-fat lunch. You are your own worst enemy. So what's new?

Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle Show More Show Less

67 of 75 Wendy's Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger

Total calories: 680. Fat grams: 36. Sodium: 1,110 mg. Carbs: 46. Dietary fiber: 2. Protein: 37 grams. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.69.

What Hoffman says:
Wow! This sounds like Wendy's is emptying the pantry and throwing a Hail Mary - everything Wendy's does best is on this burger, and then some.

68 of 75 Arby's King's Hawaiian Roast Beef & Swiss Sandwich

Total calories: 600. Fat grams: 25. Sodium: 1,640mg (that's a lot). Dietary fiber: 2g. Protein: 34g. Carbs: 51. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.49 (that's a little, considering the heft and quality of this sandwich).

What Hoffman says:
Arby's uses real-deal King's Hawaiian buns - and you know how we feel about recognizable brand names in the drive-through . it gives us a warm, cozy feeling of familiarity.

70 of 75 Sonic's Hot Fudge Shake

Total calories: 1,510 for a 28-ounce large. Fat grams: 74. Sodium: 810 mg. Dietary fiber: 4. Protein: 20 g. Carbs: 191. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.20. Your mileage may vary. Many Sonic Drive-ins sell their shakes for half price after 8 p.m.

What Hoffman says:
Milkshakes are one of the great guilty pleasures - take your time with it. Let it slowly wash over your tongue, savor every drop of sweet chocolate glop before you swallow.

71 of 75 Wendy's Chocolate Frosty Waffle Cone

Total calories: 300. Fat grams: 6. Dietary fiber: 2. Protein: 7 grams. Sodium: 160 mg. Carbs: 54. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $1.49.

What Hoffman says:
Don't worry, Wendy's hasn't tinkered with the Frosty formula, they've just made the Frosty easier to eat with one hand . by swirling the soft frozen dessert into a crispy, sweet waffle cone.

73 of 75 Taco Bell's Beefy Nacho Burrito

Total calories: 470. Fat grams: 20. Sodium: 990 mg. Dietary fiber: 4. Carbs: 58.

What Hoffman says:
The Beefy Nacho Burrito scores several major points. First and most important, it's a Taco Bell burrito, and it tastes pretty darn terrific. Everything inside the tortilla goes together. It packs that distinctive T-Bell flavor. Just like the Bell's 14 other burritos.

>>KEEP CLICKING TO SEE SOME OF THE BEST FAST FOOD AND FAST CASUAL DISHES OUR CRITIC FOUND.

This week, I reached out for a new Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt, available for the dreaded limited time only, at the world's No. 1 fast-food emporium, Subway, with 41,300 restaurants covering the entire Risk game board.

When I first heard that Subway was developing an enchilada, I thought "fantastic!" Because there's probably not a Taco Bell for at least another 35 feet down the street.

Here's the Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt blueprint: shredded chicken, "authentic" enchilada sauce, Monterey Cheddar, a handful of crunchy Fritos chips, your choice of veggie toppings on your choice of bread, although Subway subliminally is suggesting flatbread.

Total calories: 1,160 (for a footlong). Fat grams: 52. Sodium: 2,340 mg. Dietary fiber: 14 g. Carbs: 120 g. Protein: 50 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $7.25 - your mileage may vary.

Has Subway run out of ideas for a traditional sandwich? You know our mantra in the drive-through, order what's on the sign outside. Subway &hellip I'll have a sub. Burger King &hellip a burger. Church's Chicken &hellip a drumstick sounds good.

Now Subway is offering an enchilada. What's next, a pizza? OK, bad example, Subway is selling individual-size pizzas called Flatizzas.

IHOP, you better watch your back &hellip and your pancakes.

The Enchilada Melt uses shredded chicken, a wise decision after Subway's distasteful dabble with pulled pork last year. The chicken does better, it's more consistent. The enchilada sauce, labeled "authentic" in Subway's promotion, does have a legit flavor and burst. The Monterey Cheddar melts smooth and gooey in Subway's supercharged turbo oven.

Like everything at Subway, the choice is yours, so any bread is game. But stick with Subway's wink toward flatbread. It's closest to the enchilada experience. Veggie recommendations: lettuce, tomatoes and olives. OK, if you lose the lettuce, you're not losing much. Lettuce is the packing peanuts of the sandwich world.

The big noise is made by the Fritos chips on top. They're loud 'n' crunchy. They add a lot of mouth "feel," and who doesn't love Fritos?

Is it a gimmick? Of course. But it's a brand-name gimmick, and recognizable supermarket names are comfort food in the drive-through.

Now let's head to the nutritional tote board, which looks like CNN on Election Night. With 100 percent of the vote in, I am in position to call the Chicken Enchilada Melt a diet disaster. Wow, 1,160 calories, 120 carbs, 2,340 mg. sodium? It's a landslide. Then again, you might lose a little weight in your wallet - $7.50 is steep.


What’s in Subway’s chicken? Hint: Maybe only 50% chicken [Updated]

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The chicken in Subway Restaurants’ chicken sandwiches may only contain around 50 percent chicken, according to an investigation by Canadian media outlet, CBC. The rest: soy.

The investigation involved DNA testing chicken sandwiches collected from five popular fast food restaurants. The rest of the sandwiches contained mostly chicken. But in testing, Subway’s oven roasted chicken and the chicken strips in its Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sandwich clocked in with just 53.6 percent and 42.8 percent chicken, respectively. The results stood up after extra rounds of sampling.

Subway responded to the CBC in a statement:

SUBWAY Canada cannot confirm the veracity of the results of the lab testing you had conducted. However, we are concerned by the alleged findings you cite with respect to the proportion of soy content. Our chicken strips and oven roasted chicken contain 1% or less of soy protein. We use this ingredient in these products as a means to help stabilize the texture and moisture. All of our chicken items are made from 100% white meat chicken which is marinated, oven roasted and grilled. We tested our chicken products recently for nutritional and quality attributes and found it met our food quality standards. We will look into this again with our supplier to ensure that the chicken is meeting the high standard we set for all of our menu items and ingredients.

Among all the chicken sampled, there was a total of about 50 ingredients other than chicken identified. The chicken samples had an average of 16 ingredients. Some of the ingredients are expected, such as salt and other seasonings. But many were commercial preservatives and fillers.

One commonality was that they all had high levels of salt.

"People think they're doing themselves a favor and making themselves a healthy choice [by eating chicken rather than other meat]," nutritionist and registered dietitian Christy Brissette told the CBC. "But from a sodium perspective you might as well eat a big portion of poutine."

The full results on the percentage of chicken in the sandwiches are:

  • Subway Oven Roasted Chicken Sandwich: 53.6%
  • Subway Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki (chicken strips): 42.8%
  • McDonald's Country Chicken – Grilled: 84.9%
  • Wendy's Grilled Chicken Sandwich: 88.5%
  • A&W Chicken Grill Deluxe: 89.4%
  • Tim Hortons’ Chipotle Chicken Grilled Wrap: 86.5%

Update (3/1/2017): In a new statement to Ars, a Subway Spokesperson now says that the company wants a full retraction of CBC's findings, calling them "absolutely false and misleading." The statement went on:

Our chicken is 100% white meat with seasonings, marinated and delivered to our stores as a finished, cooked product.

We have advised them of our strong objections. We do not know how they produced such unreliable and factually incorrect data, but we are insisting on a full retraction. Producing high quality food for our customers is our highest priority. This report is wrong and it must be corrected.

The restaurant chain declined to answer Ars' question about what actions it might take against the CBC or to refute the report's conclusions.


Mexican Pizza at Taco Bell

Courtesy of Taco Bell

If that wasn't enough, Taco Bell then announced the final menu item that would be removed in 2020 was the Mexican Pizza. There was even an online petition started to convince the chain not to get rid of this beloved item, but in November, the menu item was no longer available. If that's not betrayal, we don't know what is…


Watch the video: Who Makes The Best Fast Food Sub? Taste Test (December 2021).