Takeaway Truth: Subway Mexican Chicken Flatbread

Takeaway Truth is an occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. On today’s menu: Subway’s Mexican Chicken Flatbread (plus taste test!)

Australia’s big fast food chains are in the midst of a Mexican fiesta — barely a week after KFC launched the Double Shell Zinger Taco, Subway has rustled up a Mesoamerican-themed offering of its own. Doubtlessly McDonald’s also has something in the works. (It’s all about chasing those Mad Mex dollars.)

The Mexican Chicken Flatbread consists of a chicken breast patty in a “traditional” Mexican sauce made from beans and corn. The sub is also topped with melted cheese and sour cream, plus the usual salads.

Here’s the official advert:

The standard 6-inch version of the Mexican Chicken Flatbread contains 1980kJ of energy, 16.5g of fat, 5.7g of sugars and 828g of sodium. There’s also the option of adding jalapenos and avocado which ups the energy count to 2230kJ.

This isn’t terrible for a cheese-laden saucy chicken sub — but it isn’t particularly healthy either. If you want to keep the kilojoules down, we suggest swapping out the flatbread for a multigrain sub. This will slash the total to 1500kJ.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at how the real Mexican Chicken Flatbread compares to its marketing. As always, we made a point of asking our “sandwich artist” to only use the ingredients that appear on the poster to give it the fairest chance possible.

The below image is what currently greets customers when they walk into a Subway outlet. It looks delicioso, right?.

Here’s the actual product that was served to us at a Subway in Blaxland, NSW:

…I’ve been staring at this image for a while now trying to put my critique into words. I think Luke Hopewell from Gizmodo said it best: “herpes in bread form”.

Update: This Twitter reinterpretation also sums my thoughts up nicely:

Seriously. This is just an appalling effort. Literally every visible ingredient has somehow gone awry. It looks like somebody scrapped their cold, greasy leftovers from dinner into a scrap of lavash in a bid to feed the homeless guy down the street. They then looked at the resulting eye-sore and tossed it in the trash instead. I feel kind of ill just looking at it.

This didn’t stop me from scoffing it, mind. Against the odds, it was actually pretty tasty. The sauce wasn’t especially spicy but it was chock-full of flavour and complemented the chicken well. But goddamn is it ugly. Like many unpleasant things in life, it definitely helps to close your eyes.

Truth rating: 2/10

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