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


Comments

    We tried this on the weekend but on regular bread instead of the flatbread. It didn't look quite as bad as this, but it certainly wasn't pretty. It did taste pretty good too, though I think next time I'll ask for some of their hot chilli sauce on it too.

    about time you used an accurate rating... 2 maybe 3 out of 10. much better

    First mistake is that despite the advertisement referring to it as a flatbread special never get the flatbread if your Kj counting/monitoring my personal preference is to get it on Wheat with a little mozzarella, toasted without the sour cream.

    To me when they lather it in any sauces its always going to look disgusting (as seen above)

    As you said it is a tasty product, however it would be best to do a follow up without following the advertisement and try it as a footlong sub so at least people that have never tried this with the flatbread they can see it works as a normal sub.

    I haveNEVERseen a Subway person be stingy with the sauces, however consider this product is already marinated there is no need to cake on the sour cream, shame you can do the sauces yourself as you really only need enough to taste the sour cream.

    I did a really long survey for Macca's where they contemplated bringing in a street food menu, and offering stews etc in the winter. About half of the ideas were good. Haven't seen anything on the menu yet and it was over a year ago.

    I wonder, would you consider telling the person serving you that the order is going to be for an article? I know that kind of defeats the purpose of the exercise a bit, but I'd kind of like to see what results they can produce when given fair warning - and if it's even possible for the staff to match the standards set by their advertising.

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