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TBTS Adventures in Fast Food: Subway Buffalo Chicken Cruncher

January 22, 2011

“Journeys end in lovers meeting,
Every wise man’s son doth know.”
—  William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

The Bard knew how to turn a phrase when it came to love. That is precisely why I sought him out when choosing the words to express the joy, the unbridled ecstasy I felt when the Subway Buffalo Chicken Cruncher first touch’d mine lips.

But that is the end of the story. Let us start at the beginning.

“The beginning is a very delicate time. Know then that it is the year 10,191. The Known Universe is ruled by the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV, my father…”

Sorry! That’s something else entirely.

This story begins in more recent times. A few months ago, in fact, when Frito Lay released the greatest mass-produced tortilla chip flavor of all time: 2nd Degree Burn Fiery Buffalo Doritos®. You see, altogether too often does a food’s packaging advertise “spicy” or “hot” when in reality it would barely register on the Scoville Scale. I have tirelessly experimented with various packaged chips claiming a “hot” or “fiery” flavor, only to be disappointed time and again. Many a fellow traveler has pointed me in the direction of some small-batch, microbrew kettle chip with tales of tongue-scorching spiciness, and every time have they left me un-sated.

Thus it is surprising that a mainstream, international company like Frito Lay would be the one to make a chip that can light me up. Usually, it is the mainstream manufacturers that are the most timid when it comes to mass-producing a genuinely spicy food. Actually, Frito Lay has released three flavors, named 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Degree. 1st Degree is a jalapeno-based flavor. Not bad. Mildly spicy, to be sure, but not really my cup of tea. 3rd Degree has the flavor of habanero peppers behind the wheel. Again, flavorful, satisfyingly spicy, but again a specific flavor that doesn’t really blow my skirt up. But the 2nd Degree … ahhhh, they were just right for this gastronomic Goldilocks. Spicy and with the tang of vinegar at the helm (like all good Buffalo sauces.) I assure you, these chips will make your head sweat.

And so you can imagine my elation when I encountered a Subway advertisement for the Buffalo Chicken Cruncher. Its explosive flavor is matched only by its brilliant simplicity: a basic Buffalo chicken sandwich (diced chicken meat covered in Subway’s own Buffalo sauce, available in your choice of 6- and 12-inch sizes) with — wait for it — 2nd Degree Doritos sprinkled throughout.

… I know, right?

Brain areas affected by ecstasyI didn’t even bother with any additional ingredients, even cheese. I wanted nothing to come between me and the unadulterated bliss of eating this sandwich for the first time. No flaccid lettuce or flavorless black olive was going to taint this experience for me.

And o, my brothers and sisters, what an experience it was. Subway’s buffalo chicken sub was already pretty good, if not particularly spicy. But the 2nd Degree chips took it beyond culinary excellence, not only flavor-wise but texturally as well. What the Japanese call umami, and what others loosely refer to as “mouth feel.” The chips, made slightly soggy by the Buffalo sauce, were still crispy enough to add a gratifying crunch to each bite. And the slow burn of the chips’ inherent Buffalo flavor only added to that of Subway’s sauce. I was sweating before I even finished the sandwich (12-inch, naturally.) I sopped up the remaining sauce with the last bite and ate it with the same feeling of accomplishment that often follows a vigorous sexual encounter.

As I basked in the afterglow, I realized (with apologies to my dear spouse) that I will never love a woman as I have loved this sandwich.

  1. March 3, 2011 3:40 pm

    Hey Paul-

    Have not yet heard of that one? How long has it been out, do you think? Also, whereabouts in the US did you encounter it?


    • Paul the Geek permalink
      April 4, 2011 3:34 pm

      I scored one at my local Subway in Lexington, KY.

      It is possible though that now it is April and they are no longer pushing it. I can’t even find 2nd Degree chips on the shelves anymore!

  2. April 29, 2011 12:09 pm

    How did I miss this!!!! I crave a good buffalo chip and never saw those Doritos…I might actually cry.

    May I suggest the Snyders of Hanover Buffalo Pretzel pieces. Not a lot of heat, but they have the actual flavor right on which is almost as hard to find as actual heat.


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