Food & Drink

Fast Food Review: Domino’s Oven-Baked Habanero Chicken Sandwich



Expanding the menu is a noble thing, when you get it right – Jack in the Box is one of my favorite chains precisely because you can’t really define what its signature item is, Carl’s Jr establishments are best when they incorporate Green Burrito menu items, and Del Taco actually makes a mean double cheeseburger. So I generally applaud the pizza lace that takes the plunge – no order to the Hut is complete without chicken wings on the side. But Domino’s and sandwiches? There’s a big psychological disadvantage to that.

Here’s the thing: when I want a sandwich, I want it right away. So, big deal – go into a Domino’s and order one at the counter, right? But then what if I want to eat it there? No seats. Has to be to go, and it might not be hot by the time I get home.

So what about delivery? Well, tipping a delivery guy for just a sandwich shoots the price up to more than the item’s worth. And if I place any delivery order for more than just myself, GUARANTEED somebody’s gonna say, “Why don’t we just split a pizza instead?” This is why it has taken forever to try a Domino’s Oven-Baked Sandwich (is it possible to bake in anything other than an oven?). But it was worth the wait.

I must confess, in the process I heard an objection from the missus that I never thought an American human would utter, vis-a-vis the sandwiches: “They look too melty.” Am I wrong, or is melty not the ultimate achievement in sandwichdom? I simply cannot relate. In fact, it took a while to decide upon which version of melty was the right one, but really there were only two choices that weren’t pre-existing standbys like Italian sausage or Philly cheesesteak: Mediterranean vegetable and chicken habanero. And in reviewing fast food, vegetarian seems like second-choice material. Thus, the spicy bird was up.

Grilled chicken breast, pineapple, jalape?os, sweet mango habanero sauce, provolone and cheddar cheeses. On artisan bread and baked to a golden brown.

That’s the official description. Okay, the “artisan bread” is really basically just pizza dough formed into the shape of a sub roll, but I don’t think that’s something anybody will bitch too much about. The ratio of filling to bread isn’t as great as I would like, though in the case of something habanero-flavored, that’s not really something to complain too much about either, as you need some bread to take the edge off.

One of the cheeses is in liquid form. Don’t know which; don’t care. Just be prepared for it to drip. Pineapple and mango are not things I like on my pizza, but when used Asian-style in combination with fiery spice, all is forgiven. This is as sweet and hot as the world’s kindest centerfold. Jalapeno slices by themselves are so often a cheap way out – every time Taco Bell tries using them in anything, it becomes a disaster. Cooking them in the oven, though, brings out a flavor that has more subtlety, less pain, your gain.

Overall, I’m in favor of this putting of meat to bread, and would like to try more, though when it comes to the Philly I’d feel frankly insulted if it doesn’t have a Philly-sized meat portion betwixt carbohydrate slices. Also, you should know that Domino’s has some fairly small pizza options, so you can order pizza for her and sammiches for him, or vice versa, as the situation arises.

Plus you’ll really confuse the Noid, but he’s probably getting forgetful in his old age anyway.