Sunday, October 3, 2010
This weekend, we went up to Westchester to visit friends who were celebrating their child's second birthday. Once the kids were tucked in, the adults chatted over beers, which of course induced hunger. One of our friends was fixated on taking a ride to a local Burger King. As thirty-somethings, our friends are healthy eaters and rarely consume fast-food. I don't drink, so I offered to take everyone's order and escort a friend to come along. He hadn't seen a Burger King menu in a while and wanted the full-on drive-thru experience.
As we crept toward the drive-thru box, he asked for a few minutes to review the latest and greatest Burger King offerings. After placing the order, we approached the window. There he insisted on adding an "Original Chicken Sandwich" to the order. The cashier began to rattle off toppings such as lettuce, tomato, mayo, etc. I agreed to everything when suddenly my buddy stopped me. "NO! There is never tomato on the Original Chicken Sandwich," he exclaimed. He was right. I had totally forgotten about that, though I didn't think it mattered.
The Original Chicken Sandwich was introduced in 1978 as part of Burger King's "Specialty Sandwich" line and successfully helped Burger King increase sales by 15%. As we drove back to our friend's house, I realized that it had been more than 20 years since I had ordered one of these signature chicken sandwiches from Burger King. The Original Chicken Sandwich is unique compared to the other fast food chicken sandwiches -- unlike most fast-food chains' chicken sandwiches Burger King's resembles a chicken cutlet in length and shape and isn't round or shaped like a patty.
Remember the long seeded bun, mayo and the shredded lettuce? How about when Burger King would spice things up and serve the Chicken Cordon Bleu sandwich with slices of ham and Swiss cheese or the Italian Chicken Sandwich, their idea of Chicken Parmesan, which came with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Although I've never ordered these varieties, I do remember them.
I'm sure most of you no longer eat Burger King and I expect a flood of nasty comments. I'm not promoting that you all run to your local BK, but the idea that this friend ordered this sandwich brought back memories. We joked about how it's the only fast-food chicken sandwich with that unique shape and he sliced a sample for each of us to savor as we reminisced about the old days of Burger King and their traditional menu items.