One of my favorite foodstuffs in the entire world is the chicken wing, specifically the buffalo wing. Hot sauce and chicken? A genius combination: the fuel of bars, tailgates and Super Bowl parties across the country. However, the one thing I DON’T like about a buffalo wing is the bone: it makes eating a buffalo wing, in theory a great experience, too much work. Which is why when I saw Uncle Sam’s Subs offering a Buffalo Chicken Sub, there was absolutely NO chance I’d pass it up.
Now, to avoid confusing WordPress’s category system and in order to keep my locations technically accurate, I’m listing this Uncle Sam’s in Squirrel Hill simply because it’s the one I go to and where I had this one. However, there are three alternate locations in Oakland, Aspinwall and Robinson, so feel free to snag this ‘wich at any of the locations!
Moving to the sandwich, it’s one of those ‘wiches that are close to the tipping point but don’t go over, built with “Our most famous chicken cheese steak grilled with buffalo sauce, topped with melted provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion and fresh ranch dressing.” Now, since it’s Uncle Sam’s, you can get it however you want. If you’re not big on veggies? Go ahead, get rid of ’em. But you’ll be lacking in the flavor, texture and temperature departments. Yeah. This is a sophisticated little sandwich we’ve got here.
Starting with the chicken itself, the fact that it’s a grilled chicken cheese steak makes all the difference: it’s thinly sliced and acts more like a deli meat in texture. Whereas typical chicken pieces would create a difficult form factor and possibly hinder the comfort with which you eat the ‘wich, here the chicken simply layers in (plentifully, mind you) with the rest of the ingredients to make a convenient sandwich-eating experience that much more attainable.
Then there are the toppings, which are just as important as, if not more so than, the chicken. The fresh ranch dressing and provolone do a good job cutting the heat that the hot sauce brings, and they combine to make a really good (sorry, Katy Perry) hot-n-cold trio both in flavor and temperature. However, the hot sauce’s heat still prevails here, so putting the holy ‘wich trio of toppings on is extremely important. The way the onions and lettuce add a crunch to an otherwise chewy sandwich gives us two distinct layers of texture, while the tomato gives a cutting acidity that melds with the buffal0-ranch combination.
Really, there’s a whole other world of flavor and texture that you’d miss without the veggies. Without ’em, this would be a good sandwich. With ’em? It’s a fantastic sandwich, and one I’m glad I finally shared with all of you.