SMCWE has officially been in existence for one full year and in honor of our birthday we decided to go back to our roots and revisit both the machine and a treat that scorned us. In other words folks, the Fast Bites are back!
(Cue the Kenny Loggins sequel music.)
You may recall last year after a hot stretch of amazing machine foods we eagerly anticipated reviewing the Fast Bites, a delectable looking double package of barbeque “chicken’ sandwiches. With glee we deposited our $1.75 and were instantly disappointed when the machine refused to give us our treat.
Not to worry though, the machine master returned our money and repositioned the Fast Bites into the machine, where they have been waiting for us ever since.
Cut to one year later, the same four packages of Fast Bites are STILL in the machine. In the full year of time, we have depleted the machine of its solitary Big Az, Landshire Country Fried Steak Sandwich, and Michelinas Breakfast Snackers. The machine is a somewhat safer place now thanks to our amazing efforts. It is mainly stocked with ice cream today, but lurking inside are still four definitely expired, freezer burnt packages of Fast Bites.
Unfortunately when we decided to revisit the Fast Bites review neither one of us had the requisite $1.75. Documentarian did what any reasonable person would do and called all of our friends to report that Coworker had “cancer of the butt” and to collect donations for him.
We quickly collected the funding for our little escapade and off we went! The Fast Bites looked resplendent in the early morning sun of the break room. It was also obvious from outside of the machine that the Fast Bites packaging was half full of ice.
With no hang ups this time, we quickly retrieved our treat. Of course, this packaging had no expiration date. This leads us to one of two conclusions 1.) there are so many preservatives this product never expires even when left for at least a year in a refrigerated vending machine that had no power for at least 48 hours or 2.) if you are eating this garbage you definitely don’t care if it is expired or not.
Of first note, the packaging is moderately ghetto. Playing off of the word “fast” in the name, Pierre Foods has chosen to use a race car type graphic that looks like it was made in Printshop on your mom’s IBM sometime in the mid 1980’s. It’s also a vague rip-off of Fast Times at Ridgemont High although these sandwiches are undoubtedly less hilarious. It also repeatedly focuses on the “2” to emphasize that you are getting a value deal of two sandwiches. . The weight isn’t of note as the sandwiches are quite small compared to previous machine treats. The ingredient list is mostly chemicals and things we don’t need understand since we’re not scientists.
The heating instructions are very thorough including rotating etc, and leaving them in the bag to steam. We followed every precaution when microwaving to ensure the most savory and sumptuous snack possible.
We placed the Bites on a paper towel in the microwave and first defrosted them in their plastic home for a minute and a half. Then we rotated as instructed and heated again for a maximum flavor burst. At this point there was a distinct aroma of McRib in the breakroom which seemed promising.
With the intoxicating aroma of three-year old bread, particle board chicken and death sauce kicking the olfactory senses in the groin, these undeniably regrettable treats were transported back to the safe confines of the office. However, prior to consumption real work intervened resulting in the gradual cooling off of these irrefutably disgusting chicken pucks.
Once real work was done, the bites were revisited and instead of getting soggy, they got rubbery. Now I don’t know about you, but I thought food that had been frozen for god only knows how long and then microwaved should not be rubbery, but I digress…
After poking it a bit and confirming the treat was indeed not actually chicken, once again against his better senses Coworker proceeded to take a big-boy bite out of the Bites.
When his teeth penetrated the bun, and it had the consistency of a loaf of sourdough roll that had been left out for a year, and the look of dread overtook Coworker’s face. However the worst was yet to come. One would think the “chicken” would be the worst part of the experience, but it was clearly made out of some sort of paper-mache or otherwise blend of daily newspapers and discarded magazines that had little to no flavor. By far the worst part was the “sauce.”
To call this substance a “sauce” would be an insult to EVERY other sauce ever conceived from tomato to hoisin. This splotchy, red mass was like ingesting generic ketchup that had been sitting out in the sun for an entire summer. Even vermin would be adverse to this “sauce.” Coworker then did finally get the first bite down, but in the interim Documentarian unwisely took a bite out of the second Bites. Immediately regretting her decision, she then spit out the awfulness into Coworker’s trash can and pleaded with Coworker to not complete the challenge for his own personal safety, health, well-being and overall happiness.
However, Coworker politely declined and proceeded to finish both Bites much to his own dismay as with each bite the situation got progressively worse. With both down, and Coworker suffering from “paper-mache meat sweats” Documentarian mercifully rewarded this feat of stupidity with a Blow-Pop to take dampen the flavor savor these bites bestowed on Coworker.
Unfortunately for Coworker, the Bites will never go away, but rather live forever inside of his tummy as food that is of an unidentifiable age simply does not digest because they were never meant to be consumed in the first place.