Limited Time Only – KFC Hotrods and Flatbread Sliders

KFC Hotrods, Supercharged sauce, Flatbread Sliders. Welcome to the world of watered down food for white people, or by white people, I’m not sure. This is a swathe of offerings featuring names so perverse they could have been written into that falafel episode of The Simpsons. It’s flavour sauce!

Normally I eat this food to suffer the indignity; consider it a very mild eating disorder to keep my mind, body and spirit just a little too humble (or, to keep the ideal version of me at arm’s length so I am always yearning below a self-imposed glass ceiling because really I don’t deserve better please won’t you help me out of this hole help I can’t breathe help he-). But this time the name alone had turned me off, there was no intrigue, no willingness to make myself cry by way of food. But here we are. Content diem.

Flatbread Slider? I’m pretty sure that’s called a taco. Evidently their foray into Mexican street food didn’t work out for them last time. I can’t work out who their key demographic is with this. There’s a trend at home right now where vapid folk from high-income areas venture out to the suburbs for some ethnic cuisine. You know, the kind of meaningless people who refer to a 40 minute train trip as a mission, or the culturally-zilch twats who hail anything other than the norm of $24-brunch-and-million-dollar-Wes-Anderson-inspired-café-fitouts as unassuming (no no, I’m not talking about the people who actually dig sahlab and a legit zingy tabouli so please don’t @ me). This suite of bullshit is too shoddy, even for these hacks.

The Flatbread Sliders are presented as a manchildish bonbon, or a Molotov cocktail of mediocrity with “slider” written in a Speed-Racer-esque style font with zoomy lines and everything; all it’s missing are the garish Guy Fieri-ish flames. It lethargically unravels, like the saddest man on Earth carrying the weight of the universe limping out of bed early in the morning. Gaping misery. Sloppy, stiff. The flatbread: a thick, sour pancake; the barbecue sauce sweet like caramel; the chicken is as you’d expect, a bland protein propped up by whatever surrounds it. Iceberg lettuce scant, minimal. I didn’t receive the Supercharged sauce because the order was wrong, but I’m thankful to avoid a repeat of last time’s vinegar bomb. Seriously though, what’s with that name, do people need to feel empowered after tackling some very mild chili? How low does a personal Everest need to be? It’s the vanity sizing of the sauce world.

The temperature of the irregular and weird Hotrods is too tepid, barely inching above room temperature to the point the body braces for an absolute bacteria fest. I’ve never felt my tongue flinch before – I now know that 40 degree fast food is one hell of a stomach churner. In retrospect, the takeaway bag I received didn’t even hurts-so-good burn my hands. The Hotrods are void of KFC’s only redeeming quality: that hangover-friendly-yet-eventually-regrettable oily saltiness. I miss the nastiness. The spiciness tingles, and that’s as about as exciting as it gets, besides the impending anxiety of diarrhoea. Should I attempt a tactical vom? Should I cancel work tomorrow? I’d mention the aioli sauce but they’d forgotten that too.

Souvlaki, yakitori, satay, espetada, Hotrods. There’s a reason meat historically is enjoyed on sticks: it’s to grill that good good, charcoal permeating, smokiness, succulence. Not to parade around in a juvenile fistful. Not to be served lukewarm and insipid. I came across a petition earlier today to bring back the KFC Hotrods: it had 25 supporters.

No matter where you are in the socioeconomic chain, KFC is always good. You’d be an idiot to think otherwise. In this case my advice is to stick with the classics. Ultimately the KFC Hotrods and Flatbread Sliders are for those old mates and old, old, distant-memory Facebook friends of ours who want to enjoy “street food”, but are too racist to go the whole hog, or bird, as it were. After eating this I feel just as miserable as night falls over this winter night and I wonder why I’ve done this to myself yet again. Hello darkness, my old friend. Please don’t shit yourself at work tomorrow.

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