Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwich @ Smokejumpers Grill

Price: $11.99

When: December 12, 2017, 12:15 PM

Reservations: n/a

Verdict? Not recommended

Regular readers know that I have a long, difficult history with Smokejumpers Grill in Disney California Adventure. It’s like Lucy and the football from Peanuts: I go in, order a dish, and hope that it will be something I can recommend. Smokejumpers, in turn, serves me something dreadfully underwhelming. I get the sadz. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Today, however, I’m convinced that Smokejumpers and I have turned a corner in our relationship. We’re on new ground. Fresh footing. A clean slate.

Why, you ask? Simple: They rebooted their menu!

So when I stroll in the door with Sharon and Bryce, there’s a spring in my step. Gone are the dreadful chicken sandwich and bacon cheeseburger. The menu’s spiffed up. They’ve got a Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. A BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich (jackfruit!). Something called “Campfire Chili.”

This is going to be fun.

I start with the Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwich.

The dish is handed to me on a wide plastic tray. You get the sandwich itself, plus waffle-cut fries, sitting in a paper basket.

Back at the table, I give this a long look. The sandwich is one of the messiest things I’ve ever seen. Two halves of a bun, each straining to contain a large piece of chicken that’s been drenched in a monsoon of buffalo sauce. I see some pickled veg peeking out here and there. The smell of the sauce is overwhelming. I get excited.

Then I try it. And the wheels immediately come off the bus.

From its fierce appearance (and name!), you’d expect this to be a serious spice bomb. Something that causes the nostrils to flare, and maybe gives your mouth a bit of a hot pucker. Not the case. This is … bland. The sauce is there, sure, but it’s not doing anything. It’s just wet and messy.

The chicken is boring. It’s chewy, but that’s all it’s got going for it.

The picked veg is nice, but there’s not nearly enough of it.

The menu says that there’s “blue cheese sauce” in here, but I can’t seem to find it. (Maybe it had the day off.)

A few bites in to this thing, and I’m done. Just done. It’s big, it’s messy, and it’s boring as hell. It’s like they got all the parts in here, but forgot to flip a switch to turn it on. It’s just … blah.

(One bright spot? The fries are OK. They’re not nearly as good as the fries at Award Wieners, but they’ll do.)

Lucy and the football, indeed.

Not recommended.