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Hoagiefest 2016: Associate Recipe reviews

todayAugust 4, 2016 418 4

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Wawa: a chain of East Coast convenience stores featuring a made to order fresh food & drink counter.
Many of you know that the Mouthy Broadcast show is a fan of Wawa. (For some of us that may be putting it mildly, actually. Jennie may need a recovery program.) During their yearly Hoagiefest promotion, for only $4.99 you can get a full size custom-made hoagie that blows away most other chain sandwich offerings.

One of our favorite things about this promotion is the selection of associate recipe creations. Wawa employees from all over develop these concoctions, then 9 sandwich recipes are selected and sold everywhere throughout Hoagiefest at the special pricing regardless of how much crap is thrown on the buns.

As a service to the Hoagie-loving community, we have decided to try as many of these as possible and review for you.

Bonus: Round out your Fatventure with Peddler’s Pantry kettle chips for only 99¢ – the Chipotle or Asian Fusion flavors are definitely the best. A 32-oz drink from the fountain is another 99¢ and if you don’t try the Far-Out Lemonade you’re missing out. It’s a mix of carbonated strawberry lemonade with some other mystery flavors thrown in.


Kickin’ Chicken Salad

[usrlist Jennie:3 Lauren:3 Peter:3 avg=”true”]

Jennie:  I don’t normally go for chicken salad but the buffalo sauce and peppers add a nice flavor. If you like chicken salad and their usual buffalo chicken sandwich, give it a try. The pickles are pretty useless though. Toss em or pick off and eat separately.

Lauren: I don’t only not normally go for chicken salad, I outright dislike it. This really isn’t bad, though. Jalapenos and buffalo sauce add a great kick, and my favorite part of this one is actually the pickles.

Peter: I’m a fan of chicken salad, but I had yet to try Wawa’s, so I was a bit iffy on this. However, I like hot stuff, so the addition of jalapenos and buffalo sauce swayed me. I agree with Jennie about the pickles. Don’t get me wrong. I fucking love pickles. But Wawa’s pickles aren’t “pickley” enough for my taste. They’re basically just cucumber slices. Still, I thought this was great.


The Boardwalk

[usrlist Jennie:3.5 Lauren:5 Peter:3.5 avg=”true”]

Jennie: When I want a cheesesteak I don’t usually go to Wawa. I prefer greasy, grilled, thin chopped philly style cheesesteak. Regardless, the chipotle and oregano make this extra fucking delicious. I actually found that it’s even better the second day after reheating in an oven or toaster oven.

Lauren: Fucking incredible sandwich. Of course, it’s not a “real” cheesesteak, but the chipotle/cheddar sauce duo is really a winning combo. This is by far my favorite of all the associate recipes. I’ve given other hoagies 5’s, but this one goes above and beyond my expectations.

Peter: As I’ve been making my way through these associate recipes, I think I’ve realized something: I really don’t like cheese sauce. I don’t like cheddar cheese to begin with, and if I want cheese on something, I want actual fucking cheese, not a sauce (unless we’re talking about queso). As with some of the others, I liked this, but there was just too much going on and the sandwich was messy. I’d order this again without the cheese sauce.


Wacky Wildwood

[usrlist Jennie:4 Lauren:5 Peter:1.5 avg=”true”]

Jennie: Surprisingly good, unlike last year’s “Wild Imagination” disaster. Based on the ingredient list I knew it was gong to be a hot mess, but not until I unwrapped this 5-lb whopper did I realize what I was in for. I’d eat this again with only one of the meats or instruct the staff to go light on the dressing. Honestly if not for the fact that it was such a mess, I’d give it 5 stars.  Utensils and extra napkins suggested.

Lauren: Look at that ingredient list. As wrong as it sounds, this sandwich actually works. This is the insanity wolf of hoagies. It’s like the associate who created it was thinking about skydiving, but then considered skydiving naked. Then, landing into a pool of sharks. Oh, and there are electric eels, too. Plus cheese sauce, chipotle, and ranch. Bring your appetite and sense of adventure for this one.

Peter: I’m going to be the Grumpy Cat on this one. This was just way too much stuff in one sandwich. The rolls that they have at Wawa aren’t big enough to pack in the amount of ingredients this fucker has, and shit started falling out as soon as I picked it up and bit into it. Beef, chicken strips, pepper jack cheese, cheddar cheese sauce, and two dressings, it’s just all too much for me, and it doesn’t coalesce into an enjoyable sandwich. #KanyeShrug


One Spicy Meatball

[usrlist Jennie:4 Lauren:3 Peter:4.5 avg=”true”]

Jennie: I was craving a pizza but also wanted to try another hoagie flavor, and this did the trick.  I’d never had a meatball sub from Wawa so wasn’t sure what to expect. The meatballs are about the quality of the premade frozen ones you might buy from the store…but they’re good ones, not like canned Spaghetti-o’s. This sandwich surely benefited from the extra cheese and spice, so I’d eat it again if the options are available post-hoagiefest. It was a big hot mess, but a delicious hot mess.

Lauren: Just like Jennie, I had never tried Wawa meatballs before this, and I agree with her assessment on their quality. Certainly not the best, but it’s the toppings that save this one. Marinara and chipotle should not taste good together, but in this hoagie, they really do.

Peter: I get the regular meatball sub from Wawa a lot. It’s not super fantastic, but it’s way better than a meatball sub from Subway. I usually order mine with onions and green peppers on it, so this recipe isn’t quite that far off from what I usually get. And with that in mind, of course I liked this one. The only caveat here is that with all of the marinara sauce and the chipotle sauce, this thing is messy. Be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand, or if you’re grunge, wipe your hands on the inside of your jeans so the stains won’t be obvious.


Raging Roast Beef

[usrlist Jennie:4.5 Lauren:4.5 Peter:4 avg=”true”]

Jennie: Holy shit that’s spicy. It’s delicious, but spicy. Wawa seems to go a little heavy with the horseradish on an average day anyway, so when they add a generous serving of jalapeño plus pepper jack… prepare your anus.

Lauren: Damn! That horseradish is strong! This really is a tasty sandwich, and it only lost a half a point for too much heat. Still, I would eat it again and again.

Peter: Do you like horseradish? If so, then get the Raging Roast Beef because Wawa goes fucking H.A.M. on the horseradish in this beast. This is your typical roast beef sammich but it’s spiced up with horseradish and jalapeños. Honestly, the horseradish is so overwhelming that I didn’t even notice the jalapeños. I still liked it, would order it again, but I recommend purchasing some Preparation H with this because it’s gonna get ugly on it’s way out, but it’s so worth it.


Spicy Bay Chicken

[usrlist Jennie:4 Lauren:3 Peter:3 avg=”true”]

Jennie: Let’s be real, I’ll eat just about anything if you put Old Bay on it, as is Maryland tradition. This is a chicken cheesesteak with a spicy kick, not terribly different but exactly as delicious as expected.

Lauren: I had very low expectations of this, but was pleasantly surprised. For me, it’s the cheddar/chipotle combo over the sweet peppers that made it good.

Peter: Again with the cheddar cheese sauce. I’m just not a fan. However, I was able to taste some of the Old Bay seasoning in this one unlike the #YOLO Wacky Wildwood. It wasn’t as spicy as I thought it would be. I’d get this again but swap the cheese sauce for jalapenos.


Spicy Chicken & Pepperoni

[usrlist Jennie:2 Lauren:3.5  Peter:3 avg=”true”]

Jennie: Surprisingly the most boring (yet still edible) one of this year’s selections. It would be vastly improved with some vegetables for color and flavor.

Lauren: The thought of chicken and pepperoni seemed gross to me, but the cheese and chipotle sauce make it work. Some sweet peppers and onions could really do a lot to make this hoagie even better, but as of now it’s just on the plus side of average.

Peter: I liked this one because I never would have thought to put chicken and pepperoni together, but this works. I agree with Lauren that this needs a little something else to make it pop, so when you order one of these, add some veggies to it.


Eastern Shore Cheesesteak

[usrlist Jennie:5 Lauren:4.5 Peter:4 avg=”true”]

Jennie: Adding Old Bay and chipotle dressing to a cheesesteak is a sure win. And I’ll be honest, I’m biased toward anything named “Eastern Shore,” especially when it originates from a Wawa I frequent on road trips. Anyway, I’ll be ordering this again after Hoagiefest. I honestly pick the jalapeños off, because they tend to overwhelm the rest of the flavors.

Lauren: A solid cheesesteak for sure. The ranch and chipotle together really are tasty, but I can’t say that I noticed the Old Bay.

Peter: Full disclosure: I don’t really have much experience with Old Bay seasoning. My family never really used it in our cooking when I was growing up, and I never really gave enough of a shit about it to try it with my own dishes. After eating the Eastern Shore Cheesesteak, I’m still not quite sure what Old Bay seasoning tastes like. I couldn’t really isolate anything about it that made it taste different from the other ingredients on the sub. I usually order chipotle sauce on my cheesesteaks because I’m not from Philadelphia and don’t tell me what I can’t do, so this is another one that isn’t far off from what I usually get. However, I also don’t usually get veggies on a cheesesteak, so this made me feel less guilty while eating it. Finally, the combination of chipotle sauce and ranch dressing sounded suspicious but I was pleasantly surprised at how well the two taste together. This is one recipe that I’m probably going to save and punch in manually when Hoagiefest is over. Also, I should buy some Old Bay seasoning. Anyone out there have any good Old Bay centric recipes that you could share with me so I can know what the big deal is here?


High Five Chicken

[usrlist Jennie:.5 Lauren:2.5 Peter:1 avg=”true”]

Jennie: Gross. I wasn’t expecting an exciting sandwich but I thought it would at least be good and simple. Instead, the hot cheese sauce just turned the lettuce into mush and it was bland as hell. I threw half of it away. The most surprising thing I’ve learned this month: chicken strip sandwiches are generally very good, wit the right toppings.

Lauren: BORING! This sandwich is a total snooze-fest. Although Wawa’s lettuce and tomatoes are not always the freshest, mine are ok. Honey mustard and cheddar sauce just aren’t exciting enough. If playing it safe is your thing, this may be the sandwich for you.

Peter: I agree with Lauren. This sandwich was just fucking boring. This felt like a last minute effort after deciding they needed one more associate’s recipe, so they just slapped some cheddar cheese sauce on what is a typical chicken hoagie from Wawa. No high 5. Minimal effort.

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  1. Jennie Zell on August 4, 2016

    @Peter – Ok, time for some Old Bay lessons.
    It’s basically best for seafood- steaming shrimp and crabs, sprinkled on fish before broiling. That sort of thing. I can’t imagine a seafood salad without a generous amount of Old Bay in it.

    You may have heard me say I’d put it on anything, and I’m not kidding. I may draw the line at say, ice cream, but I’ve had Old Bay seasoned chocolates and it’s really fantastic. But that’s kinda expert level stuff. To start try getting some Five guys fries without cajun seasoning, and sprinkle Old Bay on after the vinegar. Put it on popcorn. and if you feel like cooking, make some fried chicken and season the flour with Old Bay.

    There’s a lot of great basic recipes on their website: and here’s some more crazy shit. (oops, one recipe for old bay ice cream … maybe I won’t ditch that ice cream machine after all)

  2. Mike Friedman on November 11, 2016

    Wawa horseradish sauce is way too strong. I love horseradish but this stuff is way over the top for human consumption.

    • Jennie Zell on November 16, 2016

      I tend to agree with you. I’m a person who does shots of hot sauce but for some reason horseradish gets really overwhelming for me, and Wawa is extra generous with it.