Bracing for the Face Punch That Is Re-Up BBQ’s Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich

STACKED is a Scout column that aims to dig down into the delicious details of Vancouver’s better sandwiches and burgers. From banh mi and burgers to sliders and reubens, the goal is to craft and catalog an ever-growing an archive of awesome that visitors and locals alike can reference when at their very hungriest. Dig in!

This delicious thing from Re-Up BBQ out in New Westminster is just straight up busy. It overwhelms the palate like one of those fast food inventions designed for teenagers and/or people who have smoked too much weed. That doesn’t make it any less tasty, of course, but if you’re a delicate creature that craves subtlety and nuance, you might want to stick to Re-Up’s more straight-forward punches in the flavour face, like their dreamy pulled pork, their awesome fried chicken, or their legendary ribs. This one goes for the jugular with no apologies. Still with me? Good! Now let’s break it down…

1. Thick coins of jalapeño. Right away, this sandwich tells you it’s not screwing around. While the green discs don’t register fiercely on the Scoville scale they nevertheless set the tone at first bite.

2. The slaw is pretty basic stuff (laced with a sweetening sauce of some kind) — a cooling counter to the peppers that adds some textural heft.

3. A thick smear of housemade chipotle mayo. It’s hard to pick up on the chipotle flavour but the spice is there and the oil in the mayo no doubt helps chauffeur the whole bite-to-bite operation around the mouth.

4. Soft, pliable bun that keeps its shape despite top and bottom sauce soaks. The unsung hero of the whole show.

5. Two, paper thin slices of extra crispy house-smoked bacon that disintegrated at the mere suggestion of my teeth. I prefer some chew to my bacon, especially in situations when there’s already a lot of crunch going on. Still, it’s bacon. I’m not going to pretend I didn’t enjoy it.

6. A spread of a guacamole. Again, the jalapeño rendered its flavours imperceptible, so much so that I wouldn’t have noticed it save for its unmistakable colour peeping out around the edges. That being said, its creamy texture and all-around avocadoness probably drugged the spice a little and softened some of the harder edges.

7. Fried chicken. I love Re-Up’s batter treatment. If I’m not mistaken, their dry mix is potato starch, rice flour, all purpose flour, baking powder and their signature spice rub. The meat is also mustard marinated (overnight) and free range egg-washed. The result is crispy, light and ridiculously tasty. (If you’ve never had their on-the-bone fried chicken, you really should, and before you tuck into this sandwich.)

8. Shredded cheddar cheese. Honestly, I couldn’t see much of it or taste any of it, lost like meek woodwinds in a fortissimo horn concerto. It’s there and likely doing stuff (again, softening blows), but proof of its presence would bedevil the blind.

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