100 Chicos Is No More
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100 Chicos Were Too Many Chicos
The mini-sandwich place 100 Chicos is no more. It’s changed colours and rebranded itself as a full-on Mexican restaurant aptly named: Chicos. (Probably makes keeping their letterhead easier.)
Apparently serving 100 of anything, let alone a chico was too much. My personal thought was that they served Hellman’s Ketchup and the Heinz Mayo. (see review below)
We will be adding Chicos to the list and a new review will be posted soon.
[You can read the original review below.]
Small Simple Sandwiches That Hit The Spot
I was told I had to check out 100 Chicos because the thought of a place offering small cheap sandwiches was too good to be true. When I finally decided to head on over and try it out I made the mistake of not eating at all for the entire day. It’s one thing to go to a place hungry. It’s entirely different when you go and you’re starving. It’s the same principle that says you shouldn’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach because you’ll end up buying all the things you shouldn’t (Doritos) and justifying the things you do (pop-tarts because it has “10% real fruit” and you figure you need to eat more fruit.)
So with a pit in my stomach aching to be satisfied I figured to myself, I’ll just go out and have a small sandwich or two. Or three. Or 100.
Admit it, you hear the name 100 Chicos and you say your self:
100? I can do that!
Because there is something innate in all of us that seeks a challenge. Like this part of our gorilla brain that thinks that is a good idea. That same part of the brain that makes men (and sometimes women) eat the hottest chicken wing with ghost peppers or eat a turkey stuffed with chicken and duck (Turducken – it’s a real thing). All that despite there being no trophy or ribbon we will get at the end of it, just a stomach full of regret, a bruised ego, a few pats on the shoulder from our friends and the looks of disgust from the women around us. But I digress
The Four Muskateers
100 Chicos is a quaint little sandwich shop with a huge menu to choose from. I asked the owner what some of his suggestions were and we struck up a friendly conversation about some of the favorites. I called him out on telling me everything I asked about being amazing, but he admitted that if I had taken something standard he would have told me to try something new. He did suggest to stay away from the Vegan-Meat options, and well he did say the tuna-fish sandwich is nothing special.
That being said in my goal to eat all 100 I started off with these:
#91, the spicy beef, which he suggested and popular.
#66, the chicken guacamole, another popular choice.
#44, the anchovy, also very good.
#21, sabich. I opted to try something traditional with a chico-twist (which is having it in a small bun)
#05, Lotus. I just returned from Belgium and they have this caramel spread that is to die for. I opted for a fifth sandwich for dessert. This one was on a white mini bun, which was a perfect way to end the meal.
It’s hard to make a simple decision with so many choices, but when you do finally make your three, he offers you a fourth sandwich for another three shekels. How could I resist? To top it off I got fries and flavored soda.* A complete meal for 41 shekels. Not bad. Not bad at all. And as you saw I caved and had a dessert sandwich bringing my total to 5% of my eventual goal of total 100 Chico domination.
(*He offered me “free fries and flavored soda”, but I got home and found out I actually paid for a 38 NIS combo, which was 7NIS more than my three sandwiches. It’s still worth it, but wasn’t accurately presented.)
I did let him know I was writing for a food blarg and would be photographing the food and he joked about forgetting to present it all fancy. But it looked good. If anything they brand their food really well, with “100 chicos” everywhere. Just look at the photos. The name “100 chicos” will be burned into my memory.
What the What?
Aside from looking good, the sandwiches were tasty and satisfying. The spicy beef was spicy. I really enjoyed the chicken guacamole with this really nice sweet chili sauce. The anchovies were salty and the sabich well, was sabich – just enough eggplant with the right amount of pickles to balance it out. All this on mini-whole wheat buns.
One thing I did want to mention was that there was Heinz mayonaise and Hellmann’s ketchup. Think about that for a second!! This is important. If you go to 100 chicos, you are entering some kind of alternate universe where sandwiches are smaller than you are used to, and for some reason the ketchup is made by some dude named Hellmann, and the mayo is made by some egg-and-oil loving dude named HJ Heinz.
I’m not a purist, but there are some things that are fairly sacred and Heinz ketchup is one of them. I knew a guy that dumped his girl because he went into her fridge and found some generic ghetto ketchup. He rationalized that he couldn’t be with someone that wanted to save 79 cents on something that has a shelf-life of 8 months and is the embodiment of umami in your mouth. (To read more on what I mean check out this interesting article by Malcolm Gladwell on mustard and ketchup – HERE)
While I enjoyed 100 Chicos, for the value, the taste, and the really friendly staff and owner, I did have some suggestions for them. The owner asked my opinion and I wanted to bite my tongue but if I’m going to food blarg I may as well blarg away. First off, it’s a lot of bread when you eat four sandwiches, and you fill up quickly. The whole wheat is good, but I was glad to get white bread for the dessert sandwich. I suggest you do the same. I did tell the owner that perhaps if he introduced lettuce wraps, or using romaine leaves instead of the bread it would be easier to order more “sandwiches.” Maybe 100 chicos is sandwichs and chicas are with lettuce leaves?
It’s a fun place to go for a quick bite with friends. Lots of options so everyone will be happy.
The Spicy beef – this little sandwich was nothing more than well…spicy beef. I think it had white onions but I am not sure. I told the owner to balance it out he might consider putting chopped red bell peppers. Or even better yet for a more earthy taste green bell peppers. Even if he just put one small slice of green pepper on top would give it a nice crunch and flavor.
The Lotus – I can’t really complain about heaven in a small mini bun, but with the smooth caramel I think if they added a few chocolate chunks with some sea salt it would have brought it to a whole new level.
I think there are small ways to jazz up the sandwiches. A friend argued that not everything has to be gourmet and he is 100% right. Simple is good. Adding green pepper isn’t gourmet, it just added a little more colour and taste to an already tasty sandwich. Eating isn’t just how good it tastes but a part of it is how it looks as well.
Chico of the Month
Another suggestion I would make is to have a monthly special sandwich. Maybe have a gourmet mini sandwich each month. Maybe it’s the Lotus with sea salt and chocolate, or a high-grade tuna with samurai sauce?
When I Dip, You Dip.
Which brings me to my final suggestion: sauces. Aside from bizarro mayo and ketchup, I would strongly suggest that 100 Chico’s introduce some sauces. Their mini-sandwiches are begging to be dipped.
Did you know that when pizza places in North America introduced dipping sauces sales shot up 12000%?!?! (Actually facts may not be available at this time.) Clearly creamy-garlic has dominated the pizza market, but there was at one point maranara sauce and jalapeno-cheddar. With sandwiches you can have samurai sauce (sirracha and mayo), basil-mayo, chili-lime and a hoisin sauce.
All I’m trying to say is, the sandwiches are a lot of bread and dipping them would make the experience all the more fun.
I’m at 5% now, and I will return and ace this sandwich shop, one, two or five sandwiches at a time.