This week, I reached out for a big-time recurring favorite with a new twist, the Honey Sesame Chicken Breast at America's leading Chinese-style quick food emporium, Panda Express, with 2,000 restaurants 'cross America and 'round the world — including 15 in the Houston area.
Honey Sesame Chicken Breast is like a cousin who visits your place every year, except the Honey Sesame Chicken Breast doesn't leave its dirty underwear on the bathroom floor.
The Honey Sesame Chicken Breast was introduced in 2013, and this already is the fifth time that Panda Express has brought it back as a limited-time-only special. You know how McDonald's creates a buzz with the McRib's ever-recurring returns? Same deal.
Here's the Honey Sesame Chicken Breast breakdown: thin strips of crispy white meat chicken strips, fresh-cut string beans, and crisp yellow peppers cooked in a hot wok and topped with a sweet sesame sauce that's "crafted" with organic honey for the first time. Always big ups for organic ingredients.
Total calories: 420. Fat grams: 22. Sodium: 480 mg. Carbs: 40 g. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Protein: 16 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.10.
Panda Express originated in Glendale, California in 1983. Its signature dish is Orange Chicken; it pushes 80 million pounds of the citrus-tinged plate across the counter each year. But coming up fast on the outside is the Honey Sesame Chicken Breast.
This is one sweet dish. With a honey-rich sauce, moms can get the kids kids to eat their vegetables without a fuss. The old spoonful of sugar helps the string beans go down trick, to paraphrase Mary Poppins.
The chicken strips and veggies are cooked super hot so there's a nifty crunch factor. All in all, this is a good value for a good amount of tasty Chinese-style food.
Adding to the fun, Panda Express is home to the spork-inspired "chork," an inventive and efficient hybrid of a fork and chopsticks, for those of us who can't seem to master the sticks.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know in the comments or on Twitter.