For anyone who’s ever set foot in a Thai 7/11, you understand the value of a good toasty. It can really turn even the rainiest of Monsoon Season days from shit to sparkles. If you’ve ever backpacked in Thailand I know you’re laughing right now, because you agree.
If you’ve never had a toasty, it’s 7/11 convenience food in the form of a grilled cheese sandwich that comes in various flavors. Best enjoyed after a night on the town in Bangkok, paired with a fat bottle of ice water. You pick it up in the refrigerated section at 7/11(right next to other wonderful interesting things like microwaveable cheeseburgers and Japanese seafood pizzas), and pass the torch to the dedicated attendant at the counter. They warm it up for you, and after 2 minutes of waiting in agony you’re in business. For the next 30 seconds that your Toasty lasts.
I’ve decided to do a comprehensive review of each individual toasty flavor, to guide your next fine dining experience at 7/11. In no particular order, below are my culinary recommendations.
The Classic: Ham & Cheese
If you’ve ever had a Toasty and you haven’t tried this one, you’re lying. The classic go-to, most similar to American sandwiches in flavoring, is a always a guaranteed home-run. Although it does play a little on the safe side, this sandwich has a good American cheese flavoring(if there is such a thing), however it is a little lacking on the meat portion. But I guess for 27 baht it’s fine. This one gets a 7.5 because it’s always a guaranteed good time, and it’s one of the few that doesn’t secrete weird sauces.
First toasty ever(& looking gr8)
2. The Classier Classic: The Deluxe Ham & Cheese
This supercharged version of the fan favorite comes with an additional sauce on it and comes on much more pillowy, fluffy bread. The bread is what really brings the sandwich form like a 6 to a solid 9.5. It’s fluffy and makes your sandwich last a solid 10 seconds longer. .5 off for the slightly funky taste that the extra sauce secretes, -1 for the proper serving size of the sandwich(as in it’s sized to be an actual serving size so it’s never enough), and we’re looking at a solid 8. Almost stuck the landing, if it wasn’t for that damn special sauce.
3. The Sneaky Bastard: The “Pepperoni” Pizza
Since landing at Suvarnabhumi airport I’ve avoided processed mystery meats like the plague. Most of these come in the form of random hot dogs that I see at little carts on the street. Disclaimer – one did sneak into my digestive system when I was feeling adventurous one day and bought something I didn’t recognize that looked like friend corn meal on a stick, only to find out that it was actually a corn dog on a stick. It was actually pretty good, it tasted like a real American corn dog, and I didn’t die after. I digress.
So bet your boots I was salty when en route via van to Hua Hin I bought a pizza toasty at a bus stop and was smacked with the surprise of little cut up mystery hot dogs inside. Seven why you gotta play me like that? Maybe Thai people think that pepperoni automatically equals cut up mystery meat? Well guess what, land of smiles, ya done messed up this time. It was a good toasty aside from that major slip up, although the sauce to cheese ratio was a little higher than I would’ve liked. RIP cheese abundance in the US, miss you dearly.
Going to have to rate this one at like a 4.5. It would’ve been a 6 if I wasn’t so salty about those incognito cut-up hot dogs.
4. The Wild Card: Pumpkin Tuna
I’ve been hyping this one up for a while. I love tuna, and I love pumpkin, so when I saw that the Thai food gods of mixing-random-things-that-taste-good (ex. green mango and fish jelly) had put the two together, I was stoked.
So imagine my disappointment when I found out that the pumpkin-tuna ratio was NOT on par. Like not even CLOSE to the par, much less on it. There was barely any pumpkin to be found. There was also the surprise addition of corn, which actually kind of worked, but I was too busy mourning my lost pumpkin to enjoy it.
I still freaking love tuna though, so this puppy still gets awarded a solid 7. However it will never reach a 10 status unless 7/11 ups their pumpkin game.
5. The Southerner: Pulled Pork with “Salad Cream”
Nothing shoots my appetite in the forehead quite like the words “salad cream.” The first time I heard the unfortunate pairing was when a Philippino co-worker was trying to explain to me that the “salad cream” that came with her bagged salad from the market was gross(side note: totally was, they give you freaking MAYONNAISE to put on your salad). I thought that this heinous term was just a simple mistake on her part. But NO, no this term actually exists, as I found out upon checking out this particular toasty. I digress.
So this tasting was done in Bangkok on Soi 11 after getting kicked out of Sugar club. Elevated platforms are made for DANCING in a club, sorry we were being fun. Of course it was a tad bit on the sweeter side, as everything in this country is, whether it’s supposed to be or not. But pulled pork in the US is sweet too, as barbecue sauce has an insane amount of sugar, so I’ll let it slide a little. The “salad cream” aka Mayonnaise I personally could’ve done without, as it was kind of a slimy compliment to the pulled pork. Overall it was a good Toasty though, I’d probably get it again.
Well minus 1 point for being too sweet, minus 1 point for overdoing it on the “salad cream,” and minus 2 points for even using the word “salad cream.” So this one gets a 6.
6. The Poser: Sausage, Cheese, and Fried Egg
Okay this one I was definitely not sober for, there’s no way that I could hang with a processed cooked freaking EGG and mystery hot dogs in one go otherwise. This one has been dubbed “the poser” because it’s closest thing to a phat American breakfast sandwich that I’ve seen at 7/11.
The egg texture is SHOCKINGLY weird. I can’t think of anything amusing to compare it to, it was just weird. Kind of like the texture of a hardboiled egg, but like weirder. The flavor was fine, I just mentally could never get over the block of eating a processed 7/11 egg in any other mental state. The cheese was good, the same standard American flavoring that you get in a ham & cheese, & the mystery hot dogs were bearable, alas they were still mystery hot dogs. All in all I’ll give it a 4, just for me personally because I can’t really hang with processed hot dogs. Also the fact that I wrote these entire past two paragraphs acting like it’s normal to put a hot dog on an attempted breakfast sandwich and call it “sausage” is concerning. Now I can’t wait to never eat one of those again. Also using the word “FRIED” to describe that egg is a very generous interpretation of “fried.”
7. The Ugly Stepsister: Ham, Cheese, & Fried Egg
Okay this one I did do sober. But I don’t think I really thought long enough to process the fact that the egg on the sandwich was a REHEATED PROCESSED EGG and they were out of the regular ham & cheese. This one was literally the same as a normal ham & cheese, but like minus points for the egg. Honestly flavorwise the egg tasted fine, and the texture was bearable, it just didn’t really do anything for the sandwich. Although personally I like my eggs runny on my breakfast sandwiches. So we’ll give this one a 5.5.
8. The Alien: Taro Bread
I did it for the blog post – I actually tried one of the horrifying sweet toasties. This one was after an evening at Tachalong, the bar in Dan Chang, with the moral support of my roommates. To be honest I was terrified and almost didn’t do it, just because they look so gross.
Surprisingly the toasty was not horrible. The “taro” was some kind of weird lavender-colored creamy stuff in the middle of the bread, very similar to how it looks on the packaging. The toasty smelled AMAZING after it came out of the toaster, probably due to the warmth + sugar. The bread was also very soft. All in all I wouldn’t do it again, just because I prefer my savory toasties, and the cream was a weird texture(almost like vaseline), but I didn’t die. This one loses points for the cream substance, loses points for the fake lavender color, and lands at a 4.75. It probably would get more points if it didn’t scare me so much.
9. The European – Carbonara Danish
When you read the name of this toasty, you really have no idea what the hell it is. Carbonara danish? That’s almost an oxymoron – when I hear penne carbonara, I think of the Italian dish pasta with ham, and when I hear Danish I think of the sweet flaky pastry. So I really don’t think that whoever wrote this knew what they were talking about on either end. Although there was ham, and the bread was flaky, so maybe that’s why? Whatever. I thought this toasty was horrifying for the longest time, and actually wasn’t planning on trying it until a friend told me they had survived it. It actually kind of tastes like cool ranch doritos, and was surprisingly good. I’d get it again, so it’s getting a 7.75. Bravo, you weird Euro-mutt mix.
10. The Safety Net – Sweet Butter Bread
Plot twist: the “Sweet Butter Bread” actually tastes like…SWEET BUTTER BREAD! As in bread and butter. For some reason I was expecting something much more exotic, I’m not sure why. Overall a good toasty, but nothing memorable. I’d give it a solid 5.
11. The Green Monster – Red Bean Matcha
So, just when I thought I was done with all the toasty-testing, just when I thought I had escaped any bad fake processed-cheese trauma, just when I thought I was safe – 7/11 decided to release a NEW toasty.
When I first heard about the infamous Red Bean Matcha toasty, I was excited. Although I’m not big on sweet toasties, one of my favorite things about Asia is the abundance of green tea matcha products. Green tea kit-kats, green-tea chocolates, green-tea lattes, I love them all. So I was quite shocked one fateful evening in Suphan Buri when, lo and behold, this toasty betrayed me.
Not only was the green tea matcha bad, it was INEDIBLE. We had just left a bar after finishing a bottle of Regency between 3 people and it was STILL horrible. I thought it was all a bad dream, when I woke up to the horror of the second half of the toasty STILL staying me in the face from my night stand. The entire thing was basically green-tea food-coloring flavored, with some gross “bean” in it to boot. In defense of the bean Asian people like red bean as a dessert/with green tea, one of my Thai co-teachers actually complained that it didn’t have enough red bean in it. 10/10 WOULD NEVER DO AGAIN even for 1 million baht.
And last but not least…
12. The Legend – Champignon and Cheese Danish
Again, just when I thought my Toasty tasting was over for the SECOND time, 7/11 decided to release another new toasty. However, this one was not quite as traumatizing as the last.
I have heard several other gap-year teachers talk about the amazing mushroom cheese toasty, and mourn about how it had disappeared off 7/11 shelves. This past weekend, we found a new mushroom toasty, a re-vamped revival of the mushroom cheese – Champignon and Cheese Danish.
I’m not really sure what 7/11 is trying to say by Danish, I think they mean croissant, because both this toasty and the Carbonara Danish came on croissant-like bread. If you are unfamiliar with your mushroom types(like myself) apparently Champignon is a type of mushroom. So 7/11 took mushroom cheese off the shelves, threw in a mix of misused fancy-sounding names(similar to Carbonara Danish), and created the amazing Champignon and Cheese Danish.
Prepare yourself to be shocked – this toasty is actually BETTER than the ham & cheese, which I didn’t think was possible. You can actually taste the mushrooms, the fake croissant bread is buttery and flaky, and the cheese flavor doesn’t taste like plastic. There is also no weird sauce to be found, the Achilles heel of many a good toasty. 10/10 will do again. Bravo, 7/11.
So to conclude, here’s the final rankings:
- Champignon and Cheese Danish
- Deluxe Ham & Cheese
- Carbonara Danish
- Ham & Cheese
- Pumpkin Tuna
- Pulled Pork with Salad Cream
- Ham, Cheese, & Fried Egg
- Sweet Butter Bread
- Taro Bread
- Pepperoni Pizza
- Sausage, Cheese, & Fried Egg
1062. Red Bean Matcha
Now I am SO excited to go back to sticking with old-faithful, the classic Ham & Cheese. Never will I EVER go near a sweet toasty or anything with processed hot dogs in it again. Although this toasty challenge did help me find 2 new toasties to add to my evening menu, Champignon and Cheese Danish and Carbonara Danish.