Battle of the Chicken Sandwiches: part 1

Why, hello there…

I didn’t think I would resurrect my blog anytime soon (if at all). I spent the majority of 2020 cooking at home, as I’m sure most of the world did.  With the world being a different place now than it was since my previous posts, I can only hope that our cherished restaurants can survive this pandemic.  My heart goes out to all those hardworking restaurateurs and their staff, whose restaurants had to close their doors permanently.  Your food will forever be in our thoughts and in our hearts.

Also- major shout out to all the essential employees out there working their butts off.  We see you, and you are appreciated.

Now onto a less somber topic…

At the end of 2020, my husband asked for one thing for his birthday: a really really good chicken sandwich (spicy optional).  In the name of science (obviously), we needed to take a lot of samples in order to get an accurate gauge on what’s out there.

The hunt is on!  The last few weeks have been comprised on visiting local joints as well as major chains, and here’s what we’ve got so far:

Ima

Spicy: 5/10

Spice on the side: 7/10

I love Ima’s udon and spicy ramen, so I hate to give them a subpar rating on their chicken sandwich.  If you opt for the spice on the side, it really changes things.  Ordering it spicy is the root of its downfall.  The spice that they use is a chili oil, so you’re left with a super greasy sandwich.  The chili oil drowns out all other tastes, and ends up being a pure spice bomb in your mouth. If you enjoy having your mouth on fire and crying while you eat, you may fall in love with this. I might just be a pansy when it comes to this level of spice, but I enjoy more than just heat in my mouth, and this isn’t it for me.

Popeye’s 8.5/10

I may end up changing this to a 9/10, depending on how the rest of the sandwiches go.  You guys, the hype is real!!  Every compliment I’ve heard about this sandwich has been true. The spice comes in the form of a spicy mayonnaise, which almost gives it a cool heat (if that makes sense).  The sandwich is moist (I know some of y’all hate that word), crunchy, spicy, tangy, and savory.  It was nearly perfect, and I was absolutely shocked that it was so delicious.

Fat Daddy’s 7/10

Our trip to Fat Daddy’s was a 1.5 hour round trip drive, and it was worth it.  The chicken was super crunchy and extra thick.  And I mean, thicky thick; to the point where it was difficult for me to get the bread, slaw, pickles, and chicken in one bite.  We kind of fucked up on this and went with mild spice.  I suspect it would have been much tastier with more spice, because it was definitely missing something.  Everything else was excellent; crispy and perfectly cooked chicken (a lot of it), delicious and refreshing slaw, and soft buttery toasted buns.  Their fries were probably my favorite part and definitely elevated my experience with this meal.

Last but not least on today’s battle of the chicken sandwiches….

Shake Shack

We taste tested their newest addition, the Korean style chicken sandwich, and gave it a 4/10.

We were disappointed, to say the least.  It had a lot of potential, but the sauce was underwhelming and made the chicken soggy.  The chicken itself wasn’t all that great to begin with, and their slaw was mediocre.  Maybe it was just a combination of everything; it just did not work.

Game Changer– their regular chicken sandwich was really good! We initially gave this a 6.5/10, but after some reflecting, I’m now leaning towards a 7.5/10.

It was the right texture, the right amount of crunchy pickles and crisp meat, with savoriness that was severely lacking in their Korean style version. It was absolutely great, but would definitely be better with some spice.  If it was the tiniest bit spicy and had slaw instead of lettuce, I might even venture to say that it could be better than Popeye’s.

That’s all for now, folks. Still on my list are: Eureka Eatery, KFC, Chick Fil A, and Wendy’s. If you have some recommendations for me, please shoot me a DM on instagram/facebook!

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