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BamaVol Nov 27, 19 11:54 am

Best Fast Food Chicken
 
We lost a lot of restaurants in the vicinity of the plant following the hurricane. What we're left with include a few chicken fast chains. I just got back from Zaxby's and it's hit or miss. The special last month was a sandwich or salad that came with an egg roll and featured an Asian slaw. I liked that a lot but this month's special is a sandwich with bbq sauce and cheese. So I got the tenders. I like their seasoned fries and the tenders were huge and filling. I don't need the Texas toast but I think their cole slaw is a cut above.

We also have nearby:

KFC - bleh, mostly because they never appear clean.
Churches - yech. Because they're absolutely filthy.
Crispy Crunchy - chicken from a gas station? I don't think so.
Guthries - opening soon.
Chik Fil-A - I like the nuggets and waffle fries. The sandwiches are bland. I don't care about their politics.
Popeyes - I wasn't impressed. And it's the furthest.

Is there something better out there?

csufabel Nov 27, 19 7:37 pm


Originally Posted by BamaVol (Post 31783035)
We lost a lot of restaurants in the vicinity of the plant following the hurricane. What we're left with include a few chicken fast chains. I just got back from Zaxby's and it's hit or miss. The special last month was a sandwich or salad that came with an egg roll and featured an Asian slaw. I liked that a lot but this month's special is a sandwich with bbq sauce and cheese. So I got the tenders. I like their seasoned fries and the tenders were huge and filling. I don't need the Texas toast but I think their cole slaw is a cut above.

We also have nearby:

KFC - bleh, mostly because they never appear clean.
Churches - yech. Because they're absolutely filthy.
Crispy Crunchy - chicken from a gas station? I don't think so.
Guthries - opening soon.
Chik Fil-A - I like the nuggets and waffle fries. The sandwiches are bland. I don't care about their politics.
Popeyes - I wasn't impressed. And it's the furthest.

Is there something better out there?

Don't knock gas station chicken. Those which have Crispy Crunchy where I've lived is not bad. And in the mid-Atlantic, Royal Farms is darn good.

Personally, if a Popeye's or Bojangles nearly, I hit them up. The Asian chains moving into the US are great too. South Korea's Bonchon is delicious. Filipino Jollibee has a more diverse menu with yard bird within it. Think of it as more Roy Rogers.

If you are still Panama City, as your location lists, try Golden Chick. their breading is lighter than Popeye's/KFC Extra Crispy and more like Church's, but when I lived in TX, I found it like Zaxby's and Raising Cain's... very underseasoned. But their sweet tea is one of the best out there.

If all else fails, go to Publix.

bitterproffit Nov 27, 19 7:51 pm

I had Publix chicken fingers today. My favorite.

I also have a weakness for Publix fried chicken. Better than KFC or Bojangles.

I happen to be in Panama City Beach right now and can confirm that the Publix here does them as well as the Publix by my house in Nashville.

TGarza Nov 28, 19 6:12 am


Originally Posted by csufabel (Post 31784165)
If you are still Panama City, as your location lists, try Golden Chick. their breading is lighter than Popeye's/KFC Extra Crispy and more like Church's, but when I lived in TX, I found it like Zaxby's and Raising Cain's... very underseasoned. But their sweet tea is one of the best out there.

Golden Chick or Chicken Express for fast food chicken in Texas. Babe's for dine in.

BamaVol Nov 28, 19 6:34 am


Originally Posted by csufabel (Post 31784165)
Don't knock gas station chicken. Those which have Crispy Crunchy where I've lived is not bad. And in the mid-Atlantic, Royal Farms is darn good.

Personally, if a Popeye's or Bojangles nearly, I hit them up. The Asian chains moving into the US are great too. South Korea's Bonchon is delicious. Filipino Jollibee has a more diverse menu with yard bird within it. Think of it as more Roy Rogers.

If you are still Panama City, as your location lists, try Golden Chick. their breading is lighter than Popeye's/KFC Extra Crispy and more like Church's, but when I lived in TX, I found it like Zaxby's and Raising Cain's... very underseasoned. But their sweet tea is one of the best out there.

If all else fails, go to Publix.

Still in PC for another week and a half. Then I switch to MCO.

Iíll try Publix, although itís only convenient on the way home. Iíve been curious about Golden Chick. The problem again is location. It is surrounded by no-tell motels and gentlemenís clubs. Not a bad neighborhood until after dark though. I pass it on the way home and will stop in and pick something up for dinner.

Eastbay1K Nov 28, 19 9:41 am

The simple and most basic fact about my experiences with your 1, 2 and 6 options are that when you get a properly and freshly cooked batch that hasn't been sitting around (and good luck ever timing this), the chicken is pretty good. That said, I've only had really good Churches a couple of times (out of maybe 10 lifetime visits), and slightly better percentage results for the others.

The closest Churches is now an empty building on a lot, up for proposed destruction and sale. This is clearly my fault, as I spent at least $20, but likely less than $30, in all the years it was available for my fried chicken (dis)pleasure. The closest Popeye's seems to be a busy place, and that block hasn't had a shooting or stabbing in at least a year that I know of.

The formerly closest KFC closed (and 2 within several miles have closed). One used to be very close to my old office. Again, my fault.

People seem to be liking the Crispy Crunchy, and I see it available from someplace in the area on Uber Eats. I should try it. Again, I expect that if it comes from a fresh batch, it will be pretty good. If it is heat lamp jerky, not so much.

csufabel Nov 28, 19 2:08 pm


Originally Posted by TGarza (Post 31785056)
Golden Chick or Chicken Express for fast food chicken in Texas. Babe's for dine in.

Thank you, G!
Chicken Express was the chain I was primarily thinking of because of their sweet tea.


Originally Posted by Eastbay1K (Post 31785467)
The simple and most basic fact about my experiences with your 1, 2 and 6 options are that when you get a properly and freshly cooked batch that hasn't been sitting around (and good luck ever timing this), the chicken is pretty good. That said, I've only had really good Churches a couple of times (out of maybe 10 lifetime visits), and slightly better percentage results for the others.

The closest Churches is now an empty building on a lot, up for proposed destruction and sale. This is clearly my fault, as I spent at least $20, but likely less than $30, in all the years it was available for my fried chicken (dis)pleasure. The closest Popeye's seems to be a busy place, and that block hasn't had a shooting or stabbing in at least a year that I know of.

People seem to be liking the Crispy Crunchy, and I see it available from someplace in the area on Uber Eats. I should try it. Again, I expect that if it comes from a fresh batch, it will be pretty good. If it is heat lamp jerky, not so much.

I just remember the Church's off 880 about 3 miles south of the Coliseum, around Fruitdale and the water tower.

I know of a Crispy Crunchy in Pittsburg, near the BART station, but north of it and Hwy 4. I think it was in a Chevron

pseudoswede Nov 29, 19 9:54 am


Originally Posted by Eastbay1K (Post 31785467)
The simple and most basic fact about my experiences with your 1, 2 and 6 options are that when you get a properly and freshly cooked batch that hasn't been sitting around (and good luck ever timing this), the chicken is pretty good.

If you want crispy fried chicken, I can't think of any other way to enjoy it except minutes out of the fryer. If it sits out too long, it becomes "jerky"; if it goes into a container, it becomes soggy.

milepig Nov 29, 19 3:49 pm

When I'm traveling and am limited to "exit ramp fast food" my choice is the Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Get's the job done.

teddybear99 Dec 3, 19 1:23 am

Everyone is mentioning Fried Chicken. My 3 Favorites are actually Grilled/Roasted Chicken:

1. Pollo Tropical - Cuban style Grilled Chicken started in Miami and has grown throughout the State of Florida
2. Boston Market - The Chicken must be coming out of the Rotisserie, or it gets too dry
3.La Granja - Another Chicken Place with Latin Style Rotisserie, Also has other Latin Style food like Pork Steak and Grilled Fish.

BTW, I am a White Meat eater, so the later the chicken is served after cooking, the drier the meat is, so fresh is the best for me.

Bluehen1 Dec 3, 19 6:57 am

I'll vouch for Golden Chick. When I traveled to rural TX, I wound up eating there once a trip because there weren't tremendous other options. I always had a good experience. They've also got fried catfish on the menu and the portion of fried okra you can get is huge.

bensyd Dec 3, 19 11:00 pm


Originally Posted by teddybear99 (Post 31798875)

1. Pollo Tropical - Cuban style Grilled Chicken started in Miami and has grown throughout the State of Florida

I went to the one near the Pullman at MIA a few years ago. I thought the food was good, but the restaurant itself was filthy. You didn't want to touch anything. I don't know if it was just that location but I wasn't in a hurry to go back.

TWA884 Dec 4, 19 5:30 pm

Zankou Chicken, a small Los Angeles area chain - actually, two of them due to a family feud - best known for its rotisserie chicken.

tmiw Dec 4, 19 6:23 pm


Originally Posted by Eastbay1K (Post 31785467)
The simple and most basic fact about my experiences with your 1, 2 and 6 options are that when you get a properly and freshly cooked batch that hasn't been sitting around (and good luck ever timing this), the chicken is pretty good. That said, I've only had really good Churches a couple of times (out of maybe 10 lifetime visits), and slightly better percentage results for the others.

Speaking of this, I finally got around to going to Popeye's today for lunch to try their new chicken sandwich. Despite the location I went to being extremely busy (~10min wait just to order inside), the first one or two bites of the sandwich were still pretty dry. I thought they would have had enough turnover but I guess not.

(BTW, the sandwich is apparently popular enough that they had signs stating that it was only sold between 11am and 7pm. Personally, I'm not sure it would have been worth much more than 10mins or so of waiting I went through.)

Jaimito Cartero Dec 31, 19 4:29 pm

I had my first Popeyeís spicy chicken sandwich today, and thought it was quite good. A bit cheaper than the CFA version. The spicyness was very good, and Iíd probably rate it slightly better the CFA version. They wouldnít add cheese to the sandwich, so I put a slice of pepperjack on once I got it home.

phillygold Jan 5, 20 12:07 pm


Originally Posted by TGarza (Post 31785056)
Golden Chick or Chicken Express for fast food chicken in Texas. Babe's for dine in.

Babeís is awesome! A co-worker took me to the Roanoke, Texas location a couple of years ago. The chicken was crunchy, moist and properly seasoned. Washed down with sweet tea, I canít praise it enough.

TGarza Jan 5, 20 3:19 pm


Originally Posted by phillygold (Post 31911961)
Babeís is awesome! A co-worker took me to the Roanoke, Texas location a couple of years ago. The chicken was crunchy, moist and properly seasoned. Washed down with sweet tea, I canít praise it enough.


There are multiple Babe's locations in the area Garland, Carrollton, Burleson, Arlington, Frisco, North Richland Hills and a few other cities. The Babe's location near SMU in Snider Plaza is called Bubba's (same chicken and sides with yeast rolls biscuits). I buy takeout from Bubba's.

Pickles Jan 5, 20 7:17 pm

I know this is completely pointless and way OT, but the rotisserie chicken from La Rotisserie in Hong Kong is amazing. Multiple locations, but my favorite is the Sheung Wan store.

mjm Jan 5, 20 9:25 pm


Originally Posted by Pickles (Post 31913220)
I know this is completely pointless and way OT, but the rotisserie chicken from La Rotisserie in Hong Kong is amazing. Multiple locations, but my favorite is the Sheung Wan store.

I knew that was going to come up. :) Very accurate assessment.

work2fly Jan 7, 20 8:47 am

Count me as a Jollibee fan.

Their spicy fried chicken is my favorite - crispy skin with moist and somewhat garlicky flavored meat. They're also consistent - you may wait for an order, but it's always hot and fresh.

Duke787 Jan 7, 20 10:56 am

Spicy Chicken Sandwich from Chick Fil A is the winner for me.

Shake Shack also makes a solid fried chicken sandwich -- had a killer one at the Shake Shack located in ICN

crabbing Jan 8, 20 10:15 am

bonchon (korean fried chicken) is the best if you are lucky enough to live near one. the spicy is truly spicy and very addictive.

before i discovered bonchon, my favorite was pollo campero. again, if you're lucky enough to be near one.

diburning Jan 11, 20 5:15 am

Here's my list of from best to worst:

Popeyes - Sorry, BamaVol.
Cheers Cut - A Taiwanese fried foods place. The chicken is pounded flat and breaded before frying. The breading is amazingly crispy and the chicken is amazingly moist. In the US, they're in Boston, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Chick-Fil-A - I wish I had one near me
Raising Canes - The chicken is just alright. The dipping sauce is the best part. The Texas toast is the second best part. I guess the chicken comes in third. The chicken is pretty much indistinguishable from frozen Costco chicken fingers.
Bojangles - Their breakfast options are quite good. Otherwise, their chicken is very unremarkable.
KFC - 11 herbs and spices? 9 of them must be salt
BonChon - I've been there three times, and have been disappointed all three times. It is very possible that my local BonChon isn't up to snuff, as their reviews on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor are abysmal.

mosburger Jan 11, 20 12:39 pm


Originally Posted by crabbing (Post 31924314)
bonchon (korean fried chicken) is the best if you are lucky enough to live near one. the spicy is truly spicy and very addictive.

before i discovered bonchon, my favorite was pollo campero. again, if you're lucky enough to be near one.

True, Korean fried chicken done properly is amazingly good especially as a late night snack.

JBord Jan 13, 20 9:14 am


Originally Posted by crabbing (Post 31924314)
bonchon (korean fried chicken) is the best if you are lucky enough to live near one. the spicy is truly spicy and very addictive.

I've only had it delivered, and wasn't overly impressed. Good, but not great. And I love Korean or Japanese fried chicken. As with most fried chicken, perhaps it's better fresh and doesn't survive delivery well.

BuildingMyBento Jan 14, 20 7:44 am


Originally Posted by mosburger (Post 31937733)
True, Korean fried chicken done properly is amazingly good especially as a late night snack.

Like anything Korean, the Japanese do it (in this case, chicken) much better.

mosburger Jan 20, 20 2:12 pm


Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento (Post 31948699)
Like anything Korean, the Japanese do it (in this case, chicken) much better.

Are you sure, my fellow Gourmand FT'er? Some difference between Yakitori, which I really like and the Korean deep fried variety, for example.

Thai cooks are also rather good at deep frying chicken, far ahead of European and US "amateurs". Crispy, perfect batter and spicy sauces to match.

Visconti Jan 20, 20 4:09 pm

I used to love KFC extra crispy, but don't think it's served anymore. Any time I'm in Manhattan, I try to drop by the Chik Fil (can't spell it).

BuildingMyBento Jan 22, 20 1:26 pm


Originally Posted by mosburger (Post 31974168)
Are you sure, my fellow Gourmand FT'er? Some difference between Yakitori, which I really like and the Korean deep fried variety, for example.

Thai cooks are also rather good at deep frying chicken, far ahead of European and US "amateurs". Crispy, perfect batter and spicy sauces to match.

Never mind Korea, to return to the topic, the best fried chicken I've ever had was in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. It had a hint of smoky mustard and some local chili, which made it excellent.

@mosburger, where in Japan are your favorites?

mathprof Jan 25, 20 10:53 pm

Best friend Chicken in Hawaii (to me and many others) is unfortunately only fo it yourself only now. Chicken Alice's Korean fried wings were awesome!

zack14 Jan 30, 20 3:39 am

Chick Fil-A the goat

klakhav Feb 6, 20 12:20 pm

If ever in South Africa, try Nando's Chicken.
Portuguese BBQ Peri Peri Chicken is to die for.

diburning Feb 7, 20 1:04 am

Thankfully, we also have Nando's in the US and in the UK. I've never been to one though, so I can't add it to my list. They also sell their Peri Peri sauces in grocery stores in the US.

mosburger Mar 12, 20 2:39 pm


Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento (Post 31982503)
Never mind Korea, to return to the topic, the best fried chicken I've ever had was in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. It had a hint of smoky mustard and some local chili, which made it excellent.

@mosburger, where in Japan are your favorites?

Was supposed to visit Japan in April with a delegation and planned to update some chicken experiences then but the trip got postponed to September due to well known health related issues. Will return to this latest in September, alas.

The Indonesia tip is interesting. What sort of dish are they offering?

BuildingMyBento Mar 12, 20 5:09 pm


Originally Posted by mosburger (Post 32175733)

The Indonesia tip is interesting. What sort of dish are they offering?

Sadly, I don't recall the name of the dish (it may have been a restaurant specialty).
For sure, it wasn't the most famous Acehnese chicken dish, ayam tangkap; though that was also nice, that one is accompanied by wilted pandan leaves, lemongrass, and curry leaves.

It may have been ayam penyet, but that's from around Surabaya.


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