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    The Great Debate: Fast-food Chicken

    Today’s lunch debate spawned not one post, but a whole new category of posts! It was one of those ideas that started small and grew, and I must say, I’m pretty excited to get this little series going! As this is the first post in this category, I’ll preface it by saying that all of these posts are going to be openly biased. There’s no real way to be objective when you’re debating your personal favorites versus the lesser competitors in the world. Now that you’ve been warned, I bring you the first Great Debate: fast-food chicken. Now that I’m back in the South, I have a plethora of delicious chicken places that were sorely missed on the West Coast. What are they? I’m so glad you asked…

    Chick-Fil-A

    I would generally load up on Chick-Fil-A every time I visited, and now that I live here, it remains a staple for quick chicken. I always get the #5, 8-pack nuggets, Coke, and polynesian sauce. So tasty! They use high-quality ingredients that result in crispy, white-meat chicken nuggets and golden waffle fries. I also like their Chicken Ceasar wrap if I’m looking for a healthier option. What’s their marketing secret? The cows, of course! All of their marketing features less-than-educated cows urging customers to “Eat Mor Chikin”. It’s a cute campaign to preserve the welfare of the cows by suggesting that when hunger strikes, you should choose chicken. A shout out to The Richards Group on this creative campaign.

    Raising Cane’s Chicken

    If you don’t live in the Dallas metroplex, you’ve probably never heard of Raising Cane’s chicken. This franchise favorite takes on the history of it’s location, sporting photos, timelines, and decor that reflects the local flavor. I usually get the combo with 3 chicken fingers, fries, Texas toast, Coke, and the signature Cane’s sauce. What’s their marketing secret? One Love and Cane’s Sauce. “One Love” is their tagline, re-iterating the fact that their chicken fingers tastes so good because that’s all they do… chicken fingers. Literally, their menu consists of combos that offer 3 to 6 chicken fingers, fries, a drink, Texas toast, and Cane’s Sauce. If you need catering, you can order 25-100 chicken fingers. There’s no need to mess around with other products, so they’ve perfected their recipe and delivery of chicken fingers. The Cane’s Signature sauce is a tasty, slightly spicy sauce that comes with all their chicken finger offerings. It’s not quite like anything you’ve ever tasted, and you can’t get it anywhere else.

    Cowboy Chicken

    This is another Dallas favorite, which offers wood-fire rotisserie and grilled chicken. I always get the grilled chicken platter, with green beans and twice-baked mashed potatoes. The all-white chicken breast features a nice smoky flavor, fresh off the grill. And the twice-baked potatoes? AMAZING… and featured in several Dallas food magazines for their deliciousness! They put their rotisserie chicken in everything from salad to enchiladas, with equally flavorful side dish offerings. What’s their marketing secret? The wood-fire rotisserie display entices multiple senses. It’s a sight to behold, the smell fills the whole restaurant, and the radiating heat warms you on a cold winter day. When you walk in and see them pulling chickens out of the rotisserie to serve, you’re reassured that the chicken is fresh and flavorful. You can’t get that smoky flavor artificially, and seeing it first-hand makes your mouth water!

    Babe’s Chicken Dinner House

    This place has some of the best fried chicken in the South, and I would say that the rest of the country should take a page out of their recipe book! Babe’s serves fried chicken and chicken fried steak on family-style platters, with unlimited family-style bread, mashed potatoes, and corn. I noticed that they’ve recently added some additional dinner entrees, and increased the price from $10 to $11.99, and I’ve yet to try their new offerings. I will say that their old offerings are perfect for large group gatherings. Make sure you wear your loose-fitting pants… you’ll need them at this meal! What’s their marketing secret? A down-home, family-style restaurant. The entire atmosphere makes you feel like you’re gathering with good friends, eating some good food, and having a good time. This sense of family is furthered by the picnic-style tables, rustic decor, and BYOB policy.

    Now that you all think I’m a complete glutton with no sense of health, I challenge you to make a visit to each of these restaurants, and see if you don’t become a glutton yourself. So who wins The Great Debate: Fast-food Chicken? Since I can’t pick just one, I’ll just say the South wins this debate!

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    2 Responses to “The Great Debate: Fast-food Chicken”

    1. Keith W says:

      Ashley, there is new kid on the block in the FF Chicken category. Zaxby’s. The chain originates in the South (GA? NC?) but has recently started expanding in the DFW market. Nearest store is on Main in The Colony. It is uncanny how similar Zax and Raising Cane’s are–while Zaxby’s has more choices on the menu, their main fare is chicken fingers with a special Zax Sauce that tastes so much like Cane’s I can’t tell them apart. I’ve often joked to my wife that one day, she’s going to Zax, I’m going to Cane’s, and then we’ll meet at The Fields of Carrollton for a picnic to compare the two!

    2. Ashley Faus says:

      Thanks for the insight Keith! I’ve found that this post has warranted more fast-food recommendations for me to try :) I’ll have to check out Zaxby’s and see if it will make it in the Great Debate.

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