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The 135th Street chicken challenge
Comparing three piece chicken tender meals from three chicken joint competitors, all on 135th street, Editor in Chief Ethan Knauth decides once and for all which restaurant should be crowned the winner of the chicken dinner.
June 29, 2019
9500 W 135th St
The closest of the chicken chains to BVNW, Zaxby’s didn’t present much in the way of expectations as its bland, gray-painted exposure wouldn’t leave one much to look forward to. In contrast to its outside decor, the inside of the restaurant is littered with diner-esque tables and bright, welcoming colors throughout. When ordering, a Big Zax Snak was purchased and was already prepared when the bill was paid, keep in mind it was three in the afternoon, not exactly the dinner rush. The breaded chicken thought to be crunchy, is not, but provided a savory taste for chicken joint goers to enjoy. Included in the Zax Snak are fries and Texas toast. The fries, limp in structure, were a sad compliment to the breaded chicken and deterred consumers from trying the bread which accompanied them. Out of the three restaurants tested, Zaxby’s offered the cheapest three-piece chicken finger meal. All in all, based on its inexpensive food choices offered and quick service, Zaxby’s is a viable chicken restaurant on 135th and its menu should be explored if one is a breaded chicken conusier.
9001 W 135th St
Catty-corner to Zaxby’s, Slim Chickens calls the opposite side of 135th home. When approaching the chicken joint, young children beware, as the restaurants logo left this 17 year old writer partially panicked. With the bird, presumably a chicken, donning a hat pulled over its eyes coupled with the dark logo, one could imagine a similarly dressed teenager sporting the gettup at a halloween party. Logo aside, the inside of the restaurant carries the logo’s colors well and the restaurant’s dining area is the most appealing of the three eateries. Toward the back of the restaurant, Slim’s has an outdoor patio with a view of 135th and includes two TVs. When standing at the counter to order, it took almost five minutes before being served, despite the fact that there was no one else in the restaurant. although Slim Chickens redeemed itself, as with its Chick’s meal, your choice of sauce from their wide array of sauces is included, which is a nice surprise. However, Chick’s meal is the most expensive three piece chicken tender meal offered at any of the restaurants. Despite the usual assumption that chicken fingers are crunchy and have flavor, Slim’s Chick’s meal is neither. No wonder why they open up their sauce selection to those unfortunate enough to dine on their breaded chicken, as the chicken is greasy and required the flavor boost from the sauce provided. Undeterred by the underwhelming chicken, Slim Chickens’ fries, which came with the meal, induced an enjoyable flavor and reigned supreme as the best fries the chicken restaurants reviewed had to offer. In spite of its flavorful fries and the well laid out interior, Slim Chickens could not be saved as its overpriced chicken is beyond disappointing.
7501 W 135th St
A block away from the two competing restaurants, Raising Canes has its own rival right across the street in Chick Fil A. Making one’s way to Canes can be tough as the turn into the lot is difficult to see upon approach. Besides that though, Raising Canes did not disappoint. The first indication of its superiority to the prior two restaurants was it was the only chicken joint with customers present at three in the afternoon. Coupled with that, Raising Canes was wise to include jerseys from local high schools, paying homage to its surrounding area. When walking in, one approaches the counter first and after ordering, is allowed to seat oneself around the corner where the dining tables are splayed about. This unique, well thought out restaurant layout allows those who are introverts to seek asylum in the guarded off seating area, not having to worry about the staff’s eyes warching over them. In line with its nickname, “Birds Eye View,” this Raising Canes included a pleasant view over Overland Park to be viewed while eating. In addition to being spot on with its nickname, Canes’ chicken was spot on as it was flavorful and crunchy, meeting the requirements of a standard chicken tender. As all sides should be, the fries and bread, meant to back up the chicken, did their jobs. In the end, Raising Canes raised the game to a whole other level offering fairly priced, tasty chicken with a solid atmosphere to back it up.