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April 2021

Chicken Sandwich War Challenge: Sonic's Chicken Slinger - Bachelor on the Cheap

Sonic Chicken Slinger
Sonic's Chicken Slinger

By Mike Thayer

There's been a chicken sandwich war going on in fast food, it started in 2019 and it's still going on today.  

Shots fired!  Chick-fil-A made headlines in 2019 becoming the third largest fast food chain, led with their classic chicken sandwich.  Popeyes reacted by putting a new chicken sandwich on the menu and consumers went crazy over it, so crazy in fact, Popeyes ran out of ammo. Already armed with a spicy chicken sandwich, Wendy's entered the battlefield that year by bringing back their spicy chicken nuggets, fans of the item went in a Twitter frenzy.  

Popeye's Chicken Sandwich has been so popular, it is now considered THE gold standard for a chicken sandwich.  So how do all the other fast food joints stack up?  In the name of 'food science' (cough), I intend to find out. 

In this Chicken Sandwich War Challenge, sandwiches are evaluated and scored on the following criteria:  Visual appeal, the meat, bun, meat to bun ratio, crunch factor, the pickle/mayo and of course, overall taste.  There are 1-9 points available for each category for a total possible total score of 63. 

Sonic Chicken Slinger
The only reason I got pickle in every bite is because the sandwich was slider size

I recently sampled Sonic's Crispy Chicken Slinger.  This isn't a full size sandwich, it's more of a slider, but it's got all the ingredients necessary for the Chicken Sandwich War:  Fried chicken, a bun, pickles and mayo.   Here's the description from the Sonic website:  Juicy all white-meat chicken, pickles and mayo served on a brioche bun.

Sonic's sandwich is a pea shooter in the Chicken Sandwich War.

The sandwich had a decent visual appeal and I was looking forward to that first bite but in taking it, I was like, "Looks better than it tastes."  The chicken was kind of boring, the breading was under-seasoned, although the meat itself was juicy.  The biggest downer was the lack of crunch.  The Brioche bun was nice, providing that desired 'pillowy' element to the sandwich and the meat to bun ratio was slider ration good.  But in continuing the lack of flavor, the mayo and pickles were unspectacular.   In the overall taste factor, this was a very average chicken sandwich.

Sonic Chicken Slinger sandwich
Looked better than it tasted

I paid just $6.69 for my Sonic Chicken Slinger combo meal with the sandwich scoring 46 out of 63 possible points.  While the combo meal was reasonably priced, this sandwich is very average and NOT a repeat buy.  I gave it 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.

3 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends..... 

Related:  KFC's Chicken Sandwich

Related:  McDonald's 'New' Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Related:  Slim Chickens Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Related:  Wendy's Classic Chicken Sandwich

Related:  Popeye's Classic Chicken Sandwich

Related:  DQ Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Related:  Burger King's Hand Breaded Crispy Chicken Sandwich


Chicken Sandwich War Challenge: Burger King's Hand Breaded Crispy Chicken Sandwich - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Burger King Handbreaded Crispy Chicken Sandwich
The wrapper says "Ultra Crispy" but is it?

There's been a chicken sandwich war going on in fast food, it started in 2019 and it's still going on today.  

Shots fired!  Chick-fil-A made headlines in 2019 becoming the third largest fast food chain, led with their classic chicken sandwich.  Popeyes reacted by putting a new chicken sandwich on the menu and consumers went crazy over it, so crazy in fact, Popeyes ran out of ammo. Already armed with a spicy chicken sandwich, Wendy's entered the battlefield that year by bringing back their spicy chicken nuggets, fans of the item went in a Twitter frenzy.  

Popeye's Chicken Sandwich has been so popular, it is now considered THE gold standard for a chicken sandwich.  So how do all the other fast food joints stack up?  In the name of 'food science' (cough), I intend to find out. 

Burger King Chicken Sandwich
Nice Bun!

In this Chicken Sandwich War Challenge, sandwiches are evaluated and scored on the following criteria:  Visual appeal, the meat, bun, meat to bun ratio, crunch factor, the pickle/mayo and of course, overall taste.  There are 1-9 points available for each category for a total possible total score of 63. 

I recently sampled Burger King's Hand Breaded Crispy Chicken Sandwich.  This sandwich arrives late to the chicken sandwich war that started in 2019 and Burger King's 'effort' here is a flat out copycat attempt taken from Popeyes.   So how good is this copycat attempt, was this sandwich worth the wait?

20210421_185051Here's the Burger King description of the sandwich:  Our sandwich has a thick cut white meat chicken breast that is freshly breaded by hand for a bite that is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Served on a toasty potato bun with crisp deli pickles and a savory signature sauce.

No, this sandwich was NOT worth the wait. 

The chicken was over-fried and I'm thinking the fryer temp was not where it needed to be (not hot enough) because the breast was NOT crispy, it was chewy.  The meat itself was dry and stringy.  The chicken portion was also a bit small compared to the competition - especially Popeyes - with the chicken breast failing to really reach beyond the borders of the bun, a sub-par meat to bun ratio.  The bun itself was quite nice and the deli pickles and savory mayo were spot on, in fact, the bun, pickles and mayo were the best parts of this sandwich and that's a sad statement.  A chicken sandwich that fails to highlight the main ingredient....

Burger King Chicken Sandwich
Over-fried chicken and didn't get pickle in every bite

I paid just $6.98 for my Burger King Hand Breaded Crispy Chicken Sandwich Combo Meal and it scored just 44 out 63 possible points.  That is the second lowest score registered so far in this challenge and the second worst sandwich.  While the combo meal was reasonably priced, this sandwich is NOT a repeat buy and gets 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.

3 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends..... 

Related:  KFC's Chicken Sandwich

Related:  McDonald's 'New' Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Related:  Slim Chickens Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Related:  Wendy's Classic Chicken Sandwich

Related:  Popeye's Classic Chicken Sandwich

Related:  DQ Crispy Chicken Sandwich


Chicken Sandwich War Challenge: Food Review of the DQ Crispy Chicken Sandwich - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

DQ Crispy Chicken Sandwich
The DQ Crispy Chicken Sandwich

There's been a chicken sandwich war going on in fast food, it started in 2019 and it's still going on today.  

Shots fired!  Chick-fil-A made headlines in 2019 becoming the third largest fast food chain, led with their classic chicken sandwich.  Popeyes reacted by putting a new chicken sandwich on the menu and consumers went crazy over it, so crazy in fact, Popeyes ran out of ammo. Already armed with a spicy chicken sandwich, Wendy's entered the battlefield that year by bringing back their spicy chicken nuggets, fans of the item went in a Twitter frenzy.  

Popeye's Chicken Sandwich has been so popular, it is now considered THE gold standard for a chicken sandwich.  So how do all the other fast food joints stack up?  In the name of 'food science' (cough), I intend to find out. 

In this Chicken Sandwich War Challenge, sandwiches are evaluated and scored on the following criteria:  Visual appeal, the meat, bun, meat to bun ratio, crunch factor, the pickle/mayo and of course, overall taste.  There are 1-9 points available for each category for a total possible total score of 63. 

DQ Chicken Sandwich cut-away
A thin chicken breast

I recently sampled the DQ Crispy Chicken Sandwich.  They make a decent burger, so how good is their chicken sandwich and how does it stack up against the competition?

Here's the description from the DQ website:  A crispy chicken fillet topped with crisp chopped lettuce, thick-cut tomato and mayo served on a warm toasted bun. 

What?  No pickle?  Every good chicken sandwich comes with pickles!  And check out the thin chicken breast fillet, the SMALLEST portion of chicken of any sandwich sampled so far in this challenge.  The chicken also lacked flavor, it was under-seasoned and it shouldn't be called a 'Crispy' Chicken Sandwich because the crunch factor was missing.  The lettuce, tomato and bun were all fine, but all rather ordinary and there was a bit of mayo overkill.  This wasn't a balanced sandwich either, there wasn't tomato in every bite, there wasn't lettuce in every bite.  Overall, an under-seasoned chicken breast and no pickles makes for a rather boring sandwich.

DQ Chicken Sandwich
A bit of mayo overkill

I paid just $3.89 for my DQ Crispy Chicken Sandwich and it scored just 39 out 63 possible points.  That is the lowest score registered so far in this challenge and the worst sandwich.  It is NOT a repeat buy and gets 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.

3 stars

The DQ restaurant visited on this occasion is located at:  3248 N Rock Rd, Wichita, KS 67226.

The drive through service was SSSSLLLLLOOOWWWWW!  With only two cars ahead of me in the line it still took 12+ minutes from time to order to receiving my meal.  The service wasn't very attentive either, the person taking my order was also having a conversation with a co-worker and he obviously can't multi-task (never mind the rudeness of it), as I had to unnecessarily repeat my order and the conversation continued through to paying for my meal (slow to take my money, slow to provide change).  Then I was asked to pull forward to wait for my meal.  How long does it take to fry up a chicken breast?  Not going to that DQ again.

$pend Wisely My Friends..... 

Related:  KFC's Chicken Sandwich

Related:  McDonald's 'New' Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Related:  Slim Chickens Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Related:  Wendy's Classic Chicken Sandwich

Related:  Popeye's Classic Chicken Sandwich


Chicken Sandwich War Challenge: Popeye's Classic Chicken Sandwich - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Popeye's Classic Chicken Sandwich
Just LOOK at that chicken breast!

There's been a chicken sandwich war going on in fast food, it started in 2019 and it's still going on today.  

Shots fired!  Chick-fil-A made headlines in 2019 becoming the third largest fast food chain, led with their classic chicken sandwich.  Popeyes reacted by putting a new chicken sandwich on the menu and consumers went crazy over it, so crazy in fact, Popeyes ran out of ammo. Already armed with a spicy chicken sandwich, Wendy's entered the battlefield that year by bringing back their spicy chicken nuggets, fans of the item went in a Twitter frenzy.  

Popeye's Chicken Sandwich has been so popular, it is now considered THE gold standard for a chicken sandwich.  So how do all the other fast food joints stack up?  In the name of 'food science' (cough), I intend to find out. 

Popeye's Chicken Sandwich
Under the lid

In this Chicken Sandwich War Challenge, sandwiches are evaluated and scored on the following criteria:  Visual appeal, the meat, bun, meat to bun ratio, crunch factor, the pickle/mayo and of course, overall taste.  There are 1-9 points available for each category for a total possible total score of 63. 

I recently sampled Popeye's Classic Chicken Sandwich, yes, that one, THE Gold Standard, the sandwich that is used to measure others..... 

This sandwich flat out ROCKS!  It had a great visual appeal, just look at the size of that chicken breast!  The meat was crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside and seasoned perfectly.  Wrapped up in that puffy Brioche bun and complimented by tart pickle and creamy mayo, this sandwich combination is genius in it's simplicity and packing all that flavor in just a few ingredients.

Popeye's Chicken Sandwich
It needs another pickle

I paid just $3.99 for my Popeye's Classic Chicken Sandwich and it scored 62 out 63 possible points.  The only knock I've got against the sandwich is that it could have used one more pickle, I didn't get that nice tartness in every bite.  Popeye's sandwich deserves Gold Standard status and it's most definitely a repeat buy getting 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.   It should be your go-to chicken sandwich.

5 stars

The Popeye's restaurant visited on this occasion is located at: 3131 N Rock Rd, Wichita, KS 67226

Lousy drive through service.  It wasn't all that busy on a Thursday evening around 6:45pm, there were just a couple cars ahead of me, but from the time I pulled into the drive through lane, then getting to the menu board and finally picking up my meal was over 13 minutes.  The lady taking my order didn't try to up-sell me (I ordered just the sandwich) and when I pulled up to the window I watched as the gentleman who I assume prepared my sandwich, throw, yes, throw my bagged sandwich from about 10 feet to the lady at the window and she nearly dropped it, it wasn't a good toss.  Highly unsatisfactory service.

$pend Wisely My Friends..... 

Related:  KFC's Chicken Sandwich

Related:  McDonald's 'New' Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Related:  Slim Chickens Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Related:  Wendy's Classic Chicken Sandwich


Chicken Sandwich War Challenge: Wendy's Classic Chicken Sandwich - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Wendy's Classic Chicken Sandwich
Wendy's Classic Chicken Sandwich

There's been a chicken sandwich war going on in fast food, it started in 2019 and it's still going on today.  

Shots fired!  Chick-fil-A made headlines in 2019 becoming the third largest fast food chain, led with their classic chicken sandwich.  Popeyes reacted by putting a new chicken sandwich on the menu and consumers went crazy over it, so crazy in fact, Popeyes ran out of ammo. Already armed with a spicy chicken sandwich, Wendy's entered the battlefield that year by bringing back their spicy chicken nuggets, fans of the item went in a Twitter frenzy.  

Popeye's Chicken Sandwich has been so popular, it is now considered THE gold standard for a chicken sandwich.  So how do all the other fast food joints stack up?  In the name of 'food science' (cough), I intend to find out. 

In this Chicken Sandwich War Challenge, sandwiches are evaluated and scored on the following criteria:  Visual appeal, the meat, bun, meat to bun ratio, crunch factor, the pickle/mayo and of course, overall taste.  There are 1-9 points available for each category for a total possible total score of 63. 

Wendy's Classic Chicken Sandwich
The lettuce and tomato takes away from the twang of the pickle

I recently sampled Wendy's Classic Chicken Sandwich, which features a crispy all-white meat chicken breast with mayonnaise, pickles, lettuce and tomato on a warm, toasted bun.

This is a good sandwich, but not great.  It had a decent visual appeal aside from the oversized leaf of lettuce, the chicken breast was a good size but thick on one end, kind of thin on the other.  With that in mind the meat to bun ratio was OK but the crunch just wasn't there despite the nice visual.  And the sandwich was over dressed.  There was too much mayo, with the lettuce and tomato not really adding much to the sandwich, in fact, they took away from the tartness of a good pickle, which in writing, Wendy's needs a better pickle.  Overall, not a bad chicken sandwich, but there's better out there (KFC) and this Chicken Sandwich War Challenge is just getting started!

Wendy's Classic Chicken Sandwich View
An over-dressed sandwich

I paid $8 and change for a combo meal (just the sandwich is $4.99 making it a bit pricier than other competitors), and the sandwich scored 51 points out of a possible 63.  I'm giving the Wendy's Classic Chicken Sandwich a weak 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's an iffy repeat buy, definitely not a first choice when in the mood for a chicken sandwich. 

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends..... 

Related:  KFC's Chicken Sandwich

Related:  McDonald's 'New' Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Related:  Slim Chickens Crispy Chicken Sandwich

The Wendy's restaurant visited on this occasion is located at: 160 S Rock Rd, Wichita, KS 67207

The drive through service was adequate but nothing special, taking me about 3 minutes from time of order to receive my meal.  Fast service, but obligatory.


Wichita Park & Recreation - Summer Camps


Chicken Sandwich War Challenge: Slim Chickens Crispy Chicken Sandwich - Bachelor on the Cheap

Slim Chickens Crispy Chicken Sandwich
The restaurant logo is pretty cool

By Mike Thayer

There's been a chicken sandwich war going on in fast food, it started in 2019 and it's still going on today.  

Shots fired!  Chick-fil-A made headlines in 2019 becoming the third largest fast food chain, led with their classic chicken sandwich.  Popeyes reacted by putting a new chicken sandwich on the menu and consumers went crazy over it, so crazy in fact, Popeyes ran out of ammo. Already armed with a spicy chicken sandwich, Wendy's entered the battlefield that year by bringing back their spicy chicken nuggets, fans of the item went in a Twitter frenzy.  

Popeye's Chicken Sandwich has been so popular, it is now considered THE gold standard for a chicken sandwich.  So how do all the other fast food joints stack up?  In the name of 'food science' (cough), I intend to find out. 

Chicken Sandwich
Just look at that brioche bun and the crispy chicken peaking out...

In this Chicken Sandwich War Challenge, sandwiches are evaluated and scored on the following criteria:  Visual appeal, the meat, bun, meat to bun ratio, crunch factor, the pickle/mayo and of course, overall taste.  There are 1-9 points available for each category for a total possible total score of 63. 

I recently sampled the Crispy Chicken Sandwich offering from Slim Chickens. A relative newcomer to the fast food culture, Slim Chickens opened it's first store in 2003 and now has 100 restaurants in 18 states.  Here's the description of the Crispy Chicken Sandwich from the restaurant website:  Fried chicken breast with fresh pickles & ranch mayo on a toasted brioche bun.

Slim Chickens Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Breading falling apart

So enough about Slim Chickens history and such, "How is their sandwich?" you ask... 

SALTY!!!  Three exclamation points SALTY....  Slim Chickens might as well call this a salt lick sandwich!

I've never eaten at a Slim Chickens before and the visual appeal of the sandwich had me licking my chops, but my first bite into this sandwich was a big salt lick disappointment.  The breading on the chicken fell apart and lacked crunch.  And while the ranch mayo, pickle and toasted bun were all on point, that overdose of salt just overpowered anything that was good about this sandwich.

I paid about $8 for a combo meal, a typical fast food combo meal price, but the sandwich scored just 45 points out of a possible 63.  I'm giving the Slim Chickens Crispy Chicken Sandwich 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It is NOT a repeat buy.

3 stars


The Slim Chickens restaurant visited on this occasion is located at 2313 N Greenwich Rd, Wichita, KS 67226.  The drive through service was fast, about 3 minutes from time of order to receiving my meal, but otherwise unremarkable, no service with a smile.

$pend Wisely My Friends..... 

Related:  KFC's Chicken Sandwich

Related:  McDonald's 'New' Crispy Chicken Sandwich

 


Chicken Sandwich War Challenge: McDonald's "New" Crispy Chicken Sandwich - Bachelor on the Cheap

McDonald's Crispy Chicken Sandwich
It even says "Crispy" on the packaging, but is it?

By Mike Thayer

There's been a chicken sandwich war going on in fast food, it started in 2019 and it's still going on today.  

Shots fired!  Chick-fil-A made headlines in 2019 becoming the third largest fast food chain, led with their classic chicken sandwich.  Popeyes reacted by putting a new chicken sandwich on the menu and consumers went crazy over it, so crazy in fact, Popeyes ran out of ammo. Already armed with a spicy chicken sandwich, Wendy's entered the battlefield that year by bringing back their spicy chicken nuggets, fans of the item went in a Twitter frenzy.  

Where has McDonald's been in all this?  While the McChicken remains on the menu, McDonald's has made two failed attempts to 'introduce' a chicken sandwich that can compete with Chick-fil-A and Popeye's.  Unveiling a brand-new crispy chicken sandwich this year, it's available in three offerings: original with crinkle-cut pickles, spicy with pickles and a “spicy pepper sauce”, and a deluxe version with pickles, lettuce, tomato and mayo.

20210325_144057I recently sampled the McDonald's 'original' with crinkle-cut pickles, trying every restaurant's classic sandwich first during the course of this challenge, to see who makes the best one.

In this Chicken Sandwich War Challenge, sandwiches are evaluated and scored on the following criteria:  Visual appeal, the meat, bun, meat to bun ratio, crunch factor, the pickle/mayo and of course, overall taste.  There are 1-9 points available for each category for a total possible total score of 63. 

20210325_144111The 'New' McDonald's Crispy Chicken Sandwich has a typical fast food preparation appeal - slapped together - with more thought going into the packaging than the sandwich.  There wasn't much of a crunch in the chicken and the pickles were 'eh'.  The bun, a potato roll, was dry, there's no mayo on this sandwich and the buttering of the bun didn't register.  McDonald's has missed the mark with this latest attempt to compete with Chick-fil-A and Popeye's and only scored 45 points of a possible 63.  Priced a bit over $4, I'm giving McDonald's Crispy Chicken Sandwich 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's not a repeat buy. 

3 stars
$pend Wisely My Friends..... 

The McDonald's 'Crispy' Chicken Sandwich
This sandwich is not so crispy...

The McDonald's visited on this occasion is located at 5606 E Central Ave, Wichita, KS 67208.  The drive through service was obligatory, nothing special and took about 4 minutes from time of order to receiving my meal.

Related:  KFC's Chicken Sandwich


Chicken Sandwich War Challenge: KFC's Chicken Sandwich - Bachelor on the Cheap

20210327_140830(1)By Mike Thayer

There's been a chicken sandwich war going on in fast food, it started in 2019 and it's still going on today.  

Shots fired!  Chick-fil-A made headlines in 2019 becoming the third largest fast food chain, led with their classic chicken sandwich.  Popeyes reacted by putting a new chicken sandwich on the menu and consumers went crazy over it, so crazy in fact, Popeyes ran out of ammo. Already armed with a spicy chicken sandwich, Wendy's entered the battlefield that year by bringing back their spicy chicken nuggets, fans of the item went in a Twitter frenzy.  

Where was KFC in all this?  They didn't really enter the war until this year, introducing consumers to their Crunchy Chicken Sandwich in January, 2021.  Competitors served up over 4 billion chicken sandwiches in 2019 and sales jumped up another 4% in 2020 before KFC fired their first shot, but boy was it a good shot!  

Simply called the "KFC Chicken Sandwich" it features and extra crispy chicken filet on a buttered brioche bun and topped with pickles and the option of classic or spicy mayonnaise.  I opted for the classic and I look forward to trying the spicy version, but I'm sampling everybody's classic sandwich first, to see who makes the best one.

KFC Chicken Sandwich
Not a brioche bun

About their classic, crispy chicken sandwich.....  It's about time KFC!

In this Chicken Sandwich War Challenge, sandwiches are evaluated and scored on the following criteria:  Visual appeal, the meat, bun, meat to bun ratio, crunch factor, the pickle/mayo and of course, overall taste.  There are 1-9 points available for each category for a total possible total score of 63. 

20210327_140920(1)The KFC Chicken Sandwich has a nice visual appeal with that 1/4 pound chicken breast fillet breaking the borders of the bun which was a standard bun by the way, NOT brioche.  The pickles are nice and thick, a perfectly tart element to compliment that extra crispy chicken.  And the sandwich isn't over dressed, the amount of mayo was just right.  KFC may have entered the sandwich war late, but they did their sandwich right.  The KFC Chicken Sandwich scored 55 out of a possible 63 points and I'm giving it 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  Priced at just $3.99, it's definitely a repeat buy even without a brioche bun.

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends..... 

The KFC visited on this occasion is located at:  1251 S Woodlawn St, Wichita, KS 67218.  From time of order to receiving my meal took about 3 minutes.  Standard drive through service, nothing special.