Big Chicken in Glendale, CA (FOOD REVIEW)

From the Big Chicken website: “Bok Bok! Big Chicken is serving up some of the best chicken sandwiches with the BIGGEST flavor of all time.
With taste at the forefront, Big Chicken delivers a menu that fuses home-cooked childhood favorites with bold new flavors. Come try our signature dish Lucille’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese, just the way mom made it – but with a crispy Cheez-It® crust! Now with two locations. Big Chicken Las Vegas is located just off of the Las Vegas Strip and Big Chicken Glendale is across from The Americana at Brand. Big Chicken aims to create a fun family haven that both comforts and delights.”

Fried chicken sandwiches have become very popular over the last year.

 

Everyone remembers the chaotic demand for the Popeye’s chicken sandwich, and places like Chick-fil-A have their own devoted consumers. Then we have the independent places like Howlin’ Ray’s, Dave’s Hot Chicken and Phat Birds, three businesses that can feature high demand.

Enter Big Chicken, a fried chicken sandwich shop established by NBA Hall of Famer, actor, commercial spokesperson, entrepreneur, etc., Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal.

I went on a FRIGID Tuesday Night to the Glendale location, and the place was pretty full. There’s plenty of room to sit, as well as a “bar” area in case you’re by yourself like me. Sitting at that bar pits you either in front of the pickup area or the open kitchen, which was quite loud and chaotic since it was the second day after opening.

But even with all the people there and the hysteria of “opening week madness”, I didn’t have to wait long for my food. I ordered the “M.D.E.”, which is their basic / default sandwich (btw, M.D.E. stands for “Most Dominant Ever”, a nod to Shaq’s playing days in the NBA).

The fried chicken filet within the sandwich was a decent size and had some flavor. Rounding out the sandwich were Brioche buns, pickles and the tasty “Shaq Sauce”. The size of the sandwich runs about the same as the Popeye’s chicken sandwich, but is almost $4 more expensive and doesn’t have as strong a flavor. But that’s just my opinion. Some will prefer this over any other fried chicken sandwich, and that’s fine.

There are three drink dispensing stations: one featuring two types of lemonade, the new Pepsi Spire digital fountain (which is Pepsi’s version of the Coke’s Freestyle digital fountain) and a Stubborn Soda fountain, which is what I chose.

My least favorite item I had that night was/were(?) the fries. They were thin cut steak size, which was fine. They were greasy and quite soggy, which was not fine. Occasionally, grease would drip from the fries, and because they were so soggy, I’d have to hold them over my mouth and drop them in, like a fish catching a worm. Also, they had very little flavor. There was no seasoning on them, which was disappointing. There was a nearby condiment station, where you could pickup external packets of basic salt and pepper, plus a few sauces to dip your food in. I nabbed some extra Shaq Sauce and Honey Mustard to give the fries a spark.

I want to end talking about the service. Even though the crowd was big and the tension was bigger, the service was quick and friendly. As I mentioned earlier, I was seated in front of the pickup area, which was being run by the Head Chef. At one point, he looked over at me and sincerely apologized for me having to witness such craziness.

Big Chicken, M.D.E., Shaq, Glendale CA

Overall: A good sandwich, but pricey for its size. The fries could be better but that won’t deter me from trying it again. There are plenty of other sandwich and side-order options. Shout-out to the quick service and friendly staff.

Jose Zuazua is editor-in-chief of Quick Lunch Break Reviews. He has an associates degree in film production and has been published both online and in print for Los Angeles City College’s award-winning Collegian newspaper. He is also a news writer at DC Comics News. Jose is on Twitter and Instagram, and is also currently writing his first short novel.

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