Chicken Fingers and French Fries
I really like the chicken 'fangers' at Top Notch. They are always very crisp/crunchy and they have a good pepper flavor. I'm not crazy about their fries but the chicken fingers dipped in gravy rock my world. They are served with Texas Toast and that's usually a bonus for some folks.
can't believe I actually registered to post this, but Dan's Hamburgers has one of the best deals for a chicken basket. I think it's $4.75 for 4 huge pieces of chicken (almost like 4 chicken breasts) and a lot of decent fries. It also includes some white gravy. I wish they offered some honey mustard because the sheer amount of chicken makes you wish for a new flavor before you're halfway done.
As I'm not a lover of seafood, I always order the spicy chicken strips at Evangeline Cafe. The chicken itself is very fresh, and the batter has just the right texture with the slightest kick to it. Although their french fries are mighty tasty, I usually opt for the housemade potato chips with extra Evangeline sauce for dipping both the chips and the strips. YUM!
Have you ever had snack bar chicken fingers at a pro wrestling match inside a National Guard Armory?
How about chicken fingers at a concession stand inside a Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks?
Then you've had chicken fingers from Quack's Maplewood Bakery[which rumor has it is shuttering in the next few days].
For obviously being individually quick fried and frozen in some far off factory[possibly Arkansas or western Kansas]these are,um,edible.
Not much more needs be said about them.I do like the fact they're listed on the menu under side items.They come with some very respectable faux hand cut french fries.A few years ago companies that specialize in frozen product[food]got wise to the fact that irregular equals homemade to a lot of people.That's why now you get hamburger patties that look like a little arthritic granny lady pattied them out,french fries that look like someone with a knife works in the kitchen and onion rings that are gnarled and misshapen...with flavor that matches.
These fries are good.They're steak cut,irregularly sized and battered with a cornstarch type dredge.Served blazing hot,salted and peppered they eat pretty nice.
Quacks is the kind of shabby,beat up looking joint that used to abound in Austin.Bad artwork lines the walls,the furniture is in a state of disrepair,the music is good[guided by voices and beat happening] and the staff friendly.It was never a spot where I spent any time but I'll be sad to see it go.Especially if some horrible Progress-looking place replaces it
Truly terrible Chicken Fingers and Fries are now available at Westgate Lanes Bowling Alley for the interested.
A few years back the Snack Bar inside the bowling alley had some very good food.In particular the Mexi Melt;a big hand shaped burger patty topped with grilled Jalapenos and onions,she sat on Texas Toast and came with hand cut French Fries.The attention to the small details really paid off in this small feast.
Those days are long gone and the team behind Chief's Barbecue is now responsible for the food service.
I'm greeted enthusiastically by the two lads behind the counter.The boys appear to be 11-12 years old[which means they're 18].I'm hunting around town for Chicken Fingers currently and I figure a bowling alley is a good place to start.I place my order and a few minutes later my meal appears.
The portion is outlandish.A mountain of fries are topped with 4 big rustic looking chicken planks.Texas Toast is promised on the menu but makes no appearance.I bite into a fry and immediately fear the worse.I have no problem with commercial frozen french fries,there are a number of places around town that serve very credible pre-fab brands...the quality varies from edible to tasty with all bases in between being touched upon.
These are bad,bad bad.The cheapest, worst brand that's hit my gullet in many a moon.I soldier on and bite into a Chicken Finger.Ugh.It's gross.No flavor.None.No salt,no pepper,no MSG....nothing.It's like eating air with a fried cracker crust.I'm starving so I decide to just tack in and get the job done.
It's simply not happening.I can't do it.When food is this bad you just take the loss,admit defeat and live to fight another day.As I make my way out of the facility the cook is out front perfecting his gangster lean for a couple girls who appear to have escaped from some sort of wayward youth home.We bump knuckles and I congratulate him on his food[everything was served fresh and hot...it's not his fault it's disgusting].
I trek across the hot blacktop and stare off into the distance towards downtown a plaintive cry for deliciousness trapped in my throat...
Next time your in San Antonio try the chicken fingers special for lunch at Good Time Charlie's on Broadway. It comes w/ mashed (which are great), but you can order fries. When they ask if you want gravy on the fingers or on the side, tell them both and you will not be disappointed.
It's not in Austin, but for you, scrumptiouschef, it will be an easy drive from here. I recently had the french fries and chicken fingers at that old tourist trap The Grist Mill in Gruene [which still has very good food—post to follow in the next few days on the Texas board].
Their fries were delicious. They're hand-cut and look more like very thick potato chips, but if you like real potato flavor, you should be happy. Plus, the thinner rounds are very crisp. Their chicken fingers were very moist, very tasty, and generously sized. I ate them with the well-seasoned (though slightly sweet) gravy from a companion's CFS, but I'm sure any dipping sauce they serve with them would be good. I believe they make their sauces and dressings in house. Finish off your meal with an order of strawberry shortcake, and you'll feel just like a kid again. But one whose palate demands better than the fried junk served at most chains. ;-)
Not *fingers* of chicken , but....
Next time you feel like a pleasant drive to Georgetown (ex: by taking the toll road from near the airport - you own the road!) please do try "the Monument." (the Monument Cafe)
I wrote about their Chicken Fried Chicken here:
Their broccoli has not always been as good as I described in that topic. However, their Chicken Fried Chicken has always been delicious. The Monument has that small-town feel, where you'll hear the servers debating who borrowed whose blouse. However, the owner or buyer is clearly someone who cares about ingredients. And even if you don't like fruit salad, make that one of your 3 sides.
1953 S Austin Ave
Georgetown, TX 78626
Chuy's has delish chicken nuggets on the kid's menu. Which aren't quite the same as fingers, I know. But their chicken nuggets are pieces of real fried chicken breast and are served over fries. The chicken grease makes the fries mushy and it's gross but in that good way. The last time I had was them a few months ago, so I've confirmed this with a coworker whose teenagers still regularly go there for the chicken nuggets, not the Tex-Mex food. (I don't blame them)
I *hate* everything else on their menu, but... Waterloo has good Chicken Tenders and Fries, although usually instead of the Tenders, I get the Fried Chicken Sandwich and fries. That sandwich is enormous, and the chicken is crispy like I like it, and their fries are really pretty good. (As one of the other CH posters in Austin says... "they were actually potatoes earlier in the day") I rarely go there, but that's the only thing I'll ever order there again.
I had a Red Robin gift certificate from a coworker, so I went there last week and got their chicken fingers (tossed in Buffalo wing type sauce) and steak fries.
The sauce had decent vinegarry/spicy flavor. They have steak fries (which I love), but they were undercooked (which drives me crazy). They were as good as I have found, I am sad to say.
PS. While I love chicken fingers, I usually only order them when I am at a burger place that I don't want to buy a burger from at the time, so many places that are probably excellent (like the southern/soul food type places on the east side) I would not order them because of the other items on the menu.