Previous month:
April 2021
Next month:
June 2021

May 2021

Chicken Sandwich War Challenge: Chick-fil-A's Chicken Sandwich

Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich
Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich

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. 

Chick-fil-A drive through
Check out the rain gear

Today I sampled Chick-fil-A's Original Chicken Sandwich.  Full disclosure, I've had this sandwich a few times, so I know what I'm getting, but it had to be sampled again for the purpose of this challenge and in the name of (cough), food science.

Chick-fil-A is THE #1 chicken joint in the country and the LONG drive through lines are a measure of proof.  It took me 20 minutes to get through the line today during the noon lunch hour.  It's actually TWO lines of traffic being served going WAY beyond the perimeter of the restaurant property and my neighborhood restaurant is ALWAYS busy like that! Chick-fil-A has this down to a science, having employees actually out in the lanes taking orders and delivering food.  If they did drive through the traditional way, the ordering process and wait would be FAR longer.  It was raining today, the help had rain bubble gear on and I'd say there were a good 12 - 15 people working those drive through lanes it was that busy during the lunch hour.

Chick-fil-A open shot
You have to order mayo if you want it

Enough about the drive through process, "What about the sandwich?" you ask.....  Two things that make this sandwich work are that the chicken is seasoned well and the meat to bun ratio is spot on.  Two things that need work:  You don't get pickle in every bite and you have to order mayo or sauce, this sandwich comes 'naked' otherwise. Overall, it's a good sandwich, but not a great sandwich.  It's prepared efficiently, chicken is juicy, tender, but there's no 'WOW' factor to it.  Let me put it this way, if the state fair had a chicken sandwich contest, Chick-fil-A would not earn a blue ribbon.

I paid $7.62 for my Chick-fil-A combo meal - gotta love those waffle fries! - a reasonable price that is Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly.  This chicken sandwich scored 53 out of 63 possible points, putting in the middle of the pack as far as fast food chicken sandwiches go.  It's a decent sandwich and reasonably priced, the service is top notch polite, but it's not the best chicken sandwich out there.  I have to say it's not even close.  The Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich gets 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars, it's worthy of a repeat buy, but it's a Plan B kind of thing. 

4 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

Related:  Sonic's Chicken Slinger

Related:  Church's Chicken Sandwich


Chicken Sandwich War Challenge: Church's Chicken Sandwich

Church's Chicken, chicken sandwich
Church's Chicken, chicken sandwich

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. 

Church's Chicken
Look at that 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. 

Today I sampled Church's Chicken, chicken Sandwich.

Church's Chicken Sandwich
Pickle in every bite

Church's puts a big dent in Popeye's armor!  Church's has put together a very fine sandwich, it's got excellent visual appeal, the chicken was juicy, tender and had a nice crunch.  The meat to bun ratio was good, there was pickle in every bite and that bun!....  The brioche bun brushed with Church's honey butter makes this sandwich bun the best of the challenge so far.  It's going to come down to the spreadsheet scorecard vs. Popeye's.....

Church's Chicken Sandwich
Church's comes in a close second to Popeye's

I paid just $3.99 for my Church's Chicken, chicken sandwich and it scored 60 out of 63 possible points, a near perfect score and second best in the challenge.  Yep, Popeye's is tops.  Church's is right there with Popeye's but for the slightly smaller chicken breast and a mayo that's not quite as good.  But you can't go wrong with this sandwich, it rocks and is very reasonably priced - Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly  - and it's another dose of YUM!  The Church's Chicken, chicken sandwich gets 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.   Repeat buy!

5 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

Related:  Sonic's Chicken Slinger


Shopping for a Fishing Kayak: Lifetime Envoy 106

Kayak purchase
Lifetime Envoy 106

By Mike Thayer

A couple weeks ago I wrote about shopping for a fishing kayak, needing a kayak to enjoy on the water of beautiful Lake Viking while on vacation. 

With an original budget of $700 to $900 I did some homework online and narrowed down some kayak choices, my short list is below.  After researching fishing kayaks and based on the type of fishing I'll be doing - on a lake, dealing with a few waves from motor boats and water skiers - I went for a wide bodied, sit-on kayak.  The sit-on style will give me better stability on the water, in dealing with the occasional boat waves and also provides the ability to stand up in the kayak to cast.  Other pluses to a sit-on vs. a sit-in kayak are they are easier to get in and out of, I'll be sitting higher giving me a better view of the water, and sit-on kayaks are easier to customize and accessorize.

Kayak fishing rod holder installation
Installing flush mount rod holders

The ability to customize was the key. 

After watching some YouTube videos on how to customize ordinary kayaks for fishing, I tossed my list of fishing kayaks and bought a regular kayak.  Why pay extra for fishing kayak bells and whistles when you can accessorize a regular kayak for far less? 

I went with a Lifetime Envoy 106, Sit-On-Top Tandem Kayak.  It cost me just $299.98 at Sam's Club.  With paddles included, that price just couldn't be beat!   Here's another bonus to my kayak purchase, with most fishing kayaks, paddles are sold separately and that's an added expense of at least $50 so there's some additional savings and in my case, money to accessorize my kayak with!  I got a basic kayak and added rod holders, extra carrying handles, paddle clips and some nylon eye straps so I can tie some things down with as needed.  Along with a milk crate and some Carabiner clips to hold fishing tackle in place, my basic kayak quickly became well equipped!

Kayak carrying handles 2
Adding extra carrying handles

Here's what I got for $300, paddles included and customized for another $35 for a total of $335.

Lifetime Envoy 106

Length: 10’ 6" | Width: 36” | Weight: 77 lbs. | Retail: $299.98 (Sam's Club price)

Kayak paddle clips 1
Added paddle holding clips

My Lifetime kayak is a bit heavy at 77 pounds, but I'm able to get it in and out of my truck and into the water no problem, made easier by adding extra carrying handles.  It's a very stable kayak on the water, even when hit with rude boater waves from folks who have no appreciation for fishermen.  Everything I need from another rod, to a different lure to a bottle of cold water is within arm's reach.  The tandem seat set up is easily adjusted to a solo set up, takes about 5 seconds.

Here was my short list for fishing kayaks, until watching those how to customize your kayak videos on YouTube.   Look at how much money I saved!  I got a wider kayak, a more stable kayak that tracks well in the water.  And did I mention it came with two paddles?

Pelican-catchPelican Catch 100

Length: 10’ | Width: 34” | Weight: 54 lbs. | Retail: $649

The Pelican Catch 100 features a tunnel hull for amazing stability, making it easy to stand while casting. Well-planned-out accessories help keep everything conveniently stowed, and yet it’s light enough for most people to carry and launch on their own.
 

Pelican premiumPelican Premium the Catch 120 Kayak

Length: 11' 8" | Width: 34" | Weight: 69 lbs. | Retail: $749

Make sure to take out the Pelican Premium the Catch 120 Kayak the next time you fish. The RAM-X™ PREMIUM material tunnel hull resists wear and tear out on the water, and a tank well with a bungee cord and a quick-lock hatch provide additional room for your gear. The Ergocast G2 dual-position seating system can be adjusted to sitting or standing, and an antislip carpet and stand-assist strap help you safely stand when it is wet.

AscendAscend® 12T Sit-On-Top Kayak
 
Length: 12' | Width: 32" | Weight: 77 lbs. | Retail: $779
 
To craft the updated Ascend® 12T Sit-On-Top Kayak, our designers took our most-popular sit-on-top kayak and refined it to be even more stable, more functional, and more comfortable. The advanced tunnel design with a wide transom and flared bow sections bring a fishing kayak so stable, you can stand up and cast from it. The same design also produces outstanding tracking and couldn't-be-easier paddling. While you're standing, you'll stay comfortable thanks to the non-skid foam deck mat.
 
LifetimeLifetime Sport Fisher Angler 10ft Kayak
 
Length: 10' | Width: 36" | Weight:  60 lbs. | Retail: $688
 
The 10 ft. Lifetime Sport Fisher™ is one of the most versatile fishing kayaks on the market. The comfortable tiered seating allows for the kayak to be paddled solo or tandem and can even transport a 3rd smaller passenger in the center seat. The tunnel hull design boasts 500 lb. of weight capacity and is incredibly stable making it nearly impossible to tip over.  The Lifetime Sport Fisher™ includes two kayak paddles, two padded backrests which can be moved to any of the three seating positions, three flush-mounted fishing rod holders, and a 6 in. hatch for added storage access beneath the deck.
 
OutlawPerception Outlaw 11.5 Angler Kayak
 
Length; 11' 6" | Width:  35" | Weight: 77 lbs. | Retail: $749.99
 
With a wide-open deck and an expansive standing platform, you’ll be sure to love the Perception® Outlaw 11.5 Angler Kayak as you’re out angling this season. This sit-on-top fishing kayak is best used for lakes, slow-moving rivers, streams and calm coastal waters. Its folding and removable framed seat provides all-around convenience and the perfect stow position for your gear when the seat is removed. With three solo moint recesses, two double-barrel rod holders and more, the Outlaw ‘yak is perfect for making your next big catch!
 
Kayak on the waterI'm really pleased with my purchase, I saved A LOT of money and making the modifications to the kayak was not only easy, but fun!  The most fun though, BEING ON THE WATER!
 
$pend Wisely My Friends.....