Last Call: Which restaurants don’t have a chicken sandwich, but should?

The spicy KFC Chicken Sandwich had great breast meat, but got worse as it cooled off.
The spicy KFC Chicken Sandwich had great breast meat, but got worse as it cooled off.
Photo: Marnie Shure

The new Chili’s Chicken Sandwich dropped today and will be available for a limited time only. Like all other chains that took a bit longer to release chicken sandwiches in the wake of Popeyes’ success, Chili’s is playing the “worth the wait” card. Per the press release:

“We didn’t want to create just another chicken sandwich. We’re all about food perfection and wanted to create the best chicken sandwich. And that takes time,” said Michael Breed, vice president of marketing at Chili’s. “We’ve been testing a chicken sandwich and our new Secret Sauce for over a year to ensure we give our Guests the perfect bite — a bite that’s full of flavor and makes you want another bite and another — and we’ve done just that with the Chili’s Chicken Sandwich.”

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You’ll recall that when Burger King said something similar to explain away its own sandwich’s tardiness, the chain really did end up producing a menu item worth waiting for. Will Chili’s live up to its own big talk? We’ll let you know as soon as we know.

In the meantime, though, which other institutions would you like to see release a spicy crispy chicken sandwich? We impatiently await the Taco Bell Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco, of course, but there are all sorts of restaurants that could probably pull off a hand-breaded chicken breast on a brioche bun with pickles and spicy sauce. Personally, I encourage Starbucks to give it a try. Why the hell not? The coffee chain released an Impossible Breakfast Sandwich last summer and that thing is at least as delicious as some of the lower-rung chicken sandwiches we’ve tasted, if not more so. When I put my faith in Starbucks, good things happen.

Or how about Subway? I say this not because I want to taste Subway’s take on a spicy crispy chicken sandwich—nothing could be further from the truth. But I do think it’s exactly the sort of marketing gimmick that might help lift Subway out of the financial turmoil that’s causing it to screw over franchisees. Plus, a chicken sandwich might be less hazardous for employees to assemble than a cheese melt.

There are no wrong answers here, folks. Which restaurants are you pretty sure would make a promising Popeyes-style sandwich if they chose to start tinkering away at one?

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

DISCUSSION

Dr Emilio Lizardo

Hot take: None.

There are enough chicken sandwiches already and restaurants do not need to copy each other or be all things to all people.