Monday, March 9, 2015

Church's Chicken Food Review

3-Pc. Mixed Chicken with Honey-Butter Biscuit

Church's Chicken has been around for a long time (1952, across the street from The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas) but has been missing from Washington, DC for over a decade. That changed a month ago, with Church's new location inside the L'Enfant Plaza food court. February was crazy busy for me; so I had to wait until last week to get my first taste. Unfortunately, my first meal will likely be my last.

In terms of appearance, Church's looks the part (it's actually self-contained, and pretty clean.) Service is fast and relatively friendly. I had a coupon (printed directly from their website) which turned out to be a big savings ($3 off a 3-Pc. Mixed Chicken with a small side of Mashed Potatoes and a Honey-Butter Biscuit.) The rest of the menu is a little pricier... Church's #6 combo (Boneless Wings, French Fries and a soda) set me back $6.79 with 2 extra biscuits another $1.59, and $1.49 for an Apple Pie. That's $15.24 total, but you get a lot of food for all that money.

But was it worth it? The 3-Pc. Mixed Chicken certainly was. The chicken pieces were HUGE, and full of meat. Based on their fried chicken and biscuits alone, I would definitely come back. Unfortunately, everything else is subpar. That includes the mashed potatoes with gravy, which were nice & hot but void of flavor. Speaking of, Church's biscuits are dynamite (both in taste and appearance.)

Mashed Potatoes

On the other hand, Church's fries are horrendous. First off, there's very few of them (which turns out to be a blessing in disguise.) They were cold, crinkled and bland. Yuck. Even worse, Church's boneless "wings," which are nothing more than subpar chicken tenders with buffalo sauce splashed on top afterwards. Not much sauce either, which isn't a good thing when you consider how terrible the tenders are. Cold (again) and zero zip. They should be utterly ashamed to serve them at all.

Boneless "Wings" with Buffalo Sauce

Speaking of shame, the pushy homeless man who came inside had none. Yes, Church's seems to have no problem with letting homeless men walk around the dining room begging for food. This guy was particularly rude, and didn't take no for an answer. Even I got a second request, and I rarely get bothered by panhandlers at all. He carried on for several minutes, eventually shaming one customer (in line) to buy him lunch. Where's the manager?

French Fries

One thing's for sure: The same manager was nowhere to be found, when it came to dessert. That's because no one in their right mind would sell an apple pie this gross (yet alone for a buck and a half.) At least it was hot, but the apple filling was poor, eclipsed only by the inedible icing on top. If you're keeping score at home, I didn't finish four out of six menu items (managing to consume only two fries, one bite of pie and half of a boneless "wing.") Oddly enough, I walked away hungry from what started out as a mountain of food. That's a problem.

Apple Pie

I suppose the bulk of folks who eat at this food court daily, are happy to have another choice; but even they should catch on sooner than later. If you must go, stick to fried chicken and biscuits... and avoid everything else. Me? I'll be avoiding them altogether.