Upon transitioning into a more traditional 9-5 office job after moving back to the Twin Cities, I’ve become obsessed with office shows.
Office Space and The Office have a whole new meaning. Pete doing all those TPS reports, Andy putting a sandwich into his disk drive to break it so he can finally get a new computer. . .some may find these shows stressful but I find them cathartic.
Corporate (2nd season airing on Comedy Central) is like a more modern version of The Office. Sometimes it’s a little too real.
I’ve been thinking about the last episode of Corporate The Concert all week. It so perfectly and so comically depicts that pivot many of us made moving between our 20’s and 30’s. That of chasing as many activities as possible after work to being completely fine with chilling at home after work.
When I was in my 20’s, I thought my neighbors would think I was cooler if I was gone a lot. After work I went to Capoeira, a yoga studio where the teacher made us practice Tadasana for an entire class period, and any type of educational or spiritual events my friends invited me to.
In my 30’s, I still love getting together with family and friends. I also enjoy weekends that are strings of naps punctuated by second breakfasts, food quests, and the latest weird thing streaming on Netflix.
Last weekend I embarked on a chicken finger quest.
“What if we combined the perfect chicken fingers with the perfect sides?” I wondered.
Popeye’s vs. KFC
I usually visit Popeye’s for chicken fingers. For one thing, Popeye’s is the closest. They’re also really good. Even the regular chicken (vs. the spicy) has a slight kick. Popeye’s is crispy and never greasy.
Popeye’s serves good rice and beans, however we prefer the coleslaw and mashed potatoes + gravy sides at KFC. I’m just not crazy about the chicken there.
The biscuits between the two are both fine. I like that Popeye’s offers more dipping sauces, like sweet heat and buffalo, but I don’t crave them. The chicken is what brings me back.
When I polled Twitter, Raising Cane’s won. The quest to try combining Raising Cane’s chicken and KFC sides became clear.
It turns out that there aren’t many KFC’s left in the Twin Cities. And none are very close to a Raising Cane’s. On a football Sunday, I picked two, fifteen minutes apart. Surely going between games will bypass lines? I was very wrong.
The KFC in Roseville, MN boasts an $8 buffet. At 1:30 p.m. it was very very busy. I spent about 15 minutes waiting in line for sides of mashed potatoes, coleslaw and four biscuits. My bill came to $12.
I waited in line for about 30 minutes at Raising Cane’s in Shoreview. I’m not sure I understand the drive-through. Maybe it was due to volume. First, I ordered at the menu board. Then I paid at the first window. Next, I picked up my lemonade at the second window. Finally, I crawled towards the front door where an employee delivered my order carside.
If you don’t want a combo meal, order chicken strips by the piece. 12 chicken strips and three side sauces cost about $18.
The freshly fried chicken was packed in an unvented styrofoam container inside a plastic bag. I quickly opened the package so the strips wouldn’t steam into mushy oblivion.
The KFC sides tasted like they always do. No complaints except that $12 seems a little bit steep.
The Raising Cane’s chicken strips are cooked well, but the batter tastes blander than Popeye’s. I actually found myself sprinkling them with seasoned salt. People rave about Cane’s dipping sauce for good reason. The creamy, savory sauce tastes really good with chicken strips.
Now I believe the fast food chicken tender trifecta could be this: Popeye’s chicken tenders + Raising Cane’s sauce, and KFC mashed potatoes & gravy and coleslaw with biscuits from either.
We woke up that evening with stomach aches so we won’t be attempting this new quest for a while.
Still, it was really fun and felt like productive use of a Sunday afternoon. Just don’t ask me to go after 8 p.m. cuz I’ll be wrapped in a blanket burrito watching Veep with my pet child and sleeping.