By Heywood Jablomi
Everyone loves chicken tenders, they’re a college dining staple. Relatively cheap, full of protein, friend, and best of all, made of mankind’s greatest foe, the chicken. But where can you get the best chicken tenders? That’s what I’m here to tell you. Here’s my ranking of every venue where you can get chicken tenders on campus, except for Cook-Douglass because I remain unconvinced that C/D actually exists.
- RU Hungry: I might be cheating a little bit, because this isn’t so much the quality of the tenders so much as the context of the tenders. Part of it is the sandwich they come in: you can get chicken tenders just about anywhere, but here’s the only place where you can get them in a hoagie alongside french fries, mozzarella sticks, and marinara sauce. Also, when do you get RU Hungry? Only when you’re stoned or fucking starving. Everything tastes better when you’re stoned or fucking starving. It’s not just about the meat, my friends. RU Hungry has decent tenders, but they know how to sell them so they’re fantastic
- King Pita Palace: You’re probably thinking, Heywood you idiot, this place has Middle Eastern food! Why are you getting chicken from here? Well, one day Wendy’s had a half hour line that spiraled all the way from the front of their kiosk all the way through the tables and out to the bathrooms. There wasn’t even a sale or anything, it was just 12:55 and all the 11:30 classes had just let out. So I went to King Pita because I saw they had chicken tenders and my god, they were even better than Wendy’s. So crisp, so golden, so warm, and almost no waiting.
- Wendy’s: Almost as good as King Pita, and you can get a frosty with it, but they just don’t compare. They’ve got some good seasoning, and that goes double for their fries, but it’s rarely worth the wait. If you want something to eat now and something before class, then maybe get a sandwich and take the tendies for the road, but other than that, just go right next door.
- Woody’s: I’ll be honest, I’ve only managed to get this deep into Busch twice without succumbing to the geese and having to run away or get rescued, but back when I was on a meal plan, the chicken almost made it worth the trip. If you’re nearby, I’d definitely recommend it, and if you’re not, take something along to take care of the geese. Those tenders will make a sweet victory meal if you make survive, though.
- Henry’s: $8.50 for six tenders?? They take meal swipes, sure, but if you’re not on a meal plan this is probably your budget for the next day and a half. If you’re willing to spend that much, just get a fat sandwich instead, at least that will feed you for a weekend. I don’t even care how good they are at this point, it doesn’t matter if they taste the same way riding an empty LX feels, I’ll never in my life be able to afford them.
- The Rock Cafe: I have a tray of them right next to me and they gave me clinical depression. If you’re in the area just get some breakfast food or a grilled cheese or a burger, those are all just fine, but this chicken is just limp, lukewarm sadness in old batter with a bad aftertaste and worse mouthfeel. I regret my entire night after eating these, and now wish to go to sleep and hope tomorrow may be a better day.