Jan 8, 2024 - Food and Drink

Monday Munchies: Shaquille O'Neal's Big Chicken

The Ultimate sandwich, fries and a drink. Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

If Big Chicken is an indicator of what direction the U.S. is headed in 2024, we may be doomed.

Driving the news: One of the hottest concepts in fast food opened in Fayetteville recently.

The setup: The menu is mostly sandwiches, tenders, nuggets, salads and sweets.

  • Because you have to go all in on a review, I ordered The Ultimate (aka The Big & Sloppy), a fried-chicken sandwich topped with crispy fried onions, garlic barbecue aioli and — gulp! — mac and cheese.
  • The meal comes with regular fries, which are an unusual, flat-cut steak style, and a drink ($14). Sweet-potato waffle fries are an option.

The verdict: The food is fast, fattening and delicious. Portions, like Shaq, are enormous.

  • Did I eat it all? Yes.
  • Was I ashamed? Most definitely.
  • Will I eat it again? Never say never.

The bottom line: Big Chicken is the epitome of modern fast food in America — over the top, tasty and a tad quirky.

Threat level: The Ultimate weighs in at 920 calories, a fact that takes several steps to uncover despite a federal requirement that counts be posted on the menu.

  • Still, the sandwich performs better than the Cobb salad that tops 1,160 calories.
  • The regular fries aren't even listed.

💭 My thought bubble: The restaurant's mascot is a barrel-chested, chiseled rooster. Anyone who frequents this place isn't likely to look like him.

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