WHERE TO EAT CHICKEN NOW

6 Houston fried chicken sandwiches better than Popeyes or Chick-fil-A

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

Chick-fil-A versus Popeyes has become a national obsession. The king of chicken sandwiches faces a vigorous challenge from fast food's premier purveyor of bone-in fried chicken.

Popeyes has been so overwhelmed by the demand that locations have been selling out. For an informal taste test at the CultureMap office, entertainment writer Craig Lindsey had to visit three stores to find it!

Briefly, the Popeyes sandwich has a larger piece of chicken with a thicker, more crispy crust. At first bite, it's clearly the more flavorful sandwich; however, the comparison between the two is a little bit reminiscent of the Pepsi Challenge. Just as people prefer one sip of Pepsi in a blind taste test but prefer to drink a whole can (bottle, etc) of Coke, the Popeyes sandwich may be better on first bite, but the Chick-fil-A sandwich is easier to finish.

Like most fast food, they're both "fine" — more convenient than delicious. Of course, Houston restaurants turn out far better chicken sandwiches than either Popeyes or Chick-fil-A. Rather than sit in a drive-thru for an hour, consider these options instead.

Relish Restaurant & Bar

This River Oaks restaurant has a strong claim to the title of Houston's best chicken sandwich. Instead of a bland breast, Relish makes its signature sandwich with more flavorful chicken thigh meat. Topped with cheddar cheese, tarragon ranch dressing, and housemade pickles, it's worth every penny of the $15 (includes choice of side) that chef Dustin Teague charges.

FM Kitchen & Bar

Not only does this comfort food spot turn out a better version of a Shake Shack-style burger than the restaurant from New York, it also turns out a damn fine chicken sandwich. Available in both mild — topped with coleslaw and pickles — or spicy — topped with American cheese, pickled jalapeños, and spicy aioli — the crispy chicken and solid toppings deliver more flavor than anything found in a drive-thru.

Mico’s

Located in a food truck park on Chimney Rock, this trailer only serves one thing: Nashville-style hot chicken. The pieces are so huge they extend well beyond the bun, and the heat level (available as mild, medium, hot, and X-tra hot) will make even the most devoted chilihead sweat. The coleslaw on top provides a little crunch, but it does almost nothing to abate the spicy tingle.

Continue reading on CultureMap to see the rest of the tasty list.

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Let him cook! Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets are in the midst of a rebuild. Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr are studs. KPJ just signed a four-year extension with the team. Other guys like Jabari Smith Jr, Kenyon Martin Jr, Alperen Sengun, Josh Christopher, Tari Eason, and Jae'Sean Tate are really good pieces to surround Green and KPJ with. The only issue with this group: they're REALLY young! Tate is the elder statesman at 27 of the young nucleus. Most are barely old enough to buy a drink. Some still aren't old enough! They're a bunch of green bananas waiting to turn yellow to slightly brown and be ripe enough for consumption.

We need to give it time. Just like bananas, they take time to ripen. Coach Stephen Silas is known for developing young players. His most prized student is the star player for that team in South Oklahoma up 45. Number 77 for that team credited Silas with helping him realize his All-Pro potential while Silas was a part of the coaching staff there. To a man, all his former players credit him with being a positive influence on their careers. So why are fans in a rush to get rid of him?

When you look at the Rockets' record over the last few years, it's gross. Sure, they've been a lottery team the last couple of seasons, but that was by design. As part of the Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook trades, they gave away pick swap rights. Had they not been that bad, they wouldn't have been able to draft Green or Smith Jr. Those two guys are building blocks for the future, along with KPJ. Giving those picks away would've put this team further down the totem pole of developing themselves into a contender. Losing pays off when you can hit on high lottery picks.

If you give a chef dirt, bread, ham, molded cheese, and spoiled mayo, can you expect anything else but a nasty ham sandwich? How about if the chef was given a steak that is almost rotten, potatoes with root growth, and spoiled butter? Could you expect a better meal than the sandwich? Yes! However, that meal may still cause a stomachache. Now, give said chef a full complement of gourmet groceries and guess what you'll get?

This is why I say let Silas cook. He's the perfect coach for this group of kids. He can teach them all the fundamentals of the game at this level and help them grow into their full potential. If there's a change to be made on the sidelines, move Silas into a front office role, but DO NOT get rid of him! Guys like him are too valuable. Why do you think Mark Cuban hated losing him, but knew he couldn't retain him because he had a head coach already? Cuban knew what he had in Silas and what Silas did for Luka Doncic. He can do something similar for the Rockets if given the time to work his magic.

Should Tilman Fertita find the need to move on, I'd look for a more experienced coach who can guide them from bottom of the playoff ladder into top four in the West and real contenders. For now, Silas is the head chef. Continue giving him the groceries he needs, and he'll continue giving these kids the lessons they need to develop. Changing the coach now could stunt their growth. Let him cook!

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