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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Rockets get another much-needed win. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets went on a redemption tour by beating the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks. But the most pivotal win was against the Mavericks as the Rockets finally showed their true potential. John Wall finally made his return from his injury hiatus and played with a lot of energy. DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon combined for 61 points. It was great to see Stephan Silas crack a smile as he was able to beat his former team.

The Rockets clearly missed Wall during his eight-game absense. This season, the Rockets are a .500 team with Wall on the court. Wall is the Rockets' floor general that leads, constructs, and also pushes his teammates to become better.

Wall only played 21 minutes in the 133-108 win over the Mavericks but still had eight assists. Even though Wall only had 7 points, his presence was still felt by finding his teammates for open looks beyond the perimeter. Wall made sure Cousins and Gordon got a plethora of touches. He called multiple actions, so they got open looks from three, which was mainly Gordon. Gordon and Cousins' struggles have been similar but with Wall on the court, they were successful against the Mavericks. According to NBA Stats, Wall posted a 111 offensive rating with the starters versus the Mavericks, which included Gordon and Cousins.

"He's the engine to this team. He gets everybody going. He makes the game easy," Cousins told a reporter after the game. "The pressure that he constantly puts on the defense is a tough thing to deal with."

Gordon has struggled all season long with three-point shooting and relied on his slashing abilities. Saturday night, Gordon made six three pointers against the Mavericks, which was 66 percent from beyond the perimeter. Gordon increased his three-point percentage from 31 percent to 34.5 percent after Saturday night's game. Gordon's 33 points came from being able to attack the entire Mavericks' defense. Willy Cauley-Stein didn't stand a chance against Gordon as he was burned multiple times. Gordon's been a lifesaver for the Rockets in the last two games, and hopefully he maintains his play.

Cousins played fantastic against the Mavericks scoring 28 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. This is Cousins' first double-double with the Rockets this season. Cousins became the vintage player from the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. It was extremely fun watching Cousins push the ball up the court and aggressively snatch rebounds. Boogie shot 50 percent from behind the arc by making four three-pointers. He was dominant inside the paint as Cousins went 7/8 from the restricted area versus the Mavericks. This was the game Cousins needed after having a poor performance against the Pistons Friday night.

"It was really, really good. He did it all. He's a physical presence on both ends of the floor," as Silas said on Cousins' performance.

David Nwaba and Mason Jones were big factors off the Rockets' bench by having a combined total of 34 points together. Nwaba has been great in transition for the Rockets the entire season. Keep in mind that Nwaba is returning from an Achilles injury he suffered with his former team, the Brooklyn Nets. Nwaba has became a great defender, slasher, and is averaging a career-high nine points per game with the Rockets. He finished with 18 points on Saturday night versus the Mavericks.

Mason Jones has become a fan favorite of the Rockets because of his confidence. Silas is loving the usage of Jones off the bench but wants to find more minutes for him. Jones had a breakout performance versus the San Antonio Spurs with 24 points off 66 percent shooting from the field. He continues to get better with his reads from the point guard position. Jones' knowledge of running the offense has helped his efficiency on the court. He is never afraid to take clutch shots in pivotal moments of the game.

"To have a young kid who can come in and not be afraid of the moment, that's big. That's a tough position to be in as an undrafted rookie. I trust him. It's a good problem to have," Silas mentioned after the game. "He's showing me he's ready. He's a confident kid, and he should be. That's why he's good. He's not afraid of the moment, at all. He can get us organized, run plays, and score the basketball."

Hopefully, the Rockets can sustain their level of play when Victor Oladipo returns against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday. It will be interesting to watch Oladipo and Wall play in the same backcourt.

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