Though there are still plenty of places to eat that I haven’t reviewed, it is getting a little harder to have a desirable place pop into my head when I’m on the hunt for my next meal. This week it was KFC that sounded good. I must smile at the marketing people who changed the name from the Kentucky Fried Chicken you and I knew when we were young and the KFC we enjoy today. The difference is the fact that Fried chicken isn’t mentioned by name today. The marketers thought that not using the term “fried chicken” would make it sound healthier. Let me say without equivocation, there was just as much grease on my hands last Thursday as there ever was before they changed the name. It doesn’t sound as appealing but let me testify that it still tastes great!
Ambiance: There isn’t much character in a fast food restaurant. If you’ve seen one KFC you have likely seen a carbon copy of every other KFC in the chain. The one here in Burley is maybe 15 years old and was a nice improvement from the old restaurant.
Seating: Mostly unpadded tables and booths, though you do get a little padding on the back of the booth. It isn’t where I would have padded them, but I think the design is there to keep people from getting too comfortable and overstaying their welcome. My booth felt a little bit sticky, not from any food residue, but rather from what I think was an abundance of spray cleaner used to make sure the booth was clean. It didn’t come off on my clothes and I was eventually able to forget about it.
Noise: Though it sits on Overland Ave, there was little street or kitchen noise inside KFC. There isn’t any real partition between any of the booths or tables to reduce the sound traveling from one area to another, but our fellow dining guests were enjoying their food and we hardly heard a peep from them.
Bathroom: The KFC bathrooms are split into separate men’s and women’s bathrooms. They are single seaters and I found them to be relatively clean. Some smaller bathrooms in restaurants have a little bit of personalization, a candle, a picture hanging on the wall or something to give it the feel of home. KFC makes it clear that you are in a KFC bathroom, so move along, . . . . . . .so to speak.
Service: Here comes the quandary. We were given plenty of time to decide what we wanted but there are so many choices it was difficult to decide which to get. All the while we were standing at the counter trying to decipher which of all the choices was the best value. We finished ordering and were given our beverage cups. They said they would call #4 when our meal was ready, which only took a couple of minutes. Our food wasn’t quite ready, but they needed to tell me that they were out of biscuits and would I like a cookie instead? “I would like a biscuit”, I replied. “That will take 18-minutes” the lady replied in a perfect robotic incantation, “We’ll bring it out to you.”
How in the world does a restaurant that uses their flaky biscuit in nearly every combination order run out of them at 1:50 in the afternoon? Could they not see that they were going fast and would need to get some more in the oven?
Food: Herein lies the redeeming virtue. The food was really good! I had the Big Box which actually came in an open box with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy and a side of coleslaw. The presentation wasn’t what I have come to expect from KFC, it was nearly main-stream restaurant quality. My three pieces of chicken were a leg and two thighs while my wife got the $5 lunch which had a nice big chicken breast and one side with a biscuit.
I have no idea what kind of oil they use to cook their chicken but suffice it to say that it is really delicious and helps the tasty meat slide all the way down. You’ll need the bathroom sink when you are done eating because there is going to be way too much grease on your hands to drive. Though it sounds kind of unhealthy, and yucky, it was actually very good.
I must report that almost exactly 18 minutes after I was told I would have to wait to get my biscuit they brought it out, piping hot and fluffy. It was worth the wait and I ate it as if it were my dessert. I should warn you that they do not give you butter for your biscuit, they give you a buttery spread, which consists of 4 percent butter and a bunch of other chemically disgusting contents that taste pretty much like butter. Just don’t read the packaging. The honey that you used to get with your biscuit is now a honey spread with 7 percent honey and the balance being products you are more likely to be served in a soft drink than in your honey. Once again, it tasted great so please ignore the labeling.
The bottom line is this; get your lunch group into KFC, it will be worth it even if you have to wait for your biscuit.