OS Reviews: Chick 2
The downtown State College
late-night drunk food scene grew once again this August when Chick 2 opened up in the former location of Mamma Mia’s Italian Restaraunt on College Avenue.
The New York-style street food joint serves everything from chicken sandwiches to chicken over rice to fried chicken wings (sensing a theme here?). In the midst of the Internet’s great chicken sandwich debate, we had no choice but to send some of our folks to give the place a shot.
Here’s what some of our hungry staffers had to say about their experience at Chick 2:
I stopped by Chick 2 last week after a long night of…working (honest). I planned to grab something quick on the way home, but ended up spending closer to 30 minutes there. The chicken sandwich is fried-to-order, so it takes about eight minutes to come out.
Although it might not be the quickest late-night bite in town, it’s certainly worth the wait. The chicken was flavorful, crispy, and not greasy at all, and the homemade sauce was like a zestier Chick-Fil-A sauce. My only complaint was how hot the chicken was when it was served. I ended up needing to wait another few minutes for it to cool down. When my food was cool enough to eat, it took a bit of time to chow down on about eight ounces of fried chicken that didn’t even fit on the roll. But that part isn’t a complaint.
I was a big fan and will certainly go back. Just make sure you have the time.
I ordered the chicken sandwich with a side of waffle fries. At first glance, I was very pleased with the meal. The sandwich was large and my portion of fries was pretty generous considering its modest $2 price tag. The fries weren’t anything special, reminding me of Chick-Fil-A’s starchy sidedish more than anything that sets it apart. That said, I still enjoyed them a great deal.
As I took the first bite into my sandwich, something unexpected happened: the meat was chewy. Shocked, I held my sandwich up to the light and discovered that my chicken was pretty pink. Nope. I didn’t feel like coming down with a good ol’ case of salmonella, so I promptly discarded my sandwich. Did I waste $5.49 of my own money? Yup. But for what it’s worth, that first bite was pretty tasty. As long as you order a sandwich that’s fully-cooked and pearly white on the inside, you’ll enjoy your meal at Chick 2.
It seems like Chick 2 is still in preseason mode, folks. Nearly half the menu is currently listed as unavailable, and the eatery’s current options are limited to just wings, sandwiches, chicken over rice, and side dishes.
As a chicken wing connoisseur that I am, I ordered the fried chicken wings, and let me tell you, they were hot. I needed to wait several minutes for those babies to cool off before digging in. Once I was able to give them a try, though, I was pleasantly surprised. The chicken was incredibly crisp and flaky on the outside, yet juicy and tender on the inside. Pair them with Chick 2’s special sauce and you’ve got yourself a modest $5 snack.
Chick 2 certainly seems like a place that just opened. The location is pretty bare-bones and lifeless, with most of the decore consisting of beige walls and fake plants.
I ordered the chicken sandwich, onion rings, and a drink. The sandwich was quite large — almost too large. The size of the chicken fried chicken breast was the size of two “regular” pieces from other similar eateries. Its breading and seasoning was flavorful, but that’s where the pleasantries end.
The chicken inside seemed undercooked. This made the prospect of eating the entire sandwich a challenging one. The cheddar cheese, lettuce, and smoky chipotle sauce were pretty good, yet nothing too interesting. I finished half of the sandwich before calling it quits.
The onion rings were crispy but thin. They came with chipotle sauce to dip in (the same as the sandwich), and that was okay too. Overall, I think my initial impressions of my meal were positive, but as I went along I became a bit disappointed. Chick 2 is definitely worth a try if you’re searching for something new or simply a Chick-Fil-A alternative.
I ended up going with the chicken over rice, and it ended up looking very similar to something you’d get from a halal cart in New York. Luckily, halal cart cuisine happens to be some of my favorite food on the planet, with Sher Halal Gyro on South Pugh being my go-to late-night spot. It’s pretty hard to top those guys, but Chick 2 doesn’t do a bad imitation.
The setup is the same you’d get at a halal cart, with some marinated chicken served on top of yellow rice and lettuce on the side, all slathered in sauce. The chicken was pretty good. It was different from halal chicken in a good way. The rice was fine, but the lettuce could’ve been better. I also wish the lettuce was served on top of the rice instead of just on the side without anything under it.
My biggest complaint is that the dish needed a lot more sauce. The small amount I got was tasty, and I appreciate that everything is apparently made fresh, but they really need to be more generous with it.
I also ordered a small carton of macaroni salad too, just to have a side to try. It was your everyday mac salad, nothing to write home about. I wanted to try the coleslaw, as any place specializing in chicken should have good coleslaw, but it wasn’t being served. I might consider going there again though, especially to try their chicken sandwich, as I want something to hold over my constant Chick-Fil-A cravings. Chick 2 is worth a try if you’re ever walking down East College after a long night out.
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About the Author
The Penn State episode will air Wednesday, October 9 at 10 p.m. and follow the team’s preparation for its Homecoming game against Purdue the previous weekend.
Dvir is a Penn State professor who has made revolutionary documentaries that have played a role in changing today’s world.
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