Penn State news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

More

OS Reviews: Big Dean’s Hot Chicken

There’s no shortage of food options on College Ave. for students and townies in State College. The options recently grew with the addition of Big Dean’s Hot Chicken, a new restaurant located next to Café 210 that specializes in Nashville hot-style chicken.

The joint currently serves chicken tender meals and chicken sandwich meals and offers three different styles of chicken to pick from: “Perfectly Southern,” “Nashville,” and “Inferno.” It also offers party trays for your post-pandemic social gatherings.

How does this new restaurant compare to the rest? To find out, we sent some of our hungriest staffers to investigate.

Anna Wiggins: Chicken Sandwich (Perfectly Southern)

This chicken sandwich was easily a highlight of my week. The sandwich comes on a soft potato bun that has been toasted and coated in Big Dean’s sauce, accompanied by pickles and coleslaw. The chicken itself is perfectly moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside, leaving your mouth watering.

The fries were also good and paired nicely with their variety of sauces, such as the Big Dean’s sauce, Sexy Honey, and Tennessee Sunshine BBQ (which was my personal favorite). I will definitely be going back in the future.

Colleen Nersten: Chicken Sandwich (Nashville Hot)

Big Dean’s chicken was solid. The sandwich and fries were $9.99, and the meal granted a big portion. I went with the Nashville hot, which is the medium-hot chicken option, and the ~sexy~ honey sauce. The chicken tasted fresh, and the Nashville hot was mildly hot. Nashville hot wasn’t tough to handle at all, so opt for the hottest option if you’re a fan of spicy. The sandwich was on the greasier side, but you’re obviously not going to a fried chicken place to eat healthily. I feel like moms who dab their pizza grease off would do the same to this chicken.

The sexy honey sauce tasted like pure honey, and some spices gave me chicken & waffle vibes. You pretty much can choose between only a sandwich and tenders, but I’d say the sandwich is better because the bun, pickles, slaw, and sauce added extra flavors that the tenders can’t. The Big Dean’s sauce is the signature sauce that resembled chipotle mayo and thousand island dressing — no complaints, and it tasted homemade.

I also appreciated how well COVID-19 guidelines were followed by the staff, and I noticed the owner asking folks who were eating in how their meals were. For only being open for about a week, the operation is running smoothly, and the wait time is super short.

Sarah Sacker: The Go-To (Perfectly Southern)

This was a 10/10 meal, but you absolutely need to make sure you go hungry because they do not mess around with cheating anyone out with small chicken tenders. The waffle fries are perfectly cooked and their sauces are to die for. The Tennessee barbecue is the one I got, and the creamy ranch is also stellar. The Texas toast is dreamy, while the coleslaw just hits different.

Alex Pepe: Snack Attack (Nashville Hot)

I had an overall great experience with Big Dean’s Hot Chicken. When I first walked in, I really liked the vibe. It has a great atmosphere with many places to sit. I ordered the Snack Attack, which had chicken tenders, fries, sauce, and coleslaw.

The chicken was crispy, juicy, tender, and honestly made the experience. I got the second level of spice, Nashville, and it’s not going to make you sweat or anything, but it is definitely noticeable. I tried two sauces, Sexy Honey and Big Dean’s signature sauce, and they were both okay. I liked them both, but I certainly didn’t love them. The fries were good and pretty similar to Chick-fil-A, but they were crunchier and had a little spice. The only part I did not enjoy was the 30-minute wait.  Granted, it is the opening week, so I’ll cut them some slack. This was a pretty good experience. It didn’t take my breath away, but I’d definitely go back.

Charles Reinert: Chicken Sandwich (Inferno)

When someone says “chicken tenders,” my attention is typically grabbed relatively easily. So when I saw a Nashville Hot style chicken restaurant was opening on College Ave., I was immediately interested. I can definitely say that Big Dean’s didn’t disappoint. While it did have a bit too much breading on the chicken for my taste, the food is very good.

I was feeling a bit adventurous, so I went with the Inferno chicken sandwich. As advertised, it was a very spicy sandwich that I really enjoyed, as the spice wasn’t prevalent at first, but it slowly started to build as time went on. It wasn’t the spiciest thing I’ve ever eaten, but if you don’t like spicy food, I definitely don’t recommend this sandwich. Plus, according to the website, the restaurant gets its rolls from Conshohocken Bakery, so that’s always a plus for me as I grew up 15 minutes from Conshohocken (Montgomery County, represent!). All in all, I’ll probably find my way back to Big Dean’s again in the future.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
OR
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Staff

Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.

Follow on Another Platform
113kFollowers
157kFollowers
55.7kFollowers
4,570Subscribers
State College Links

Evaluating Sean Clifford’s Season So Far

Watching Sean Clifford is a quarterback Rorschach test. After a rewatch, one staffer attempted to best evaluate Clifford’s season thus far.

Evaluating Sean Clifford’s Season So Far

Watching Sean Clifford is a quarterback Rorschach test. After a rewatch, one staffer attempted to best evaluate Clifford’s season thus far.

Refreshing Penn State Football Scorigami At The 2022 Bye Week

There have now been 550 unique scores in Penn State football’s history.

Ask A Mom: State College Moms Spread Kindness On Campus With Free Advice Stand

Providing insight and gifting understanding, Sue Jackson and Lori Rose are bringing home a bit closer to campus.

 
Send this to a friend