It never fails. Whenever old college friends visit Miami, they always want to stop at Chicken Kitchen. Maybe it's nostalgia, or maybe they sincerely crave the flavors of yellow rice topped with grilled chicken bathed in mustard-curry sauce they discovered in Miami and kept them fed through many college days.
Whatever it is, I found myself there this weekend with a former college roommate. And we wondered, How does this compare to Chik-N-Grill, the nearly identical, also homegrown chain?
Behold, the battle of the chicken chops.
Chicken Kitchen's Original Chop-Chop ($4.99 - regular)
Yellow rice and chicken. Sauce of choice: Mustard-curry
Pros: Got a serving of chicken that had just come off the grill this time, so it was moist and tasty. The rice isn't bad on its own. Sauce is creamy and has a little kick to it.
Cons: God forbid they throw in one little piece of extra chicken! Also, I didn't a slice of pita bread this time. I'm not sure if they forgot or if you now have to ask for it.
Chik-N-Grill Build Your Own Chop ($6.49 - regular)
Yellow rice and grilled chicken. Sauce of choice: Mustard-curry
Pros: You're paying a little more, but the more generous serving of chicken makes up for the price difference. Less rice, more chicken.
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Cons: Unless it's dressed in plenty of sauce, the rice has zero flavor. The chicken on this visit was quite dry. Sauce has a certain sweetness that seems to erase any hints of mustard-curry flavor.
Verdict: Based solely on the basic chop, this one goes to Chicken Kitchen. It really all came down to the sauce. Though it might just be a matter of preference, we favor the less sweet sauce at Chicken Kitchen. The more tender chicken and the fact that its yellow rice also has a hint of flavor, if slight, also helped.
111 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables
250 SW 8th Street, Miami