The chicken finger is the Holy Grail of chicken-based products–and a delicacy only served at a select few restaurants on College Hill. Although it’s a simple food option, it can have disastrous results when not prepared with the utmost “tender” [Ed. Ugh] loving care. A chicken finger aficionado myself, I feel it is imperative that Brunonians are given all the necessary details before purchasing fried chicken around Brown’s campus while in a
drunken hungry state. Ranked worst to best, all of the chicken fingers on College Hill deserve a shout-out. Happy eating!
- B.B.C., Thayer Street
To put it lightly, B.B.C.’s chicken fingers are disgraceful: truly an abomination to fried chicken tenders everywhere. The breading is gritty, grainy, and just despicable. A wide array of dipping sauces is available upon request, and you’ll need all of them to swallow these down. Their mozzarella sticks and burgers are stellar examples of quality junk food, but I guess an eatery named “Better Burger Company” cannot be trusted to handle chicken properly. Please eat at your own risk.
Recommended with: Nothing. Nothing at all. Do NOT eat them.
- Shanghai, Meeting Street
I’m not sure if they quite qualify as “chicken fingers,” but they are fried pieces of breaded chicken nonetheless. Amidst Shanghai’s 20-page menu, chicken fingers have found their home in the appetizer section, right above “mozzarella stick” (yes, only one stick). While I recommend Shanghai’s scorpion bowls and lo mein over their chicken fingers, they are still more edible than B.B.C.’s. Bonus–you can eat them while enjoying the ’80s hits that play on repeat.
Recommended with: Soy sauce…?
- The Ratty, Thayer Street
The Sharpe Refectory deserves a shout-out for their attempt at serving fried food. Although they aren’t exactly chicken fingers, their popcorn chicken is worthy of a spot on the list. Although most Brunonians flock to the V-Dub for fried chicken, the Ratty gains a surplus of hungry students when popcorn chicken is added to the daily menu. You may need seven of their stupidly small cups to wash it down, but in the words of Ron Burgundy, popcorn chicken “always goes down smooth.” [Note: we know that the Ratty occasionally serves actual chicken fingers, too, but we also all know which BUDS eatery that dish truly belongs to.]
Recommended with: A scoop of the puffy Cheetos served in the black bin.
- Spats Bar (R.I.P.), Angell Street
Beware; this post may make you nostalgic and emotional. Sadly, our beloved Spats is no more, however we can still reminisce about the cherished blackouts memories. If you were a regular, then you know that Spats’ chicken fingers are simply their boneless Buffalo wings minus the Buffalo sauce. Although they were small, chunky, and closer to the nugget than finger family, they always coupled perfectly with a hefty tube of Miller Lite on a Sunday night.
Recommended with: Sweet dreams and memories of the past.
- East Side Pockets, Thayer Street
Yes, East Side Pockets does, in fact, sell chicken fingers: not an award-winning menu item like their falafels, but certainly deserving of spot no. 4. Fluffy and crispy, and served with a hearty scoop of golden french fries, East Side’s chicken finger meal is classic deep-fried to near-perfection. An added bonus: you get SIX fingers. If you’re all chickened out in one meal, save the rest for a solid, stay-at-home, late-night meal.
Recommended with: A fresh falafel and cucumber dressing.
- V-Dub, Meeting Street
Everyone waits eagerly for the V-Dub’s Chicken Finger Friday at Brown, and with good reason; their chicken fingers are the best of any Brown dining hall. The V-Dub means business on #CFF, bringing out multiple tubs of squirtable condiments. The lines are out the door, and we know it’s not for the Mediterranean bar. If you offer a charming smile in the lunch line, you just might get a few extra tenders on your plate.
Recommended with: Cake in a cup (microwave waffle batter for 1 minute in coffee cup).
- Johnny Rocket’s, Thayer Street
A classic fried food eatery, guaranteed to serve you two days’ worth of calories in one sitting. Their burgers and shakes are famous, but their chicken fingers don’t disappoint either. The oil and grease in their fryer rises above other establishments, bubbling its contents to perfection in every corner of the restaurant. J- Rock’s chicken fingers are crispy and crunchy with every bite, and provide the perfect end to a Whiskey Wednesday night. Their romantic red-leather booths make it great for a late night date, so bring a friend and some acid reflux pills.
Recommended with: An Oreo milkshake (if you haven’t developed a blood clot yet).
- Baja’s Tex Mex, Thayer Street
Like many of their other food options, Baja’s chicken fingers earned the top spot on College Hill. While Johnny Rocket’s is a close competitor, Baja’s goes the extra mile with their chicken fingers: they are fried, split in half, then dipped back into the fryer–a simple yet ingenious effort that turns the inside of the fingers golden brown and oozing with grease and love. Get fries on the side and load ‘em up with the chipotle spice shaker, and you’ve got a meal fit for a king at 1:30 a.m. Bonus: you get to cut the entire drunken line when you order chicken fingers.
Recommended with: Your bed.
Image via Albie Brown ’16.