Sherman's Food Adventures: Church's


With all the fried chicken I've been eating lately, I thought it was about time for a post on Church's. I'm sure most people have tried it before, so there will be no revelations here. However, it is interesting how it stacks up to LA Chicken, Lee's and Popeye's. Sure there is KFC; but I'll leave that to another post down the road. In fact, with my biases towards KFC, I am not in a hurry to eat there in the near future. To me, Church's has a place in my youth. I remember my parents buying boxes of fried chicken from the 41st & Fraser location for dinner every now and then. I loved eating it! What kid doesn't like fried chicken? Oh wait, that would be my son... In fact, when I was in high school and had wheels, I would go there myself and grab a box. You read it right, I dusted off a whole box of 10 pieces all by myself! And remember, the pieces back then were much bigger. Fortunately (health-wise), I can no longer do such a thing, so I actually share with others.

Tonight, my son had just finished up his ice skating lesson and we were on the way home. I decided to drop by the Church's on North Road to pick up some chicken for dinner. Before that, I had visited McD's to grab a grilled cheese Happy Meal for him since he doesn't eat fried chicken (among hundreds or other things). As we have seen the effects of inflation on many things, fried chicken has not been spared. The 10 piece dark has crept all the way up to $14.00. I remember it being $8.99. Yes, my son will hear all about how it was cheaper when I was his age! And I'll bore him with stories of how we did started with monochrome monitors and Gameboys. Yes, I am turning into a real parent!

I decided to get mostly spicy, with a couple of regular pieces. I had a coupon with me for some hot wings and got some of those too with chicken rice. Before they came up with the spicy chicken, there was one problem with Church's chicken. In my opinion, the batter tasted only of salt. That is where KFC, Lee's and LA Chicken have a "leg" up (I really should stop it with the puns...). However, I find that Church's is usually quite tender and juicy because they don't fry the heck out of it. Now, that is dependent on the location you visit. That would probably explain my terrible experience at Popeye's. Not all locations are the same despite being a chain.

For me, the wings were over-fried and the meat was dry. Not something I'd order again. Ditto with the rice. I'm not sure if they changed the recipe or not, but it was mushy and had overcooked veggies in it. Bleck! In general, you get the drift, the chicken is decent here if you want it juicy. However, in terms of having it juicy and tasty, I'd still go to Lee's or LA Chicken first.

The Good:
- Usually juicy chicken
- Reasonable pricing
- Chicken pieces are decent in size

The Bad:
- Other than the spicy chicken, the chicken just tastes like salt
- Their sides need a bit of work
- Some locations sell the weirdest things (Hastings & Nanaimo has watches???)

Church's Chicken on Urbanspoon


shokutsu said...

I've only come to know Church's in the past few years, but admit its a cheap guilty pleasure when I need an easy deep fried chicken fix. Heck, I usually get my two pieces in an outlet next to a gasoline stand for crying out loud. :) I find that there is some variation with the level of crispiness/greasiness even at the same place, thought not as bad as at say KFC.

KimHo said...

Similar to shokutsu, I have known about Church's some time after I moved to Vancouver. My experience with them has been odd at times. I remember once in the Hasting and Nanaimo location (as you mentioned) and one of the "pieces" was actually a piece of breast cut in half - I will assume the other half was considered another "piece". I am not a white meat fan but, still...

Holly said...

There's a Church's just down the street from me so I usually go there every now and then. KFC is totally inedible to me.

However, since reading the blogs, I am discovering places a little farther that offer better, like LA Chicken and Lee's. I am planning a trip to Surrey/Abbotsford this year to Lee's.

I've even tried a new fried chicken place in Chinatown but there's not much to talk about unless you're starving or only have some change in your pocket.

Sherman Chan said...

shokutsu, you're not talking about the location at Dunbar & Broadway are you? LOL...

Kim, you are right about different locations with differing quality. I still think the 41st and Fraser location is the best.

Holly, are you talking about Prime Time chicken??? HAHA... it's actually decent for the price. Not sure about the location... Agreed with KFC, it sucks...

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