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All photos by: Sydney Rose

Originally based in Las Vegas, Shaquille O’Neal’s restaurant Big Chicken made its Houston debut in 2023. With two locations in both West Houston and Richmond as well as a third in the Heights on the way, Texans are getting a taste of what the basketball Hall of Famer is putting out.

Hosting a jam-packed menu of chicken items, sides and large desserts, Big Chicken certainly lives up to its name. Now, Cooglife is determined to let you know what they thought of the food.

Overall Ranking

Sydney: Uncle Jerome’s Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich (4.5 out of 5 stars), BC Fries (3.5 out of 5 stars), Popcorn Chicken (2.5 out of 5 stars), then Dirty Fries (2 out of 5 stars)

Cindy: BC Fries (4.7 out of 5), Big & Sloppy Sandwich with the Nashville Hot patty (4.2 out of 5 stars), Dirty Fries (4 out 5), then the Popcorn Chicken (1.5 out of  5)

Big & Sloppy Sandwich

Cindy: The sandwich I got was the Big & Sloppy Sandwich with the Nashville Hot patty. Recently, I haven’t been able to enjoy foods if they aren’t a little bit spicy so I opted for a kick to my meal.

This sandwich includes mac & cheese, crispy fried onions and roasted garlic BBQ aioli. Right off of the bat, the mac & cheese was the perfect replacement for a traditional slice of cheese. Combined with the spicy patty and the crunch of the onions, this sandwich was an explosion of flavor. The seasoning also tied this together as it wasn’t too salty and was a mix of spicy and sweet.

Uncle Jerome’s Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich

Sydney: The sandwich I got was the Uncle Jerome’s Nashville Hot Chicken. This included lettuce, pickles and mayo with a well-seasoned chicken breast made “Nashville Hot.”

I wanted something a little on the spicier side and this meal did not disappoint. The only thing I wished for was to have one outside-of-the-box element like the other chicken sandwiches on this list offered. The biggest plus was this sandwich was one of the limited options on the menu without any sort of BBQ-based sauce, going for a traditional mayo. If you are not a fan of BBQ sauce like myself, then it is hard to find a sandwich without it here.

BC Fries

Sydney: For a plain French fry, these were pretty good. I am a pretty harsh critic when it comes to potatoes, but Big Chicken does them well, curating that perfect mix of crispy outside, while also resembling a wedge fry.

Cindy: I think these fries were super yummy! But, I feel like the sauces are what made them better. At the fountain drink station, there’s a variety of different BBQ sauces to pick from. I tried every one of them but I liked their sweet BBQ and regular ketchup the most.

Dirty Fries

Cindy: I think the Dirty Fries were great! I’m a fan of sweet, sour and tangy things so this was right up my alley. The cheese tasted a little bit sour which I thought was interesting but it kind of felt like eating carne asada fries without the meat. Overall, I think these fries are more for people who like a sweet and tangy mix!

Sydney: While In N’ Out has “Animal Fries” and Taco Bell has “Nacho Fries,” Big Chicken has “Dirty Fries.” This consists of their BC Fries, banana peppers and bacon pieces all covered in cheese sauce and a chipotle BBQ sauce.

I was a little skeptical of this side, as these flavor combinations did not seem to fit together in my mind. And I was right. The sweetness of the BBQ did not mesh well with the texture of the cheese and the tang of the banana pepper. Overall, this hodge podge of toppings just made the fries soggy. I would go with their BC fries alone if I were to choose just one side.

Popcorn Chicken

Sydney: The size of these did not resemble popcorn at all. Big Chicken lived up to its name with this side dish. What felt more like tenders–which were also an option on the menu–ended up being a decent side dish, but did not hit the spot. The breading on these fell a bit flat and they needed some kind of sauce to be the best they could be. But, not the worst piece of chicken I’ve ever had.

Cindy: I am sad to say that I was not a big fan of the popcorn chicken. The chicken bites felt very rubbery to me and were hard to chew. The portions were also large and like the fries, the sauces are what saved some of it. The flavor was nice but the texture was what threw me off.

Final Review

Cindy: Overall, Big Chicken is a good place to try something new! They have a variety of sandwiches to choose from that I would love to go back and taste test.

Their food looks straight from a foodie TikTok account and the large restaurant gives you the privacy you need to take a huge bite without anyone judging. I would definitely try out the Big Aristotle since I’m a big fan of sweet and tangy flavorings. I give this place a 4 out of 5!

Sydney: My overall impression of Big Chicken is that the establishment really knows how to nail a chicken sandwich. I want to try all of the different options they offer as main dishes (except maybe without the BBQ).

The main thing I believe is holding them back is the lack of variety in sides, and the quality of the sides they do have. I think branching out with sauces beyond different variants of BBQ would be good as well. But, I would definitely come back to try another sandwich and maybe one of those desserts.

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