A Local Institution: Chicken for Lunch

On day two of our hour-long lunch extravaganza, I convinced my coworker to join me at the famed Chicken for Lunch in the Scotia Place food court (10060 Jasper Avenue).

This was my second visit (but the first time ordering what the regulars ask for), and the crowd never ceases to amaze me. The patron hostess Amy greets nearly every customer by name, and they are equally friendly in return. Given that by a quarter to noon, the line is already twenty people deep, it’s a testament to their hard work, good customer service, and consistent food preparation.

My coworker and I joined the line, and were happy that it moved rather swiftly. She was particularly vocal about how bad she felt for the nearby vendors as they watched the line at their competition grow. But we figured – they would probably reap some overflow business from people originally wishing to try their luck at Chicken for Lunch, but ultimately not having the time to wait.

When it was my turn to order, I asked for the small combo, slecting the hot and dry chicken (as recommended by Mack, also known as “Boy”). The styrofoam clamshell filled to the brim with rice, stir-fried rice noodles, vegetables, a spring roll, and of course, the chicken came up to just $6, amazing value for a downtown fast-food eatery.

In terms of the meal itself – I really appreciated the supplementary vegetables and rice (add-ons providing an illusion of healthy eating), but the fried bits of spicy chicken weren’t all that great (sacrilege to the aforementioned regulars). True, I’d never before had chicken battered like that with a heat quotient that had me wishing for water, but I wasn’t convinced that this was food worth coming back to; at least not for me.

If I happen to be in the neighbourhood again around lunch time, I may stop by, but I think I’d be more likely to pop over to Shine Bistro for their daily special.

The front of the line

The daily spread

Small hot and dry chicken combo, with all the fixings

3 thoughts on “A Local Institution: Chicken for Lunch

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