Monday, March 10, 2008

the great knoxvillian chicken war

i know it might be a little bit passé to talk about the UT strip on our ultra-hip knoxville blog, but there is a war going on down there that merits discussion. it's a chicken finger war. a couple months ago, all was peaceful on the strip. sawyer's was enjoying a dominant share of the chicken finger market and business was good.

then construction began.

first it was guthrie's, then zaxby's. two chicken finger chain restaurants across the street from one another when there was already a knoxville version. all three of these restaurants serve almost the exact same product at a very similar price. i have now eaten at each of these places and here are my findings:

the good - local, unique, great chicken and texas toast, great sauce
the bad - chicken fingers are small, restaurant isn't well-kept, bad hours

the good - nice restaurant, great patio, slightly more variety, breakfast and late-night service
the bad - weak sauce (literally), portions are too small, chicken is greasier

the good - great restaurant and patio, best tasting chicken, seasoned fries, large portions, most variety (zalads!)
the bad - pre-packaged sauce, slower service

conclusion: zaxby's wins. it has the best food, the best variety, and the nicest restaurant. however, if you like supporting local business, then stick with sawyer's. i'm interested to see what the guthrie's breakfast is like, but besides that, i don't really want to eat there again. in the meantime, the war wages on...


Anonymous said...

Good review(s) Lucas! I have never been to Sawyers but always wondered about it. Generally I am not a fan of fast food, but I have to say that I dont mind stopping at Zaxbys if I am on a road trip. Although I think their commercial are so very annoying.

stan said...

you have to appreciate the extremism of the strip. from one chicken place to three! who needs a bilateral war when it can involve three parties?

i've never been to the new establishments. but on the right day, sawyer's buffalo chicken fingers with blue cheese sauce could rock my world.

but only on the right day.

ck said...

sawyer's is good... for take out. their patio is a sunken pit next to heavy traffic... fun. not that i'd classify any outdoor eating area on the strip as awesome, unless you like a slight diesel taste with your chicken strips. i'll have to try zaxby's, though i'll steer clear of guthrie's on purely architectural grounds.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to side with Sawyer's. I can look passed the dirty restaurant and bad hours and order a large plate of their wonderful chicken fingers.