By Kyle Peveto, Arts Editor
Why did the student cross the road? To get fried chicken, of course.
Two fried chicken restaurants opened near campus in December, and both desire ACU students’ money.
KFC opened last summer next to McDonald’s on Judge Ely Boulevard, across from Taylor Elementary School. Just blocks away, Chicken Express opened recently next to Arby’s on East North 10th Street.
Chicken Express has many franchises in North Texas. KFC, which has stores nationwide, began as Kentucky Fried Chicken under the watchful eye of Col. Harland Sanders.
Both fast food restaurants offer many of the same entrees and sides: fried chicken and chicken strips, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes (in wedges or french fries) and cole slaw.
Chicken Express offers some down-home Southern sides like fried okra and also serves homemade sweet tea. KFC offers the “colonel’s blend” of herbs and spices and his secret marinade.
Both restaurants have drive-thru windows, but at Chicken Express, employees often come out and take your order in person. Students like the personal attention they get at Chicken Express.
“You’re not talking to a machine, you’re talking to a person,” said Jacob Martin, senior human communication major from Greenville.
Prices vary little between the two restaurants, but Chicken Express offers a student special of four chicken strips, fries, a biscuit and a medium drink for $5 with tax. When students order the special, they are usually given an extra strip, a larger drink and are allowed to choose which side they want.
KFC has no student special or discount, but runs different promotions every three months, store manager Leticia Rios said.
“You’re not gonna’ be disappointed,” Rios said.
KFC, featuring original and extra-crispy recipes for its fried chicken, has more variety, said Amanda VanNoort, freshman integrated marketing communication major from Sioux Falls, S.D. “Their biscuits are unbelievable,” she added.
Students from Dallas and Fort Worth have grown up around Chicken Express stores, said Rita Grelle, manager of Chicken Express. “It’s like a home away from home,” she said.
Grelle cites sweet tea and quick service as positive attributes that draw students.
“I like Chicken Express for sweet tea and sweet people,” Martin said.
Chicken Express is located at 1034 N 10th St. and KFC is at 1301 N Judge Ely Blvd.