An Ode to the Chicken Sandwich and Those Who Serve Them

The Beauty of a Chicken Sandwich is That it Doesn’t Even Have to Include Chicken

Chicken Sandwich KHANA CHICKEN SANDO. PHOTO BY KHANA DETROIT

You know what’s beautiful about a chicken sandwich? It doesn’t even have to include chicken to be a chicken sandwich. Like at Ima. You can get the chicken sandwich, sub tofu for chicken, and it’s still a chicken sandwich!

Street Beet’s chicken sando never even had chicken to begin with.

And, no, it’s not a tofu sandwich. Even if that’s what it’s technically called on Ima’s menu. Tofu sandwich is dumb unless it’s a banh mi with tofu. In which case, it’s still not a tofu sandwich. Neither is it a chicken sandwich, but it is still a thing of beauty. I digress.

This is an ode to the chicken sandwich.

Do you ever think about chickens? I do. Every time I eat a chicken sandwich, I hold an image to my mind’s eye of the pitiful, dinosaur-like creature and watch it wander aimlessly over cage-free pastures. Sometimes there are two, entwined in a prehistoric boxing match with no hands.

I think about eggs. I think about being forced to do the chicken dance in middle school and then I try to think of something else. Because that is a terrible thought.

Until now, I did not think of the Looney Tune’s character Foghorn Leghorn, but ever since my colleague brought him up (5 minutes ago) I will now make sure I will. Every time I hear the word chicken sandwich, I promise to see Ol’ Foghorn and smile in gratitude.

I am grateful for chicken sandwiches. Remember, they come in the vegan variety.

Detroit pop-up Khana Detroit recently announced the debut of their Fried Tandoori Butter Chicken Sando. The thought of which makes my chicken hungry mouth water. Do you think there will be a vegan option?

Truth be told, I’m not that into eating the meat variety of chicken, but I respect those who do. And occasionally do myself (Example: Takoi).

For these reasons, I have created a list of places to find chicken sandwiches in Detroit. No, I have not tried them all—many come recommended from friends and Internet acquaintances. By no means is it an extensive list. Or one in any particular order. Number two might possibly be my favorite—and I haven’t even tried it. That description, tho.

I encourage you to try one or two or three and write to share your experience. Am I missing a spot? Do reach out. This is a list in progress.

 

IMA MIDTOWN 

 

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💥This ‘ish right here! Spicy fried tofu sandwich….all that and a bag of chips 🧨⠀ 📸 @veggie_vixen Only at #imamidtown

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Karaage Fried Chicken — $11 

Crispy fried thigh, cabbage slaw & house pickles, furikake kewpie, brioche roll, lemon  

Karaage Fried Tofu (still a chicken sandwich!) — $11 

Crispy tofu cutlet, cabbage slaw & house pickles, furikake kewpie, brioche roll, lemon  

KHANA DETROIT (POP-UP) catch them when you can!

 

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Introducing our latest addition to the Khana lineup, our Fried Tandoori Butter Chicken Sando! 🤤 This dreamboat packs a mad amount of flavor between two buns; juicy, crispy tandoori spice-marinated & panko breaded chicken breast is fried before it’s dunked in our rich Butter Chicken masala, placed atop fresh cucumber, topped with a savory-sweet vinegar slaw, all on a brioche bun slathered with our herby chutney aioli. We had a hard time choosing between Tandoori or Butter Chicken, and it turns out the two styles are very complimentary blends and MEGA flavorful! (bewildered Desi aunties and uncles, trust us. It’s zabardast 👌🏽) This hunk of love honestly gets better with every bite (and we took the liberty of showing you). Although we’re still testing some possible changes (pickled onions in lieu of slaw? A more clever name? *suggestions welcome!*), we’re stoked for y’all to try it for the very first time at our pop up at @elephantroomdetroit on Thursday 2/13! 😋

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Fried Tandoori Butter Chicken Sando — $10 

Juicy panko-breaded, tandoori spice marinated chicken breast bathed in butter chicken sauce, topped with a vinegary slaw and cucumbers on a brioche bun, slathered in herby chutney aioli

STREET BEET inside THIRD STREET BAR  

FAKE Chicken Sando — Price Unknown 

Bun, fried fake chicken, pickles, spicy mayo [GF option] 

ROCCO’S ITALIAN DELI 

The Breast Chicken Parm — $12 

Fried chicken cutlet, marinara, mozzarella, grilled parmesan 

TAKOI — only Wednesdays

Thai Fried Chicken Sandwich — $8  

Brined rice flour, breaded deboned thigh on grilled brioche with papaya salad, pickled chiliescranch, sweet garlic sauce, cilantro.

*What makes a happier hour than an $8 chicken sandwich? Full disclosure: this is my comfort food.  

Fat Daddy’s HOT Chicken & Waffles  

 

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For your convenience. Website is now up and running for fast no hassle ordering! FatDaddys-Chicken.com ( link in bio)

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The Fat Daddy — $11 

Jumbo boneless chicken, slaw, comeback sauce, pickles or peppers, served on a buttered brioche bun with your choice of heat. 

*Two other varieties of chicken sandwiches are available but not listed here 

CENTRAL KITCHEN + BAR 

Buttermilk Fried Chicken — $14 

Gruyère, pickles, ranch, lettuce, bacon, tomato, brioche 

*For reasons unknown to us, this sandwich is listed under the ‘Burger’ section of their menu. While a chicken sandwich may be served in a bun, it is never a burger. Someone, please pass this information along to the fine folks at Central Kitchen + Bar. 

DURDEN’S CATERING — located beside Baker’s Keyboard Lounge

 

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The Yung Gripper 313-209-3350

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The Yung Gripper — $10

Spicy, crispy, crunchy chicken breast, pepper jack cheese, coleslaw, pickles, bang bang sauce, on a toasted garlic buttered brioche roll

*Takeout only

SAFFRON DE TWAH

 

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Moroccan Fried chicken sandwich 🤤

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Moroccan Fried Chicken Sandwich — $8

Fried chicken, caramelized honey butter, berbere spice, harissa slaw, challah bun

Worth traveling for: MA LOU’S FRIED CHICKEN

The Hot Chicken — $9

Nashville hot baste, bacon, lettuce, tomato, pepper jack cheese, jalapeno ranch, basic bun.

*So many options of chicken sandwiches to choose from, each made with your choice of breast, thigh or marinated tofu

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