I think we’re at the point in our relationship, dear readers, that if you’re coming back for more food articles every week, you know what my personal culinary tastes are. I enjoy anything fried, covered in bacon, or topped with avocado. And, boy, do I love a good chicken sammie.
However, I draw the line that a certain fast food restaurant crossed, yet again. Ya know, that one chicken chain that just re-released the opposite of “single,” opposite of “up” sandwich, in which chicken patties serve as the bun, with bacon and cheese smashed between them? Ugh.
When it comes to chicken sandwiches, I prefer ones that are a little more sophisticated and actually include, well, a bun. None of that standard “chicken patty-cheese-lettuce-tomato” business, either! A chicken sandwich should be an art form, and there are plenty of restaurants in Metro Detroit that adhere to that rule:
Public House, 241 W. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale, is a hipster haven with teeny tiny sandwiches, including a Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich. The slider is topped with pimento cheese and dill pickle and is served on a toasted brioche bun. Since these are small, it’s perfectly acceptable to order two (or three, if you’re really hungry).
Buttermilk, fried and chicken—those are three things I thoroughly enjoy.
Heavenly Chicken & Waffles, 17515 West 9 Mile Rd., Southfield, serves sandwiches, combos and breakfast items all day. While they do have both a grilled and fried chicken sandwich on the menu, it’s not nearly as impressive as the breakfast Waffle Sandwich. Which includes scrambled eggs, cheese and a chicken breast between two freshly made waffles.
For less than $10, you can enjoy this splendid sandwich for breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner, dinner, whatever your heart desires.
Ironwood, 840 W. Ann Arbor Trail, Plymouth, is one of my very favorite places for dining and drinking, and it’s because both are top notch. Here, the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich is made with a grilled chicken breast coated with Frank’s Red Hot, which is then topped with bleu cheese, onion, lettuce and tomato.
If spicy isn’t your thing (and this sandwich falls into that category), try the Teriyaki Chicken sammie instead. It’s topped with provolone cheese, grilled pineapple (one of my favorite things), teriyaki sauce, lettuce, tomato and onion. Both sandwiches are served on a brioche bun with your choice of potato salad or coleslaw.
A word of advice: the coleslaw is delish, and so are the fries, which you can add for a few extra bucks. If it’s pay day, spring for the sweet potato ones.
Monk Beer Abbey, 109 E 5th St., Royal Oak, takes a unique spin on the original chicken sandwich by serving it atop a waffle instead of a bun. If you ask me, waffle sandwiches are drastically underrated—combining a breakfast and lunch dish? I’m all about it.
Here, the Waffle Sandwich is topped with pulled chicken, sliced apple, pecans, red grapes, red onion and aioli. It’s like a sophisticated hybrid of a pulled chicken/chicken salad sandwich! To keep it from being too high class, it’s served with French fries (but they’re called pomme frites on the menu, so they become fancy once again).
Slows, 2138 Michigan Ave., Detroit, is known for many things, including its mac n’ cheese, which invades my dreams on a nightly basis. In the sandwich department is The Yardbird, which was included in Adam Richman’s “Best Sandwich in America” showdown.
The famed Yardbird includes Amish-smoked pulled chicken breast doused in mustard sauce, mixed with sautéed mushrooms and cheddar cheese and topped with applewood bacon. Are you curious as to why the Yardbird made it into a competition of the best sandwiches in the U.S.? Try it out and you won’t be.
Rose’s, 201 N. Canton Center Rd., Canton, is a delightful Italian restaurant with a Chicken Parmesan Sandwich on its lunch menu only. Instead of including pasta like the dinner entrée does, this sandwich contains a breaded and grilled chicken breast topped with marinara and cheese. It’s baked in order to make the cheese melt-y and golden brown, then served on Rose’s homemade bread. Perfect-o.
Beezy’s, 20 N. Washington St., Ypsilanti, is a quaint little café that focuses on “food and each other” according to its website. The menu item that deserves major gold stars is the Roasted Chicken Club. This sandwich includes slices of Amish chicken breast, bacon, red onion, tomato, spring greens, bleu cheese and a pesto-mayo hybrid spread.
Your sandwich can be served on one of four homemade breads that are baked fresh daily: sourdough, rye, cracked wheat or veggie. The chicken club is served with a side of fruit, and this is a lunch you won’t have to regret in the health department (well, maybe the bacon part but we’ll let that slide because bacon).
Green Dot Stables, 2200 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit, is a great place for sampling unique chicken sandwiches. Why? Because they’re all in slider form, so you can test out all three without overstuffing yourself. Order one of each, and let your friends know that you won’t be sharing: Buffalo Chicken (with bleu cheese spread, buffalo sauce and celery), Fried Chicken (coated with panko and topped with sage maple syrup) and Hot Brown (topped with mornay sauce and bacon).
If, at the beginning of this article, you were under the impression that chicken sandwiches only existed in the form of a chicken patty, mayo and white bread, I hope I have opened your eyes to the light. Now get out there and grab the best (and most unique) chicken sandwiches Metro Detroit has to offer!