The Kool-Aid Chicken Sandwich draws inspiration from a snack debuted at this year’s LA County Fair. It made waves on social media — but not in the way you’d expect.
“Supposedly, it was not executed very well. People paid $17.50 for it and were on TikTok saying it tasted like he just dipped it in sugar water,” Smack's Chicken Shack chef-owner Keenen Hendricks told the Current. “I had some regular customers show it to me [on social media], and I was like, ‘That’s a good idea. I’m gonna figure something out.’”
Smack’s take on the Kool-Aid sando features the trailer’s signature panko-breaded fried chicken dipped in a cherry Kool-Aid reduction, amped up with Worcestershire and hot sauces plus seasonings. The sandwich will also feature pickles and a housemade ranch-mayo.
The Atlanta-based chain has taken fire for its contributions to anti-LGBTQ organizations. The fried-chicken behemoth also is famously closed on Sundays so “employees [can] set aside one day to rest and worship if they choose,” its website states.
Hendricks has decided to give the people what they want. His version of the popular No. 1 order at Chick-Fil-A, dubbed Side Chick on Sunday, features a panko-breaded fried chicken sandwich with pickles — sans troubling baggage.
“When that meme started going around, everybody was sending that to me. They're like, ‘Dude, you should do it,' and I got tagged in it like, 100 times in three days,” Hendricks said.
The two new sandwiches mark the revival of Hendricks’ longtime tradition of offering weekly towering sandwich specials, a custom the chef-owner had little bandwidth for during the pandemic, which saw the opening — and closure — of his first brick-and-mortar location.
Just saying— Lyte (@MonstarLyte) August 26, 2022
"Hear me out - a food truck that
sells chicken sandwiches. I'll park it
next to Chick-Fil-A and it'll only be
open on Sunday'.
Call it side chick 🐥
W or L ???
The weekly specials supplement Hendricks' menu of over-the-top fried yardbird sandos such as the PB&J, with blackberry jalapeño jam and peanut butter, and the HoodRat Sando, loaded with queso, pickles and Hot Cheetos.
“Some of weekly specials will be TikTok- or social media-inspired, some of them are inspired from my hometown, some of them are just me coming up with random ideas,” Hendricks said.
“Surviving through the summer was brutal, honestly. Things are picking back up again, and I feel like I can get back to being creative and having the bandwidth to get back to weekly stuff. I’m just thinking, ‘Let’s just try the old way, you know, to see if that helps.”
The trailer is open Friday through Sunday, however locations and hours vary by day. Hendricks encourages fans to check the trailer’s Instagram stories for the most up-to-date operating information.
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