With limited menu, chicken restaurant perfects dishes


Matt Petres

SPICE IT UP. Unlike the long menus featured in most fast food restaurants, Raising Cane’s only offers a single entrée and three possible side-dishes, allowing the restaurant to exceed in their specialties.

Erich Raumann, Deputy Managing Editor

Anyone who walks into a Raising Cane’s expecting a standard fast food experience is bound to be surprised — instead of a slew of menu options ranging from spicy chicken sandwiches to soups and salads, there is only a single entrée: chicken fingers. It’s a unique business model which, according to their website, earned the founders, Todd Graves and Craig Silvey, a C- grade in business school and was rejected frequently by investors as they were trying to launch the company in the mid-’90s. However, the restaurant’s tight focus on a single product allows it to keep quality higher than competing chains while maintaining a standard, fast food low price. The service is fresh, consistent and fast in comparison to similar restaurants, giving it the strength and uniqueness to compete against the titans of the fast food world. 

The chicken fingers themselves are, deservedly, the star of every possible meal at Raising Cane’s. The fine-flour breading, while not always completely crunchy, is generously thick and well-textured with a light amount of oil compared to KFC or Popeyes. The spice in the breading is minimal by design — with just a hint of onion and paprika — making it a perfect conduit for Raising Cane’s trademark sauce, an excellently balanced mix of mayonnaise, ketchup and black pepper that moistens and amplifies the flavor of the chicken.

The actual meat of the chicken isn’t from the traditional long cut strips of chicken breast, but are rather whole chicken tenderloins — a much more juicy and flavorful cut of meat. This unique cut gives a certain taste and texture that feels much more like real, off-the-bone chicken then their other fast food competitors. 

The coleslaw is fresh and isn’t completely drowned in cream, making it a sweet, crunchy break from the chicken to round out the meal. 

 The crinkle-cut fries are decent but definitely the weakest part of the meal. Like many fast food fries, they’re molded mashed potatoes, not whole-cut, meaning they don’t have a crisp exterior or a fluffy inside. They are fresh and aren’t too salty, but they still don’t go beyond what you could find at other chicken-dealing restaurants. 

The Texas toast is the side which shines the most: light, almost sugary white bread fried in garlic and oil, it’s perfect to soak up leftover sauce or just to act as a change of pace from the fingers. 

The limited menu might appear simple at first, but Raising Cane’s has a little something for everyone, whether you are a chicken connoisseur or the only fried chicken you’ve had are the tenders in the cafeteria. 9/10.