Fast food conglomerate Yum Brands officially launched its test concept Super Chix today in Arlington in what seems to be an effort to give chicken chain Chick-Fil-A a run for its money.
The restaurant, which is thus far the only Super Chix location in existence, is located in a nondescript Arlington strip mall conveniently situated just a stone's throw from the UT Arlington campus, and naturally it was mobbed by UTA students at lunchtime today — even at 2 p.m. the line still snaked most of the way around the restaurant, and nearly everyone in it clutched coupons for free food that were distributed through Super Chix's Facebook page.
Although the chicken-centric menu is clearly an attempt to compete head-on with Chick-Fil-A's signature offerings, the interior definitely has a different vibe — and certainly gives no clues as to Super Chix's corporate lineage — with stone floors, black and white tile walls, and lots of wooden bar-height tables, plus a splashy bright yellow wall emblazoned with the slogan "The Last True Chicken Sandwich."
The focus of the menu is chicken sandwiches and chicken tenders, and it's clear that plenty of recipe testing went into them. The sandwich bears an uncanny resemblance to Chick-Fil-A's in both appearance and flavor, with a seasoned, marinated chicken breast hugged by a deep golden-fried crust perched atop a fluffy, buttery bun. Super Chix goes one further in the toppings arena, offering three different types of pickles (kosher, sweet, hot) and a plethora of free toppings options including lettuce, tomato, jalapenos and fried "haystack" onions; cheese and bacon can be added for an additional cost.
Devotees of Chick-Fil-A's waffle fries won't necessarily be fans of Super Chix's fries, however. Here, they're hand-cut from Russet potatoes and while they offer plenty of potato-y flavor, they're lacking in the crispiness department. The fries can be dressed up with a choice of three different seasonings, though — salt, sweet (which tastes like the fry seasoning at Wingstop), or rosemary-black pepper.
Super Chix takes a page from the Shake Shack book and offers super-creamy frozen custard that can be blended with various toppings into "concretes," or in a milkshake, cup or cone; it's available in vanilla as well as a rotating flavor of the day from a list that includes black raspberry cheesecake, salted caramel, coffee and donuts and fluffernutter (peanut butter and marshmallow).
It's unclear what, exactly, Yum Brands' future plans for Super Chix might be. A spokesperson for the company told Ad Age that it's "an exploratory concept that may in the future be considered for international purposes," saying that Super Chix is "only in its infancy stage." At any rate, it'll be interesting to see if the restaurant can continue to draw steady crowds once the free food coupons run out — it's only about three-quarters of a mile from the nearest Chick-Fil-A and one mile from a KFC location, meaning there are certainly no shortage of chicken options in the area.
· KFC is Testing a Chick-Fil-A Competitor in Arlington [-EDFW-]
· Yum Targets Chick-fil-A With Concept Store in Texas [AdAge]
· Super Chix [Official]