During the first few weeks of their opening, Church’s Chicken had cars lined up around 20-30 deep. It was traffic I haven’t seen at a fast food restaurant since Chick-Fil-A. I avoided stopping by until the craziness died down. It took a late night stop and a post-lunch mid-afternoon visit to beat the crowds and finally get a review in of the “new” fast food chicken joint that reopened in Wichita.
4794 E 13th St N
Wichita, KS 67208
Sunday – Thursday: 10am – 10pm
Friday – Saturday: 10am – 11pm
For me, Popeye’s is my go to for fast food chicken. They have always been the most consistent from quality and customer service. My favorite location is actually the north Hillside location. The people there are incredibly down to Earth. It’s probably been 15-20 years since my last visit to Church’s Chicken when they had a store opened right by my favorite Popeye’s location. To this day, I couldn’t remember if it was any good so these two stops to Church’s would feel brand new to me.
Inside the new Church’s Chicken, it was very clean. For how busy they have been, I was impressed with how well they kept it. On my visits, I ordered three piece chicken meals (spicy); once with a side of okra and once with sides of spicy rice and mashed potatoes.
The chicken wasn’t half bad. They went a little heavy on the batter but it was crispy, a bit greasy, and warm with the chicken fairly juicy. While it wasn’t as spicy as I would have liked, the chicken was better than I expected. It could have been better had they seasoned it. Compared to Popeye’s, I don’t think Church’s was at the level but it was good enough for me to warrant a return visit where I ordered the same three piece meal.
The sides, on the other hand, were average to me. The spicy rice, mashed potatoes and okra all felt a little flat to me. For starters, I’m not really even an okra fan but was told I should order it by many friends. The gravy on the mashed potatoes was a little salty for my preference.
I was a big fan of the honey butter biscuit on my second visit. It was fluffy, flaky and just awesome. On my first visit, it was overcooked. Just look at the two pictures and compare them.
The biggest key difference in Church’s versus Popeye’s for me was the customer service. On both visits, there were times it felt like I was inconveniencing the staff. On my first visit, they were a little busy but that shouldn’t matter. They should be happy customers are coming in. I was ordering and was contemplating getting their apple pie. I tried to ask for their opinion while looking at the menu and asked for their opinion of it. This guy who was dressed as a manager replies, “They are 99 cents” so I thanked him for his opinion and made him aware that I was able to read a menu but was just asking if they were good. No response after that so I opted not to order one.
On my second visit, some lady throws my order on the counter and calls my number. While picking it up, I said the order was for dine in. I didn’t need want them to waste a bag on me. The lady looks at me annoyed and says, “It’s already in the bag” and gestures me to grab it. Her tone and look made it feel like she was saying, “Just grab the f*cking bag and take your food…geeez”. Had they asked me if it was dine in or to go, perhaps that could have alleviated the situation. I wasn’t complaining and actually was just trying to save them one bag.
The vibe behind the counter just felt like so many people were annoyed and didn’t want to be there which is totally fine with me but don’t take it out on the customer. A smile can go a long ways. After those two visits, I’ll stick to Popeye’s where the friendliness is contagious.
Here’s their menu:
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