When it comes to chicken sandwiches, it’s hard to get beyond the hype! From Popeye’s to Shake Shack and Chic-fil-A, fried chicken sandwiches have been front and center in the foodie hype world. So what to think when a new chicken sandwich contender enters the fray? BB’s Crispy Chicken had been hyped for YEARS as the chicken sandwich with lineage to Chef Ashley Christensen’s kitchen. There were lines out of the door when BB’s Raleigh first opened up but thankfully now, the craziness has died down for a bit. I’ve had the chance to stop in for multiple meals, here’s what to expect when you visit! The space itself is big and bright, with lots of plate glass windows, the design reminds me a bit of Shake Shack.
BB’s Crispy Chicken, Raleigh – Location and Parking
Heading out to BB’s Crispy Chicken, the Raleigh location is conveniently located at the Midtown East complex, right in front of Wegman’s and down the street from Costco off Wake Forest Road. Two more locations are in the works for Durham and W. Cary but right now, the Midtown East restaurant is your only option. There’s some parking in the streets around the store and a major lot to the right and behind in a parking structure. Another option is to park in the back of the Wegman’s elevated lot and take some stairs to the ground level. If you’re shopping at Wegman’s, that location is a good choice. Seating is mainly smaller 4-tops with metal chairs and some interesting wood-grain booths that don’t look particularly comfortable. Given the quick casual origins, the back counter has two registers where you order up your eats.
BB’s Crispy Chicken, Raleigh – Menu and Prices
Review the menus overhead and it’s pretty simple: 5 or so chicken sandwiches, dunkers (chicken tenders), salads, wraps, sides, beverages, and 12 or so side sauces for dipping. Prices are in the $7 to $9 range for mains with the sides at $3 to $8. I’d expect to pay about $15 per person with a drink. Note that you only get one sauce with your meal, additional cups are .50 and you will probably want to try multiple flavors out, they are good! Once you pay, you’ll get a number, grab your napkins, utensils, and drinks in the corner and then go find a seat. Your food should take maybe about 15 minutes or so depending on traffic.
BB’s Crispy Chicken, Raleigh – Sandwiches and Sides
The star of the show is, of course, the chicken sammiches! I tried the BBQ cheddar which is slathered with BBQ and cheddar sauce and constructed atop a nicely toasted brioche bun. It’s a well-balanced sandwich and the chicken definitely has some ker-runch as advertised. The tender chicken is a medium-sized patty with some thickness and sits in what I think is a double-fried coating. It all works quite well flavor-wise although the BBQ chicken option is a bit messy! The dunkers are nice pieces of white meat in a gluten-free panko coating, which seems different than the chicken sandwiches. The dunkers are about the size of a chicken wing flat and are shaped perfectly for dipping. I highly recommend the hot-honey sauce for that purpose. The food at BB’s Crispy Chicken is served in cardboard containers, wax paper, and plastic cups, perfect for ToGo orders.
For the sides, you’ve got some lovely, salted skin-on potato fries, sweet potato waffle fries along with some lumpy, bumpy, fried cheese curds! They are all quite good with an average portion size. You’ve got options on the sides to double up (50/50 – $4.99) or Triple Play ($9.49) your sides order to try them all. I’m partial to the cheese curds since you can’t find them easily in the area.
BB’s Crispy Chicken, Raleigh – Final Thoughts
Overall I’ve found the food and dining at BB’s Crispy chicken to be pretty decent but it still feels like premium fast food to me. Everything is a touch better than what you might find at Chick-fil-A but you’ll pay a 40% premium or more. The key differences are the chicken sandwich crust and the specialty sauces which are quite good. Overall the concept is fine for what it is but price-wise creeps up on a casual full, sit-down meal so YMMV. BB’s Crispy Chicken definitely elevates the chicken sandwich game in the Triangle but only by a little bit. Whether you think it’s worth it to pay the elevated prices is up to you as a customer, bon appetit!