Disney Springs just welcomed another celebrity chef restaurant to Town Center. Guy Fieri, well known for his presence on Food Network and connection with Planet Hollywood, teamed up with Robert Earl (restaurateur) to leave another footprint on Disney Springs with the very first Chicken Guy. Since the boys and I are Fieri fans, we had to make our way down within the first few days of its opening to check it out. What did we think? Let’s dive in!
Disclaimer #1 All expenses for this meal were paid by me. This post was not requested, nor compensated for its publication.
Chicken Guy Opens at Disney Springs
First, I have to be quite honest ~ I really didn’t even know this place was coming! A few days prior to its opening, I caught wind of it and began to do some more research. I was just glad it was coming sooner rather than later. So often we hear something is coming to Walt Disney World, but have to wait months (sometimes years) to enjoy it (though it’s always worth it!).
As noted above, as a family, we have actually been fans of watching Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives for years and have been known to scout out a few “diners and dives” that have been showcased on the show (including the Lobster Shanty in Salem, MA and Mrs. Potato here in Orlando). In fact, for our oldest’s 18th birthday, he wanted to enjoy a Guy Fieri inspired burger at Planet Hollywood, so it was hard not to oblige.
So…where is this new place located?
The new eatery is located in the Town Center section of Disney Springs. It is adjacent (and connected) to Planet Hollywood, with whom they share a kitchen. The inside of the restaurant is actually smaller than we expected and there is limited seating available (a few high tables against the outside wall, regular tables / booths against the other). There is definitely more opportunity to grab a table outside (weather-permitting).
Okay….now, what do they offer?
The menu is obviously all about chicken. Guests can choose between grilled all-natural or crispy fried chicken served up as either tenders, sandwiches or salads. Most options are under $7, but Guests can purchase a combo (adding in the fries and a fountain beverage) for a little over $11. With the tenders (which comes in either portions of three or five), Guests can choose two from the just over 20 specialty sauces available. It’s not clearly stated on the handheld menu, but we were told by the manager that Guests can purchase extra sauces for 50 cents a piece. Just let them know when placing the order.
To complement the chicken selections, there are a few sides Guests can add to their order, including fried pickle chips, loaded fries or Mac Daddy Mac ‘N’ Cheese. To wash it all down, Chicken Guy serves Coca-Cola® products, as well as some two delicious looking milkshakes (Triple Double Mint, Cinnamon Apple ~ Flavortown Frozen Treats).
Oh ~ yes…there is a kids menu that offers tenders, grilled cheese or the Mac Daddy Mac ‘N’ Cheese. Kids’ meals are served with either fries, a fruit cup or apple sauce.
One of the things the restaurant prides itself upon it is the fact that they pressure cook the chicken, which apparently keeps the chicken more juicy. Every ingredient used and served is fresh and the chicken is never frozen, always hand-pounded and antibiotic-free.
How does ordering work at this establishment?
The ordering system for Chicken Guy is similar to many of the other fast-casual restaurants found around Disney Springs these days. There is a queue that leads Guests to the register where they place their order and pay (sorry ~ no AP or DVC discounts offered at this point). Once the order is placed, Guests then receive a device to place directly on their table. When the meal is ready, a staff member will deliver the meal to them by “magically” locating the device.
Curious to know what WE ordered during our visit?
In order to write an honest review, we all decided to order something different. This way, we were able to discuss the various flavors and dining options.
- Hubby ordered the BBQ Chopped Chicken salad bowl, which consisted of crispy romaine lettuce, a tangy slaw, shredded cheddar cheese, black beans, tomatoes and crispy tortilla strips. It came with small containers of the Bourbon Brown Sugar BBQ and buttermilk ranch sauces. All in all, he thought it was a solid salad, though he does wish there had been more dressing made available to him right from the get-go.
The Oldest’s Selection
- Our oldest son ordered the Southwesterner sandwich. This had two crispy fried chicken tenders (and we’re talking nice sized tenders!) on a bun with pepper jack cheese, *special sauce, avocado crema, cumin lime mojo, charred corn, roasted peppers, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes and crispy tortilla strips. He was quite satisfied with his choice, stating that he “really enjoyed the southwest taste” and the way the flavors blended together perfectly.
The Middle Son’s Pick
- The middle son ordered the Bourbon Brown Sugar BBQ sandwich, which had the two crispy fried tenders (Guests can choose grilled over crispy fried for any sandwich) on a bun with pepper jack cheese, bourbon brown sugar BBQ sauce, special sauce, slaw, pickles and BBQ kettle chips. His reaction was just as positive as the others, stating it was packed with great flavor, very sweet and had a nice crunch with the slaw, pickles and chips.
And Finally, My Order
- I ordered the Three Tenders. Since I’m not a huge grilled chicken fan, it was crispy-fried for me, as well. I ordered it as a combo (as did my male counterparts), so I had the fries with the signature fry seasoning and a fountain beverage. The two sauces I selected were the Donkey Sauce and the Bourbon Brown Sugar BBQ. I loved my choice!! Dunking the chicken right into the sauces was exactly what I wanted to do. The chicken was hot and juicy and the breading was not overpowering. These tenders rock!
FOOD ALLERGY NOTE:
Since it was our first time there and the restaurant was fresh and newly opened, we chose to bring food from home for the youngest. During our visit, we spoke with a manager, who told us they share a kitchen with Planet Hollywood, so they could not guarantee that cross contamination could be 100% avoided. Interesting note ~ we have had success at Planet Hollywood. However, since it is a smaller venue and third party (meaning it is not Disney owned), we may independently choose to bring our own food for him each time we plan to visit here…at least for awhile.
ADDED NOTE: In order to help our son feel like he is getting the same meal next time, I’ll bake up some chicken tenders and fries at home, keep them warm in a larger thermos, make a special sauce or two for him to bring and ensure he had a special beverage while everyone else was enjoying a soda. Let me be clear, though ~ I am not saying that they are unable to accommodate food allergies. Our family is simply just not comfortable yet when it comes to our son with egg, peanut and tree nut allergies.
This part is a lot of fun! Often, restaurants like to have something that identifies them, something that sets them apart and deems them unique. Chicken Guy not only has their 22 sauces for Guests to savor (and they ARE good!!!), they also have an employee who goes around the restaurant providing Guests the opportunity to try a sauce they may not have ordered with their meal. When the “Sauce Slinger” came to our table, he had us try a bleu cheese sauce that was smooth and creamy.
The sad part was that he didn’t come back again….
Our after-meal thoughts…
We enjoyed ourselves!!! The inside is cute, a little small, but we enjoyed the food we ordered very much. The boys loved their sandwiches. In fact, they had initially intended to share half and half, but decided to stick with their own after the first bite. Hubby thought his salad was packed with fresh ingredients and very delicious. However, he did wish he had some more “dressing” to go along with it. I thought the chicken tenders were great! I could see the “hand-pounded” action in their shape and I love the crispy fried style they use. They were juicy, definitely not dry! The fries were cut well and seasoned perfectly and the sauces were packed with flavor, but there was just never enough.
Will we go back? Sure!! It is an easy family restaurant where Guests can either sit down and enjoy or just grab-and-go. Having the option to choose tenders, salad or sandwich is especially nice and the opportunity to go with crispy fried or grilled all-natural is an added bonus.
I will say that the draw factor will likely be in the price point. It’s quite competitive with places such as Earl of Sandwich, D-Luxe Burger or even Polite Pig.
Our suggestions (the guys made me add this)?
- Make the sauce portions larger please and thank you. The flavors are fantastic and the variety is definitely a plus, but there is barely enough to use with a meal. Maybe we just didn’t get enough visits from the “Sauce Slinger???”
- Perhaps invest in another fountain beverage machine. During high traffic times during the day, there will be a very long line to hydrate.
- To help food allergy families better, perhaps define your food allergy options a little more clearly. There are tons of chicken tender options around the Resort and kids love having them with fries, so this place could really skyrocket if those options are made safely available.
Other than that ~ I’m really glad that we stopped by to check Chicken Guy out during its opening weekend. It will most definitely be a popular venue in Disney Springs and we do recommend giving it a try. Once you have, I would LOVE to hear which of the 22 sauces you enjoy the most! (PS – there are people who purchase all 22 sauces to try in one sitting!)
*The special sauce noted above consists of mayo, ketchup, mustard, pickle juice, Chicken Guy! Special Spices and Seasonings.
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