I love chicken fingers. And the drive-in. One of these loves is new-found and the other is a classic, but my adoration for both was renewed this week when I took a trip to Fort Collins. And since this is a food blog, let's focus on the chicken fingers.
My standard for chicken fingers is IHop. It is the control on which I base any other breaded, fried tender of chicken. It is my fallback, where I go for non-offensive, respectable, expected poultry (and I'm guessing that was in IHop's business plan). But I now have a new standard on which to judge chicken fingers: Raising Cane's. These are the most spectacular fried pieces of chicken that man has created thus far. Only one problem: There is only one Raising Cane's in Colorado, and it's in our neighbor to the north. But ask any resident of Fort Collins, and he will attest to the tender flavor, crunchy crust and the fact that "this....this tastes like chicken!"
The fast -food chain started in 1996 near the campus of Louisiana State University, and has since grown to over eighty spots in thirteen states. Raising Cane's is adamant about not being an average fast-food place (which is evident in its quality). It does one thing and it does that one thing well.
Raising Cane's also does pretty good Texas toast, as well as delicious fries and coleslaw. Still, the chicken fingers are reason enough to make the drive.
Chicken fingers, and the drive-in movie theater. I'd managed to live on this earth for twenty years without going to a drive-in, thinking they were antiquated and pointless. But in reality, they are everything that America holds dear. We like to be private? Okay, you can sit in your car and watch a movie! We like value? The drive-in is, like, four dollars cheaper than an average movie...and you get two movies!!! We like awkward, random, irreverent humor? Well, that classic montage of weird condiments dancing with each other is real, and in use at the drive-in!
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At this point, there are only eight drive-ins left in Colorado (according to this site), and they are disappearing faster than car dealerships right now. So hurry to Fort Collins, stop by Raising Cane's for some chicken fingers, and then hit the drive-in at dusk.