Chicken Out in the Loop Review

The+average+American+consumes+201+pounds+of+chicken+each+year%2C+and+an+estimated+8+billion+chickens+total+are+eaten+each+year.

The average American consumes 201 pounds of chicken each year, and an estimated 8 billion chickens total are eaten each year.

Benjie Thimangu, Radical Reviewer

The Delmar Loop was devastated when the popular pastry restaurant Piccione closed its doors in 2019. The shop, located at Skinker and Delmar, was a favorite of many Saint Louis residents, and it left big shoes for the next owners of the property to fill.

However, in the midst of the Coronavirus lockdown in June 2020, Mike Johnson opened his newest restaurant in the Saint Louis area – Chicken Out. Johnson is the owner of many of Saint Louis’ most popular restaurants including Hi Point Drive-In and his newest restaurant promises to be popular as well and fit nicely into the Delmar Loop scene. 

The location is great, placed where foot traffic from anybody in the Loop can access. The interior has an order counter and a handful of tables for patrons to sit at. Out front is a vibrant bright purple statue of a chicken with decals featuring the restaurant’s name. 

Pickup is easy; you can order online, and the store has a pickup window at the sidewalk that makes it easy and safer during COVID. 

Despite opening at a difficult time for many restaurants and small businesses, Chicken Out has flourished, gaining popularity throughout Saint Louis. It has become so popular that a second branch is slated to open this summer in Kirkwood. 

At the center of Chicken Out is, of course, chicken. The restaurant proclaims itself a “Faster-Casual, Chef-Driven, Spicy-er-Not, Pressure- Fried Chicken”, and aims to offer what its owner’s other restaurants have: low cost, fast, tasty food. 

The menu is relatively simple. It has 8 sandwiches including the Chicken Out, a simple sandwich with fried chicken, pickles, and mayo and the Faux Hawk, with a plant based patty at the center for the vegetarians. The “5 finger discount” is a platter of chicken fingers.For those looking to stay away from the carbs, there are 3 salads offered. There are an assortment of sides, including Mac n Cheese, hash browns, crinkle fries, and onion rings.

I tried the Spicy Chicken Out, a variation of the classic sandwich with Nashville style hot chicken, pickles and hot sauce mayo, as well as the Hash Browns for the side. The sandwich cost $7.50, which is very reasonable considering the size of it.  I really enjoy spicy food, and it had a good kick to it, but was not overwhelming. Because it was pressure fried, the outside had a good crisp to it, but the inside was juicy.

The rest of the sandwich complimented the chicken well. The simplicity of it did a good job of making the chicken the centerpiece, and there were no overpowering flavors. Overall, I really enjoyed it, and it was big enough to leave me full.

The hash browns were not much to remark about. They were good, but nothing special. The better side was definitely the onion rings. They had a great crunch and were cooked perfectly.

Overall, Chicken Out is an excellent option for anyone looking for a quick and easy meal that is different from the many other restaurants in the Delmar Loop. The chicken is great and lives up to the success of the other restaurants owned by Mike Johnson.