The newest fried chicken hot spot to hit San Francisco is The Bird. It's located in the middle of SOMA district and caters to all the hungry techies who do not plan on being productive after some serious fried chicken food coma. Since their debut on October 19, The Bird has had ridiculously long lines during lunch hours, but I was able to snag one of their signature spicy chicken sandwiches on a Monday.
The menu is extremely simple. You get to choose between original or spicy chicken. If you want fries, they come in plain curly fries or "fully loaded" à la sour cream and bacon bits style. The cheeky "Happier Meal" is only available after 3PM and consists of a sandwich, fries and a beer combo. Yowza. I chose the spicy chicken sandwich and plain curly fries (after all I do want to be productive at work).
This spicy chicken sandwich is unlike any other spicy chicken sandwich I have seen. For $8, it comes with celery, house made apple slaw, mayo and pickles. To be honest, I am not typically a fan of celery, slaw, mayo or pickles! Since these toppings aren't even mentioned on the menu, I made the mistake of not omitting these items from the order. The Spicy Deluxe at Chick-fil-A that I am so accustomed to has lettuce, tomato, cheese and pickles. I have to admit, I was expecting around the same thing at The Bird. I should have known better that the most hipster of fried chicken hipster spots would not be serving such traditional toppings.
The spicy deluxe chicken sandwich (not including fries or a drink) is under $4 at Chick-fil-A while the spicy chicken sandwich alone at The Bird costs twice as much. The piece of fried chicken you get at The Bird is quite substantial, to the point where I couldn't even finish my sandwich. It is spicy but not overly so. It is very tasty and flavorful, but is it worth $8? Not in my opinion. While Chick-fil-A is only $4, it is a smaller sandwich yet still satisfying and delicious. If I had to choose between The Bird or Chick-fil-A I would have to go with Chick-fil-A. The price point is great and I personally don't need all these odd toppings on my sandwich. Really, who eats celery on their chicken sandwich? I get that The Bird is trying to be unique, but I suppose my palate still prefers a more traditional taste. Additionally, the only fry style at The Bird is curly fries. Due to all the seasonings, curly fries are still pretty niche and I prefer Chick-fil-A's waffle fries. The waffle fries are unique enough where the texture and style are novel but the taste isn't alienating. I also like the fact that Chick-fil-A offers a wide variety of different sauces to go with your sandwich or fries. The Bird only offers mayo.
I would say it's worth trying The Bird once, but I think it's safe to say I will return to Chick-fil-A for all my future fried chicken cravings.