what: Whig Chicken Sandwich
where: The Whig, 1200 Main St., 931-8852
As many categories as there were in the Free Times Best Of Columbia contest, it occurred to me that there could be at least one more: Best Fried Chicken Sandwich. Granted, Chick-fil-A, the controversial fried chicken chain that claims to have invented the chicken sandwich, was voted by readers as best fast food chain. Locally based fast food chain Rush’s has a much crisper, less oily fried chicken sandwich, free of any political baggage, as does Drake’s Duck-In. But there is a fried chicken sandwich that has come to me in fever dreams. It doesn’t come from a drive-thru, and you can have it on any given Sunday, with a bottle of craft beer or a local microbrew draft. It comes from a subterranean watering hole that bills itself as North America’s Greatest Dive Bar. The Whig’s chicken sandwich is topped with spicy pimento cheese, lettuce, tomato and red onion and served with your choice of side (get the beer battered fries). You could get the sandwich grilled, but you would miss out on the sensual experience of melted pimento cheese flowing through the crispy, crunchy valleys of batter as you bite down on the breast. — Jonathan Sharpe
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