Tag Archives: KFC

The Casual Restaurant Critic Slumming at KFC

With all the culinary options out there, why the hell would anyone go to KFC you might ask. Well, a lot of people do, at least at the one located on the Avenida Itzaes, next door to the Merida’s hospital for the clase acomodada, the Clinica Merida. There was a lineup on this particular day when the Critic made the fatal mistake/decision to stop for lunch.

Interestingly with all the fuss about obesity in Mexico and junk food and the like, the closest restaurants to the hospital, where they must be dealing with a lot of obesity related illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems etc., are Burger King and KFC. And both are packed with folks in regular clothes as well as several mestizas with hipiles, which seems to indicate that this is the informal ‘waiting room’ for family members of patients at the nearby hospital where the cafeteria is probably an overpriced disgusting and depressing option. Just guessing of course.

Anyway, the Critic was driving along and suddenly had a hankering for some crispy KFC.

I don’t know if this is your case as well, my dear 18 readers, but the Critic has fond memories of Kentucky Fried Chicken – remember when the crust was tasty with just the right amount of spice and salt and crispiness, and the chicken inside cooked just right, not too dry and not pink either?

Well, it seems you can’t go back. The food ain’t what it used to be. And service sucked big time.

The cashier was a robot dressed in khakis and a polo shirt embroidered with the KFC logo.

Some sample snippets of conversation from the people ahead of the Critic in the lineup:

“Can I get 3 pieces?”

“Can’t do that. Chicken comes in 2, 4 and 6 pieces.”

“I just ordered two packages of 6 pieces each. Can I change that to the giant bucket with a dozen pieces etc.?”

“Nope. Already rang it into my cash register.”

“OK, I’ll have an orange soda.”

“We’re out of orange soda.”


Someone picks up their tray and the large order of fries is strewn across said tray. No one seems to mind. One of the mestiza ladies asks where her chicken whatever is. The robot answers “you didn’t specify which chicken whatever you wanted” To his credit the robot does change the order for mestiza lady.

Anyway. Critic gets his order – the tray has a mountain of at least 20 small packets of chile, jam and ketchup – and goes to the table. Sits and bites into a piece of chicken which pops open and sprays table and Critic with hot oil. Well, it’s comforting to know that at least the chicken has been cooked recently, as he wipes oil off the various surfaces and items of clothing now permanently ruined.

But the chicken inside is rubbery, soft, like those horrible marinated arrachera steaks that have the consistency of ham, not actual meat. It’s flavorless too. And that crispy, perfectly seasoned crust? Not happening. highly unsatisfying, to say the least.



A Quick Visit to KFC in the Gran Plaza Mall

I am feeling hungry and the ticket guy at the movie theater won’t let me in ‘cuz he says it’s too early for the 4:10 showing of Spiderman which is the only new movie this week and I really don’t feel like watching last weeks offerings of Madagascar 17 and Ice Age 42 and the Mel Gibson rent-payer Get the Gringo which I downloaded illegally anyway from piratebay.org and watched on my laptop and was amazed at how bad it was so why pay to see it in the theater and so I walk by all the food vendors in the “food court” at the Gran Plaza mall, finally settling on KFC and some fried chicken.

If you want to screw up their little system ask for two pieces of chicken. Just the chicken. The initial smile from Yael, a chubby, effeminate and very ebullient little employee faded as he looked back at the menu board and then told me it would be more economical for me to order the combo, with two pieces of chicken, a styro container of their starchy instant mashed potato with the euphemistically named gravy, another styro container of their sugar and mayo laden cole slaw and a nourishing white flour biscuit as well as a soda to complete the fat intake. No, I just want the chicken, I told Yael. He hesitated, and then very professionally the smile returned to his round face and he charged me the 32 pesos.

My order was then passed on to another employee and I was sent along the counter to wait. I watched as the employee doing the actual placing of food in bags, double check with Yael to make sure that she had read correctly – only two pieces of chicken. Nothing else. Yes, Yael nodded, smiling at me. Meanwhile, an employee in the back of the restaurant, sucking back a refresco, was hugged and then kissed on the shoulder by another employee. The fact that they were both males did not startle me as much as they fact that they were in KFC and in full view of the public. I am convinced that in racially tolerant and sexually liberal Kentucky the idea of two Mexicans kissing in the local KFC would go over well.

Ruzzel – yes, that’s Ruzzel with two Z’s, another creative Yucatecan version of an English name – was in charge of handing the bag of food to the customer and carefully looked at the ticket, then at me.

No va a querer refresco?” he asked, doubtfully.

“No”, I replied, “solo el pollo“.

After getting an affirmative nod from cheerful-again cashier Yael, he handed me my bag with two pieces of chicken and off I went to find a spot in the crowded mall to eat it. The chicken was hot and the original recipe still tasted pretty darn good.