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Opinion: Well, Maybe If You Offered A Nice Chicken Finger Entree, I Wouldn’t Be Forced To Order Off The Kid’s Menu

Sure, I’m a foodie. I’ve dined at some of the world’s finest restaurants, I know my way around the kitchen, and I even made bread one time. But that doesn’t mean I am immune to simple culinary pleasures. So, if I’m craving chicken tenders and you’re not offering them as an entrée, don’t blame me for turning to the kids’ menu.

First, we need to ask ourselves: why is this even considered kids’ food? You’re telling me a beautifully cut piece of chicken, brined in buttermilk, lightly coated in crispy batter, and fried to golden brown perfection, is the taste palette equivalent of overcooked buttered pasta? If I brought in frozen dino-shaped nuggets from home and asked you to cook them like mom, I’d understand the dirty looks. But here I am, a full-grown man in your upscale vision of a pub, asking that you deliver an American classic to this table.

So what, would you respect me more if I asked for Schnitzel, Katsu, or Parmigiana? Sure, you might pretend to prefer ‘high-end’ fried chicken, but I am nothing if not honest. I’m just a guy trying to enjoy a nice meal without resigning myself to a TGI Friday’s microwave. I just want to order an entrée with my beer and get ID’d because I look remarkably good for my age, not because my ticket says ‘Kids’ Tenders.

While we’re on the topic, we do need to talk about sauces. I don’t want to criticize you for being the kind of place that has nothing but ketchup and A1 on the table. So don’t think of this as an indictment; think of it as a sauce-ortunity. If you really want to capture that high-end gastropub vibe, you need to wow me with at least twenty of your finest handcrafted sauces. I want to hear so many options that I forget the first eighteen and end up pairing tangy handcrafted honey mustard with an aged balsamic aioli. There’s no better way to enjoy a quality tender.

It’s time to end this distasteful cultural stereotype. No adult should know the shame of hunting for a favorite dish in a tiny box on the back right corner of a menu. This is America, and chicken fingers are made for all of us. So bring me an order, please! Oh, and can I get one for my kid too?