It's been over a year since they first announced they would open a restaurant in Sioux Falls, but the day has finally come. Slim Chickens opened at 1517 South Minnesota Avenue today (July 24).

I wanted to try the new eatery, but as with all new restaurants in our big city, they usually have lines out the door and a backed up drive-thru around the block. My cousin David was there for lunch and he said the lines were short, so I thought I'd give it a try for dinner.

I opted for the drive-thru experience. There were three cars in front of me, but the guy in the first car placing his order couldn't seem to make up his mind (maybe too many sauce decisions?), so I backed up, parked in the parking lot and went inside. The two order lines were both four people deep, but seemed to go fast. My to-go food came out quickly and I was out the door. 

Karla Brown/Townsquare Media

I ordered the Slim's Plate. It's a 3 piece tender meal that comes with fries (there were more than that in the box, but I got hungry on the drive home), medium drink and choice of sauce for $6.59. Since I'm a mac and cheese freak, I also ordered a side of that for an extra $2.49.

The tenders are lightly breaded, which I love. I hate a thick breading. I want to taste the chicken. I opted for the honey BBQ sauce and that was a nice, tangy complement to the tenders. The fries are homestyle-cut - thicker than a shoestring cut and the Texas toast had a slight garlic taste.

The mac and cheese did not taste like fast food mac and cheese. It tasted like something you would make at home. The cheese wasn't a super sharp cheese, rather mild actually, and the macaroni was thicker than normal, probably to withstand hanging out in a steam table waiting to be served.

I'll be back. I still need to try the chocolate dessert that comes in a jar.

Here's a look from another perspective. My cousin David and I try several restaurants when they open. We had to try this one separately, but he was still able to provide me with a review.

 I was greeted by a friendly server who opened the door for me. I don't know if this is intended to be a regular feature, or if it was an extra flourish for opening day; but it was a nice (albeit unnecessary, imo) touch.

Orders were placed quickly; I opted for the 5 tender/5 wings meal, substituting mac and cheese for the standard french fries, and added the strawberry cheesecake dessert jar. (Bonus tip: you get to keep the jar!) I had my order in less than four minutes.

The chicken tenders were lightly breaded, the meat inside tender and juicy. I normally like to have a little more substance to my breading, but that's a personal preference. By contrast, Popeye's (my usual poultry milieu) often veers too far in the other direction, where the breading dominates your taste buds with a thickness and excessive crunch that makes for a difficult bite.

The wings were a little tougher, and not quite as meaty as you get at some places. The latter probably explains the former, though, as I had one fairly robust wing piece that fulfilled its promise. If they all had been like that, I might have thought more highly of them.

The side items fared as well as anywhere else: the mac and cheese had a slight creaminess, and you get a nice stretch on the cheese. It wasn't cooked to mush, as happens to be the case at many bbq joints I've been to. The Texas toast was light brown and subtly buttered.

There was always a server nearby to check on you, and all of them were super-friendly and personable. Getting all kinds of "sweetheart" and "honey" thrown at me doesn't hurt either...I'd return just for that!

And now for dessert...the strawberry cheesecake, I have to admit, was my favorite part of the entire visit. The berries are plentiful and the cheesecake itself is refreshingly light. It had all the classic taste, without the heaviness in texture or sweetness. Like everything else I had here, the flavors were readily apparent, but without an overbearing presence.


David Bachmann (Used with permission)

According to SiouxFalls.Business, Slim Chickens is planning a second location in Sioux Falls in the former Harold's Photo building at 2711 S.  Louise. Remember when that location was a Runza? Let's hope Slim Chickens has better luck.

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