Sometimes, in the service of finding interesting sandwiches, you will find yourself presented with precisely what you ordered, and you will feel a sudden sense of…well, not quite sadness, precisely, but something very near to that. The special promotion at Black Bear Diner at the moment, is a selection of “Chicken-Fried Chicken” items. I loathe the term “chicken-fried chicken,” as it’s redundant at best, and shameless, nonsensical, pandering buzzword-grasping at best. There is such a thing as a chicken-fried steak. That is a steak that is battered and fried in the matter that one would fry a chicken. There does not exist any such beast as chicken-fried chicken. There is merely fried chicken.
Getting past semantics for a moment, let us discuss this creation. Black Bear Diner is a chain of kitschy diners, mostly located in smaller towns throughout Northern and Central California, and their claim to fame is an extensive menu of extremely generous portions at a fair price. The quality of their offerings is, on average, far above your usual chain diner, so it’s a great place for an individual on a budget. The “chicken-fried chicken” breakfast sandwich is a fried chicken filet, scrambled eggs, and gravy served on a biscuit. The biscuits at Black Bear Diner are generally the size of softballs, and not the first thing you would think would make an ideal delivery method for a fried chicken sandwich.
When my plate arrived, I was filled with a strange sense of remorse. I knew exactly what I was getting into when I ordered it, but the reality of the situation seemed extremely daunting. I feared there was no way to eat it without getting a large amount of gravy on my hands, and that fear proved extremely accurate. Nevertheless, it wasn’t the most difficult-to-handle sandwich I’ve ever eaten. It was even easier to eat than the Shrimp Po’ Girl, which was surprising after first glance.
The breakfast sandwich was far too large, which was its first mistake. It would have been far better served on toast or on a roll, which would have eliminated one of the only two elements which made it a breakfast sandwich in the first place. The other breakfast element, the scrambled eggs, were mostly lost in the doughiness of the biscuit, the crunch of the breading, and the creaminess of the gravy. this is a sandwich that would have been far better served with a few strips of thick bacon rather than a couple whisked eggs.
Overall, the sandwich was not entirely objectionable, and certainly very unique, but not at all worth revisiting. It was far too much food, and far too gimmicky, from its ridiculous name to its being forced into the breakfast sandwich role.
One final note: this may be a sandwich that many people would be too “embarrassed” to order, or would feel shameful upon consuming or being observed while consuming. This sandwich blog is delightfully free of any unnecessary societal taboos like embarrassment or shame. We exist for the pursuit of the sandwich, whichever form it may take. We recommend you do the same. You will find this attitude quite preferable to the alternative.