Here, Eat This

Houston's Best Sandwiches: The California Chicken at Beck's Prime

The Beck's Prime California Chicken may be a chicken sandwich from a local chain, but it's no basic bitch of a sandwich.
The Beck's Prime California Chicken may be a chicken sandwich from a local chain, but it's no basic bitch of a sandwich. Photo by Jeff Balke
We are in search of Houston's best sandwiches because we love sandwiches and we love Houston!

The grilled chicken sandwich is the basic bitch of the sandwich world. Even more so than a plain old cold turkey, there is something about the chicken breast that inspires disdain in the food world. But, it is also insanely popular, so much so that it is offered at just about every chain on the planet. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them are little more than an overcooked shell of former chicken glory on a bland bun with some mayonnaise. Blech.

So, I present to you the California Chicken from local chain, Beck's Prime. If you are going to put a chicken sandwich on your menu, you may as well make it hella good.

For me, there are two prerequisites for any decent piece of chicken. First, it needs to be juicy. Nothing is worse than a dry, leathery catering-style rubber chicken. Second, it should have flavor. When you under-season chicken and serve it to someone, God kills a kitten. Look it up.

Fortunately, Beck's puts a check in the box next to both of the above. The breast is tender, juicy and packed with flavor, not only from seasoning, but from the smokey char marks thanks to the grill. Now that we have a good chicken breast, we can build. From there, Beck's adds mayo, lettuce and tomato along with Swiss cheese and the capper, guacamole.

Now, is this the best guacamole every made? No. But, it doesn't have to be when the main goal is to get an avocado spread on the whole wheat roll to not only bring out the flavor of the sandwich, but add a creamy layer that avocado does so well.

The sandwich comes by itself but you can add fries or, as you may have noticed, sweet potato fries, which I tend to eat with reckless abandon. Beck's isn't the cheapest sandwich place in the city, but it makes up for that with fresh ingredients prepared the right way, especially for a "fast food chain."

Look, I get that a chicken sandwich isn't exciting, but as Tom Cruise said in The Firm about wire fraud, "It's not sexy, but it's got teeth." You heard me. The California Chicken may just be a chicken sandwich, but it's no basic bitch.

If you have a sandwich you think is one of the best in town, hit us up. We're always looking for new options.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke