While pandemic precautions were probably not on most restauranteurs' minds when they opened their business, some have adapted to our new reality better than others. The recently opened, celeb-hyped, food truck turned brick and mortar, Sticky's Chicken, is (lucky for me) among them. From the first week of our "Take Out Reviews" column, I've noted both some impressive safety measures and some cringe-worthy shortcomings at every restaurant I've placed an order from — including ones I'm not reviewing.
Despite our now "re-opened" economy, I continue to choose takeout-exclusive restaurants. While my thoughts and best wishes are with those owners who must open to pay the bills, I'll be carrying out for the foreseeable future. That said, I was delighted to see that Sticky's is not only maintaining their takeout-only status, but have closed their dining room to customers and converted the front of their Sawyer Yards storefront to a walk-up takeout window, complete with two registers and an industrial-sized tub of hand sanitizer.
The experience was reminiscent of a time before COVID and a feeling any food writer can attest to. That is, the feeling of sitting in an empty restaurant you love, trying not to think about the fact that your much-enjoyed solitude is, in fact, a very bad omen for the future of that business. That impending sense of doom is one we who live by and love Houston's restaurants have been feeling more and more of lately.
But enough doom and gloom. There's chicken to review.
My usual favorite, the OG Sticky's Sliders, were very nearly perfect. Time did steal some pizzazz from the melted provolone, but everything else from the toasted Hawaiian rolls to the sauteed chicken, drizzled Sticky's sauce and aioli were in perfect condition. The sweet tanginess of the housemade sauce somehow works with the inherent sweetness of the bun, all of which blends together with tender bits of chopped chicken and the savory goodness of melted cheese. The cruelty of the dish is its mocking size. Over before it even begins, I'd happily pay a premium to replace the useless fries with two more sliders.
A delicious looking order of Chicken Over Rice, a Sticky's classic inspired by the original Halal Guys dish, was devoured by my wife. I'm told it was delicious.
At under $30 for a meal that fed us twice, Sticky's seems a better value than some high-end concepts slinging takeout for twice the price and half the quality. If you're craving wings, Asian-style fried chicken or something altogether new, give this local joint some much-needed support during a difficult time.
If you're in the dancing mood, this week was national Dance Like a Chicken Day (it's real) and Sticky's is offering willing customers buy one get one free on any entree if they participate in their Chicken Dance Challenge. On Thursday, May 14, post your best chicken dance video on Instagram or TikTok, tag @stickyschicken, use the hashtag #getstickywithit and tag/challenge a friend. Just show the cashier your post on Thursday to redeem your BOGO offer, and you'll be entered into a drawing to win free Sticky's for a month.