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Kentucky Fried Chicken

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  Kentucky Fried Chicken Mannheim

Möhlstraße 3 68165 Mannheim

What’s KFC’s motto here in Germany?  No, not ‘finger lickin’ good.’  It’s not ‘We do chicken right.’  But rather, ‘Republic of Fresh.’  An odd name, indeed, but KFC does live up to this name – the chicken is definitely served fresh, warm, and crisp!

My monthly excursion to American fast food joints in Germany continues to the city of Mannheim, where the nearest KFC can be found.  Located near the Mannheim planetarium, this branch is quite large, equipped with a drive thru and a poor looking, but decent, kids area outside.  The long journey out to the sole Kentucky Fried Chicken in the area is, however, definitely worth it!

 

Inside, the KFC in Mannheim is surprisingly modern (as is the case with many other American fast food restaurant chains in Germany!).  The atmosphere and environment is on par with casual restaurants in the States.  There’s even a flat screen television hanging on the wall, playing classic American popular music videos.  Of course, being a fast food restaurant, there is an ordering counter with a large menu board, albeit the menu is extremely difficult to read due to the small printing.  Even people with glasses might have a tough time reading off the board.  Who thought it was a good idea to use such tiny letters, anyways?

 

In Germany, it appears that the chicken sandwiches and wraps are a fairly new phenomenon as many of them are featured and advertised on the board.  Aside from those items, you have your selection of chicken (original recipe or spicy), hot wings, chicken strips, salads, and sides.  There are no honey BBQ wings here – only regular hot wings.  The list of sauces doesn’t even include BBQ, just ketchup, mayonnaise, gravy, and salad dressing.

 

Unfortunately, the assortment of side dishes is especially limited.  Looking for macaroni and cheese?  Baked beans?  If so, you will be deeply disappointed.  German KFC restaurants only have mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw, corn on the cob, and French fries (also chili cheese fries).  That’s it.  Oh and there are no biscuits too!  It’s like half of the items you would typically find at an American Kentucky Fried Chicken didn’t make it across the Atlantic.  For dessert, they don’t offer chocolate chip cakes, strawberry shortcake parfaits, or apple turnovers.  No.  Surprisingly, the KFC chains in Germany have donuts and muffins.  More about this later!  One bright spot about KFC, though, is the availability of free refills for drinks – something missing at other fast food chains, like McDonald’s, here in Germany.

Compared to the chicken at KFC in the United States, the buckets can get quite expensive.  Fortunately, if you plan correctly, you can find coupons on the company website and print them out beforehand.  The chicken here is quite similar in taste and texture to that in America.  The secret original recipe seasonings penetrate the skin and meat extremely well.  Of course, the skin is crisp and mouthwatering.  Definitely brings back memories of home.  The hot wings are also crunchy on the outside, juicy and tasty on the inside.  There is also a slight hint of spiciness in each wing, exactly the way it should be.  Sadly, the mashed potatoes aren’t on the same level as the stuff people are accustomed to back home.  They are creamier and puréed, but just taste different.  The potatoes are yellow instead of the white spuds often used in the States.  Gravy is just gravy.

 

For dessert, a donut or a muffin costs a whopping 1,50 Euros.  Although the chocolate muffin is sweet and delectable (cake like texture, with a peanut butter filling in the middle), the cost is difficult to swallow.

Overall, the most important item on the menu at KFC – the chicken – is done very well and is comparable in quality, taste, and texture to what an American is looking for.  However, the limited selection of side orders and the costs are two factors that are difficult to ignore.  While there are some surprises (the donuts and muffins being the main ones), it’s hard to make up for the lack of items.

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Summary:

Kentucky Fried Chicken is an American fast food restaurant chain primarily selling chicken and southern style side dishes.  A tad on the expensive side.

Overall – 4 stars

  • Original Recipe Fried Chicken – 4.5/5
  • Hot Wings – 5/5
  • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy – 3/5
  • Chocolate Muffin – 4/5
  • Service – 5/5

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http://www.kfc.de/

Written by geschmack

February 11th, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Pollo Campo

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Mandys Fast Food Center  Pollo Campo

Speyerer Straße 1 69115 Heidelberg

Fried chicken – classic comfort food.  Unfortunately, you will be hard-pressed to find American style fried chicken in Heidelberg.  Surprisingly, there are no Kentucky Fried Chickens in this tourist city.  But luckily, there is a restaurant that not only features savory fried chicken, but also tasty BBQ spare ribs too!

 

Enter Mandy’s Fast Food Center and you will notice a themed restaurant with an entrance reminiscent of an old western saloon.  Step inside, however, and you will be perplexed by the clash of cultures.  The layout captures the old west nicely – hard wooden benches and booths, ancient relics from years past lining the shelves, and portraits of Native Americans hanging on the walls.  However, the music blasting from the speakers is not some festive old western saloon piano theme, but rather a modern day mixture of German, American, and Spanish popular tunes.  There is a television showing an old black and white western, drowned out by the sounds of “Smooth Operator” from Sade.  This left me scratching my head.

Like Mandy’s Burger next door, Pollo Campo offers special value meals that make ordering from the massive menu fairly easier.  Ask for the 7,20 € menu 1 and you will get 2 pieces of fried chicken, leg and thigh, 1 spare rib, a choice of French fries or baby potatoes, a salad of your choosing, and a 0,4 liter soft drink.  At 6,20 €, menu 6 consists of a baguette or wrap sandwich, fries or tiny potatoes, and a drink.  There are a total of 12 different savings meals to choose from.

 

The fried chicken is awfully good.  It has the classic flavor and texture of good fried chicken.  The skin is crispy and well seasoned, the meat juicy and mouthwatering.  There aren’t any added secret spices a la KFC, but the essence is good overall.  Keep in mind this is still a fast food joint, so it won’t be anything like mom’s homemade stuff.  The only potential shortcoming is the fact that the chicken wasn’t piping hot.  Nonetheless, the chicken here is a success.

The barbecue spare ribs are not as superb as the fried chicken, though still enjoyable.  If you are looking for tender ribs that fall off the bone, you will be disappointed.  The pork is a bit hard to get through, but the ribs are quite meaty and sticky.  The barbecue sauce slathered on is rather delectable and lip smacking.  All together the ribs are good – finger-licking good – but not the absolute best.

The side orders are not too impressive.  Baby potatoes are oven roasted with the skins on.  They are soft and delicate, but a bit heavy on the salt.  There is a hint of paprika to give it a special kick.  Despite this subtle addition, they are simply ordinary fare.  The menu boasts the Coleslaw being homemade, but it tastes run of the mill.  The vegetables look like they had been sitting in the fridge a bit too long.  In terms of flavor, I have had better at KFC.

 

On the whole, Pollo Campo does an excellent job cooking up the important items on the menu– the chicken and ribs.  Although they would be better served offering mashed potatoes, gravy, and biscuits, Pollo Campo’s existing menu is adequate enough to satisfy the appetites of hungry patrons.  If you can look past the strange surroundings, Pollo Campo is without a doubt worth a visit.

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Summary:

Pollo Campo, part of the Mandy’s Fast Food Center in Heidelberg, is an American style chicken and ribs restaurant featuring both American and Mexican favorites, including sandwiches, chicken wings, fried chicken, chili con pollo, nachos, and empanadas.  Menu in both German and English.

Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11 AM – 1 AM
              Friday, Saturday: 11 AM – 2 AM
              Sunday: 12:00 PM – 1 AM

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • Fried Chicken – 4.5/5
  • Barbecue Ribs – 4/5
  • Baby Potatoes – 2.5/5
  • Cole Slaw – 3/5
  • Service – 5/5

 

http://www.mandys-hd.de/pollocampo/

Written by geschmack

December 4th, 2009 at 10:50 pm