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Food Fight: Chicken Royale

Munchy Mary – Food Fighter 

Like so many famous battles in history, people often stand on one side or the other – left or right, blue and black or white and gold, Yanny or Laurel, etc. One of the biggest debates that divides those in the Pittsburg community, however, is the question of Annie’s or Mary’s.  

Some say it’s just chicken, but true SEK folks know that it matters. Even the travel channel knows the importance of the battle, having previously visited the restaurants to decide who does it best. However, everyone knows that the best critic to really decide who’s best is not a long-time nationally televised show, but a beginner food critic for a college newspaper. That’s just a simple fact.  

This week, the battle of the chicken is put up as the latest round of food fights.  

The first contender is Annie’s weighing in at a whopping 84 years of service. For this battle, it was easy to put the meals up to each other bone to bone.  

At Annie’s, the first dish up for debate was the onion rings. As made evident by previous food fights, a little grease does the soul good and is a pretty popular food addition. As far as that goes, these onion rings certainly met the test. These ones required little ketchup and had the perfect amount of salt. Greasy fingers now in play, the meal was ready to eat – German potato salad, baked beans, and a side of spaghetti with two pieces of white. In layman’s terms, that’s one wing and one breast because, even in the chicken world, everyone loves a nice tender breast. And they were tender indeed. The meat was perfectly cooked and the skin was fried to a perfect slightly crunchy crisp. 

The sides, however, left something to be desired. The German potato salad was far too salty, and the same can almost be said for the spaghetti. Unfortunately, the baked beans were not much better. The chicken seemed worth it, however, as it ended up later being joined by some extra friends in a to-go box. The price was worth it for chicken this wonderful. 

Stepping up next is Mary’s. Their motto according to their website is “you’ve never had it so good,” but is that really true? Going back to the same meal, the perfect starter food was onion rings. They certainly took more ketchup to cover the lack of salt and distinct flavor, but were still not half bad.  

The meal was once again a repeat of the previous restaurant. The only difference was that the white-piece dinner was a breast and a wishbone. That wish must have come true because the sides were heavenly. The German potato salad seemed like it had been invented in the restaurant. It was too good to be true. The baked beans certainly did not disappoint either. However, the biggest treat was the spaghetti. If this writer dies, she wants to be buried in spaghetti at Mary’s. Well, that may be a bit extreme, but it is definitely the choice last meal.  

Unfortunately, the chicken did not entirely live up to the spaghetti’s expectations. It was slightly soggy and didn’t provide the same crunch as expected after the visit to Annie’s. Overall, this pick was still sure to be a hard fought battle between the two restaurants – the type of battle they have been facing for years.   

In a shocking turn of events, Munchy Mary is siding with Annie’s. Although the sides were far better at Mary’s, the crispy chicken and salty onion rings took the cake. When it came to chicken, Annie’s certainly wasn’t winging it. The restaurants were neck-and-neck in price, but the chicken is what truly cinched it. Go to Annie’s for the chicken, but stay for the squawking machine in the corner that lays little eggs with kid’s prizes in them.  

Although this will be a food fight that likely continues for years to come, the winner of the week was certainly Annie’s. 



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