Amidst the Covid lockdowns of 2020 we got a little bored. (or a lot bored depending on who you ask) but out of it came our most favorite family activity ever. Now I am not going to pretend we invented this idea, or that it’s new. I just thought I would share with you all incase you are looking for something fun to do with your family, friends, or even youth groups. I will share a few tips we have come up with along the way as well.
So this all started with a love of trying new things, and competition. We have done SEVERAL taste offs over the past 2 years now and we have loved them all. (I will share all the ones we have done below) on to our favorite. The Chicken Sandwich taste off.
We love Chicken sandwiches and we love even more that suddenly every restaurant (mostly fast food here) started serving up their own version. In a quest to find the BEST chicken sandwich out there, we decided to hold a taste off. (shown above are 2 that went head to head)
It started with a bracket. I made one you can print yourself.
Then we selected 16 restaurants for the bracket. In the initial pairing we tried to match them up with who we thought their closest competitor would be. For example we did McDonalds vs Burger King, and Super Chix vs Klucks Krispy Chicken (2 specialty chick places local to us) We did this to try and make the first round as fair as possible. The only other thing we considered was proximity. For example 2 of our restaurants were both about 25 min from home, so we placed them against each other and planned on eating at a park closer to their location (so the chicken would still be as hot and fresh as possible)
Some of our taste offs could all be done in one night, but this was a long one. (we actually are still working on it 6+ months later) This is simply due to the fact that you can only do one round a night, and our schedules have been busier plus we would get sick of chicken if we did it every night so we spaced it out.
It’s been a lot of fun because sometimes we have a big group, when the kids all have friends over, they all love to participate. We also have the core group that is present for each taste off (so if ever there is a tie we allow the core group members to break the tie.)
What you do. (assuming a group of 6 you would alter the numbers for a larger or smaller group)
- Pick up 3 sandwiches from each location (send one person to each location if possible to keep things quick)
- We also picked up 2 large fries from each location to make a complete meal and we allowed fries to help break any ties
- Cut each sandwich in half. So each person will end up with 2 halves.
- After eating everyone votes on which they like best
- The winner moves on to the next bracket. (we did single elimination)
Helpful tips (things to consider)
- When doing a hot food item taste off (like chicken sandwiches) timing matters. Choose resturaunts that are close to home, or close to where you will eat. We did places all within 5-10 min. from home. Then we sent two people to pickup trying to time it all as close as possible.
- We tried to order the same type of chicken sandwiches from the different places to keep things as “fair” as possible
- You can set up tasting “rules” like what are you judging on, taste, texture, look, whatever you decide.
- You could make score cards and tally the scores from there if you want it to be more secretive. We enjoyed the discussion of who liked what best and why.
So there you have it. That’s how we did a chicken sandwich taste off.
We have also done other taste offs like:
- Water tasting
- Root beer tasting
- French Fries
- Locally we have participated in the Utah Taste off which has done, cookies, brownies, cheesecake, doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, BBQ pork, salsa. They do all the hard work.
- Universal Yums is a favorite. Every month it’s a box of treats from a different country around the world. We get together and try them and rate them.