From Shaquille O’Neal is seven foot one we all knew it was only a matter of time until he started making big moves in the 713 (which fittingly happens just before the start of basketball season). The legendary basketball Hall of Famer’s aptly named fast-casual chicken franchise Big chickenjust announced that it is debuting its first location in Houston, which will open later this fall.
Located in the Westchase area at 9660 Westheimer Rd (just down the street from The Galleria), Houston’s first Big Chicken outpost is part of a 50-unit deal in the four largest metropolitan areas of the State: Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin. The Las Vegas-based restaurant, founded in 2018 by O’Neal with partners JRS Hospitality and Authentic Brands Group, already has locations in eight states as well as on Carnival cruise ships.
While Houston is already home to several bustling chicken sandwich dispensing restaurants such as Lea Jane’s Hot Chicken, Mico’s Hot Chicken, and Howdy Hot Chicken, what Big Chicken brings to the mix is wide ranging: the restaurant hosts eight different chicken sandwiches. , including standout options like the Big & Sloppy with mac and cheese, crispy fried onions, and roasted garlic BBQ aioli; the Uncle Jerome, a Nashville-style hot chicken sandwich simply dressed with lettuce, mayo and pickles; and the Shaq Attack, a zesty offering loaded with pepper jack cheese, jalapeño salad, and enough spicy chipotle barbecue sauce to make you eat more than a handful of Tums after your meal.
Big Chicken also serves sides like sweet potato fries, Cheez-It crusted mac and cheese, and jalapeño salad. For dessert, the restaurant offers some pretty mouth-watering milkshakes (we were excited to try the El Padrino Negro, which is a mix of chocolate chips, peanut butter, and whipped cream), a trio of ice cream and a really big cookie aptly named the Big Cookie – a nine-inch basketball-sized cookie monster that we’re guessing has been scaled up to appear full-sized when grabbed by the one of Shaq’s towering hands.
Big Chicken is opening this fall at 9660 Westheimer Rd.