Strategy Southerners swear by this regional chicken chain's breakfast menu — we went to see if it lives up to the hype (BOJA)

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Bojangles' is the fifth largest chicken chain in the country by sales, but is their breakfast worth the trip?

We ordered a slew of biscuit-based sandwiches — something we had skipped on our last visit — and dug in. Prime among the sandwiches were the Cajun Chicken Fillet and the sausage egg and cheese. play

We ordered a slew of biscuit-based sandwiches — something we had skipped on our last visit — and dug in. Prime among the sandwiches were the Cajun Chicken Fillet and the sausage egg and cheese.

(Hollis Johnson)
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In the South, the biscuit makes the breakfast.

And the biscuit is the unquestionable star of the breakfast menu at Bojangles', a southern chicken and biscuit chain that has cultivated a fervent cult following.

With over 700 locations in 11 states and Washington, DC, the chain has ensconced itself as a regional power player in the chicken game.

Bojangles' is the fifth largest chicken chain in the country by sales, according to QSR Magazine.

To see if Bojangles' chicken and biscuit-centric Southern breakfast lives up to the hype, Business Insider visited a location in Virginia.

The North Carolina-based chain has over 300 locations in that state alone, but we visited one in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Bojangles' beige buttress beckoned from the highway in Charlottesville, Virginia. play

Bojangles' beige buttress beckoned from the highway in Charlottesville, Virginia.

(Hollis Johnson)


It was late in the morning, but we had no qualms — Bojangles' serves breakfast all day. The breakfast menu is fairly large, offering a bevy of biscuit sandwiches as well as some classic morning sides.

Bojangles' is well-loved, and for good reason. But it at times falls short of expectation. We can see why people love the biscuit and celebrate the chicken's Cajun seasoning — but in 2017, the chicken competition is stiff. The chain's breakfast menu would compel these judges to visit over a trip to Popeyes, but on a comparison of chicken, the larger chain still reigns supreme. play

Bojangles' is well-loved, and for good reason. But it at times falls short of expectation. We can see why people love the biscuit and celebrate the chicken's Cajun seasoning — but in 2017, the chicken competition is stiff. The chain's breakfast menu would compel these judges to visit over a trip to Popeyes, but on a comparison of chicken, the larger chain still reigns supreme.

(Hollis Johnson)


We ordered a decent representation of the menu: a chicken biscuit; a Cajun fillet biscuit' a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit; a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit; a country ham biscuit; a plain biscuit; a "Bo-Berry" biscuit; and "Bo rounds," the chain's take on hash browns.

play

(Hollis Johnson)


The classic chicken biscuit is just that: a fried chicken fillet in a biscuit. There's a warm simplicity to it, and the size of the chicken is generous. However, the meat itself is a tad on the dry side — similar to Bo's chicken Supremes — and a touch too salty. A smear of jam on the biscuit might help alleviate this, but the taste could still be better.

The classic chicken biscuit is just that: a fried chicken fillet in a biscuit. There's a warm simplicity to it, and the size of the chicken is generous. However, the meat itself is a tad on the dry side — similar to Bo's chicken Supremes — and a touch too salty. A smear of jam on the biscuit might help alleviate this, but the taste could still be better. play

The classic chicken biscuit is just that: a fried chicken fillet in a biscuit. There's a warm simplicity to it, and the size of the chicken is generous. However, the meat itself is a tad on the dry side — similar to Bo's chicken Supremes — and a touch too salty. A smear of jam on the biscuit might help alleviate this, but the taste could still be better.

(Hollis Johnson)


On the other hand, with the Cajun fillet biscuit, something clicks. The special Bo's Cajun seasoning adds a subtle layer of heat with what seems to be paprika and cayenne. It works perfectly with the blank canvas of the chicken, and the salty, buttery biscuit tempers the spice to a reasonable level. It's an incredibly good sandwich.

On the other hand, with the Cajun fillet biscuit, something clicks. The special Bo's Cajun seasoning adds a subtle layer of heat with what seems to be paprika and cayenne. It works perfectly with the blank canvas of the chicken, and the salty, buttery biscuit tempers the spice to a reasonable level. It's an incredibly good sandwich. play

On the other hand, with the Cajun fillet biscuit, something clicks. The special Bo's Cajun seasoning adds a subtle layer of heat with what seems to be paprika and cayenne. It works perfectly with the blank canvas of the chicken, and the salty, buttery biscuit tempers the spice to a reasonable level. It's an incredibly good sandwich.

(Hollis Johnson)


Bojangles' more standard breakfast offerings have similar pros and cons as other chains'. The bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit is decent, but nothing to phone home about — the small amount of bacon gets lost within the typical egg fold and the fluffy biscuit. It doesn't really stand out in the crowd.

Bojangles' more standard breakfast offerings have similar pros and cons as other chains'. The bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit is decent, but nothing to phone home about — the small amount of bacon gets lost within the typical egg fold and the fluffy biscuit. It doesn't really stand out in the crowd. play

Bojangles' more standard breakfast offerings have similar pros and cons as other chains'. The bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit is decent, but nothing to phone home about — the small amount of bacon gets lost within the typical egg fold and the fluffy biscuit. It doesn't really stand out in the crowd.

(Hollis Johnson)


The sausage version is miles better, mainly because the meat manages to hold its own against the buttery biscuit. It's a standard affair; a salty and peppery sausage patty meets an egg fold and a melty slice of neon orange American cheese. Such a marriage of food is destined to be successful.

The sausage version is miles better, mainly because the meat manages to hold its own against the buttery biscuit. It's a standard affair; a salty and peppery sausage patty meets an egg fold and a melty slice of neon orange American cheese. Such a marriage of food is destined to be successful. play

The sausage version is miles better, mainly because the meat manages to hold its own against the buttery biscuit. It's a standard affair; a salty and peppery sausage patty meets an egg fold and a melty slice of neon orange American cheese. Such a marriage of food is destined to be successful.

(Hollis Johnson)


"Country ham" seems to be halfway between normal slices of ham and bacon rounds, and it's somehow saltier than both. The biscuit takes control of this sandwich, burying the ham apart from an explosion of salt on the tongue, which leads us to believe the ham and egg version is similar.

"Country ham" seems to be halfway between normal slices of ham and bacon rounds, and it's somehow saltier than both. The biscuit takes control of this sandwich, burying the ham apart from an explosion of salt on the tongue, which leads us to believe the ham and egg version is similar. play

"Country ham" seems to be halfway between normal slices of ham and bacon rounds, and it's somehow saltier than both. The biscuit takes control of this sandwich, burying the ham apart from an explosion of salt on the tongue, which leads us to believe the ham and egg version is similar.

(Hollis Johnson)


Of course, oftentimes simplicity triumphs — and the humble plain biscuit is a triumph indeed. It's buttery, salty, and airy, yet it manages to stay together well without crumbling into a crumby mess. It's a utility player that doesn't put on airs or ask for much, but it delivers every time.

The saving grace is the simple, humble plain biscuit. Sweet, buttery, salty salvation. It's a utility player that doesn't put on airs or ask for much but delivers every time. play

The saving grace is the simple, humble plain biscuit. Sweet, buttery, salty salvation. It's a utility player that doesn't put on airs or ask for much but delivers every time.

(Hollis Johnson)


The "Bo-Berry" biscuit, beloved by Bojangles' fans, eschews simplicity and fails to deliver because of it. We can see why it's iconic: it's a brash, bold, and sickly sweet dessert item that would barely qualify as breakfast food, or anything else.

Then there's the Boberry biscuit. People adore this iconic treat: a sweet, blueberry biscuit smothered in frosting. play

Then there's the Boberry biscuit. People adore this iconic treat: a sweet, blueberry biscuit smothered in frosting.

(Hollis Johnson)


However it is slathered in teeth-decimating sugar icing, and dotted with "blueberries" whose authenticity cannot be determined one way or the other. The "Bo-Berry" biscuit is altogether decadent and overwhelming.

Bojangles' signature sweet, the Bo-Berry biscuit, is adored by the chain's fans. Yet this adoration befuddles us. Biting in, Hollis immediately called his dentist to schedule a cleaning. The toaster-strudel-esque icing gave way to a sweetened biscuit dappled with suspiciously artificial-tasting blueberries. It's an icon, sure, but a problematic fave. play

Bojangles' signature sweet, the Bo-Berry biscuit, is adored by the chain's fans. Yet this adoration befuddles us. Biting in, Hollis immediately called his dentist to schedule a cleaning. The toaster-strudel-esque icing gave way to a sweetened biscuit dappled with suspiciously artificial-tasting blueberries. It's an icon, sure, but a problematic fave.

(Hollis Johnson)


Bojangles' "Bo rounds" are, in a word, delicious. They're almost typical hash brown fare, except they have a much stronger onion flavor, like real hash from the skillet. They keep their crispness despite their size — especially compared to Dunkin Donut's similar hash browns, which are constantly soggy and floppy.

Bojangles' "Bo rounds" are, in a word, delicious. They're almost typical hash brown fare, except they have a much stronger onion flavor, like real hash from the skillet. They keep their crispness despite their size — especially compared to Dunkin Donut's similar hash browns, which are constantly soggy and floppy. play

Bojangles' "Bo rounds" are, in a word, delicious. They're almost typical hash brown fare, except they have a much stronger onion flavor, like real hash from the skillet. They keep their crispness despite their size — especially compared to Dunkin Donut's similar hash browns, which are constantly soggy and floppy.

(Hollis Johnson)


The chain's breakfast menu is a strong one, and it rests primarily on the strength of Bojangles' biscuit. It's one of the best biscuits in the industry, bar none, and that helps bring the standard breakfast sandwiches — even the mediocre ones — to the next level.

The taupe continued inside. The interior had a clean and sterile — yet vaguely homey — vibe, like an old-school New England Wendy's. play

The taupe continued inside. The interior had a clean and sterile — yet vaguely homey — vibe, like an old-school New England Wendy's.

(Hollis Johnson)