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Big Cheech’s Chicken, Waffles, and Sliders keeps it tender

At this boneless fried chicken joint in Scripps Ranch, try the waffle sandwich

A fried chicken, bacon, and cheese slider, on waffles
A fried chicken, bacon, and cheese slider, on waffles

For something like seven years, a certain cult favorite soul food outfit from Los Angeles has teased the idea it would open a San Diego location. And maybe someday soon, we can all discover it’s been worth the wait. But in the meantime, we have Big Cheech’s Chicken, Waffles, and Sliders to tide us over. Complete with caricatured “Big Cheech” branding, this Scripps Ranch shop presents as a homegrown fast food concept, launched in as shiny and well-lit space just off the 15 freeway.

Place

Big Cheech’s Chicken, Waffles and Sliders

9810 Carroll Canyon Rd., Ste 102, San Diego


Take note of the ‘Sliders’ in its name, because the first important expectation to set is that this particular fried chicken joint is boneless. Big Cheech’s menu for the most part revolves around the humble chicken tender, whether it’s featured in a two-, four-, or six-piece chicken and waffle combo ($15 to $23), or as the centerpiece for any of several sliders.

A fast food joint original to Scripps Ranch


Chicken tenders means dipping sauces, the options including ranch, buffalo, barbecue, sweet chili, mango habañero, and a mustardy signature house sauce. However, while the waffles do live up to their sweet and fluffy billing, it’s between buns with shredded lettuce and tomato that I found the chicken tenders best employed.


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A two-piece chicken and waffle


You can get a spicy sandwich with melted pepper jack and shredded lettuce; a deluxe with pickles and American cheese. You may even get a grilled tender chicken club, with bacon, if you’re into that sort of thing. Any of these sliders get bundled into a fries and drink combo for $14 to $15, but look further down the menu to see you can enjoy any single slider, a la carte, for about $5 to $7 apiece, which makes a better bang for your buck meal, as I see it. You’re not stuck with poultry, either, as the slider menu features a traditional mini-burger, a falafel slider, and a mini rendition of a Philly cheesesteak.

A spicy chicken slider (right), and Philly cheesesteak slider (left)


That said, the actual best reason I found to pay a visit to Big Cheech’s was the “chicken n waffle” slider. This one leaves any vegetables out of the equation, sticking instead to the tried and true triad of breaded chicken, bacon, and melted cheese. But more to the point, it builds the sandwich on pie wedges of waffle instead of buns.


Thus, for 6 bucks, we get to indulge in all the promise of the words “chicken and waffles” in a simple, grab-and-go sandwich. It won’t knock your socks off, nor prevent any faraway looks at the next Roscoe’s tease. But coupled with a hot chicken slider, it will meet a certain, affordable genre of lunch craving, whether or not you choose to add syrup and hot sauce to the equation.

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A fried chicken, bacon, and cheese slider, on waffles
A fried chicken, bacon, and cheese slider, on waffles

For something like seven years, a certain cult favorite soul food outfit from Los Angeles has teased the idea it would open a San Diego location. And maybe someday soon, we can all discover it’s been worth the wait. But in the meantime, we have Big Cheech’s Chicken, Waffles, and Sliders to tide us over. Complete with caricatured “Big Cheech” branding, this Scripps Ranch shop presents as a homegrown fast food concept, launched in as shiny and well-lit space just off the 15 freeway.

Place

Big Cheech’s Chicken, Waffles and Sliders

9810 Carroll Canyon Rd., Ste 102, San Diego


Take note of the ‘Sliders’ in its name, because the first important expectation to set is that this particular fried chicken joint is boneless. Big Cheech’s menu for the most part revolves around the humble chicken tender, whether it’s featured in a two-, four-, or six-piece chicken and waffle combo ($15 to $23), or as the centerpiece for any of several sliders.

A fast food joint original to Scripps Ranch


Chicken tenders means dipping sauces, the options including ranch, buffalo, barbecue, sweet chili, mango habañero, and a mustardy signature house sauce. However, while the waffles do live up to their sweet and fluffy billing, it’s between buns with shredded lettuce and tomato that I found the chicken tenders best employed.


Sponsored
Sponsored
A two-piece chicken and waffle


You can get a spicy sandwich with melted pepper jack and shredded lettuce; a deluxe with pickles and American cheese. You may even get a grilled tender chicken club, with bacon, if you’re into that sort of thing. Any of these sliders get bundled into a fries and drink combo for $14 to $15, but look further down the menu to see you can enjoy any single slider, a la carte, for about $5 to $7 apiece, which makes a better bang for your buck meal, as I see it. You’re not stuck with poultry, either, as the slider menu features a traditional mini-burger, a falafel slider, and a mini rendition of a Philly cheesesteak.

A spicy chicken slider (right), and Philly cheesesteak slider (left)


That said, the actual best reason I found to pay a visit to Big Cheech’s was the “chicken n waffle” slider. This one leaves any vegetables out of the equation, sticking instead to the tried and true triad of breaded chicken, bacon, and melted cheese. But more to the point, it builds the sandwich on pie wedges of waffle instead of buns.


Thus, for 6 bucks, we get to indulge in all the promise of the words “chicken and waffles” in a simple, grab-and-go sandwich. It won’t knock your socks off, nor prevent any faraway looks at the next Roscoe’s tease. But coupled with a hot chicken slider, it will meet a certain, affordable genre of lunch craving, whether or not you choose to add syrup and hot sauce to the equation.

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