Rick Millians

Rick Millians

Go ahead and update Wikipedia: Milledgeville will henceforth be known as "The Chicken Finger Capital of the World."

I mean, why can't we be like all those other Georgia towns that are already "The (Your Food Choice) Capitals of the World." 

Such as:

Vidalia: Sweet Onion Capital of the World.

Fort Valley: Peach Capital of the World.

Claxton: Fruit Cake Capital of the World.

I know Gainesville is already "The Poultry Capital of the World," but that shouldn't stop us. 

That means they just raise more chickens.

Milledgeville being "The Chicken Finger Capital of the World" means we eat more chicken fingers than anybody else.

Care to disagree?

Try driving down North Columbia Street around noon on a week day. 

Two rows of cars encircle the latest chicken finger place here: Huey Magoo's. Chick-fil-A has cars backed up into the street, as usual. And Zaxby's has cars wrapped around the building, too. 

And that's not even mentioning all the others places along North Columbia where you can buy chicken fingers (or nuggets), such as Popeye's, Bojangles, KFC, McDonald's, Arby's, Wendy's and Burger King — and I'm sure I'm missing a bunch. 

Of course, you can get 'em at downtown restaurants, as well as at the Crazy Chic on Jefferson Street.

I've got to admit that the name Huey Magoo's has a certain ring to it. I have no idea how the owners came up with it. Maybe they liked the rock group Huey Lewis and the News? Or maybe they were fans of legendary Louisiana governor Huey Long. Or maybe cartoon-character Mr. Magoo was the inspiration.

I do know that Milledgeville was the third city in Georgia to get a Huey Magoo's. They must have done some market research about our fondness for chicken fingers. Right?

Actually, somebody told me it had something to do with the owners being familiar with the city because their kids or their friend's kids attended school at Georgia College.

Everybody knows college students love chicken fingers.

So I decided to give Magoo's a try. Their slogan goes: "It's all based around the (chicken) tender — and a smile. Handcrafted with love and with guaranteed smiles all around."

Well, I don't know about all that smiling, but their tenders were tender with a crispy crust and the signature Magoo's dip was tangy and tasty. 

A Magoo's official told me that the restaurant was doing great and far exceeding expectations. He held one flat hand down around his waist and said  that's where expectations were, but held his other hand around his head and said that's where sales have been. 

He agreed that Zaxby's is the main competitor in the chicken finger wars, but said Chick-fil-A is always a competitor because they set the bar in good service.

You gotta like how Zaxby's puts a z on just about everything on its menu: Famous Meal Dealz, Big Zalads and Famous Fingersz! After all, the Zaxby CEO is some guy named Zach. 

What do I really think in the taste test between Huey Magoo's and Zaxby's chicken fingers?

I don't think there's a dime's worth of difference between them. And the Magoo's signature sauce tastes just like Zax sauce, if you ask me.

So, back to the new Milledgeville moniker I'm proposing: The Chicken Finger Capital of the World.

There's one more thing we need to do to cement the nickname — get a Raising Cane's franchise. It's yet another chicken finger restaurant. There's one in Athens. We ought to have one, too.

And, it's my granddaughters' favorite.

Rick Millians, a 1970 Baldwin High graduate, worked at newspapers in Georgia, Ohio and South Carolina before retiring. Reach him at rdmillians@aol.com.



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