Zamira Frost and Miranda Chao Hwang standing in front of Raising Cane's, a brick restaurant with a red awning on a city corner.

New Dining Duo Takes on Raising Cane’s

On September 13th, at approximately 7:30 a.m., a line of Texas toast and chicken tender enthusiasts started to wrap around the corner of Astor Place and Lafayette. 

By the start of the school day, it seemed that Raising Cane’s was on everyone’s minds. The restaurant is located less than a block away from Grace, tempting us as we eagerly await the lunch period. The chain restaurant, founded in 1996, has since opened stores throughout the country, and now, the Cane’s gods have decided to bless the students of Grace Church with a restaurant that injects the scent of crispy tenders and golden fries directly into school grounds. 

Here’s our question: what is so special about a chicken tender? After all, McDonald’s and Wendy’s—two restaurants that also offer a selection of fried foods—are also mere steps away from campus. In order to answer our question, we set out to the restaurant to test it once and for all. 

Before going ourselves, however, we needed to get the opinion of a true Cane’s lover. Out of all of the Cane’s enthusiasts at Grace, Vivienne S. ‘25 stands out as a self-proclaimed “Cane’s ‘addict’.” 

 “It’s this thing inside of me,” she describes. “This animal that calls me to Cane’s.”

 As a regular customer at Cane’s, Vivienne constantly “… chas[es] the taste of Cane’s.” When we asked Vivienne what makes Cane’s so delicious, she explained that it isn’t the chicken or fries that make it special but rather, the unique aspects of the restaurant: the Texas Toast and the famous Cane’s Sauce. According to Vivienne, “The toast and the sauce absolutely knock all the other competition from chicken markets basically out of the park.” 

Now that we have the review of the biggest Cane’s superfan, we know we NEED to go. 

On Sept. 27th, our first official day of out–lunch, we took the long and treacherous walk around the block to the shining neon sign. Suddenly, Cane’s, in all its glory, was right before our eyes. As we got in line, we noted the vibrant, welcoming atmosphere of the restaurant. It was packed, with almost all of the tables filled with high school and college students on their lunch breaks. Somehow, we managed to snag an empty table after giving our orders to the friendly, albeit overly chipper Cane’s workers behind the counter. 

There are four main aspects of the food that we need to cover here: 

  1. The Chicken Tender 
  2. The French Fry 
  3. The Texas Toast
  4. The Cane’s Sauce 

SIDE NOTE: There was also coleslaw but who really cares about the coleslaw? 

SIDE NOTE TO SIDE NOTE: The coleslaw was fine. 

After reviewing these items and the overall experience, we will give you a long awaited  answer to the age-old question: IS CANE’S WORTH THE HYPE???? 

Raising Cane’s. Courtesy of the authors

The Texas toast was the clear winner for us. It was soft and buttery with a hint of salt, making it the perfect complement to a meal that was packed with sodium and crunch. It came in at the top of our ratings, with both Zamira and Miranda rating it a 9/10. 

The chicken tenders were also a favorite, as the tenders’ crispy exteriors didn’t compromise its interior: the chicken was surprisingly juicy and flavorful. The breading on the chicken was thin, well-seasoned, and only left a small trace of grease on our fingers (not bad!). Although there was nothing particularly wrong with the chicken tenders, we didn’t feel that it was exceptionally good. For that reason, Zamira ranked it an 8.5/10, and Miranda gave it an 8/10. 

The legendary Cane’s sauce was a welcome addition to the meal, but again, nothing too special. We enjoyed pairing it with everything in the meal –the chicken tenders, fries, and Texas toast –because its slight sweetness cut through the rest of their saltiness. However, the flavor of the sauce didn’t quite live up to its hype. 

As Tamyrha D.’24 succinctly put it, “The sauce was mid.” It’s safe to say that we will not be buying cups of it to go with our tenders and fries. Both Zamira and Miranda agreed that the Canes sauce deserved a 7.5/10. 

Finally, the french fries came in at the bottom of our rankings, garnering an average score of 5/10 from both of us. They had a decent flavor and texture, but as Joaquim P. ‘24 noted, had a “very distinct salt taste.” They were certainly nothing special compared to Shake Shack’s fries and dulled in comparison to the Texas toast and chicken tenders. 

Here is our conclusion: Cane’s is good, but it doesn’t quite live up to its hype. Sorry, Vivienne! This isn’t to say that we wouldn’t crave the yummy chicken after a long day of school, but it is no better than the nearby Shake Shack or Chipotle. 

Let us know where the new dining duo should go next — we can’t wait to try your crazed cuisine! 

Miranda and Zamira are Senior Columnists for The Gazette.