Chicken Fight

(Kayla Boon)

(Kayla Boon)

By Kayla Boon

Two new chicken places in town. Who will take the top spot?


During the challenging years of middle school, I had severe anxiety surrounding the surge of the global climate change crisis. Being the inspired 13-year-old I was, I wanted to correct climate change on my own, but, plot twist, that wasn’t realistic. 

After watching the documentary “Game Changers” on Netflix, I realized one thing I could control was choosing to stop eating meat immediately due to the damage the meat industry has on our climate. Meat, in general, usually grossed me out anyway, so the change was manageable. Since fish also is not the most appetizing, that leaves one good option: chicken. Over the past year and a half without the option of red meat, I have gained a lot of poultry knowledge and would say I know what good chicken tastes like. 

Two new chicken venues, Flybird and Starbird, have been added to Marin County’s somewhat generic restaurant list this past month. The question is, which is the adequate replacement for the awful gas-draining distance of Chick-Fil-A?

First, I tried Flybird, a humble chicken place tucked into the Cove Shopping Center in Tiburon. As soon as I walked in, I realized there was little atmosphere. When you walk in, you see the kitchen and cashier, and to the right are about 20 tables for eating in. Although space was abundant, it was slightly concerning to see only one couple sitting down on a Saturday night. The music was either too quiet or not interesting enough to remember. But, then I saw the amount of sauces one of the workers was filling and thought maybe the focus is takeout. The employees were super nice, and the food came out in an expected time. 

The menu, clearly chicken-centric, offers a variety of different chicken options. I ordered  “The Classic” Chicken Sandwich ($13), a side of fries ($4), and the “Star Sauce,” which was included with the meal. The sandwich came on a nice roll of bread, which wasn’t too hard or dry, and complemented the chicken well. The sandwich included coleslaw, ranch, and pickles, which matched the chicken, but did not distract from the main course. My only complaint on taste was the amount of coleslaw they added, which seemed excessive for a sandwich. The toppings definitely set it apart from the other chicken sandwiches I have had. They all tasted fresh and brought flavor to the sandwich. The tangy spices of the coleslaw and Star Sauce paired beautifully with the crispy chicken and soft bread. This is definitely more of a healthy option compared to other fast-food chicken sandwiches, and that is what you may be paying for.

The biggest issue I noticed was the pricing. The price sat fairly high with a sandwich and fries, averaging a whopping $17, which is a lot for a Tam student’s daily budget. I would recommend splitting the sandwich with a friend as the size of the sandwich is pretty generous. Aside from its high-priced sandwich, the quality of the food is higher, which is definitely a big factor for chicken experts like myself. Overall, Flybirds’ chicken sandwich was good, but it is not worth the high price, and the unwelcoming atmosphere.

Next up, I tried Starbird, a hip new place in the heart of Corte Madera’s Town Center. As I walked in, they had self-ordering machines that were fast and texted me when my order was ready. There were tons of people sitting down and popular music was playing, which I could barely hear because the restaurant was filled with chatter. There were numerous tables inside and outside, clearly meant for dine-in customers. I ordered the “Starbird” (classic) Chicken Sandwich ($9.97) and a side of fries (2.97), totaling about $13, which was definitely more affordable than Flybird. There were many sandwiches, salads, and differently flavored chicken tenders also on the menu, which were popular amongst other customers sitting near me. The fries were pretty average and definitely needed a dipping sauce. The housemade sauce was included and went well with the sandwich and fries. The sandwich came with coleslaw, avocado, mayo, and the chicken was crispy on the outside and very fresh-tasting inside the bread. The flavor combination as you bite in was unmatched and unique to other chicken sandwiches, which will definitely attract more customers. The portions were perfect for one person and didn’t leave me wanting more or regrettably less. Although the Flybirds sandwich was tasty, Starbird is the winner. They have a better atmosphere, prices, popular locations with a high percentage of seeing someone you know, and a better sandwich. I will, slightly out of pity, give the fries to Fly Bird though, because they were a thinner shape and had that classic salty flavor. 

Although it is hard to admit, Fly Birds’ unlucky location, high prices, and mediocre atmosphere have landed it at No. 2 for a chicken restaurant in proximity to beloved Tam High. Next Saturday night, when you are looking for a new dinner spot with a car full of hungry friends, stop by Starbird to get some quality food and a fun experience.