The Capital City BBQ is an international street food house that quietly sits on the corner of Saginaw Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. I’ve never had to wait in line to order here, but I’ve had three people this summer recommend that I should go to “that Vietnamese barbeque place.” Little did they know, I was converted years ago by their smoked meats and saucy renditions of banh mi.
This month’s special menu features the Big Rooster, which comes with shredded chicken, bacon, white sharp cheddar, chipotle mayo, raw red onions and a huge slice of tomato, all stuffed inside a doughy French baguette. That time I vowed to cease eating animals in seventh grade flashed before my eyes when I saw the word “rooster” in the name, which made it all too real. I almost backed out last-minute to get the spring rolls instead, but decided I had to do what was best for the City Pulse.
The Big Rooster is essentially a $10.35 chicken club without any leafy greens, and while it’s more of a courtesy than a requirement, no coleslaw. While it was underwhelming to not be met with the crunch of lettuce, it was all in the name of perfectly smoked chicken.
I even crossed my arms and threw a little fit about the raw red onions, having preferred them grilled and then covered in smoldering hot cheese. But you see, those are the remarks of someone who doesn’t appreciate the laborious process of smoking meats. It’s a serious pain and I admittedly will never undergo that kind of time in the kitchen for anyone.
Luckily, the team at Capital City BBQ treats all their customers like guests in their home. While my sandwich didn’t come with a side, I ordered the cracked black pepper fries for $3 which was easily shared between me and my partner-in-dining. I can huff and puff about not getting all the fixings of my Southern backyard barbeque fantasies, but this comfort-fusion food house delivered as promised — a gargantuan chicken sandwich.
Capital City BBQ
11 a.m. - 8 p.m., Monday-Saturday
1026 W Saginaw St, Lansing, MI