Shaquille O’Neal has revealed the full menu for his new restaurant Big Chicken, which is set to open at 4480 Paradise Road near the Hard Rock Hotel on Oct. 23.
The house specialty will be crispy chicken sandwiches served on brioche buns, although guests will be able to order them grilled. The menu offers six varieties, ranging from a basic M.D.E. (short for Most Dominant Ever) that comes topped with pickle slaw and signature Shaq sauce, to the Big Aristotle, which comes with Muenster cheese, crispy fried onions, bacon and a sweet and smoky Memphis barbecue sauce. The most exotic version may be the Shaq Fu BBQ, which comes with kimchi, pork belly and Korean barbecue sauce.
The menu also includes sliders, chicken strips, sides and desserts. The beverage selection includes a special Shaq soda designed by Pepsi, shakes, specialty soft drinks, wine and a variety of draft beer including selections from local brewers like Crafthaus, Joseph James, Banger Brewing, Able Baker and Lovelady Brewing.
The basketball legend is reluctant to recommend a favorite for the menu.
“Just order what you like. Everybody’s different. The other day I tried the chicken sandwich with ham and cheese — really good. I would never (make) that, even though I’ve been doing it all my life eating cordon bleu.”
He did say that he doesn’t plan on eating the banana pudding ice cream sandwiches his chef-partners, Matt Silverman and Matt Piekarski, created.
“I know banana pudding. And you stop right there. One of my chefs came up with the great idea of banana pudding ice cream. And I probably will never try it. But I had to say to myself, ‘OK, it ain’t all about you, buddy.’”
A grand opening party is planned for the 23rd, and O’Neal says it will be a star-studded event.
“A lot of big-time people there. A lot of famous people. A lot of regular people. A lot of just great people. Red carpet, music, party — it’s gonna be one big party.”
When pressed for specifics on what celebrities are on the guest list, he opted not to tell.
“I’ve got some names, but I don’t want to say any names in case they don’t show up.”
You can follow Shaq and his chefs as they tour the country preparing for the opening of Big Chicken on their Facebook Watch! reality TV show “Big Chicken Shaq.” He promises there’s a lot more to the show than just food.
“We have alligators, crocodiles, chasing chicken. I make these two (chefs) play a seven games series, funniest thing ever. We do a lot of things.”
Contact Al Mancini at amancini @reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlManciniVegas on Twitter.