A hearty sandwich that has long been popular with diners at a popular Jacksonville neighborhood restaurant laid the groundwork for a new restaurant that opened this week in Jacksonville Beach.
A natural chicken breast lightly breaded for a crispy crust has topped the menu at The Local since the restaurant opened in the Miramar neighborhood of Jacksonville nearly four years ago.
The chicken sandwich’s popularity grew when The Local’s co-founders and owners – Ted Stein and JC Demetree – opened the restaurant’s location in Neptune Beach in 2019.
The chicken sandwich, as well as nuggets and tenders, are the focus of Wonderbird – the new fast food chicken restaurant that Stein and Demetree opened in Jacksonville Beach on Tuesday.
Wonderbird is located at 528 Beach Blvd. and focuses on natural, farm-raised, steroid-free, and hormone-free chicken options. The restaurant also offers a vegan diet with chicken sandwiches and tender as staples.
Stein said at The Local that he and Demetree believed they had “a superior chicken sandwich.” The homemade breading and quality chicken really made a difference, he said.
“We saw a great opportunity to expand our offerings and give people access not only to a quality chicken sandwich, but also to healthy, fresh salads that are quick and easy to prepare,” Stein said on Tuesday.
Wonderbird’s menu, he said, “has something for everyone – delicious chicken sandwiches, grilled or fried, fresh salads, and even vegan tender options.”
“In this new world we live in, we wanted to be able to offer a new generation of fast food through what we call fast, craft, food,” Stein said.
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On the menu, guests can choose from seven fried, grilled or vegan meatless chicken sandwiches, as well as grilled or fried chicken nuggets and tenders – all in regular or spicy options.
The fried chicken sandwiches are fried fillet served on a classic potato bun with thickly sliced dill pickles and topped with one of the restaurant’s 11 specialty sauces, according to the restaurant’s website.
Specialty sauces include WonderSauce, a mix of sweet, soy, and citrus flavors; gluten-free jax sauce that echoes the restaurant’s roots with smoky, sweet mustard flavors; and vegan soy and lime vinaigrette, which is offered on the Chinese chicken salad.
The restaurant also offers classic sauces like buffalo, cajun ranch, barbecue, ranch, and gluten-free bird sauce, a traditional peppery chicken tender dip sauce.
A variety of freshly prepared salads, side dishes and desserts, including brownies and blondies, round off the Wonderbird menu.
Wonderbird is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Through Thursday, Wonderbird is offering first responders and healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic a 50 percent discount.