Restaurateur Jack Gibbons turned tacos upside-down with Velvet Taco. Now he’s disrupting the chicken tender game with Buttercup – a “fork tenders” concept that serves fancy-sauced chicken in hand-held waffle cones
A creator of the Velvet Taco chain is taking that same playful, creative approach with a new chicken tenders concept called Buttercup that launches today at Legacy Hall in Plano.
Jack Gibbons, Buttercup’s inventor and the CEO of parent company FB Society, says Buttercup sets itself apart from all other chicken tender/casual chicken tender purveyors in both flavor and presentation.
“Buttercup is our way to rethink the classic chicken tender,” Gibbons told me. “Just like we did at Velvet Taco, we’re reinventing chicken tenders by using unexpected global flavors in a range of sauces, toppings and presentations.”
Buttercup’s tenders are crisp-friend to order (6 or 10 small pieces per order) then tumbled and sauced with bold, inventive toppings. The tenders are served in traditional cups or savory waffle cones, which make it easy to eat the goodies on the go. That’s about all that’s traditional about Buttercup’s take on tenders. Since the tenders are boldly sauced then topped with flavorful extras like Bleu cheese, Thai basil leaves, Mac-and-cheese and hushpuppies, they’re not really finger foods. I call them “fork tenders.”
The concept is designed to appeal to kids and adults. You can order big, bold flavor combinations like Nashville-style Hot, Thai Basil, and Salted Caramel, all served with a fork and tumbled in savory waffle cones, or play it straight-up with a cup.
Deep inside the cones, though, Gibbons and his team tuck surprise bites such as pimento balls, corn fritters and scoops of mac-and-cheese that elevate the eating experience beyond the usual box of tenders and dipping sauces. (Those surprises are also sold by themselves as side dishes.)
Gibbons says he hopes to expand Buttercup to several standalone locations throughout DFW. “This concept has a lot of life to it,” he told me. “I think it will do very well in the suburbs because we’re giving people something new, fresh and delicious meat. Besides, who doesn’t like really good chicken tenders with amazing sauces?”
Check out the menu (and really smart pricing), then let us know what you think.