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Hilarious Bergen County Chicken Tender Experts Are 'Ballin On A Budget'

Jonathan Kopf of Closter, left, and Zack Fischberg of Haworth say they're "ballin' on a budget" as chicken tender experts on a quest to find the best.
Jonathan Kopf of Closter, left, and Zack Fischberg of Haworth say they're "ballin' on a budget" as chicken tender experts on a quest to find the best. Photo Credit: Contributed

Bergen County teens Zack Fischberg and Jonathan Kopf know they're too old to order from the kids' menu.

But that doesn't seem to stop the pair, who say they're "ballin' on a budget."

Fischberg of Haworth, 18, and Kopf of Closter, 19, are on a quest to find the best chicken tenders on the East Coast and eventually, the country.

It's all documented and scaled on their blog.

"Ever since we can remember, we have had a passion for good chicken tenders," said the teens, who met when they were seven at Ramapo Day Camp.

"After indulging ourselves in an abundance of chicken tenders, we arrived at a definitive ranking of what characterizes the perfect tender and decided to share it with the world early in 2018."

The Northern Valley Demarest (2017) graduates adamantly believe that nobody deserves to eat a bad chicken tender, which is why they say they're "sacrificing their taste buds for the betterment of the rest of the world."

It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.

Fischberg, a freshman at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Kopf, a freshman at the University of Delaware, reunite during school breaks to put local nuggets to the test.

Their rating scale has five categories: taste, crispiness, juiciness, appearance and monetary value. The tenders are ranked on a scale of 1 to 10 -- 10 being the best and 1 the worst.

A perfect tender will receive a score of 50.

The teens are equal parts funny and brutally honest.

"The best tenders will taste the best, have a crispy seasoning, will have the perfect amount of juiciness, have a golden brown color/hue," the teens said, "and of course, have the best bang for your buck."

They're tough critics, too. No chicken nugget has yet to score a perfect 50, the closest is Chick-fil-A though, at 37. Second in line are the tenders from the Haworth Minit Mart at 35.

"In the middle of the thriving metropolis of Haworth, NJ, this dive offers a wide range of fried stomach fillers," the blog says.

"For only $4.50, you can chow down on a basket of chicken tenders. Hot out of the frya, these beautifully breaded tenders will consistently put you into a state of euphoria. These tenders can be enjoyed anywhere from the bar top inside to the swings that are just a pebble’s toss from the door.

"The quality of this chicken yields the perfect amount of juice per square bite."

The lowest scoring chicken tender is the one from Monticello Casino and Raceway at 18/50.

The experts say the tenders are a disgrace to all others of their kind.

"Located in the food court of this New York state casino, you’ll find some of the worst tenders out there," they wrote.

"These tenders are not worth the barren space in your stomach. You’d be better off taking your $10 and putting it all on red."

Kopf and Fischberg say they have tried too many tenders to keep track of in their lifetimes, but plan on changing that going forward.

"Ideally, we would like to start locally and pinpoint the gems within Northern Jersey," they said. "Then, test out the acclaimed 'best chicken tender' joints throughout the country.

"We encourage everyone to check out our blog, share with friends, and keep eating tasty tenders."

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