Tag Archives: fried chicken

Jimmy’s Diner

This is a great addition to your fried food rotation. I walked by Jimmy’s Diner before a filming gig and had to try the joint based on looks alone.

Turned out to be a great choice. This “Lucky Schmidt” sandwich was awesome. Fried chicken fingers, melted swiss, bacon, jalapenos, chipotle mayo and pickles on a potato bun. Great crispy fries too. Go give it a shot!

JIMMY’S DINER
577 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Soba Noodle Azuma

THIS IS MY 500th RESTAURANT REVIEW!

Not really a big deal, but I figured I would mention that just for the fuck of it.

My wife and I noticed this joint while walking around the ‘hood, and since we are always interested in trying new noodle joints, we figured we would give it a shot.

We started with an order of fried octopus balls – not ‘pus testicles, but, rather, fried spheres with a creamy octopus-based filling.

These were excellent. Super tender on the inside and crisp on the outside. Hot though, so careful when you pop these balls into your mouth.

I’ve been on a Japanese fried chicken kick lately, so the next thing we tried was their fried chicken appetizer. For just $6.50 this was a great deal. Lots of good, juicy, tender thigh meat with an excellent golden crisp batter on the outside.

The way to go here is ordering their combination platters. My wife got this combo deal that came with soba noodles, sashimi, tempura and some other nice bits.

You can choose hot or cold soba (she picked hot), and small, medium or large orders are all the same price (S=100g; M=200g; and L=300g). Pictured above is a large.

I ordered a combo that came with soba noodles and a chicken and egg rice dish.

I, too, ordered large and hot.

I think, though, the noodles weren’t the star of the show here, as odd as that seems. All the stuff AROUND the noodles was better. Maybe because we picked hot/soup style? Perhaps the best way to go is cold noodles or tsukemen style (you dip the noodles into concentrated and flavored broth/sauce).

One last pair of things to mention: the desserts. My wife’s combo came with a scoop of ice cream. They were out of black sesame so she picked green tea. It was good but not quite sweet enough for my tastes. I generally dislike all things green tea, so take that assessment with a grain of salt.

That said, I was intrigued by the idea of a green tea tira misu, so I had to order it.

It was amazing. The green tea wasn’t bitter – it was sweet. And when we combined the tira misu with the whipped cream and sweet red beans in one bite, the flavors were outstanding. I highly recommend this for dessert.

SOBA NOODLE AZUMA
251 W 55th St
New York, NY 10019

Yakitori Totto

My wife and I stopped in here for a quick meal since we are both big fans of yakitori. We tried a bunch of shit.

First was the “soft bone,” which is essentially the cartilage found near the breast meat of the chicken. I thought there would be more of this, since it is generally abundant on the animal and a throw-away item in so many cultures. It was tasty though, I must admit.

Next was chicken skin. Since this is grilled, it doesn’t quite develop the crunchy texture you might expect from something that’s broiled, baked or roasted for a long period of time. It wasn’t rubbery or fatty though, so I liked it.

Next up, knee bone. This was probably my least favorite of the skewers, but I know my wife likes the weird crunchy bits, so I’m pretty sure she liked this.

These skewers are chicken oysters, tender lumps of meat found beneath the thigh of the chicken, near the ass. They’re so soft and juicy. One of the best skewers (we ordered two).

Our last skewer was the chicken thigh. These were my favorite. Nice and tender, as expected. Good fat content, lots of flavor.

We also tried both of their fried chicken apps. At $9 these were a little pricey (just four drumettes per order).

This is the regular order – just fried and lightly seasoned, served with lemon wedges.

And this is the flavored version, with a sweet sauce, a grilled shishito pepper and sesame seeds. We both liked this dish better.

Last, we had an order of ikuri: rice with roe. It also comes with a blob of fresh wasabi, shredded nori, shredded scallions, a nice seaweed broth and Korean/Japanese style pickles. Not bad for $13.

We really liked this place. The skewers range from like $3 to $10 (for special meats). Ours were all $3 or $3.50. It all came to $50-something bucks, which I thought was cheaper (and better) than other yakitori joints in the area.

YAKITORI TOTTO
251 W 55th St
New York, NY 10019

Pig Bleecker

UPDATE: THIS JOINT IS NOW CLOSED AS OF 3/1/19

This joint offers some of the most unique and delicious dishes I’ve come across in a while. I went with a group of food Instagrammers to help the restaurant get some pics out to the masses, so we were able to sample a lot of stuff.

First off, the cocktails are really creative.

If you like apertif type drinks, try the Greyfriar or the Donna Reed. I generally shy away from them due to the bitter element, but these were extremely tasty and have me re-thinking the entire class. My favorites, though: Old Smokey, I’m on Fire and Deacon Blues.

Take a look at the food menu.

Everything looks/sounds good because everything IS good. I’m serious. Every item we tried was not only good but often times outstanding. I seriously think this is my new favorite restaurant.

Okay on to the goods. I apologize in advance for some of the pics that I didn’t bother editing. I was primarily concerned with getting just a few to look great for Instagram, in particular the steak, burger and fried chicken dishes.

These little corn bread wafers are a nice change from standard table bread in a basket.

SNACKS

The Pecan Candied Bacon is served in a mason jar. They reminded me of the stuff my wife makes, only without the spicy element.

The Deviled Steak & Eggs is essentially a deviled egg with steak tartare under the whipped yolk. Excellent bites.

STARTERS

If there’s only one thing Chef Matt Abdoo should have as his legacy, it’s his ability to make incredible sauces. These BBQ Chicken Lollipops feature one of those amazing sauces. They are fantastic.

Grandma Val’s Meatballs are really great. Again, that sauce is killer.

This next dish of fried cod cheeks was not on the menu, but they might have been one of my favorite dishes of the night. I could easily eat bucket-loads of these. Nice light and puffy batter, simply garnished with pickled peppers and scallions. Awesome.

I’m usually not a fan of cooked oysters, but the Grilled Oysters here definitely changed my mind.

MAINS

Brisket Ravioli with black truffle butter? Yup. They even shaved a bunch on top, table-side.

Beautiful.

We shared the Bleecker Burger, which is probably now one of my new favorites. It’s in the style of a Big Mac; double patty, special sauce (yeah – it’s an incredible sauce). Nearly flawless in execution. As a friend pointed out, it just needs an element of crisp, whether from the patty or a leaf of iceberg. The house pickles are perfect.

The Linguine Cacio e Pepe and Lasagne dishes were both nicely executed as well, but I didn’t get a shot of either, unfortunately.

FOR THE TABLE

Let me start with the amazing Smoked & Fried Chicken. This is a whole chicken, and it’s expertly breaded and perfectly fried.

I enjoyed this more than Ando and Ma Peche, which seem to be the top of the pack for many fried chicken aficionados.

Again, the sauces that come with this are amazing.

But the waffles with whipped sweet and salted butter were the real show stoppers. I’ve never had a waffle that tasted so good.

The chicken comes with cheesy grits, which are fantastic.

Here comes the big daddy: the Tomahawk Chop with Smoked Beef Rib. Essentially, steak and brisket.

This is an aged Pat Lafrieda cut that has been lightly smoked before being properly finished off as a steak. It’s served with smoked cap and brisket, and another amazing steak sauce.

This steak tastes like a delicious hybrid between BBQ and traditional steakhouse fare.

It’s smokey and sweet, but also earthy and savory. It really blew me away. 10/10.

SIDES

The Mac & Cheese is really tasty, and topped with a cheese powder that will take you back to your childhood.

These Hand Cut French Fries are more like flattened and squashed baked potatoes. Very good, and not the same as the shoestring style fries that come with the burger.

The Utica Greens are made with escarole, which I love to see on menus. This really popped from the smokey bacon and cherry peppers.

Finally, we tried the Anson Mills Grits, which I also liked very much.

DESSERT

Mason Jar Oreo Cheesecake. Velvety and delicious.

Mango Sorbet with Yogurt Chips & Fresh Mango. So bright and flavorful.

Karen’s Key Lime Pie. Perfect rendition of this classic.

Brownie Hot Fudge Sundae with Virginia Peanuts. Decadent.

Buckeye Milkshake (like a peanut butter and chocolate ice cream shake). This is something special. Not only is it gorgeous, but it is filling, yummy and satisfying.

They were all awesome, and overall this was an amazing meal. I can’t wait to go back and try their 155 Steak, a Teres Major/Shoulder Tender cut, so keep an eye out for updates.

UPDATE 4/18/17 – 155 STEAK

This shoulder tender is awesome.

It has all the softness you’d expect from a filet mignon, but the flavor character of a rib eye.

Although it was cooked more like medium than medium rare, it still packed a lot of oomph. It was slightly sweet yet savory, had a good crust on the outside, and was super tender and juicy inside. At just $28, this is a steal. 8/10.

PIG BLEECKER
155 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10012

Bann

I picked up a Groupon deal for about $12 that gave me $40 to spend here at Bann. Pretty solid bargain. My wife and I started with a pair of apps; steamed buns and wings.

The buns contained marinated thinly sliced beef rib eye and spicy daikon. There were pretty good, and I liked the sauce, which was based on spicy bean paste, only a little thinner.

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I liked the wings a lot, though I wish the honey chili glaze made them a little spicier. In any case they were hot, crispy, tender and tasty. And that’s ultimately all that fucking matters.

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For our entrees we went with a noodle dish and a rice dish. First, the rice dish: steak tartare bibimbap with a raw egg yolk.

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This was pretty great, served cold, of course, with a side of spicy bean paste. The greens there are spinach, and there are some other shredded veggies and mushrooms in the bowl as well.

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Our noodle dish was very similar to a pork belly lo mein.

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It was pretty good, but had I known it would be similar to Chinese food, we probably would have selected something else.

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LIFT!

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BANN
350 W 50th St
New York, NY 10019

Delaney Chicken

Urbanspace Vanderbilt plays host to some of the absolute best food in town. Delaney Chicken is one of them.

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I first tasted their spicy chicken sandwich a few months ago and immediately hailed it as my favorite, and easily the best in town. Yesterday I grabbed one of their classic chicken sandwiches to test for consistency. It was right on the fucking money!

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I seriously can’t get enough of this thing. It comes on a nice potato bun with simply some pickles and house mayo. You wouldn’t think much of that, but the chicken is so perfect, and the sandwich is huge. The outside has a light, crispy and slightly spicy breading, and the inside is some of the most tender thigh meat chicken I’ve ever tasted. I still prefer the spicy to the original, but just look at this damn thing… It’s unbelievable.

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DELANEY CHICKEN
At Urbanspace Vanderbilt
230 Park Ave
New York, NY 10169

Ando Delivery Service

Ando’s Community Manager reached out and offered me some credit on David Chang’s new food delivery service app in order to gain feedback about a few menu items. I’d tried a few things that my wife brought home, but that was a few months back and I’d only tried them after the food sat for a few hours in the fridge between lunch and dinner time.

The way Ando works is that between 11:00am and 2:00pm you can order up some great fried chicken and various sandwiches for delivery in midtown. But the trick is that you have to order early, because sometimes they’re completely sold out by 11:30!

I was working with a $25 credit. Me and a buddy at work split an order of fried chicken and a Philly cheese (which they call a “NYC Cheesesteak”). We ordered at 11:00am on the dot, to avoid any sold out items. The food arrived to our office, literally, in eight minutes. They threw in a free cookie from Milk Bar too, as you can see.

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When we first read the description of the fried chicken box on the app, “thigh and leg,” we thought it wasn’t going to be enough food for us. And at $12 for two pieces of chicken it seemed a bit pricey. But the pieces of chicken were big and filling.

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The battered skin is absolutely delicious on these babies. It’s got a little spice to it, but not too much. It’s super crispy and stays crisp even if it’s in the box for a while, or refrigerated for a few hours. The meat underneath is extremely tender and juicy. This is one of my favorite fried chicken boxes in the city, and it’s much better than the stuff Chang serves at Ma Peche, in my opinion.

The chicken also comes with coleslaw as well. This brightly colored slaw was nice and sweet, with just a touch of savory. It wasn’t too watery either, which was nice because I dislike watery slaw. While I’m generally not a huge coleslaw guy, this version was pretty good.

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As for the cheesesteak, at $12 we both felt like it was a little expensive, especially considering that there were a few gristled bits of fat that I had to pull out of my mouth. The flavors, however, were great. The cheese is evenly melted throughout the sandwich, the bread isn’t greased up or destroyed from too much juice, and the onions are nicely cooked. It’s just a bit small and expensive, but then again this is David Chang’s food, so that is what justifies the price. Keep in mind, this is only $1 more than a Shorty’s cheesesteak, which is one of my favorite in the city.

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Overall the food is very good; even the cookie was soft and delicious. Our food came to $24, and with tax and tip we were at about $30. We were full and satisfied for about $4 or $5 after the press review credit was applied. I definitely recommend this service. The chicken is pretty great, and has a unique flavor with a wonderful crisp.

ANDO
Food Delivery App
Available on iTunes

Hell’s Chicken

My wife and I were recently invited here for a press meal.

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This place is located just above the new Hudson Yards construction area on the west side. It’s a prime spot for the soon-to-be-bustling area. In any case, Hell’s Chicken serves up some tasty Korean style fried chicken!

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The batter was nice and crispy, and one of the sauces, the soy ginger, was really delicious. Even the drum sticks were adequately battered and sauced, so that the ratio between meat and batter was in the proper proportion.

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We also tried the “spicy hell” sauce, which is tomato based and gluten free. It did not deliver the kind of heat that one might expect from such eloquent naming. I thought I’d be shitting molten lava afterward, but that won’t be the case (thankfully). In any event, don’t be afraid! A good, welcoming heat creeps up a few seconds after your taste buds get to work, and the end result is pretty addictive.

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That’s cashew powder sprinkled on top, by the way: a very interesting touch.

Not only does this place do fried chicken, but they also serve up some traditional Korean dishes as well. We tried three courses. This first bite was a shrimp and veggie roll wrapped in pickled daikon.

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It was nice and refreshing, with a hit of sweet pickled goodness from the daikon.

Then we sank our teeth into this kimchi pancake, made with eggs, flour and pickled cabbage. It was crispy but had a nice dense, substantive texture to it from the kimchi inside. This might have been my favorite dish of the night.

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Next up was this platter of bork belly and lightly dressed greens. The belly was sliced thick and grilled with simple spices and sesame seeds. We dipped the pork in spicy bean paste. Awesome. I could eat this every day.

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This came out with some spicy pickled kimchi items as well. Shishito peppers, bean sprouts and cabbage. All were pickled in-house.

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I should also mention that this joint offers a pretty good happy hour deal from 4pm to 7pm, with $5 beers, wine deals and discounted well drinks.

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But check out this trio sampler of infused soju: yuzu, pomegranate and blueberry. All were on the sweet side, as opposed to dry. The pomegranate was the best, and most naturally pleasant tasting of the three. I like the old style presentation too, with the small jars. This will run you $18, for what is essentially about 12-15oz of soju. I thought that was a good deal.

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To sum up, this is a great place to satisfy for your Korean fried chicken cravings. The traditional dishes are pretty great too. A guy who sat next to us ordered the bibimbap, and I must say it looked, smelled and even SOUNDED delicious when it came out in the hot clay bowl. That’ll be my next meal here.

HELL’S CHICKEN
641 10th Ave.
New York, NY 10036

Chick-Fil-A

NYC has gone bonkers with the opening of its first official Chick-Fil-A restaurant (not counting the small, kiosk shop in an NYU cafeteria downtown, of course).

Amid equal parts protest and jubilation, the joint seems to be off and running to a great start. If you’re living under a rock and don’t know, Chick-Fil-A is all about the “traditional marriage” (knee slap) of fried chicken and sandwich bread to form the holy and spiritual union of said ingredients into one righteous chicken sandwich.

Needless to say, lines have been out the door since said doors have been open.

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I ran down at noon on a Saturday and, to my surprise, the line ended AT the door. I was literally in the vestibule at the end of the line, and was told that the experience would only take about 10 mins. That was an accurate estimate, if not a “conservative” (kneeslap) one. I was probably back out the door, food in hand, within 8 minutes.

But my timing was impeccable. One could even say my timing was, oh, I don’t know… divinely inspired? Perhaps providential? As I left, I turned and noticed that the line had grown to go OUT the door and around the block:

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Anyway, I ordered about $18 worth of food, which consisted of the traditional sandwich with cheese, lettuce and tomato:

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The spicy sandwich with a spicy breading, pepper jack cheese, lettuce and tomato:

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An 8-piece nuggets, with all the sauces:

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And a medium order of waffle fries:

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As far as fast food goes, this comes in on the upper 75th percentile, I’d say. I’ve had better, but I’ve definitely had worse. The chicken is tender and juicy, but when competing in NYC with the likes of places like Fuku+ for a chicken sandwich, there’s really no choice. Anyway take a look at the inside:

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In conclusion I’ll say this: sort of like the entire Chick-Fil-A controversy itself, there’s just more hype and loud voices than actual substance when it comes to the taste of Chick-Fil-A. If you’re like me and you absolutely MUST try something that looks interesting, for fear of missing out, then go for it! But since this place is somewhat out of my hood, I will probably be sticking to Fuku+ from now on, which is literally just a few streets away and SO much better.

One last thing I’ll say is that the service truly was incredible, which is something that Chick-Fil-A is known for. Everyone was super friendly and accommodating, and the whole process was really fast. If I may say so, it was probably one of the best fast food buying experiences of my life. So there you have it.

CHICK FIL-A
1000 6th Ave.
New York, NY 10018

Fuku+ and Ma Peche

In need of a fried chicken fix, and with no real deal fried chicken joints in my area, Fuku+ became the spot to hit on a Sunday evening.

My wife and I tried the “mini me” sandwich and some bites. All of the chicken is dark meat, so you’re getting good flavor and tenderness each time you sink your teeth in. One thing to note: the green sauce that comes with the bites is fucking incredible. It’s a jalapeno jelly of sorts. Spicy, sweet, thick and the heat stays with you a few minutes.

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Each item was $6, so reasonably priced. I just feel that the mini me sandwich needs lettuce, tomato and mayo and it would be perfect. All that comes with it are two slices of pickle. But the breading and crisp are nice, and the potato bun rocks.

While we were there we ordered some fried chicken from Ma Peche to go; their famous habanero fried chicken. Kind of a let down, in my opinion. The batter was overcooked and slightly burned, and it lacked seasoning. The habanero kick was barely present at the aftertaste mark. Also one of my drumsticks was not fully cooked on the inside. Bummer. At $30 per order (pictured below are two orders), this is simply not fucking worth it. You’re better off going to Fuku+ for a few orders of the bites if you need your fried chicken fix.

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On a second visit to Fuku+ with my friend Matt Bruck, we sampled a few other items. First was the “Juicy Lucy” burger, which is made with a cheese-stuffed Niman Ranch patty, topped with grilled onions and special sauce, and slapped between a nice, soft, supple-yet-strong potato bun.

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This fucker was cooked to about medium well, despite the waitress warning us that it would be “cooked through,” presumably to well done (so that all the cheese inside adequately melts down). Some reviews online reported that this was a rubbery, overcooked burger. We didn’t have that experience, though I do sympathize. The all-natural burger, being cooked and formed a bit differently than a traditional patty, certainly has a different texture than you might expect. The flavors smack of teriyaki or some other Asian influence. It reminded me a bit of the burger I had in Maui at Bully’s (the roadside joint I will mention in my forthcoming Maui blog post).

Next we had the mission Chinese chicken fingers. These are nice and spicy, and it’s the only white meat chicken you will find here at Fuku+. These were breaded with a crispy crust that was steeped in chili and five spice. Really nice, and I highly recommend it.

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Last was the pickled mussels. These were okay. They were a little bit unwieldy, being served in a jar and meant to be eaten on the provided toasty slices of French bread. They were definitely pungent and had a touch of spice from the pickling process.

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FUKU+ / MA PESCHE
Chambers Hotel
15 W. 56th St.
New York, NY 10022