Trend Watch: Fried Chicken

BY BRIDGET SALMONS

Last year I was assigned the dreaded duty of Best of Philly fried-chicken scouting. While NYC chefs hopped on the fried-chicken bandwagon a couple of years back, Philly’s been a little slow to pick up the trend. After eating a lot of lackluster, soggy-skinned birds, we eventually decided to nix the category altogether. But now (finally!) more and more restaurants are getting into the fried-chicken game.

At Mémé (pictured), chef David Katz fries up the bird, thighs, and legs only for lunch on Thursdays. The Miller High Life is optional, but suggested (2201 Spruce Street; 215-735-4900).

Chef Jesse Kimball serves his chicken fried chicken with an addicting habañero mustard/BBQ sauce at Port Richmond’s Memphis Taproom (2331 East Cumberland Street; 215-425-4460), and the twice-fried chicken at sister restaurant Resurrection Ale House (2425 Grays Ferry Avenue; 215-735-2202) is so freakin’ good, we just couldn’t resist putting it on our 239 Dishes You Must Eat Now cover.

Also in on the game is Jose Garces, whose fried chicken (with collard greens, a biscuit, and chicken gravy) at Village Whiskey tastes like the Deep South (114 South 20th Street; 215-665-1088).

And we’ve got to give props to old-faithful Ms. Tootsie’s — which, by the way, now has a to-go/late-night menu; I’ve tried the chicken takeout and surprisingly it’s every bit as grease-free and tooth-shatteringly crunching as it is in house (1314 South Street; 215-731-9045).

Looks like this year the fried-chicken category is back up and running, with some pretty stiff competition in the mix. Have a favorite place? Let me know about it in the comments.

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  • Tomika

    EVERYONE knows that Pathmark has the best fried chicken! Get off the restaurant tip Bridget! It’s right in your favorite market! This is a person who knows, because I went as far as to disguise my voice in an attempt to get the ingredients for the batter! MMMMMMmmm! Crunchy outside, juicy and tender inside uuuuhhhh oh and the seasoning….. Whew! Believe me, it is the Best of Philly! Pathmark fried chicken! Maybe if you tell them I sent you they may hook a sista up with the recipe?!?!

  • wendy

    I had the fried chicken at the Memphis Taproom shortly after they opened and it sucked! Totally dry and if you’re gonna serve chicken fingers don’t call them fried chicken.

  • BarryG

    Crown Fried Chicken is actually amazing, albeit really salty.

  • Kate

    Where can we find some of this good fried chicken in Montgomery County?

  • jay

    imo Jones has the best fried chicken in Philllytown. N

  • Gregczar

    The worlds’ best fried chicken is Walts’ in Wilmington Delaware. You can buy it by the piece or the barrel. Eat in or take out. Take out recomended. Best in all of the Delaware Valley.

  • Joe

    Troxie’s on Broadway in Gloucester City, NJ, has some of the tastiest fried chicken that I’ve had in years. It’s juicy, crispy, non-greasy and always cooked fresh to order (usually takes 20 minutes), so call first.

  • Gary

    Kate: The only place in Montgomery County is Church’s Fried Chicken at the end of 309. We usually drive 20 minutes to get it. If you have never tried Church’s you don’t know what you are missing. First of all they marinate it in Buttermilk, rool it in flour, then egg, then spicy flour then deep fry it.
    That is the only way to meake great chicken. Almost impossible to make at home this good unless you have a deep fryer, not some wimpy FryDaddy.

  • Horace Steenblatter

    The Fart Bar has pretty good fried chicken.

  • Ann

    Hennings in Harleysville has great fried chicken.

  • Davis Miller

    Point Break – A Perfect Bar Experience in NYC

    A local friend recommended and took my Cali group to this amazing bar. He said that mostly locals came here so I didn’t really know what to expect ambiance wise… but screw it, the view at this bar was absolutely breathtaking! No joke. I felt like a celebrity w/ superstar treatment as the staff are friendly and amazing to say the very least.

    I don’t know who the house DJ was but he definitely was playing music right up my alley. It would’ve been my dream for people to start dancing, but it’s all good.

    It’s a bit sceney for my taste, but it really didn’t bother me much. the bartenders knew their stuff, although their 1st cocktail was a little weak, when he saw i understood cocktails the next 2 were stronger. I also liked that even though the place was really hopping the bartender remembered what i was drinking when i came to order another. (he also understood how good a gin hendricks is, and not to overpower it with the mixer). It was amazing to see their “das boot” which is shaped like a boot filled with beer. Don’t get me wrong, I am not drunk…it’s an actual boot shaped beer container ready to be emptied..try it ..you will love it!! Oh..how can I forget, they even have a wheel o’ shots where you just have to spin it and have to drink whatever shot it lands on!! Now call that bar creativity at its best!!!

    We ordered the Veal and Fish Tacos. They were delicious. Mm! We ended up asking for spoons to polish off whatever remained in the platter. (Faux pas? Who cares as long as it gets in my tummy.) The fries were crispy, but not overcooked, just the way that I like them.

    So take in this scene: You walk in to what seems like an overly crowded place, but soon fine an empty table. Time seems to stop and the only indicator of the night moving on is the moon and your brain cells slowly going to bed forever. The music is not to loud and the people around look good, the only thing left for you to do is to enjoy that drink you paid ridiculously low for and laugh at the joke your co-worker just told.

    The vibe of the place just never seems to die out and if you happen to spot some NYC socialite, sports player, or star, don’t let it get to you… because for that moment, this night they are no long more important than then you. In fact go up to them and introduce yourself!

    All in all just a great place to meet new people, or just have drinks with people you already know. I’ve been to numerous bars in the city but i would say this place is just great. Very welcoming staff, very laid back ambiance. I’ve been here twice after my first visit with my Cali group . I would say its worth the every penny you spend!!