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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