The Star has a substantial update on Spring and Summer openings coming to Fishtown.
Though Kensington Quarters–Fishtown’s up and coming pasture-based butcher shop and eatery–is still mired in construction, the first glimpse of the food at their series of three Fried Chicken Pop-Ups was a great one.
Remember how, a few weeks ago, we told you about Kensington Quarters–Michael Pasquarello and Bryan Mayer’s butcher shop/bar/restaurant/classroom that will open at some point in the next few months? And then how last week we told you about how the chickens didn’t get the memo about their construction delays so they’re hosting a Fried Chicken Pop-Up? Well, the news keeps getting better.
The chickens themselves are kind of remarkable, and even among all the great chickens in this town from Federal Donuts, Rotisseur, and The Fat Ham, these birds are pretty special. They’re locally-raised in Lancaster where they’re 100% pastured, thus eating legumes, bugs, and grass along with non-GMO feed. And oh, by the way, just to amp it up a little further: the birds will be fried in 100% grass fed beef fat, which means that even your self-righteous and selective-meat-eating friends (including yours truly) can get in on this hot, breaded action.
On Thursday, January 9th, Michael Pasquarello of 13th Street Kitchens (Cafe Lift, Prohibition Taproom and Bufad) is showing off his upcoming Kensington Quarters at Cafe Lift. The pop-up will feature fried chicken from 6 to 11 p.m.
Why fried chicken? Well Pasquarello and butcher Bryan Mayer promised their farmer that they would be buying 200 chickens a week in 2014. But Kensington Quarters, the combination butcher shop and restaurant the pair are opening in Fishtown isn’t open yet, so we all get fried chicken.
Let me introduce you to Bryan Mayer, the butcher, as you’ll likely be hearing a great deal in the next few months about this Brooklyn transplant. Mayer, who traded bass playing for butchery after reading Bill Buford’s Heat, taught himself his craft based on a lot of practice and the Kitchen Pro series of books published by the CIA. Tom Schneller, an author of one of those texts, became an in-person teacher when Mayer took a job as the head butcher and teacher at Fleisher’s Grass-Fed & Organic Meats in upstate New York. For four years, Mayer oversaw the operations of Fleisher’s shops in Kingston and Brooklyn, lectured on meat fabrication and charcuterie at the CIA, and, the accomplishment of which he’s proudest, trained aspiring butchers and helped them open their own shops all over the country.
Now, Mayer has moved to Philly and he, along with Michael Pasquarello (of Bufad, Cafe Lift, and Prohibition Taproom) is hard at work opening a his own shop in Fishtown.