I’m back with my fourth Fried Chicken Fest post. This time I’m going hyper-local with my 1 Block Fried Chicken Diet.* The 100 Mile Dietis passé. Ordering fried chicken from restaurants almost next door to your workplace is the way to go.
*Actual distance may be slightly more than a block.
In my case, the three contributing restaurants, are Local Pub & Eatery, The Shark Club, and The Merchant Kitchen. The Shark Club is a new entry for me this year. Last year both The Local and The Merchant Kitchen were part of my dozen selections.
1 Block East to Local Pub & Eatery
When I step out of the Smith Street door of Holy Trinity, I literally just have to cross the street, and wend my way through a couple of parking lots to be at Local. One benefit of lockdown, the parking lots are empty, so there are no cars to dodge as I walk over.
Last year, their Fried Chicken Fest offering was the Hot Chicken Sandwich. That was a good, and not overly complicated sandwich. The same is true of this years choice, The Classy Clucker. From the Fried Chicken Fest website:
What came first, the chicken or the egg? Who cares! All we know is this sandwich will have you doing the chicken dance all night long. Signature crispy fried chicken, bacon, house aioli, pickled jalapenos, and our housemade queso served with fries on a sesame seed bun.
This year’s entry is not as spicy as last year. However, the jalapenos and nice little bit of heat to the sandwich. The bacon here is a little fattier than the St. James Burger & Chip Co entry, but still really good.
1 Block Southwest to The Shark Club
1 block southwest takes me to The Shark Club. The Shark Club is a sports bar/casino. I’ve never visited there before this week, but it was convenient when it came to ordering Fried Chicken.
The Shark Club entry for Fried Chicken Fest is, SaméTori:
A Shark Club take on a Japanese classic, Chicken Kara-age. Kara-age style battered chicken breast, tossed in Shark Spice, served in a bun with pickled onions, tomato, lettuce, crispy noodles, with Jalapeño Havarti and Bossam Aioli.
The spice level on this chicken burger isn’t particularly high. However it shows up as you go along. What I really liked about this chicken dish was the crispy noodles. They were liberally packed into the bun. As a result every bite gives a real good crunch as you eat it.
Although they are not part of the Fried Chicken Fest menu, I also added an order of onion rings to this meal. They were very good. All were crispy and there is a great balance between coating and filling.
The sandwich is definitely worth the 1 block trip.
1-ish Block North to The Merchant Kitchen
Yesterday’s trip was a block north along Donald, to The Merchant Kitchen. I had a feeling that I had rated their Fried Chicken Fest quite highly.
When I looked it up, I realized I couldn’t have ranked it any higher. I was traveling 1 Block to my number 1 choice for 2021.
The dish for this year looked equally intriguing. Their entry is Frambuesa Picante:
Brown butter toasted serrano provolone scone, chipotle dusted fried chicken breast, pickled red cabbage, carrots, fresh dill, and raspberry honey.
I could see that the scone might be a bit crumby, so I decided to tackle this one with a knife and fork. In the bottom right of the above photo, you can just see a tiny bit of the container with the raspberry honey.
The raspberry honey is what really makes this dish. The chipotle dusted chicken breast is crispy and tender. Plus the scone offers sneaky heat that blends well with the sweetness of the raspberry honey. This burger will definitely be challenging for the number one spot again this year.
Well, that’s my 1 block diet. I hope you enjoyed it. Now, I just need to repeat that 1 block about 100 times to work off the calories.