Reviews and Such

Fried Chicken Fest – Final Wrap

Welcome to my third and final post for Fried Chicken Fest. You can find the first post here, and the second post here. There is also a trend going on here. The first post featured three dinners, the second, four, and this one, give. Good thing the festival is over, or I would soon be eating dozens of fried chicken meals every day.

Fried Chicken Coq Au Vin
My final dish of Fried Chicken Fest. The Coq au Crispy from Little Goat Food and Drink.

In addition to the five places I tried over the last three days, I will give my ranking of all the dishes. Remember, some fried chicken dish has to be at the bottom of the list. On the whole the dishes were very good.

Fried chicken and noodles
Fried Chicken Bites with noodles from KYU Bistro.

Fried Chicken Bites with Noodles – Kyu Bistro

Kyu Bistro is a place where I have made multiple visits. Both at their food cart, and their, now closed, Forks location. However, this is my first time ordering from the Isabel location. When it came to the festival, I decided I would order the chicken bites with noodles. One reason, is that I get a little tired of the sandwiches after a while. A second reason, is that I really love noodles. They describe their dish this way:

Spicy Peanut Chicken & Yaki Noodles. Crispy Chicken tossed in Spicy Peanut Chicken Bites. Served over Stir-Fry Ramen Noodles. Topped with Furikake.

I enjoyed the spicy bits of chicken, and the huge pile of ramen that came with them. Kyu delivers a tasty and filling meal. One reason why I only ordered one meal on Thursday.

Magic Chicken
Magic Bird Fried Chicken Tropical Depression.

Friday Festivities

Tropical Depression – Magic Bird Fried Chicken Located in The Handsome Daughter

Friday was a day where I was only dropping into the office for a little bit. I took a leisurely route to get there. This included a stop at Magic Bird Fried Chicken. Their entry is called the Tropical Depression, and here is the description:

The Tropical Depression: Ginger-glazed fried chicken breast on Oh Doughnuts pineapple dip doughnut with fresh cilantro and pineapple ring.

I really like Oh Doughnuts sweets, and thought I would give this a try. I found the chicken coating really crispy with a good bit of chicken breast inside. One thing I really like is that the doughnut is not overly sweet, and then the acidic nature of the pineapple further sets that off. I hope to try more offerings from this restaurant.

What the Schnitzel – Promenade Cafe and Wine

Friday, when I left work, I grabbed a bus up to St. Boniface and stopped in at Promenade Cafe and Wine to pick up the What the Schnitzel sandwicch. Promenade has long been one of my favourite restaurants, and their Fried Chicken did not disappoint.

Fried Chicken Schnitzel
The Promenade Cafe and Wine What the Schnitzel Sandwich.

The description is as follows:

Manitoba chicken schnitzel on La Belle Baguette sesame seed potato bun, Smak Dab mustard, horseradish saskatoon Notre Dame creamery butter, Loveday mushrooms and sauce Bearnaise. Served with French fries.

Again, like all the other dishes this week, the chicken is crispy outside and moist inside. What I really like about this dish is the way the Bearnaise and the mushrooms work together to accent the flavour of the chicken.

Saturday, Fried Chicken Finale

Rancho Cucamunga – Sandwiches are Beautiful

For lunch Saturday, I ordered the Rancho Cucamonga from Sandwiches are Beautiful. I will state straight out, this sandwich landed at the bottom of my list. The smell and layering reminds me to much of a McDonalds McChicken. Advertised as containing cheddar cheese, it appears to feature processed cheese.

sandwiches are beautiful
Rancho Cucamunga from Sandwiches are Beautiful.

Buttermilk fried chicken, avocado ranch, cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, house pickles, beefsteak tomato, shredded iceberg, all on a toasted potato bun.

Still, the burger has two saving graces. The chicken is Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. Plus, it features home made pickles, and they are awesome. I would certainly buy those if they were available by the jar. 

Coq Au Crispy – Little Goat Food and Drink

Finally, I finished up my Fried Chicken Fest with a meal from another favourite restaurant, Little Goat Food and Drink. Heading home at the end of the day to watch Les Glorieux win another one against the Canucks, I thought some more French food would fit the mood perfectly.

 Dijon and tarragon marinated chicken with red wine braised mushrooms, shallots and bacon. Served on mashed potatoes with buttery basil peas.

The picture for this dish is at the top of the post. One thing about ordering delivery or taking home takeout on the bus, is that the food tends to lose some Instagrammable quality. Fortunately it does not lose any flavour. 

This is a rich and satisfying dish. The chicken is crunchy on the outside, and the thigh meat inside is super moist and juicy. 

Now for the rankings:

  1. A Trip Down South – The Merchant Kitchen
  2. Coq au Crispy – Little Goat Food and Drink
  3. What the Schnitzel – Promenade Cafe and Wine
  4. The Goober – Yard Burger
  5. Hot Chicken Sandwich – The Local
  6. The Seoul Nine Yard – Smith
  7. Buttermilk Chicken – Capital Grill Broadway
  8. Tropical Depression – Magic Fried Chicken
  9. Spicy Peanut Chicken & Yaki Noodles – Kyu Bistro
  10. Harissa Tomei – The Tallest Poppy
  11. Crispy Korean Chicken Sandwich – P.F. Changs
  12. Rancho Cucamunga – Sandwiches are Beautiful

My only Fried Chicken Fest regret is that I only managed 12 of the 40 odd offerings. If I do it again next year, I will make sure to visit places I did not visit this year. 

More From Dining with Donald

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.