Some people love New York because it’s exciting, busy and non-stop; others hate it for the same reasons. But one thing we can all agree on is that we have the best, most diverse and satisfying fast food in the world. We take hot dogs to obscene heights and have waffles that Belgians themselves can we proud of, just to name a few. Simply put – we got it down! Am I right or am I right?
As of this summer, there’s a brand new addition to our outstanding fast food repertoire – a place that focuses on the American food, if there ever was one – crispy fried chicken. Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken is owned by a pair of brothers who have operated a small empire of NYC restaurants for the past 20 years. But this isn’t their first time at the fried chicken rodeo – the chicken has been infamous since its debut at their Blue Ribbon Brasserie.
As one with quite a soft spot for fried chicken, I could not wait to try this new eatery, so Rene and I went there within weeks of opening. We ordered the Piece Dark dinner plate ($9) and two drumsticks ($2.50 each). The dinner plate included a drumstick and thigh, a sweet corn roll, sliced pickled cucumbers and a generous serving of fries. The chicken was perfectly crunchy and well-seasoned with a special spice blend that gave it a smokey flavor. It also managed to forgo all the usual bad symptoms of fried chicken: greasy, over-salted and messy to eat. The fries were a major success as well and the house-made pickles provided the necessary acidic component to the whole meal – I only wish there had been more of them. The corn roll, however, proved to be out of place and unnecessary.
To accompany the bird, each table houses a handful house-made sauces, all of which are strangely honey-based and very sweet. This is the only negative comment Rene or I had during the meal; we both wished that the sauces had more variety… and less honey.
I dub Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken the future Shake Shack of fried chicken. That evening, the restaurant was completely packed. Despite its ample cafeteria-style seating, there was not one open seat in the place. People were literally hovering over diners with their trays of chicken, drooling and waiting to snatch the next free seat. Looking around at people’s faces and overhearing their comments, it seems that this place is off to a fantastic start.
There are also salads, sandwiches, ice cream, beer and wine for those not interested in fried chicken.