I once had a dream in which an army of chickens burst into my room and captured me. They took me to a secret location and then tore me apart and fried me. Then, one of the chickens nonchalantly commented, "not bad, but a little underwhelming."
Fried chicken is usually not bad but a little underwhelming. Such was the case recently upon sampling the birds at Blue Smoke and Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken.
Blue Smoke emphasizes its barbeque offerings but sells fried chicken (which is fried to order). Blue Smoke is a slick, urban restaurant that seeks to re-create (or create) regional Southern food. You can take the Southern out of the food but not the food out of the Southern. Or something like that. Or…nevermind.
Ahem. Anyhow, the fried chicken at Blue Smoke was fine enough, although now, a week later, I can't really remember it. The portion was a bit disappointing. The mashed potatoes were pretty good. Really, there is no need to go here and order fried chicken.
Charles' Country Pan Fried chicken is a joint in every sense of the word, from the divey atmosphere to the joints being sold and smoked on the nearby street corner. I had been here before, and had high hopes, as it was pretty tasty if memory served. Memory sort of served. It's a pretty flavorful chicken. We had some specimens that had been freshly fried, and they were hot and juicy. A respectable fried chicken, but I'll be gosh darned if it's not the pinaccle of fried chicken. Still, worth trekking up to 151st Street for.
Battery Park City, New York
Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken
Frederick Douglass at 152nd Street, Harlem