Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Ultimate Fried Chicken Pouch

It's about time the pouch did a fwied cheekan round up with all the crispy yardbird it stuffs in it's haggis-like sack. Let's not waste any time, there's a lot of cheekan to go through... Pouch space is limited.

Fork In the Road.
Made to order. I must admit this is some of the best fried cheekan I have had in this town. And in a place that is not much talked about. The crust is medium thin and crispy, pulls apart nicely and the all dark meat flesh was juicy and full of flavor. Damn good cheekan and damn good price. How is this possible?

Busy Bee.
It always tastes better with a side of hype. I have been here a handful of times over the years. Every time I come back, I think it will get better... But it's just the same as the last. It's not a bad fried chicken but it's definitely not considered one of the best in my book... I just don't crave it. It's more like a cafeteria fried chicken. I hate to say but it kinda tastes like Matthew's fried chicken. When there's that much hype, it usually is.

Matthew's Cafeteria.
Speaking of the devil... This local favorite has been around for a long time. Their fried chicken is similar to Busy Bee's. Decently fried, a tad saltier but pretty much average at best. It's cheap, though, unlike Busy Bee.

Colonnade.
I must admit, they weren't as good as they used to be. It seemed like they fried off a shitload of them and let them sit under heat lamps. You would think they would fried their most popular dish in batches so the quality is consistent. This chicken deserves the same crust/batter that they fry the livers in because that shit is really good. This visit the chicken skin/crust was already falling off the meat before you even take the first bite. Ok, not that it was a bad fried chicken, it just didn't live up to the past visits which the chicken/skin/crust combo was real solid. Would I come back again for the cheekan? Fuck yeah. But the livers even more...

Cheekan Livers. They ain't fried cheekan but I had to include these giant crispy liver nuggets which are some of the best intown. Half portion is more than enough. I have never attempted to order the full portion... That would be just sick and perverted.

Watershed.
Wednesday Night Fried Chicken. I have tried it a few times when they moved to their new Brookwood location but it was not impressive... It reminded me of a Shake 'n Bake chicken. It just didn't do it for me back then but the biscuits were good. Fast forward to the present and it has improved a lot. The skin/crust is crispy and covers all the pieces, there's no bare spots. It's juicy and tasty but the pieces are on the smaller side. It's a little underwhelming when the biscuits look bigger than the cheekan. It's a lot better now but still not as good as it should be given the history and hype of this cheekan.

General Muir.
Friday fried cheekan night. Bartender tells me they are sold out at 7PM with barely a dozen people in the place. I thought it was way too quiet on a friday night to be sold out.. But oh well, maybe next time. Then he comes back 5 minutes and says, oh we have a ton of chicken for tonight. Maybe his attention to detail would have been more focused if he wasn't still prepping his bar well into 8PM. He played it like he was a veteran in the industry but his actions were more atypical of someone just starting out trying to impress by looking busy. Who knows, who cares. Let's get back to the cheekan... So, the price is now $20 for 3 pieces (leg, thigh and boneless breast) and small side of grilled asparagus and a beurre blanc. It also came out within 3 minutes of ordering... I saw the cook back there flash fried the pre-steamed pieces. The leg and thigh were well covered in crispies but it's a pretty thin crust. It was pretty juicy inside. The boneless tender was less covered and it almost had that pan fried textured and not that fried chicken crunch... Seemed like most of the coating came off during the steam/chill process. It's not a bad fried chicken, pretty decent but definitely not worth $20 nor on my top 10 list. You're paying for the hype of the one day special.

Napoleon's.
Drizzled in honey. Very crunchy crust, not too thick, but not thin either. The honey obviously gave it a sweetness to it. I prefer my cheekan not sweet, though. But this white meat fried chicken was acceptable. Did you expect dark meat for this crowd? C'mon. Not a bad showing, but not on my list of best fried cheekan either.

1 Kept.
They're doing something a little different than everybody else. Using cornish hens for their fried chicken. I like the sound of that already. The skin is thin and crispy, the meat juicy, seasoned very well overall... It's a fancier style of fried chicken but it's worth a try at least once in your life.

Pijiu Belly.
The half portion was decent for $10 with 2 sides and the strange sauce. The problem with the half portion is that it's a toss up on whether you will get one that was just recently flashed fried and cut in half to order or one that has been sitting around. With my luck I get the one that has been sitting around. The skin was nice and thin, but it didn't have that crackling goodness. The chicken itself was dry inside. The rub on the skin was decent. I should have just gotten the whole bird and have it flash fried right then. I'll check them out again in a month or two.

Oddbird.
The bun (Gen. Muir) is gorgeous and toasted/charred nicely. The ginormous chicken breast was coated and fried very nicely even though it was skinless and boneless. Y'all know how I feel about boneless fried cheekan. But this specimen was a very respectable hot cheekan, even I can't believe I'm saying this. It's real good for this town.

Greenwood's.
For under $16, this is a massive portion of half a chicken. The crust is pretty thick but it falls off with little effort. Closer examination, I noticed there were no skin. I don't remember it being skinless before, maybe I just ate it so fast last time I didn't even check. I'm ok with it being skinless here. The chicken is made to order but it came out piping hot under the 30 minzies required time. The shit was still sizzling and crackling and I had to wait like 32 seconds to take the first bite. The honey pepper sauce I could do with it on the side but it wasn't bad. The crust is a bit too thick for me, some parts had big clumps of crust that you set off to the side and eat later. It's a good crust, though.. And it gives it that girth in the presentation when it comes out to the table. The chicken was juicy, tender and had really nice flavor. 

Southern Art.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken, whipped potatoes, garlic green beans, red pepper gravy. Wait, fuck the gravy. All it does is make my shit soggy like elbow skin on a hag's face. I like my cheekan hot, greasy, juicy, crispy and crackling. Tis was a good fried chicken, it had everything checked off my list... Damn, it better be for this price point but it didn't hit my craveworthy level. For the money, I could get about 26 1/2 pieces and a retarded wing of amazing Popeyes for the same price. Can you feel me?

South City Kitchen.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken. The infamous dish that people rave about... Sometimes, I wonder why. Nice crispy coating all the way around but it was a tad dry even the leg. Not that it was bad but you just know a great fried chicken when you take your first bite. It was a decently executed dish but pretty much standard with other places on this level.

Harold's Chicken.
Half Chicken Mixed. You get a breast, leg, thigh and wing... The standard combo. Crust looks pretty nice. Crispy and hot as expected with a light coating, but their "peppery" flour mixture lacked any real seasoning or just not enough of it. All you taste is the oil it was fried in. I opted out on them dousing their "hot sauce" all over my cheekan when I found out it was just regular old store bought hot sauce. Was it a bad fried chicken? No, but it won't compete against many other local favorites in town. I would say it was similar to Church's old recipe, where the crust is thinner and crispy but super greasy inside, before they changed it a few years ago to be more on par with Popeyes' crust.

One Eared Stag.
Monday Night Fried Chicken. This fried chicken gets better and better every time I have it. It is not over-seasoned and doesn't taste like a block of salt lick. It is brined nicely, tossed in seasoned flour and fried perfectly (not burnt or heavily browned). This is one of the best fried chicken in the city. Super crispy crust with a beautiful golden color all around and just the right balance of juiciness and flavor inside. Love this chicken. Is it better than Popeyes... Cmon, stop teasing. But this is a very good fried chicken.

Popeyes.
Well, you know... A+++.

Church's.
Sometimes, you get lucky and get a box full of cheekan just right out of the fryer. The crust/batter is pretty crispy but you usually get a money shot to the eye right after you take the first bite. The hot grease that's sealed inside jizzes you all over your face. I mean, not even a fucking warning! I have a love hate relationship with Church's, either they're really good or they're really bad sometimes. It's like a crap shoot... That's why I rarely make a visit there unless I'm desperate.

Bojangle's.
The cheekan is very crispy and juicy inside, mostly it's from the grease that gets sealed in tight from the crust but overall, this is still a tasty piece of cheekan.  Not as good as Popeyes but it'll do. The dirty rice is one of their best sides. The biscuit is fluffier and less buttery than Popeyes but totally acceptable... I can see why they are used for so many different types of breakfast biscuit sandwiches.

Publix.
Probably the best supermarket fried chicken in the lands. Great crust/skin, juicy flesh, always fresh and hot. Wait the extra few minzies if they are frying up a new batch. It's worth it. How do they do it?

Southbound.
SB Hot Chicken. As a boneless fried chicken, it's great but as a hot cheekan, not even close. Sprinkling some cayenne rub on the top piece does not make it a hot cheekan. I want it drown in some super spicy cayenne chicken grease!

Golden Corral.
The skin was crispy but not very flavorful, the smaller pieces seem to be over-fried since they throw everything in the same fry basket. The chicken livers are pretty decent. But I don't think I will ever go back to another one for the rest of my measly life... People order their steaks ultra well done. Baffling.

Sobban.
KFCW. The best semi spicy fried chicken wing in ATL. The end.

Pho 24.
They call these fish sauce glazed wings. I call them bullshit. It's ok as a fried cheekan wang but it ain't no fish sauce glazed wing when you have to personally dip them into the sauce... I guess they never had the sick ones over at Nam Phuong.

Nam Phuong.
Speaking of the devil... Fried Chicken Wings Glazed w/ Fish Sauce. Not exactly fried chicken but these are fucking awesome nonetheless.

Luqma.
Churga. Indian fried chicken. What is this? Stop it. Why? Just don't do it. Dry as hell and the flavor was flat... Like the half chicken itself. Looks like someone sat on it.

Grub Burger Bar.
Harlem Chicken Tenders. I know these ain't the traditional fried cheekan but damn, these ghetto tenders are craveworthy. The light airy crispy batter outside and bubbly hot love juice inside... Squirt. They're worthy enough to be on this list.


I am pooped... Literally and figuratively. I hope my water bill is not too excessive this month from all the flushing. That's a lot of fried cheekan shit going through the pouch. I need a rest from all these yardbirds for awhile... Til Memorial Day. C'mon, you know I can't die on my one reader... So, they can live vicariously through the pouch without all the fat and calories.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pouch Eats Again

I'm fat. So, I went on a diet. True story... Lost 5 pounds. But that coulda just been a mix of water weight and poop because my muffin top is still flowing over my underpants like Niargara Falls. Hell, since I just made more room... It's time to fill that empty pouchhole. Let's do this...

Southbound.
Short Rib. This ginormous beast was only available on Wednesdays... Now, it's available all the time. Good job. About time.

Octopus. If you don't have octo on your menu, you haven't bought into the gimmick yet... Or you're just a true hipster leading the way out of current trends. But whatever... This octo was still pretty good.

Watershed.
Wednesday Night Fried Chicken. I have tried it a few times when they moved to their new Brookwood location but it was not impressive... It reminded me of a Shake 'n Bake chicken. It just didn't do it for me back then but the biscuits were good. Fast forward to the present and it has improved a lot. The skin/crust is crispy and covers all the pieces, there's no bare spots. It's juicy and tasty but the pieces are on the smaller side. It's a little underwhelming when the biscuits look bigger than the cheekan. It's a lot better now but still not as good as it should be given the history and hype of this cheekan.

Duck Hush Puppies and Bar Burger. The duck stuffed hush puppies were crispy outside and moist inside. I don't usually like HPs because they're just filler but if you put duck in there, it's a totally different creasture. The 2/3 size burger was spot on at mid-rare, great bun, seasoned well and just tasty for a bar snack.

Banana Pudding. They actually put banana bread instead of vanilla wafers, very cool idea and tasty, too... But I still think Community Q's classic banana pudding is still tops in my pouch.

Arepas Mia.
Pabellon. Shredded grass fed beef... Naturally, who isn't using this common protein found all over the place? If you're not using grass fed beef, you're prolly a vegan (booooo!)... But their arepas are always tasty. 

BoccaLupo.
20 Yolk Tagliatelle with wild mushrooms, Tuscan kale kimchi and butter. It's a real tasty pasta but does the 20 yolk really make a difference? Some will say yes and some will say no, I say it's a gimmick but still tasty.

Southern Fried Chicken Parm with creamy collards and strano. I love this dish. Pasta on top and a surprise at the bottom. Eat it fast or else the fried cheekan will get soggy... I wouldn't know, though.

Golden Crab House.
They should just call it the Golden Crap House like some Korean resto's menu typo... How does this pile of slop take 30 minzies to make? The breading on the skrimps were falling off, the fries were limp as a tased bro and the wings were worse than at a cheap buffet. The crap cake was all filler with a few strands of canned crab meat. Tasteless.

Kimball House.
Oysters... We meet again. Best oyster program in the city.

Creme Brulee. Bless their hearts... One thing that they aren't that good at. While it looked nice, the custard was warm and too wet. They didn't let it set. Vanilla bean seeds settled all at the bottom. Oh, well... Another cocktail, pweez.

General Muir.
Burger. One of the best... If not the best in the city.

Friday Fried Chicken. Up to $20 for 3 pieces and a couple of asparagus. Prolly has become the most pricey fried chicken intown and it was just ok. It's juicy and crispy at parts but it's thin crusted. The Asian steaming/frying cooking style is kinda lost in translation here. And the boneless breast tender mad me sad. I wouldn't get it again.

NY Cheesecake. It ain't no Juniors but this will do... For now.

Chef Liu's.
Beef Tendon in chili oil. Tender yet toothy piece of tendon but the chili oil was weak.

Pan Fried Pork Buns. C'mon, these are always good here.

Soup Dumps. They are decent but there will be casualties with leakage before you even try to pick it up.

Puras Tortas.
Tacos- Lengua, Chorizo, Al Pastor. These tacos are real cheap and excellent. There's also many other options for the filler... Like stomach.

De..Mar Ceviches and Seafood.
Shrimp Cocktail. Get the small portion, it's more than enough. You don't know how much shrimp is in there until you're tired of eating shrimp and more keeps coming. Remember- get the small portion.

Pulpo Ceviche. Maybe one of the only places intown that does not rip you off on octopus.There's a ton of octopus chunks in there. This is a hefty platter on the cheap.


Time to go back on a diet until tomorrow... Stay tuned for more eateries and shiteries.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Dish Dive

Sometimes, going to the other side of the tracks ain't so bad... Now, I know why Anakin went to the dark side. Because of this great little dive. If you blink you will fly pass it. The place is tiny, it really is like going to a friend's house for a dinner party. Except the food quality here is a lot better than the shitty casseroles, soggy twist off biscuits and terrible box brownies people bring to your house. Plus, you don't have to clean up here. Since coming back from NYC and eating at tiny dives like this, I was really digging what Travis and Jeff is doing here. There aren't many places like this in this town and we need more of them. The menu is small but diversified, the price point can not be any better, the quality is top notch and made fresh daily when they run out they run out, tough shit... And it's BYOB. Fuck me, am I dreaming? Let's go eat some tiny kitchen grub... Kinda like the tiny hamster eating tiny food. I love those videos!!! I hope the food is not tiny though because the pouch is not tiny by any scientific measurements...

Oyster Po Boy. The bun was nice but the star is the fat plump crunchy oysters. These were pretty sizable, you don't find larger fried oysters down here unless you go to a Chino resto. I even liked that they switched it up a bit from the traditional French bread. It's different and it totally works here. I had them sub out the salad for fries since I couldn't eat a whole order of one of their Dive Fries and the hand cut fries alone were pretty good, might need a little more time in the middle but the garlic on top makes them addictive nonetheless.

Wings. I love it that they serve whole wings. I prefer it that way. It's just tastes better. So, stop being lazy and wrap your nasty piehole around these tasty cheekan arms. The honey mustard vinegar sauce was a perfect balance of "sweet and spice"and the pickled veggies gave them that crunch needed to offset the savory. These were fat finga lickin' guud... Serio, I kept lickin' my stubby digits because the sauce was so sticky and tasty.

Brussels Sprouts. They didn't have the cauliflower on this visit but they sub it with brussels sprouts... Ah, fuck yeah. I know they're just as common as kale now but I have grown to loves these sprouts. The boiled peanut romesco was great, a nice nod to a southern tradition. The wax beans looked like french fries at first which was a nice laugh but it paired well with the rest of the dish.

Pink Spaetzle. This was an interesting dish, not that anything on this menu wasn't... I was on the fence between this and the pork belly but the Pink always wins out in the end. Who doesn't like their tongue on a little pink? So, the spaetzle was made with beet puree, a refreshing different take on this noodle/pasta/dumpling thinger. Can't really taste any hint of beets but it was totally worth a try, the runny yolk was a nice addition to it. I don't know but runny yolks always makes things better. The composition of the dish sounded great but it was missing something on my taste buds... I know, pork belly! Get some bacon on there and this would be on another level.

Love the simple menu... I wanted to order everything!

I can't say enough about how awesome it is to see this tiny resto concept thriving (like the tiny house movement)... The place was packed, not that it takes a lot of people to do that in here. I want to see more tiny places like this pop up with the great menu, ingredients, price, cozy space, real hood feeling... I mean you see it everywhere in NYC because of the lack of space but it is just cool. And I think the people will definitely support this type of dining. I can't wait to go back when they change up their menu... Love to see what they come up with next.

2233 College Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30317
404-957-7918
http://www.dishdivekitchen.com/