- scene: Bright and full of natural light; there is a counter for ordering and a mostly open kitchen where the magic happens. Casual chicken chic
- sip: Free Boylan sodas with sandwich purchase; milkshakes, wine and beer!
- savor: Fried chicken; fried chicken sandwiches; loaded fries; fried chicken
- sit: Alone or with a group for a casual meal
- spend: $
- address: 28 East First Street (off of 2nd Ave)
- phone number: (212) 228-0404
- website: www.blueribbonfriedchicken.com
Micro specialties are a bit of trend now, with chefs/restaurants creating off-shoot odes to one item that they do especially well. Blue Ribbon fried chicken deserves monuments erected in its honor, so opening a stand- alone joint on Second Avenue is clearly not over- estimating its appeal. The concept is simple, but not myopic- there are several ways to get your chicken on (by the piece, in combinations with fries, sandwiches, etc) as well as an offering of salads and sides that are more interesting than the usual pseudo- southern fare seen all too often. All of the ingredients are fresh and well prepared, and enough time is taken between placing your order and having it delivered to properly reassure that every piece is made to order. Although the concept is quick-service, the staff is extremely friendly and helpful. And the tunes are great, a mix of everything we like, including 90’s hip hop and some classic jams…The space is spare, with big windows, pops of color, and communal tables and booths- an ideal mix of options for people who may be with a group or eating alone. Did I mention the free Boylan fountain soda with the order of any sandwich? In case you needed any more incentive to check this place out…
I have had the Bromberg fried chicken before and was excited to eat more of it, so for our order we to sampled both pure examples of the fried chicken as well as the jazzier sandwiches. The fried chicken itself is everything you would want- crunchy, moist (get over it) and full of flavor. My guess is that there is some Old Bay or something similar thrown into the mix because the chicken has a special kick. We had two kinds of sandwiches- the Blue Ribbon classic (boneless fried chicken with special sauce, iceberg,tomatoes and pickles), and the Rancher (all of the above, with the addition of ranch dressing and bacon) as well as fries with the works- more bacon, melted cheddar and sour cream. The sandwiches were fabulous- not too huge or soaked with ingredients, and on bread that could handle the weight. The plastic utensils really have their work “cut” out for themselves with the huge pieces of chicken , so don’t be afraid to use your hands and get in there.
This is not subtle food, everything packs a flavor punch, but never too an overwhelming degree. There are several sauces to punch up the heat or sweetness, including hot sauces, bbq sauce, some honey, and a wasabi concoction. Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken is the perfect lunch spot if you are out walking on the Bowery and choose to splurge with your calories. This is some chic chicken…