Seeking Fried Chicken in Seattle
I have a weakness for fried chicken like I do for good, sweet, sticky BBQ. Whether I’m hungry or not, I will eat it. It’s like watching a film that’s so bad it’s good and when it comes on, no matter what time of day or what point in the film it is – you will watch it. For me, these are films such as Road House with P Swayze and Urban Cowboy with Travolta. Anyway, I digress….
A Free Range of Possibilities
I’ve been to nearly all the ‘good’ fried chicken places in Seattle over the past 10 years. The possibilities range from terribly over fried in bad oil to excellent. The crowning achievement in fried chicken in Seattle has to be Ma’Ono Fried Chicken and Whiskey in West Seattle. I never thought I would gladly hand over 37 bucks for a fried chicken that I had to call and reserve in advance but I have succumbed. It’s beautifully fried by Chef Mark Fuller and team and has no greasy exterior. It’s moist, flavorful and probably the best fried chicken I’ve ever had in my life.
My go-to has always been Ezell’s in the Central District. Not because it’s amazing but because it’s consistent and available. I know what I’m getting when I go. And hey -Oprah gets it shipped to her in Chicago so that must be worth something. I’ve even tried many ‘bodega’ varieties of friend chicken and thus far, my top choice has been from City Market on Capitol Hill. Bonus points that it has a wide selection of items from potato salad to beer and wine to wash down their slightly salty but serviceable fried chicken.
Eureka – I Found It!
Just yesterday morning I read a story on Thrillist.com by Naomi Bishop on Seattle’s 12 Best Fried Chicken Spots. She captured the standards as well as some newer places quite well and it’s a good tour guide for you fried chicken enthusiasts around the way. I won’t bother to recap – just read the article. One place stuck out for me that I had to try just because it seems out-of-place with the rest of the list – the Quick Pack Food Mart in Seattle’s Central District.
I made a short pilgrimage there for lunch and when I entered I won’t lie – there’s not much to the place. However, I could tell I was in the right place as there were 5 people waiting for freshly fried chicken and jojo’s to come out of the small kitchen. A man in line was talking the chicken up to his friend who had never been there before. A woman was musing that she knew how to fry chicken but why bother when she could just go here? I was sold. I got 3 wings, a leg and a thigh with a soda all for about 8 bucks. Then, I happily ate the tender, hot and well seasoned chicken sitting in my car in a rainstorm. It was damned good.
I love finding hidden gems and I thank Naomi for leading me to this one. Check it out and give some of your business to the good folks at the Quick Pack Food Mart. You will not be disappointed. Oh – and bring your own hand wipes!
For more on the Seattle restaurant scene, check out these fine stories…