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Reviews of fried food in Chicago.

TGI Fry-Day: Thai Style Fried Chicken at BellyQ

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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

From direct grilling to smoking, BellyQ likes to celebrate the interaction of fire and food. On my last visit, I even had the luck of snagging one of the grilling tables, so I could experience the heat up close. But even with the flame-focused menu, the restaurant still knows what to do with the fryer, as the incredible Thai Style Fried Chicken ($8) shows. Listed under the "Belly Bites" portion of the menu, the chicken is one of those appetizers that can cause seemingly rational and polite friends to shut up and fight over scraps. (Well, at least my friends.)

It's worth the struggle. Thanks to the triple-battered frying method, the chicken takes extra-crispy to the extreme. This allows the exterior to hold up to the sweet and spicy sauce. (I should note that it's the kind of sauce that sticks to your fingers, basically requiring you to lick them.) This would be enough for most fried chicken, but the meat is actually the most memorable part here. The boneless chunks are juicy and flavorful enough to stand out, even against that sauce. To make nice with your friends, I'd suggest ordering a second round.

BellyQ

1400 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607 (map)
312-563-1010
bellyqchicago.com

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