The chicken doesn't taste as much as a homage to Ms. Lewis as it tastes like lunch, pure and simple, and wonderful in its lack of pretentiousness.
'deep fried chicago' on Serious Eats
My initial plan to sample the entire menu was quickly dashed- by my rough count, there are at least 40 rotating options to choose from. No matter: the baker's dozen plus one that I walked off with provide a more than rounded picture of the shop's offerings.
Wiener & Still Champion has been on my list since I started writing about fried food, and I finally bit the bullet and braved the Kennedy and Edens the other night to see what all the fuss was about. Since it's such a jaunt for me, I decided to go all out and order every house made fried item, because why the hell not?
When Cheesie's isn't griddling the majority of its menu, it's dropping the rest in hot oil. Melted cheese, a hot griddle, and fried food? Now I'm blushing.
The Purple Pig makes it easy: most all dishes of interest are relegated to their own section, simply labeled "Fried Items." Working your way down the list is as good a strategy as any, and one I employed most successfully.
Located in the shadow of Wrigley Field, Rockit Burger Bar looks like your typical Wrigleyville bar. But a closer look at the carefully chosen ingredients in thoughtful combinations reveals a thoughtfulness not typical of the neighborhood, and the fried items are no exception.
At this point, Parson's chicken isn't better than the city's most ubiquitous chicken shack, Harold's, and hell, it's not even better than the exemplary waffle-supported version at Longman & Eagle.
While this thinking man's restaurant certainly raises a lot of questions, the answer is readily found in the food. From the sauces to the bread and butter pickles, almost everything is made in house, including an impressive array of fried options.
The completely vegan doughnuts are doughy and substantial, with a dense interior that would hold up well to coffee. You could easily make a full meal out of one of these, blood sugar be damned.
Though I possess an unnatural love of salad bars, I recently eschewed vegetables at R.J. Grunts and kept my eye on the prize: in this case, a menu replete with pretty solid fried offerings.
As the dust continues to settle, Rainbow Cuisine indeed lives up to its rapidly accumulated hype. Along with what seems like everyone else, I'm looking forward to trying it all.
As Logan Square's dining options become increasingly upscale, I'm glad a place like The Rocking Horse is still putting out solid, frills-lite bar food. And as long as you're sticking with chicken, I can vouch that you'll leave happy, too.
The food here is on point (sorry) with its trendy beer list, and you won't be sorry looking past the daily flatbreads and burgers to the fried items on offer.
Tavern at the Park (with "Millennium" being the operative descriptor in this case) shouldn't have to try so hard. It really does, though, with more successful than not fried results along the way.
Though the food here is unlike anything I've ever eaten at home, if this is what "homestyle" really means, you can keep your rough cut fries.
The deep frier at Bangers & Lace is put through its paces—so much so that I had to be extra selective on a recent visit. It's not often that a restaurant deep fries more than this column can handle, but any time my hot oil cup runneth over is a win win for everyone.
With Stephanie Izard at the helm, you're guaranteed the dishes will feature her signature ingredient combination creativity and unhindered fearlessness in the face of calories. And love the concept or hate it, the menu's fried output mostly works.
The elusive, red sauce and melted cheese topped chimichanga has been something of a challenge to locate here in Chicago. But I may have finally found my white whale at Mayan Palace, a nondescript Lakeview spot located on a lonely stretch of Halsted.
Like most places that fly under the radar, Central Gyros is worth a look. Though I'll leave dispatch of the namesake itself to abler hands, their fried offerings are well within my enthused purview.
New England Seafood Company's entire fried oeuvre is represented simply and definitively in the Fisherman's Platter ($19.95). The overflowing plate arrives to the table steaming, each component given separate, loving attention. It's only proper that I do the same.