Giving In to Bourbon Chicken Temptation at DC Fusion
It might surprise some of you to hear this, but sometimes even I have trouble deciding where to eat lunch. (It’s a daily dilemma we all share.) And on Friday, I was having an especially tough time picking a place to go. I even asked for recommendations via Twitter and Facebook, and offered free lunch to anyone whose suggestion I ended up taking. Of course that was before I read Friday’s Downtown Lunch column. After that, there was no question what I was eating for lunch… bourbon chicken! And I didn’t even have to head to the FiDi to get it. I just walked over to DC Fusion Cafe (on 7th Ave. btw. 37+38th.)
When the Manhattan Mall food court closed a year and a half ago to make way for JC Penny, fans of Arby’s were openly upset. But there was a less pronounced period of mourning for lovers of bourbon chicken as well. Sure, you could get teriyaki chicken in that weird 3rd Ave. food court, or crappy orange chicken at any number of cheap Chinese food steam tables in Midtown. But those are no substitution for the glorious crappy chinese food, masquerading as “cajun” food, that is “bourbon chicken”.
So you could imagine how excited the Midtown branch of the bourbon chicken fan club was when the owners of the Cajun Grill (in the Manhattan Mall Food Court) reopened as DC Fusion Cafe on 7th Ave. I wrote pretty much everything I needed to say about the subject of bourbon chicken in that post… but left one thing undone: actually trying the bourbon chicken. On Friday, I finally took care of that.
Much to my disappointment, I hadn’t remembered that their two meat special is actually a “two chicken” special (with one side dish for $6.39)… so my dreams of bourbon chicken + roast pork were quickly dashed. Instead I settled on bourbon chicken + “general tso’s” chicken over fried rice- which apparently counts as your one side dish! (I somehow tricked myself into thinking that rice or noodles was already included, and I’d be able to get an additional side dish as my “one side”.)
I’ve heard a few complaints about the bourbon chicken in the comments, but I thought it was actually top notch (as bourbon chicken goes.) The general tso’s was also better than average (although it had no heat, so you could argue it’s not really a good representation of the dish.) I also was there just before Noon, so it was about as fresh as it’s going to be. Clearly the earlier you get there, the better off you are. Both chickens were sickeningly sweet, but isn’t that what food court Chinese is all about? The fried rice was completely bland, but that’s kind of what you need to balance out the total sweetness of the chicken.
I won’t even bother with the +/- minus because this one is pretty easy. If you are not a huge fan of mall food court Chinese, DC Fusion is not going to bring you around (aka it’s no Panda Express!) But if the craving for bourbon chicken hits, there is only option in Midtown… and as far as mall food court food goes, you could do a lot worse. (And lord knows I have.)
DC Fusion Cafe, 499 7th Ave (btw. 36+37th), 212-868-3883