Archive for 'Soul Food'

Piece of Chicken Redux: Finally Trying Their Waffle and Fried Livers

Last week I got an email from Lunch’er Kyle asking me if I had tried the new chocolate corn bread muffins from Piece of Chicken, the just out of bounds soul food take out place on 45th btw. 8+9th Ave. where almost everything on the menu is $1 to $3.  Why no.  I haven’t tried the new choclate corn bread muffins, was my reply.  Clearly I needed to revisit Piece of Chicken, and see what was going on.

To be completely honest though, I had ulterior motives.  Chocolate corn bread muffins sounded pretty good, but what I really wanted to try was the fried chicken and waffle and fried chicken livers, two items on the Piece of Chicken menu which always seemed to be sold out every single time I stopped by for like two weeks straight last year.  Well, it’s been awhile- but I returned to Piece of Chicken a few days ago, and both items were available.

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Soul Fixins’ Introduces “Bailout Special”: The just out of bounds Soul Fixins' on 34th St. btw. 8+9th Ave. is serving a "bailout special" of fried chicken, coconut rice with gravy, mixed vegetables, and a small lemonade for $6.95. [Eating in Translation]

Out of Bounds: Piece of Chicken

Midtown has its boundaries, but every once in awhile I’ll discover a place that just might be worth the extra few blocks, and profile it in a category I call “Out of Bounds”.  Since Ressie May’s Soul to Go closed, there has been a soul food hole in the Midtown Lunch’ing landscape.  Anything good and cheap would be welcomed.  A place that sells fried chicken for a $1 a piece, collards and mac & cheese for $1-2 a scoop- well now you’ve got me excited, and willing to walk those extra couple of avenues for an Out of Bounds lunch.

Piece of Chicken is that place, and their sandwich board doesn’t lie.  As unbelievable as it seems to passersby, they do in fact serve fried chicken for $1 a piece, and side dishes for $1-2.  Add to that rib tips, fried fish, corn bread and soup, sold out of the back window of a kitchen that once belonged to upscale Caribbean restaurant Jezebel (with nothing costing over $2), and you’ve got a winner.

The menu, piece of chicken porn and a +/- after the jump… Read more »

Popeyes Returns to Midtown and Yum Thai set to re-open

The hits just keep on coming in ’07.  I walked by this amazing sign last week on 40th btw. 7th & 8th:

That’s right, Popeyes is back baby!  When my wife first started working in Midtown, there was a Popeyes in the 40s btw. 5th & 6th (I think it was on 46th).  But by the time I had started working there, it had disappeared (literally… I think they tore the whole building down).  Very disappointing.  Sure, there are other places for fried chicken in Midtown- but none that are as cheap, spicy, or with biscuits that are so delicious, they leave you wondering whether the main ingredient is biscuit or butter. 

Anyway, if you are sick of your desk job, and looking for a move into the chicken and biscuits field, they are hiring.  Just call 347-534-5478.  A call to that number revealed that they plan on opening within two weeks.  I’ll be there on Day 1 with a bib on (you don’t want to get beans and rice on your work clothes).



There’s other good news in that same area of town.  I’ve gotten a few worried emails and comments about Yum Thai (44th btw. B’way & 6th) being shuttered.  Fear not cheap Thai fans- they were only closed for renovations and plan on re-opening tomorrow (Thursday). Though to be safe, I may wait until Friday or Monday before trekking over there.  

And now for my first installment of “Restaurant Tips from a guy who knows very little about the restaurant industry, but knows this”:

Tip #1:  If you are going to temporarily close down your business (for whatever reason), but plan on re-opening, put a sign up to let your customers know that you are not closed forever.  Even if the sign has poor grammar, and you get made fun of on a blog, you will still get your point across…

Ressie Mae’s Soul to Go brings Harlem to Midtown

People,  I’ve got some big news.  You’ll probably want to sit down for this one (although chances are you’re already sitting- unless you have some sort of weird “stand while you work on your computer” thing going on).  I will now dispense my amazing information in the form of a photograph:



That’s right…  Chicken & Waffles has arrived in Midtown!!!  If you are unfamiliar with the concept, it’s pretty simple.  Take a waffle.  Put some fried chicken on top.  Cover the whole thing with syrup.  Enjoy!  (A final step of pounding on your chest to ward off a heart attack may be necessary)

I was first introduced to the Chicken & Waffle phonomenom at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles (an amazing L.A. institution), but apparently it’s a restaurant/jazz club in Harlem that takes credit for inventing the dish.  They claim it was created in the 30s to serve late night patrons who couldn’t decide between breakfast and dinner (would Gladys Knight lie!?!?)

From the moment I heard that you could get fried chicken served on a waffle, I knew it would be good.  How could it not be???  Fried chicken.  Good.  Waffle.  Good.  Syrup.  Always good.  I had heard that Amy Ruth’s in Harlem (116th btw. Lennox & 7th) is one of the best places to go for this amazing treat, but I haven’t found time to make the pilgrimage.  Well, I guess they got sick of waiting- and have now decided to bring the Chicken & Waffles to me!  The owners of the famous, always a line out the door Amy Ruth’s in Harlem, have opened Ressie Mae’s Soul to Go in Midtown, across from the Port Authority (on 8th Ave. btw. 39th & 40th.).

Surprisingly, there are some who are not with me on this chicken and waffles thing.  Those people are communists (I don’t even know what that means… but I’m sure it’s true.)  These are the same people who probably eat every last bite of their eggs and bacon before biting into their pancakes.  Craziness.  Lucky for them (and all of us for that matter), Ressie Mae’s serves up all kinds of delicious soul food, all made from the same recipes used at Amy Ruth’s… and their lunch specials are so cheap it makes me wonder how we got so lucky.

The rest of the food, more pictures and the +/-, after the jump…

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