Huckleberry’s Fried Chicken Fail Forces Me to Try Their Two Under $10 Sandwiches
After reading Bon Appetit’s list of the 10 best plates of fried chicken in the country, I couldn’t help but head to Huckleberry on Friday. Sadly for me, I wasn’t the only one! I called that morning to see what time they normally sell out of their $14.50, Friday only, Jidori fried chicken special, and was told (much to my surprise) that they never sell out. Showed up at 1pm, and guess what they were sold out of? The fried chicken.
According to their twitter account, they weren’t prepared for the BA article- and since the chicken soaks in buttermilk for 2 days there was pretty much nothing they could do at that point. Already there, we decided to try the only two sandwiches that qualify as a true Midtown Lunch (aka under $10.) See, I’ll splurge for the best fried chicken in the country… fancy sandwiches? I like to keep that under $10. (Unless the sandwich has fried chicken, of course!)
Breakfast sandwich for lunch, and a better than average grilled cheese are after the jump…
Huckleberry is no hidden secret of Santa Monica, and it’s not really your typical Midtown Lunch either (it’s high brow, and kind of expensive.) But I do like a well made sandwich and don’t mind paying close to $10 if it’s something special (i.e. almost everything at Mendocino Farms). Most of Huckleberry’s sandwiches don’t qualify, and as good as the brisket sandwich sounded I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Thankfully they had a couple of options for under $10 for us to try.
Fried egg sandwich with Niman Ranch bacon, Gruyere, arugula & aioli on country bread. $9.50 is a lot to pay for a breakfast sandwich, but this is one mighty fine breakfast sandwich (and Huckleberry is strongest during brunch IMO.)
The key is the egg, which is perfectly cooked… and by that I mean it’s left runny so that it turns into a delicious mess after one bite. Unlike the rest of the sandwiches on the menu, it doesn’t come with a side of greens- but it’s topped with a ton of arugula, so it’s tough to complain. Could have used a bit of salt (I feel that way about most things), and I couldn’t help but wonder what it would have tasted like on one of their famous maple bacon biscuits instead… but all in all, it’s a good sandwich.
Grilled cheese sandwich with gruyere & carmelized onions (8.50). I will admit right up front that paying for grilled cheese sandwiches doesn’t excite me, and paying almost $9 excites me even less (especially when the Grilled Cheese Truck gives you mac and cheese and BBQ pork for $7.50.) But there’s no denying it’s a quality sandwich, with great bread, and I really liked the sweetness from the grilled onions.
In the end Huckleberry is my go to west-side spot for brunch, but I can’t in good conscience call it a Midtown Lunch. That being said, if you work in Santa Monica and are looking for a casual but quality splurge in a fun environment, it’s one of the best options in the area. Sure, parking is tough if you don’t want to valet, and the place gets pretty packed as the week goes on… but take one bite of any of their desserts and it all becomes worth it. My fried chicken induced anger was completely obliterated by one of those previoulsy mentioned bacon maple biscuits…. which now that I think about it would make the perfect vehicle for a Huckleberry Fried Chicken Sandwich as well. Perhaps I will try again this Friday…
THE + (What somebody who likes place would say)
- Quality sandwiches and salads, from the same people who brought you Rustic Canyon.
- If you like good food, it’s one of the best spots in the neighborhood (and completely worth the splurge!)
- There are a few options under $10
- The desserts are all to die for
- There is nothing I like more than a great breakfast sandwich for lunch (runny eggs FTW!)
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- Too expensive to be a Midtown Lunch
- Calling this one of the 10 best fried chicken plates in the country is a complete joke. You’re lucky you missed it.
- $8.50 for a grilled cheese? $10 for a breakfast sandwich? I don’t care how good the ingredients are, that’s not worth it.
- Lunch at Huckleberry in under an hour would be tough. Parking is hard unless you valet, and the place is always packed
- Did I mention how expensive it is?
Huckleberry, 1014 Wilshire Blvd. (nr. 10th Street), 310-451-2311