Is There a Better Under $10 Lunch in the Brentwood Country Mart Than Reddi Chick?
If you haven’t been to the Brentwood Country Mart to try Sweet Rose Creamery, the ice cream shop from the owners of Rustic Canyon and Huckleberry, you are really missing out. Seriously, it is absolutely amazing- and if you need further proof, here it is: even though I don’t live or work or find myself anywhere near Brentwood, ever, I have subjected myself to lunch in the hood a few times just to have an excuse to stop by Sweet Rose. Brentwood is not exactly an under $10 lunch paradise (some of the stuff at the newly opened FarmShop is laugh out loud expensive) but most of the options at the Country Mart “food court” come in at under $10, and the one that gets recommended the most is Reddi Chick.
I had first heard about Reddi Chick a few months ago from the site Savory Hunter. Rotisserie chicken and fried stuff for under $10? In an upscale neighborhood shopping area? It sounded positively charming!
As promised the Brentwood Country Mart is completely adorable (from the outside). You feel like you’ve gotten off the 405, and driven straight into Nantucket… and what does one eat when in New England? Fried seafood in a basket!
Perfect. I really liked the fact that you could pretty much get every bit of seafood that Reddi Chick is willing to fry up, in one basket, for just under $10. Fish, scallops, shrimp and clam strips + your choice of fries, coleslaw or beans. Not surprisingly (because of the price) it was all out of a box, frozen seafood and most of it was not that great. And believe me, it gives me no joy to say that. I am a firm believer in the “everything tastes better fried” camp, and I don’t mind cheap seafood (hell, I freakin love it.) But there was something about this stuff that was just disappointing (beyond the typical “what did you expect!?”) Then again, what the hell was I doing eating seafood at a place called Reddi Chick!
The rotisserie chicken is a big improvement over the fried stuff (naturally). You can get a half chicken with a side for $9, or for $2 more ($11.25) the chicken and rib combo- which is what I went with… you know… for science.
The ribs were fine, although the sauce they give you is pretty bad. (In fact, all the sauces were pretty bad… cocktail, tartar, etc.) The chicken was nice and crispy on the outside, and looked great coming out of the rotisserie but it wasn’t especially flavorful. Not bad, but a little disappointing. Did I make the rookie mistake? Should I have just gotten the chicken alone and not let my mind be clouded with the mediocrity of the rest of the menu? (Sorry, I just can’t resist cheap fried seafood!)
In a last ditch effort to salvage the place, I went back for a second visit to try the fried fish sandwich. (And to go to Sweet Rose Creamery again, naturally.) It’s easily the cheapest “lunch” in the Brentwood Country Mart at $4.36, and I was hoping it would be decent- since the fish was probably my favorite thing in the seafood basket. Sadly the roll to fish ratio was too heavily weighted towards the bread (plain slices of white bread would have been an improvement), and there was nothing the tartar sauce could do about it.
I wanted to like you Reddi Chick… I really did. You are adorable, and dirty, and relatively cheap for the area. But clearly my tastebuds are different than rich, over-privileged high school kids (and their moms who don’t work.) There is a hamburger place and a taco joint in the BCM. Are they better? Seriously, I’m desperate to find a decent lunch near Sweet Rose Creamery. If not I might have to resort to a lunch of only ice cream, and as tempting as that sounds I feel like it would be too… Brentwood’y. (Or do they only do the frozen yogurt lunch?)
Brentwood Country Mart, 225 26th Street