Understandably, I’ve been a little intimidated by NYC Fried Chicken in the few months since I began working in the neighborhood.
I pass by not infrequently, and there always seems to be a number of men standing and eating at the street-facing counters, tearing into fried chicken, fried whiting fish sandwiches, fistfuls of fries, blatantly staring at passersby. The crowd, coupled with the overwhelming smell of fried grease being pumped out through some kind of vent as you pass the restaurant on the W. 39th Street side … well. You can see my point.
I was on my way up to try the fried chicken at Piece of Chicken, when, on impulse, I decided to duck into NYC Fried Chicken. (Might have had something to do with the rain.) Inside, NYC Fried Chicken was cleaner than I expected, even if the front display cases where a restaurant might normally have takeaway containers of potato salad or cole slaw were oddly empty. The clerk was helpful and nice, even after I started asking (probably obvious) questions, such as, “Can you just buy chicken by the piece?” I couldn’t help it; the whole menu is combos, no a la carte posted, and this is the sort of thing I just have to ask.
Back at my office, in prep of my salad, I really dug into the chicken: It wasn’t can’t-touch-this, straight-out-of-the-fryer hot, but it was warm, had good flavor and not dry. Slightly smallish pieces of chicken, in terms of the amount of meet you get, but two pieces worked like a charm for my hodgepodge salad of mixed greens, red onion, tomato, brown rice, fried chicken and ranch dressing. It was sort of like a Southern-style salad with the fried chicken, ranch, etc. … except, well, not really.
TIP: I paid $3.70 for a breast and a thigh; next time, if I don’t have the rest of lunch waiting back at my desk I’m going for the $4.20 combo which includes 2 pieces of chicken (one large, one small), mashed potatoes and a biscuit. That’s about a dollar more with tax.