Thursday, August 7, 2014

Something to Crow About: Fried Chicken at the Circus

If you are a chicken living within a 50 mile radius of Bendel Rd, you are a marked piece of poultry. Simply put, Chef Manny Augello has put a price on your head and countless restaurant patrons are willing to pay whatever it takes. I know I am.

I was able to make another trip to Bread & Circus this week to try the fried chicken that I’ve heard so much about. I've eaten a lot of fried chicken in my life. I mentioned before that both of my grandmothers cooked constantly, and that my dad was once a GM at Popeye's. Fried chicken was a staple growing up. One so frequent that as time went on it had no luster or appeal to me. It just WAS. Even with my laissez-faire attitude toward fried chicken I knew I had to give Bread & Circus' a try.

Upon walking in, I was shocked by how many people were eating the fried chicken plate lunch. It seemed as though everyone in front of us was ordering it. I estimated that 90% of the people in the place were eating the chicken and the other 10% were living in deep regret.

Diners were digging in to that fried quarter of white meat, holding it with both hands, ripping away huge chunks with their teeth, and having to quickly wipe their chins.

"Order #68! Order 68!"

I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning when I sat down with the brown box that emitted a delicious scent. Why was I so pumped about chicken? I think it had to do with the overall excitement that Chef Manny creates with his imaginative and fresh menu. His innovation with the fried chicken is a "honey hot" dipping sauce. I can't speak with certainty about the base of the heat, but I think it is a garlic chili sauce or Sriracha. Whatever its origin, it is tempered enough that the heat is not unbearable. It haunts you slightly, but doesn't burn you. It's the type of heat that is enjoyable and that you'll want in everything you eat from that point on. We even kept our left-over sauces, the little that was left, and brought them home to put on whatever we could find.

The chicken has a rich, golden brown color. The skin is crisp and the breading is thick enough to not flake off with every bite. The highlight of the chicken has to be how juicy it is; which leads me to believe that these birds soak in a brine for a while before they are prepped and fried. Regardless of the technique these chickens are prepared in a choice manner.

The quarter of chicken came with Gouda mac and cheese and cayenne buttermilk slaw. I'm biased to both of those sides so the only thing I can say about them is that they are ridiculously delicious. I was creative enough to crumble a little fried chicken skin into my mac and cheese and then drizzle a little honey hot sauce on top.

I found my face buried in a piece of chicken with juices running down my fingers. I had become a statistic; one of "those people" I saw when I first walked in. The fried chicken plate lunch at Bread & Circus is perhaps the best fried chicken I have ever eaten in my life and is an EAT THIS must. Hands down, no exceptions. But you don't have to take my word for it. Try it yourself this and every Wednesday.

Visit Bread & Circus Provisions online to read more about them and view their creative menus, hours and contact information.

Follow them on Facebook for daily plate lunch and specials of the day as well as Late Night Saturday Night menus and drink specials.

Bread & Circus Provisions
258 Bendel Rd

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