Dirty Birds Not Yet Flying; Rack & Soul to the Rescue

Dirty Bird to Go, the fried chicken emporium anxiously awaited by those of us in New York who feel we live in a fried chicken-challenged town, doesn't look close to being ready to open its doors, based on a visit there by ahamburgertoday fresser Adam Kuban and me on Monday, when the Times claimed it was going to be open. A perfectly pleasant fellow working out front claimed he never told the Times that they were going to be open on Monday and that it was just going to be a few days. My brother went by there yesterday and said it looked like a construction site. He said "a few days" seemed like a very optimistic time frame.

Meanwhile, Rack & Soul, a barbecue and fried chicken joint, is already open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Its pedigree is promising. Charles Gabriel from the legendary Charles' Southern Kitchen at 155th St. and Eighth Avenue, where the chicken would be world-class if he just added a little salt to his batter, is the fried chicken consultant.

John Wheeler, the leader of Natural Born Grillers, a competitive barbecue team that won Team of the Year at Memphis in May last year, is the barbecue consultant. Rack & Soul is at 2818 Broadway, 212-222-4800. The best combination fried chicken-barbecue combination joint in the city right now is Blue Smoke, where on many evenings the fried chicken may be better than the barbecue.