Digging into the cluckin' awesome world of our favorite fried food.
Considering how dressed up fried chicken can be these days in New York, it's nice to have a place that sticks to the basics, does them well, and keeps things at a reasonable cost. Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter, a dimly lit nook of a restaurant in Alphabet City, is just such a place.
For $11.50 you get three pieces of chicken (about 3/4 of a half bird, or 3/8 of a bird, which just sounds awkward), a rich fluffy biscuit, and a bit of cabbage salad in a mild creamy dressing. A sweet and salty brine penetrates deep into the meat, keeping it plenty juicy but still, above all, chicken-y. A bite won't release a flood of juice, but there's enough to make you smile mid-chew and realize that this is a chicken to savor.
Containing it all is a burnished, crumbly crust that holds where it needs to and gives when it has to. I've had fried chicken crusts in this city that are half as good for twice the money. Not only is Bobwhite's chicken solid for its price—it's just plain solid, well browned and tasting of caramel and chicken, not salt and fryer oil.
That said, ask for dark meat. Those three pieces of chicken you get aren't always consistent, and unlucky diners may be trapped with a wing and two hunks of breast. The wing is great stuff, and the breast isn't bad, but the real pleasure is in the dark meat. Speak up or forever hold your peace.