Yup, more chicken

25 Apr

ToastChicken

When I heard a new resto-bar was opening around the corner, I did a little dance. When I saw it was a chicken concept, I had a little cry. Then I actually tried it.

Anyone who knows Columbia knows Toast. There’s one on 105th and Broadway (they call that one “downtown,” which is funny) and another at 125th and Broadway. Most people would say two is plenty. While the new Toast Chicken Bar (ew?) on Amsterdam has the same odd, brightly painted walls, a similar large bar area pouring good drafts (Dales, Victory, Southern Tier, Ommegang), its menu is totally different from the everything-offered list at the other two outposts.

Honestly, I don’t love chicken. But my meal here was good. The birds are raised naturally, free roaming and veg-fed; choose from buttermilk fried, rotisserie, tenders, a wrap, even a pot pie. Apps include avocado fries and deviled eggs and sides are the usual mashed potatoes, mac-and-cheese gratin, broccoli, etc. I’m not gonna lie: I was skeptical of the wannabe Southern factor, especially because this part of town doesn’t take its Southern food lightly. But Toast Chicken executes well. (There are a few salads, but it’s better if you like fried things.) Texas tenders were light and crunchy, not oily/greasy/nasty. The  roasted chicken in our wrap was moist and flavorful (although apparently the herb pesto that comes with the plain version is to die for). And the prices are ridic: a giant, shareable wrap, three (HUGE) tenders and two sides came to a total of $22.

Next time I’ll try one of the beer cocktails (from $6), like the Hound (Hefeweizen and grapefruit juice), Cherry Diesel (Boylans cola, cherry juice and lager), Black Shandy (stout and sparkling lemonade), Beery Mary or Michelada. The Boylans, BTW, is on tap.

Apparently we screwed up in not ordering the donuts for dessert. Thing is, I had my fill of donuts when the trend peaked five years ago. Come to think of it, that’s also when the chicken trend reached its loudest cluck. Oh well, uptown blooms late. But we still like choices–even if they are of the chicken variety.

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