Archive for the ‘chicken’ Tag

No Buttermilk Biscuits Here   Leave a comment

crisp interior

One of my middle son’s favorite foods is fried chicken; I’ve jumped on that band wagon with him. It started with my introduction to Bouchon’s buttermilk rendition. It soon evolved to include waffles. But, for now, I’ll stick to the hens.

When Food and Wine magazine listed the best places in the country to find the crispy comfort food it was like finding a treasure map. The timing was perfect as I was making a trip to Chicago, which boasts three of the 33 on the list. We only had time to try one: Crisp.

crisp chicken

When we wandered into the small, unimpressive order-at-the-counter eatery I was surprised. The preparation here is not what’s served with mashed potatoes and peas. This was Korean fried chicken, which sent my taste buds in a completely different direction than they’d traveled before.

First, diners choose between wings or boneless strips. Then there’s a choice of sauces. These range from plain, slightly sweet, a smoky spicy and a Buffalo spicy. I went with the sweet. Honey, ginger, garlic and soy were the obvious flavors coating crispy pieces of chicken that had been flash-fried twice. They were sticky, thanks to the honey, but not at all greasy.

crisp chickens

Crisp also serve sandwiches, Buddha bowls and Korean burritos. Sides include brown rice, onion rings, greens, kimchee (sic) and shoestring potatoes.

I have my go-to places for traditional fried chicken. Nonetheless, I don’t mind continuing the quest for perfect poultry, especially when I find such different spins like Crisp’s.

crisp inside

Four Plates
2910 N. Broadway
Chicago, Ill.

No Reservations About the Food   Leave a comment

paravizalamThe first thing to have at Paravicini’s Italian Bistro is a reservation. We did and were seated right away. The vantage from our table clearly illustrated the wisdom of calling ahead. It’s no wonder this is a popular eatery. The menu, albeit extensive, is creative, the atmosphere is charged, and the food warrants the crowd.

There are plenty of Italian standards: various pastas and several spins on veal and chicken preparations. The surprises come in the form of what are billed as “Paravicini Originals” and the Seafood offerings.

Entrees are served with a house salad. We didn’t realize it was served family style until a bowl too large for one, but not quite big enough for four arrived at the table. The focaccia-like bread was perfect for sopping up olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

The Chicken Valeria falls into the “Originals” category. Two lightly-breaded chicken breasts are cooked with lots of garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts in a subtle mushroom sauce. It was all served over a bed of angel hair pasta.

The Lasagna was traditional and apparently satisfying since my husband happily cleaned his plate. I didn’t sample my friend’s Grilled Salmon, but it looked delicious. We all shared an order of Green Beans cooked al dente shimmery with olive oil and speckled with copious amounts of diced garlic and chunks of pancetta.


The servings are generous, so much so that three of us each had plenty for lunch the next day. It’s possible people are still waiting for a table.

Paravicini’s Italian Bistro
Four Plates
2801 W. Colorado Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO

More Than a Saturday Market   Leave a comment

The Handy Market is just that: conveniently located and, despite its compact size, well-stocked with fresh produce, an impressive meat counter and a decent selection of wine and beer. And there’s the Saturday barbecue.

Every Saturday the industrial grills are loaded with a variety of meats cooked to fork-tender perfection. The aroma alone is hypnotizing. People stand in line – often a block long – to order ribs, chicken and tri-tip, but the bonus is the aroma emanating from the ballooning smoke of the grills.

A Santa Maria-like style is used: meats are cooked over a hot, hot bed of slow burning fuel, such as mesquite. Tri-tip is a lean roast with one fatty side from which the juices flow into the meat during the cooking process.

A recent visit to LA netted a trip to the Handy Market. We arrived later in the afternoon and the line was only about ten people deep. A wipe board identifies the meats, and orders are placed at the window of a trailer. The grills are set up next to it in the market’s parking lot. We ordered the trip-tip and chicken. With just the right amount of salty, smoky flavors, and optional tangy sauce, the Tri-tip is the meat of choice.

Grilled corn and salads, ordered at the meat counter, are offered. Once the meats, which are sold by the pound, are wrapped in heavy duty foil there’s the option of having them slathered in a thick, rich barbecue sauce. Go for it.

The Handy Market
Four-and-a-half Plates
2514 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, Calif.