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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Feeling Comfortable Carrying Excess Baggage

Man, have I been eating a lot of fried chicken lately.  I am neighbor to, the infamous, Front Porch, in San Francisco. I'm probably one of their best customers. "Da' Porch" is the home of the very robust popcorn bucket, full with popping corn garnish and about 7 to 9 thick pieces of juicy chicken. I am also down for a fried chicken po boy at lunch from time-to-time.  And most recenctly, since opening for brunch, I have begun an addiction to their chicken & waffles. It is technically, my local chicken shack.

In Oakland, there is Hibiscus, where I get the Chef's choice. It is my friend Sarah's recipe, passed down from her grandmother, Miss Ollie. While dining there, it is extremely hard to avoid her Phoulourie (split pea fritters).  That is unless she has her salt cod fritters on the menu that day.  Then, I am completely torn. The cocktail program is pretty tight too. I suggest THE PARISH PUNCH  El Dorado Rum, ginger limeade (housemade) or the BLACK PRINCE Flor de Caña 18yr Rum, Carpano Antica,Averna Amaro.

While we are on the subject of Oakland and fried chicken, I have another confession to make. At Brown Sugar Kitchen, I have been finding a lot of comfort in their Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Cornmeal Waffle with brown sugar butter & apple cider syrup.  That butter tastes like ice cream, it is so creamy and delicious. And the waffle is absolutely amazing.  The menu also offers up one the best pulled pork sandwiches, especially if you order the smoked mashed yams to go alongside.

My boss bought me the Fried Chicken Sandwich at Bakesale Betty recently.  It was so giant, that even I could only eat half. The Chicken and that slaw were stacked inside fresh baked bread. It was a dream.  And I shared that dream with my housemate later on and he concurred.

Most recently, on a recent Sunday brunch, the fried chicken dish stood out to me on the menu at Prospect (San Francisco). It came with slow cooked greens, house made tasso, creamed biscuit and honey butter. It was a lovely meal magnified with 3 cocktails (Bird of Paradise Fizz, Michelada de Prospect & Prospect's Bloody Fare) and of course, the James Beard’s French Toast– house made challah bread, blueberries, maple syrup. The 1st drink was the a gin and wine cocktail, the 2nd a beer cocktail and for the finale a very spicy vodka bloody.  I had to take a nap to recover from that experience.

It is no wonder I am carrying an extra 5 pounds these days.  What could be better in this inconsistent climate? Fried Chicken is comfort food.  It warms my body and soul.