Wednesday, March 24, 2010

HowfreshEats: "I Had Intimate Relations With Pies -N-Thighs."

Even in the throes of this confession I found myself sitting in one of the stools on a mid week night. I had to get it out of my system one last time. Thank goodness this chicken don't text. Tiger knows.

It's true. I can't dispute the evidence. Those thick thighs and sweet pies made me stray. I was in Williamsburg 3 days in a row from March 5 through the 7th. Not too deep in the Burg, close enough that an escape via the Bridge was easy money. That escape route is necessary. At first it was harmless. Just a meal with with the boys before a night out in the Planet of BK. It made sense. Party in BK, so might as well grub in BK. But I had no clue what I was entering. For the record, I have no regrets. Yeah, I said it.

Before closing their doors back in January of 2008 Pies-N-Thighs achieved mythical status. Apparently this was the go-to for southern food up north. A year and a half later members of the PnT team set up shop at Roberta's in Bushwick slinging fried chicken out the back door. Finally in early March of this year, they reopened in the shadows of the bridge. I had the Willyburg boycott on heavy rotation for years so it was all a dream. But I matured and sanctions were lifted so I made it my business to venture southeast towards the Hipster Hamlet. Don't tell that to Bushwick.

It was all about the fried chicken. Everything I read said Big Tings! Having just completed an independent study at Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken I was eager to see how PnT measured up. I'm here to enter the world of fried chicken academia. Got to pay to play baby.

Aside from seeing some flannels, facial hair and keds I didn't know what to expect. I figured there would be a line but it wasn't bad- maybe 10-15 deep. We were told to order our food and then we would be given a table once some jerks went to go play Buck Hunter. Damn How, easy with the vitriol. Good vibes baby, good vibes. The front room was packed so we thought the wait would be long, but were told there was seating in the back. Drinks and pies were handed over upon payment and hot food was delivered to the table. All food is made to order.

Got a table in the back and waited for the food to be served. Took at least 15 minutes to get the grub. Relatively speaking, 15 minutes isn't bad. I think I might have expected things to move quicker, but you live and learn. This was uncharted territory. All good, now I know what to expect. And you do too. Truth be told I was starving and it was tough not to go in on the pie in front of me (banana cream) as well as finish the sweet tea and beer.

I ordered the fried chicken box- 3 pieces of chicken (2 legs and a thigh), 1 side (mac n cheese), and a biscuit ($10). 2 hefty, meaty legs with the thigh to match. Let me say, YOOOOOO. If you know me you get it. If you don't, then YOOOO. This is some serious fried chicken. Crunchy and crispy shell, extremely moist meat and flavor in every bite. Topped off with sea salt flakes. It looked good and tasted better. Delicious. Anybody can make a mean dredge. It's what happens after that, that determines fair or fowl. PnT knows what they're doing. That first bite said it all. The future visits were already in the books. The tarot cards read more trips to BK. The mac n cheese was fine. Not baked, more like the Kraft kind. But that's my shit. If you're a baked mnc snob, you might be disappointed. Speaking of disappointment, let's discuss the biscuit. Mine was cold and partially raw. The only negative from the entire meal. The cornbread more than made up for it. But the chicken, oh the chicken. BK Bowl has nothing on it. WORD IS BOND.

In order to smorgasbord it, we strategized. One dude got the fried catfish box ($10)and another got the pulled pork sandwich box ($10). The 4th cat hates eating. I know, a shame. Good dude though. The catfish box consisted of 2 generous sized fillets with 1 side (black eyed peas), a block of cornbread, cole slaw, slices of pickle and a small puddle of homemade tartar sauce. I should be clear that it's all homemade. The catfish was banging. Lightly fried in a thin layer of cornmeal, the fish was extremely flaky and moist. Catfish isn't overpowering, well shouldn't be at least, and here was no exception. Very mild. The dill heavy tartar with the fish made for some very enjoyable eating. The black eyed peas were served cold, caught me off guard at first but decent. Rich and smoky. Didn't try the pulled pork but the way it disappeared with the quickness I'd say it was pretty good. Homeboy gave the nod of approval and proceeded to sip some White Rascal.

So we've handled our business and just shooting the shit letting everything digest when I hear the waitress come through the door and scream my name. Say my name, say my name... Apparently some extra food was ordered and the lovely PnT ladies thought we would appreciate it. You damn right. She brought over 2 plates- 1 catfish box with baked beans and 2 extra sides, mac n cheese and cole slaw. Mind you, we still had pie. Fuck that- we fat fucking it. But it's fish so it's light- right? What more is there to say. As if the chicken wasn't enough to put a ring on it (heavy with the Beyonce today), free food?? I'm smitten. I'll paint toenails. Braid hair. Whatever.

So it's a done deal that I'm heading back on Saturday. Not even a question. My boy was visiting from DC and he was trying to get his BK Trini bake and doubles on (I'll reserve that for a later post) so BK made sense. I'm all about slaying 2 birdies with one stone and that's how it went down. The game plan was fish and grits. Mornings was fish and grits ($9). Jada fucks with hash browns, this is how I gets down. But you don't understand. It was ALL about the fish and grits. Grits are hard to come by in NYC, but if I could order them at any diner/spot in the city instead of potatoes, best believe I would. As my pops says, FDP.

Threw an over medium egg on top just for GP. Breakfast without an egg might as well be lunch. Same applies to brunch. A little non-spicy tomato salsa on top brought some sweetness. I've already told you the fish was on point. And I just expressed my affinity for grits. That leads to quite the enjoyable dining experience. Though I was full and about to get my salt bake and phoulourie on, pie was a necessity. I refuse to travel far and wide and not slice it up. Coconut cream just because.

Brunch and dinner were conquered. A 3rd trip wasn't necessary. But then it happened. Sunday morning and spring came early. I was experiencing sun retardation. Not as in being slow, but as in poor judgment was all around me. Coffee'd up and copping fitteds, shirts, jeans. Life was motherfucking good. Jonesing for a Russ & Daughters bagel and lox. LESed it to find out half of NYC had the same idea. Line was out the door. Took a number and the thoughts started thinking. I'm downtown. Close to the bridges that connect Brooklyn. One of those bridges is the Williamsburg. Williamsburg is the home of Pies-N-Thighs. Need I go on?? The mind of a maniac. Not one that causes harm to others, just to himself. Someone help me. Please.

The image of the brunch menu popped up in the mentals. Banana short stack (#6). Fried chicken. Sweet. Savory. Etch that shit in stone. All systems go. Line was longer than I would have liked but I endured. Got the corner stool by the window in the back room. The french doors were open and the sunlight was shining bright. Rays hit the kid on some biblical shit. I was holding court in the corner. Excuse me miss, more coffee please.

Fun fact about the kid, I hate condiments. Condoms too. Hate babies more though. And hivs more than that. But I digress. Point is, I don't need maple syrup on pancakes or waffles, ketchup on a burger, etc. I let the ingredients shine. These banana pancakes illuminated. I was warm on all sides. Solar on one side, banana flap jacks on the other. Hold up- I used a little butter, just to lubricate. Them dry joints can pop early. Just sticking with the theme. Safe sex and banana pancakes. Ya dig?? The combo was better than any bagel and lox sandwich. There was some sort of bliss going on.

One would think that 3 days between Pies and Thighs (legs are more like it) would have satiated my desires. And I was doing well. Close to 2 weeks passed. No need to hit BK. Had a lobster roll here, a burger there. I was diversifying. Then the nice weather hit again and I'm on the Brooklyn Bridge, via foot, touristing it the fuck up. Photos on the span. Camera on the hip. "Wait, is that the Statue of Liberty?" Bikers screaming at me for not following the rules. Go fuck yourselves. Smiling. I was fucking smiling. I'm always mean-mug status, but this day I was cheesing. As if I arrived in JFK earlier that day from Anyplace, USA.

PnT wasn't on my mind. The Atlantic Chip Shop was but once I was there I figured the G train wasn't too far away. Fast forward I find myself walking down Broadway heading towards the hallowed ground on 4th & Driggs. Dapped my Hasid fam and kept it moving. I told them the food was Kosher style but they still reneged. I lied. Forgive me.

Line was short. Fried chicken box was on the agenda and then I see wings on the menu. Wasn't even a question. Got a stool in the back and waited for the grub. Met a nice local and we chatted it up. A recovering vegetarian mind you. 1 for the carnivores. She was eating the wings so I figured she was good money. And she didn't take any offense to my W'burg bashing. Sorry.

Wings were delicious ($5 for 6). Medium sized with a great crunchy exterior. Nice dosage of heat, but not tear-status. Frank's hot sauce? Possibly. Nice chunky blue cheese on the side. I was feeling good.

The fried chicken box with biscuit appeared next accompanied by a side of collard greens with smoked pork ($10). Yes, yes, and yes. The biscuit was better this time, baked all the way through. Greens were rich. Very rich. Cooked through, no stringiness, with some kick. Huge tender chunks of pork sitting atop money growing like grass with the mass appeal. I had super big eyes for this meal. Tarsier big. After trekking for miles around BK the appetite should have been major. I did my best. Knocked off close to everything with exceptions of half the greens and part of a chicken breast. I can do better, I know I can.

Being one not to mix savory and sweet on the plate, I will perpetuate that way of thought here. A pie post will be coming shortly. Believe me when I say I've eaten enough of their baked goodies to give more than ample feedback. Seriously though, after seeing all the lovely images above with witty and insightful commentary, what more do you need to go? Do you have no pulse? No tongue? No teeth? Then just go for the aromas. That good shit. Half a block away you know something special is on the horizon.

Oh yeah, the sweet tea ($2.50) is some of the best in the city. Breakfast, lunch and dinner you cannot go wrong. You can only go right. Very right. Put that Weezy, Jeezy and Drizzy on and enter Pies N Theezy...I'm going in, I'm going in...

166 South 4th St. at Driggs
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Monday through Friday
Breakfast 8-11
Lunch 11-4
Dinner 5-12
Saturday & Sunday
Brunch 10-4
Dinner 5-12

Monday, March 15, 2010

H is for Holy Grail Pt. 2.

The Holy Grail. We're discussing some biblical shit here. The kind of stuff that makes man slay thy neighbor. Sacred shit. Heavy shit. So when somebody says they found a grail, best believe it was no small occurrence. Pangea continental drift status. THAT LARGE.

Ahhh, if only that was the case for me. This wasn't like the most recent Holy Grail I acquired. No speaking in tongues. No hyperventilation. It was pretty anticlimactic. Copping Wildwoods is business for me. I'm here to achieve world domination. Don't get me wrong, these shits are dope. Super Dope. Nice & Smooth Dope on a Rope steezo. Peep that for all my freestyle TKA heads. Maybe once I rock them I'll experience that euphoria.

Most grails have been sought after for years. That shoe you remember as a kid. The one you beat the shit out of or one you couldn't afford. Not this one. It hasn't been on the hit list for 10 years. Not 5, not 4, not 3, not even 2. Just a little more than a year. So how can that be a holy grail? The ultimate find. Fuck the semantics, this was love at first sight. Only 2 stores in NYC sold them- 21 Mercer and DQM, and I was late to the dinner table. No food for How. Ebay and I did a dance with them. They appeared, they hid, and so on. I was getting tired of this tango. So when I saw them most recently I administered the head lock immediately. And they cost me half of retail ($110). I love loving kicks that are off the radar.

What we have here are some Nike Air Wildwood Supremes in buttery black leather. Add a little canvas to the uppers, a flannel-like pinstripe lining, and some 3M to reflect, and you my friend have some like Delta everyday we fly shit on your doggies. Yes, that is a Cam line. You already know. The colorway reads Black/Black- Sail- Olive Khaki, style # 329890 001. These feature a white contrast stitch, something I'm usually not a fan of. Truth is I really didn't notice that until I had them in my hand. But when I've seen these on feet, which is extremely seldom, all I see is flavs. Big shout to Surfer Dave for shedding the light. On a side note, Wildwoods never cost more than $82 until recently. Now they throw that Supreme tag on the label and charge $20 more. Whatevs. I'll cop, but come on now.

This hat might even be grail status. That would be if I knew it existed before I saw it. Perfection. Burgundy, maroon, whichever color you prefer. Somebody please explain the difference. Seeing this really excited me. Like really. Since when did House of Fitteds aka 4-U on Allerton and White Plains carry Negro League caps, let alone a Hilldale Giants cap?? Several years prior I copped the exact hat in navy at the Mitchell & Ness store in Philly. I was pretty positive that would be the last time I'd ever see one. New Era rarely does Negro League caps which is a shame because some of the logos are real clean.

The back has the Negro League logo. White New Era flag on the left side and that's all she wrote. That's all she needed to write. Simple. The Hilldale Giants played outside of Philadelphia from 1910-1932, meaning this year would be their 100th anniversary. Let's celebrate.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

EXPOSED: HowfreshEats' 3 Day Love Affair with Pies-N-Thighs.

In Williamsburg of all places.

Leave me alone, let me just live my life...

The same goes for shorty in the Uggs.

This "alleged" affair was said to have taken place over the 3 day period from Friday, March 5th to Sunday March 7th. It wasn't me. Shaggy!!

I have no comment at the moment. My attorney is mulling over this so-called "evidence" and will issue a statement at the appropriate time.

Charles', it's all hyperbole. You're still #1. I was just fucking them hoes, I was gonna get right back...

DAY 1:

DAY 2:

DAY 3:

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bao Wao Wao Yippy Yo Yippy Yay to the Pork- Baohaus in the LES.

Funkdoobiest- Bow Wow Wow

Fuck it. I give up. Back to back posts and no breaking of virginal ground. I want to plant the flag on Mt. Howfreezy, beat my chest and scream to the world that I've done it yet again. Instead I wave the white handkerchief. Is Howfresh becoming your garden variety food blogger? Uh oh. Not as long as the fitted is a bit too big for the dome. I just can't compete with Sifton & Crew at the Times. They beat me with Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken and I continue to ride coattails with Baohaus. I'll just have to accept sheep status. "Who's the white sheep? How's the white sheep!!" Wait. White?? Baaa baaa. I had intentions of writing this long winded piece about animal sounds, but instead I'll let the skit speak for itself. An HFE post without a Cam reference? Never. Underrated rap on an underrated blog. Shit is pure laughter. A little comic relief. We can laugh right?

Cam'ron - I'm a Chicken Head (Skit)

I'm no pork bun veteran. Fairly new to the swine hot pocket, but based on the caliber of bun I've experienced, I'm confident in my skills to deem Who's Real?? Who's Fake?? Between Ippudo and Momofuku I've eaten a trough's worth of pork belly- delicious, traife, fatty, rich pork belly. So I give Eddie Huang some credit for posting up in the thick of things. Blue Momo Magic got the streets sprung, but he says fuck that and introduces Bao Wao to lower NYC. He's a baod man. The junkies (foodies, bloggers, et al.) are bugging. In fact, this shit is so strong my boy in San Fran got a whiff and kept bugging me to hit it. "Yo How, you got to get some bao. Come on dude. Let me now how it is. Dude just go. Please. Shit looks mean." Dude was open- Bubbles status. Seems as though he's not alone. During my trip there was a line and steady stream of custees the entire time. And they had to open 2 hours later on Monday after exhausting their meat supply during the weekend. Needed that re-up fams but papi was busy getting a Monday morning pedicure.

Don't get it twisted, I'm no pork bun snob. I didn't venture into the baowels of the LES with a chip on my shoulder. I was genuinely excited about this new addition to the pork bun scene. I liked the fact that Eddie Huang was into energy efficient forms of cooking and ingredients that were treated well prior to meeting their maker. He doesn't take himself too seriously as is evident by the Fresh Off The Boat theme. The scans are of stickers available at the store. He has gone so far as to label menu items Straight and Royal Frush. Yes, that is funny. Raugh out roud status? I didn't say it, he did. Dude's also a hip hop head so I knew I'd catch some decent theme music. Speaking of which, I had the Funkdoobiest lyrics floating through the mentals and knew a post was on the horizon. I'm back on my grind doggies.

The menu is limited. Quality before quantity. If your stable of hoes is buttahface status, what does really mean? 3 types of Taiwanese Gua Bao aka steamed buns- steak ($4.50), pork ($4.00) and tofu ($3.50), sweet bao fries (fried dough) and boiled peanuts. Along with several beverages. There is a beef noodle soup similar to a pho that's available on weekdays. It was a Saturday so no go. I ordered the pork (Chairman Bao) and the seldom seen steak (Haus Bao).

Not just any pork, but all natural Niman Ranch Pork Belly braised slow, as the menu says, served with cilantro, Haus Relish (pickled mustard greens), and Taiwanese red sugar. Crushed peanuts also come with, but I go peanutless. The NY Times delves even further into the cooking method, "The pork is flash-fried, and then simmered in rice wine, soy sauce, rock sugar, ginger and star anise — a technique called “red cooking” in Mandarin — plus cherry Coca-Cola." 2 slices of tender pork belly about an inch thick in a fluffy white bun. The first thing that caught me was the cilantro. I've never seen this on a pork bun before, but being a self-proclaimed cilantro fan, it was a great addition. It enhanced the semi-sweet pork and added a little aroma therapy. Ghostface in the background and we were bordering on a zen-like experience. But the corny cat across from me talking about strippers with C-section scars killed my tranquilo. First off, you're lying. Second, the girl with you wasn't impressed, and third, neither was I. Didn't your mother ever teach you about dinner table etiquette?

The steak bao made with Certified Angus skirtsteak left me confused. Red cooked like the pork, but laced. Cooley baos?? Wooly baos?? Moutai is added, chinese firewater as Huang says, known to be as strong as 100 Proof. No complaints with the texture- tender stringy steak with cilantro and the haus relish. But it reminded me of brisket. And I'm not used to that being sweet. I prefer savory to sweet when it comes to steak. This isn't to say it's not good, just not my thing. I might be alone in this opinion since the Haus Bao will be featured on Food Network's Ultimate Recipe Showdown sometime this month.

Taiwanese root beer washed it down. For $3, a bit pricey, but none of the other options interested me. Plus I love root beer.

Bauhaus is small. A short flight of stairs leads you into a bustling subterranean space. Seating is very limited and there isn't much room to meander around the diners. A blue island in the middle of the room sits approximately 10 people, 10 small people. My trip consisted of mostly Asian females so it wasn't too tight. No shots. There is a 4 seater against the wall below the window. Each bao is made to order so you will have to wait. Inside, outside, wherever. When they're ready they call you out. Be clear with your name, because I wasn't. Howie Mumbles. If it wasn't for the "H" I wouldn't have known that Harlem or Harley was me. Nah, I call myself Harlem so as not to blow my cover. They start knowing who I am and I get the red carpet treatment.

If you're in the neighborhood I fully recommend a visit for the pork bun. Pre or post game Shopsin's. Heading back from the Doughnut Plant. On your way to Alife. Whatever the reason. Get daown, get daown...

137 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002
Sun-Thurs Noon - 10pm
Fri - Sat Noon - 2am
F, J, M, Z to Delancey Station (Delancey & Essex)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Like Fried Chicken They Wing it Ock... Charles Country Pan Fried Chicken.

Cam'ron ft. Vado- La Bomba

Ever since I heard Cam spit his shit I knew it was title material. That time has finally arrived. I'm very proud of this moment. The fact that he's a Harlem native is purely coincidental.

Ideally, I'd be the Marco Polo of this shit. Conquistador status. Cortes really. But that is not the case. This city is just too big. And then there's Brooklyn. Ugh. Luckily many food bloggers don't carry oxygen tanks needed to venture up the hills north of 110th St. (I see you Bill Burr). So I throw on my Moncler with the Christian Dior goggles, hop in my Rossignols and slalom that bitch out. Broadway is cool, but Amsterdam gives me the best workout. And 141st? Shit. Not for the faint of heart. I've broke the sound barrier gliding down that one. Give Alexander Hamilton the nod and keep it moving.

The NY Times beat me to the punch with Charles. But I should thank them for lighting the fire to finally get my ass down there. I remember the row of Charles Southern spots in the same location but never ate there. It was an area I'd drive by en route to the FDR. No other reason. Never hit the Rucker and the Giants left the Polo Grounds more than 50 years ago so no Say Hey. Then they closed. A little less than a year later they reopened with a longer name. 7 syllables. For purposes of making things easier I'm just using Charles.

I feel like a true reviewer with this one. I've eaten here 6 times over the last 3 or so months and have been able to try the bulk of their buffet menu. So one could say I'm an expert. But this isn't about me, it's about Charles. Not true, it is about me. About me eating great food and putting on the poundage. Come summertime I'll have to walk here just to warrant the beasting. Tan and svelt in the summer. You know my steez. Speaking of which, let's pray for a safe and speedy recovery for Guru from Gang Starr. He and Premier are responsible for a large majority of my theme music from my teens to the present. A legend. Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal.

Enough filibustering. Time to address the bizness. The fried chicken. Cue the singing angels. The best I've had in the 5 boroughs. Better than Momofuku, Blue Ribbon, Amy Ruth's, Redhead, etc. Georgia's Eastside BBQ poses the biggest threat, but Charles takes the cake. There's a reason that Charles has been snagged up by downtown restaurants to do what he does. Patroon in the East 40s signed him up for Fried Chicken Fridays. I know it's not an apples to apples comparison, but if I said you could get 3 pieces of chicken with 2 sides and banana pudding for $25, or all the chicken, sides and banana pudding, with a drink for $13.99, which would you choose? Reminds me of the baby bull joke. Buck, I see you. It's simple mathematics, you gotta love it...

TIME OUT. Due to the recent demands for stricter disclosure requirements by the F.T.C., it's a must that I come clean. Legs are my favorite part of the chicken, aka the polke. Easy to eat, no silverware needed and a 1 handed act. I can multitask with the leg (you know, get my twitter or bbm on). As a youngin, I loved the breast. The nice supple white breast. Now I like tan legs. Go figure. With that said, I have tried the breast, the thigh, wings, etc., but the leg is where my opinions derive from. You might say, "But wait, there is less meat on the leg, so how do I know the breast, a thicker cut of meat, will absorb the same flavors and be as moist?" Good question. Answer, "Motherfucker, because I said so." I tried the breast just so that I could retort to this nonsense. No difference. Just as delicious.

Every bite incorporates the following elements: crispy, juicy, and most importantly FLAVORFUL. Ideally, you want the chicken fresh out the frying pan, but even those pieces that have been sitting in the hotbox for 30 plus minutes are delicious. None of that first bite POW to trick the mouth into thinking there's mad flavor followed by a bland finish. From the shell to the bone (huh???) the flavors emanate. A lovely golden brown exterior, some with more skin crispies than others. Those cute old chickens with extra flab. My favorite. The Times says it's not that greasy, but I don't believe you, you need more people. Let's be serious though, greaseless fried chicken is too futuristic a concept. Grease is part of the game. I wouldn't say Charles' chicken drips that juice, but don't try to use your phone, especially the ball on your blackberry before wiping your fingers. Believe that.

As the restaurant's name says, the chicken is pan fried. In the Times' article Dave Cook provides the details of the no longer top secret 3 step process. So poetic:

"Mr. Gabriel raises the bar further by adding seasoning at three stages, first through a dry rub that works its effects for a number of hours, then via the egg wash and then in the flour dredge. He fries his birds in soybean oil, in a pan whose size befits a fried-chicken superstar."

Damn, I haven't even addressed the sides yet, or the other meat dishes. All this choking the chicken, pollo petting, fowl fucking, etc. and we're not even there yet. The sides deserve a post of their own. Let's see. The mac & cheese, black eyed peas, collard greens, okra stew with corn and tomato, sauteed cabbage, yams, white rice, green beans, and potato salad. Did you say potato salad? Why yes I did. Yoooooooo. I mean yooooo. Wow. That good. Take it easy How, one step at a time. My spud fetish is getting a bit weird.

Each time I've eaten there the mac & cheese is usually the first thing put on the plate, the kind that is sectioned off, hot lunch status. That yellow is so appealing. Yellow is though- right? I know you stare at that yellow Lambo too. Does things to my brain. And this is where I go wrong. This ish is mad filling. That's a rookie move, yet I make it each time. Cheesy, rich and firm. A little hot sauce and I'm ditty bopping up for plate 2. Next up I usually throw some greens on the plate. Not sure if smoked turkey or swine is used to enhance the dish, but a small scoop provides all the salt I need. To offset the salt the okra stew is next. The sweetness of the corn and tomato paired with the okra offers a quick respite from the heavy dishes surrounding it. The yams are usually on the second plate. Too much starch to mix it with the mac & cheese. Smooth though- close to a puree, and sweet. Might throw some black eyed peas in the mix for a little earthiness, bring that sweet down. Cause we haven't even had dessert yet.

Aw man. Potato salad with hard boiled eggs in a mustard based sauce. Delicious. Heavy but refreshing. The texture, the taste. So simple yet so palatable. This has run out several times when I've been there and I never saw a re-up, so go in early and go in heavy. Possibly the best potato salad I've eaten aside from Bunk's in Portland. PDX- what's popping?

Damn, this is a long meal. Or just a long post. I'm wondering how the fuck I even make it to dessert. Then I remember the made from scratch banana pudding, and a small area in the stomach makes room for further ingestion. Vanilla wafers and sliced banana piled atop each other in a pool of vanilla pudding. Not overbearing, just pleasantly sweet. A great finale piece.

Being that the fried chicken is the pièce de résistance, I don't deem it necessary to go in on the other meat dishes. What??? The fried chix isn't enough? Bunch of jackals. I'll humor you anyway. Baked chicken, BBQ pork ribs, fried whiting (need to have hot), and various other pork and beef dishes are available on the daily. The smothered turkey wings are pretty good too. Though it seems like a lot of work for a little food. Tell 'em Ghost, baked macaroni, turkey wings, a ni... Whoa, easy killa.

The dinner buffet will run you $13.99 ($15.16 after tax)- lunch buffet runs from noon till 4pm and costs $10.99- and that includes unlimited food, sweet tea or lemonade and banana pudding. I am a slow eater and not once have I ever felt rushed. You don't need to do AYCE, you can also choose chicken and 2 sides for around $10. There are 6 tables, most 4 seaters, some 2. From what I've seen most business is takeout. The friendly service is comprised of Charles' younger relatives, always refilling your drink and removing empty plates. Weekdays they close at 11 and weekends they can stay open till 3 am. If you're lucky you might see Charles. Be sure to have a whole chicken available for an autograph. This dude is a first ballot Fried Chicken Hall of Famer. Utensils are paper and plastic, so if you're super green, get over it. Speaking of green, the vegetarians might be able to get by with most sides. Aside from the greens, I'm not sure what else is cooked in some sort of animal product. Might be some, might be none. Believe it's none. If I'm wrong, I apologize. A little mylanta will cure that tummy ache. As I leave the podium let me finish with these words of advice. When you walk in assess the situation (no Jersey Shore). Is the chicken count low? Is the mac & cheese almost out? Chances are they will be replenishing shortly so strategize wisely.

Charles Country Pan Fried Chicken

2839-2841 Frederick Douglass Blvd. (8th Ave) between 151st & 152nd Sts.
New York, NY 10039
Breakfast 8am-Noon
Lunch Buffet Noon - 4pm
Dinner Buffet 4pm - 11pm Weekdays, At least 1am on Weekends - Call for hours
They now accept credit cards.
B, D to 155th St. & 8th Ave.
A, B, C, D to 145th & St. Nick- nice little walk (perfect for post meal)
3 to 148th St & Lenox Ave.

Below is the most recent menu from mid February.