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Sweet Chick: Chicken n’ Waffles and More

December 31, 2014

Part two of my journey to sample fried chicken in New York brought me to Sweet Chick LES.  This is the second location of the popular Brooklyn based restaurant known for their numerous variety of chicken and waffles.  My first two visits here started with brunch where there was only the classic chicken and waffle combination offered.  The place is located just below Houston and was bustling as can be with relaxed New Yorkers happily enjoying their comfort foods over a mug of coffee.  The best news you can have for a place like this is that they do take reservations, another bonus for those who aren’t willing to wait it out for a spot.

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Even though Sweet Chick offers more options of dressed up chicken and waffles at dinner time, sometimes it’s best to strip down to the basics and start from there.  At Sweet Chick,  a drizzle of syrup and a few taps on the hot sauce bottle over the golden crispy pieces of fried chicken was all you need.  The crust here is extra crunchy, the type where you almost can hear it shatter are you bite into it.  Definitely a good sign for helping preserve the juicy lightly brined chicken underneath.

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A few other dishes worth highlighting from the brunch menu include a lovely albeit heavy dish of smoked pork hash made with house cured pork, generous amounts of perfectly cooked potatoes and a runny egg.

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The shrimp and grits was also a winner for me.  Creamy cheese grits was topped with a bell pepper based sauce scented with smoke paprika.  Plump shrimp and a beautifully poached egg topped it all off.  Surprisingly light yet filling, this will satisfy those who aren’t as fried chicken crazy as I am.

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And from time to time, they will feature a fried chicken sandwich as a special at brunch.  This pretty much answers the question of what other delicious ways can you consume an amazing piece of fried chicken.  By topping it with caramelized onions and melted cheese of course!  Oh and don’t forget a drizzle of syrup and a dash of hot sauce.

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And what is brunch with bacon?  While it might be temping to leave out the bacon because the thought of consuming more meat on top of the fried chicken for brunch is a bit much, please don’t skip out on the bacon here.  Why?  Because the maple glazed house cured bacon might not look that special, it will be one of the best plates of bacon you will have consumed.  The sweet maple glaze was the perfect counterpart to the salty smokey bacon and you have to remember to eat it fast or the pieces will harden and it will be nearly impossible to separate them or even get them off the plate.  Trust me, I have tried and would have continued to try had they not cleared away the plate.

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After having had the chance to enjoy brunch here twice, I decided it was finally time to check out the dinner offerings.  Once again, it’s smart to make a reservation ahead of time as there will always be a crowd for good fried chicken.

We started the meal with a bowl of good old mac n cheese, made with a trio of the classics, gruyere, fontina and cheddar.  Topped with a Ritz cracker crust, these cheesy shells were homey and delicious.

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The sloppy duck sliders were less of a classic but just as delicious.  Served in a set of three on soft brioche buns, these packed a flavor punch with a hidden slice of pickles for brightness.

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And now onto the main event, fried chicken.  At dinner time, in addition to the classic chicken n’waffle, Sweet Chick offers several options.  The easiest thing to do is to jazz up the waffles.  We tried the bacon-cheddar waffle which was fantastically delicious and amazing.  I am sure the rest which include dried cherry, mushroom and rosemary, walnut-parmesan and spiced pecan would all have been pretty darn delicious.

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The next step to making your fried chicken stand out is to dress up the chicken.  The fried chicken parm was a pretty amazing spin.  Served in a cast iron skillet, fried chicken pieces were topped with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella and the waffle was studded with sun dried tomatoes and basil.  Delicious but it made me miss the crunchy crust that the classic fried chicken had.

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For a little bit of green, the roasted brussels sprouts with almond did just the trick.

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And for a little bit of sweet, the nutella pie was surprisingly light.  The chocolate ganache and toasted hazelnuts added dimensions to the light and airy mousse light pie, so delicate that we almost didn’t believe that it was bad for us.

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Another great rustic spot to enjoy one of my favorite dishes.  And one that takes reservations so I know I can return without having to endure an endless wait for a bite might just catapult Sweet Chick to the top of my fried chicken list.

Sweet Chick LES | 178 Ludlow Street, New York, NY 10002 | http://sweetchicknyc.com/

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