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The Early Word on Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken

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Daniel Krieger

Three weeks ago, the Bromberg Brothers opened Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, a casual restaurant devoted to their famous crispy bird . The menu also includes chicken sandwiches, salads, sides, and homemade ice cream. So far, diners are split on the food, the portions, and the prices. Here's what people are saying about Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken:

The "Still Hungry" News: Yelper Michelle leaves Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken feeling hungry: "I was super excited about this place when I saw them building it out, but was only mildly happy once I actually had it. Nothing is bad about the food. It's actually quite tasty. The chicken was crispy, the skinny fries are awesome, the corn roll had good texture, and the pickles are fine...I just didn't think it was anything too special considering how many fried chicken places there are in NY. Between me and my fiancé, we ordered the four piece meal, an extra mighty wing, a small arugula salad, and two drinks. With all of that food, I still left feeling hungry. That's a bad sign y'all!" [Yelp]

The Accommodating News: According to this Chowhound review, special requests are no problem at Blue Ribbon Friend Chicken: "Went back tonight: had The Burger [basic grilled chicken breast with toppings] and fries... l wrote previously that l felt that the fries were way too salty. This time l asked the gal at the register if l could order them unsalted: she said yes, and the manager came up to help her ring the special order on the register. l told the manager that l thought the fried chicken was really good, but is it possible to order it without the spice rub? He said that would pose no problem; l'll get it that way the next time l order it. They are as accommodating here as they are in the other BR locations: it's obvious they want to do this right." [Chowhound]

The Flavorless News: Another reviewer is slightly disappointed: "This is above average fried chicken, the average being KFC or Popeye's. It is extra crispy and thoroughly breaded but I personally thought it was a little too much, and the seasoning has a very heavy dose of paprika in it...The breast was quite large and very moist. The meat however was largely flavorless. I would suggest that they brine the chicken longer. I had to liberally douse my chicken in their BBQ sauce. The same could be said of their very dense and doughy dinner roll. To prevent it from sopping up all the moisture in my mouth, I had to drown it in their many gourmet honey concoctions." [Yelp]

The Surprisingly Good News: Over on Yelp, this reviewer is not into the sides or condiments, but is pleasantly surprised by the chicken: "We didn't have any expectations of any 'great' fried chicken from a seemingly 'fast food' joint... The cucumbers were way too sour and the cole slaw was ok. We didn't particular care for them. I wished they had served biscuits instead of rolls. But it was surprisingly pretty awesome chicken for a fast food joint. You don't get greasy oily chicken with a thick hard flour shell, but a nice crispy juicy well seasoned mouthful when you bite into the chicken." [Yelp]

The Sietsema News: Robert Sietsema filed a recap of his experience on day one. Here are his thoughts on the bird: "The pieces were not particularly large, but they were hot and juicy, with a relatively thick crust on an intact skin. The spice powder on the crust could be seen. The taste of the chicken was fresh and mellow, but almost utterly salt-less. The spice coating, which was midway between Lawry's Seasoning Salt and Mrs. Dash, was also very low on sodium." [Eater]

The Amazing News: One Yelper writes: "This place was amazing! Best fried chicken you can get outside of the south. The flavor is amazing and every order is made fresh. Worth the wait." [Yelp]

The Disappointing News: One Eater reader went when they were giving away food in the soft-opening period: "Bought a chicken thigh (I am on a tight budget but wanted to treat myself...have been waiting for them to open forever). Anyway the thigh was so small when I got it home...very disappointed." [Eater Comments]

The Good Value News: This Chowhounder disagrees with most of the other reviews, calling her meal a good deal: "We got take-out tonight. We got the Bird combo—two breasts, two wings, two drumsticks and two thighs—for $24. A really great value; the breasts are huge! ... I think for a solo diner it can be a little pricier, but for two people it came in at just under $35 (no drinks, since we ate at home) and I only managed to eat two pieces of chicken since the breasts were massive." [Chowhound]

The Ill News: This Yelper claims to have gotten sick after his meal at Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken: "Let's start with we both have been sick to our stomachs since we ate here. I wouldn't call it food poisoning but more like ill cooked chicken or too many hands touching the food. For the price I was hoping for a better experience. It's easy to say we will not be going back or recommending this place. They have many kinks to work out from service to their software systems to being able to serve cooked chicken."
" [Yelp]

The Bad News: Another Yelp reviewer is less than pleased with the chicken: "I am disappointed? I've tasted their fried chicken at their other restaurant and liked it. This one is different: the crust is too much and I can't taste the chicken. There were several honey-based sauces to use but only 1 tasted good — the mustard honey. The Chipotle honey was medicine-like. The fried dill green beans were interesting dipped in special mayo mixture type sauce. I think they should use the fried chicken recipe I had at their sushi place a few years ago that I've tried." [Yelp]

The Foursquare News: Jason F.: "This fried chicken rivals true southern fried chicken. And that's saying a lot. Also, the banana salted caramel ice cream was a truly refreshing blend." Victor P.: "Nothing to write home about. $40 for 2 beers and fried chicken on a paper plate in a loud cafeteria setting? It's novelty fried chicken because of the name. Try it once but go early#" Maggie W.: "Chicken was incredible — perfectly crispy, juicy and not greasy. Try the mustard honey sauce — great sweet counterpart to the paprika in the rub. Fries are an excellent side! Not too thin, but crispy!" Andy C.: "If you're not sure what to order, just order a whole bird (8 piece), some slaw and fries. You can't go wrong. It's delicious."

·All Coverage of Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken [~ENY~]
— Emma Kestler and Layla Khabiri

Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken

28 East 1st Street, Manhattan, NY 10003 (212) 228-0404 Visit Website

Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken

28 E 1st St., New York, NY