Move over, ramen. Fried chicken is hot on your heels as the current food crush of the moment. Every time we turn around someone is slinging some good bird. Here are five of the best new ways to get your fix (with all the fixins).
All-You-Can-Eat Fried Chicken at Coup d'Etat
How much chicken can you possibly put down? Don't know? Test your limits every Wednesday at Coup d'Etat, where a twenty-dollar bill gets you all the chicken you care to eat, plus "all the fixins," including collard greens, mac and cheese, and biscuits. 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
2923 Girard Ave. S., Minneapolis
The Dirty Bird in Linden Hills
Upton 43 has been called the Twin Cities' most ambitious new restaurant. Now there's something decidedly down-home and accessible to that tony project. Dirty Bird is the newly opened annex to Upton, where house-prepared, 12-hour brined, rotisserie chicken and all sides are available for takeout. A rotating list of sides includes shaved cabbage, wild rice dishes, mashed potatoes with gravy, mac and cheese, and a daily hot vegetable. And don't forget the all-important sauces, which include something for every taste: chimichurri, white BBQ, and honey mustard. And for dessert, a full-stop Southern fave: banana cream pudding.
The Dirty Bird
4312 Upton Ave. S., Minneapolis
Revival (Expanding and now with more BBQ!)
Beloved, wildly popular Revival is expanding its postage-stamp space in south Minneapolis about three-fold. This means no more hour-long waits to get your fix of what has become gold-standard fried chicken around here. Perhaps most exciting, they're adding a real pit smoker, which we hope will become a trend in local barbecue. (Thomas Boemer is from Lexington, North Carolina, one of the crucibles for real-deal American barbecue.) Minneapolis/ St. Paul Magazine also reports that there will be a circular bar in the middle of the room, plus takeout chicken and 'cue by the pound, also to go. Good news all around, though we'll kinda miss the familiar intimacy of rubbing elbows and swilling beers in the vestibule with other chicken cravers.
4257 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis
Golden Chow Mein
Check out hidden gem and beloved institution Golden Chow Mein. It's been going strong for 30 years but remains fairly unknown to those outside its longtime West Seventh neighborhood. They sell a half fried chicken with fries for just seven dollars. Also find some of the best Chinese chicken wings in either city, with prodigious crunch, spice, and gingery tang. It's another steal at $5 for a half dozen. And unlike most fried chicken joints, you can also make off with a side of chow mein or fried rice.
Golden Chow Mein
1105 W. Seventh St., St. Paul
The Naked Hot Wing
Call it spiced vinegar, or house wing sauce, or insert-name-of-crazy-hot-chile-here, but we're loving the buffalo-less hot wing trend, where the red stuff stays on the shelf (and off your shirt and fingers) and the flavor is pulled from the peppers themselves and copious dashes of vinegar, salt, and pepper. Look for versions of it at Dark Horse, the Country Bar, D-Spot, and other fine outlets where excellent chicken wings are sold.