April 26, 2018 | Arts and Culture
fried chicken in the snow
a tasty delivery option for the end of winter
Where else but Providence does it snow in April? And then hail in April. And then rain all week. And then snow again. But where else can you get food from one of Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurants of 2017 delivered right to your door? And at a reasonable price, too. Providence, it turns out, can be pretty lit. This might even mitigate the prolonged seasonal depression fogging the entire city. Or maybe we’re just all eating our feelings. Bucktown is slinging some excellent New Orleans style meals in Federal Hill, and is worth the trip for the $1 oyster special on Monday afternoons alone, but when having a fried feast delivered to your door (dorm), going all in is the only way, and delivery oysters are not something I’m willing to try.
For $15, or $13 in house, you get a heck of a lot of fried chicken—about half a bird—and two sides wrapped up in a greasy, fragrant box of “this will make me feel better about the hail storm, and all the work I didn’t do today.” Those sides span from the baked, gooey, good kind of mac and cheese to pickled cucumber salad—a vegetable that can stand up to piles of fried chicken crust. There’s collard greens, potato salad, and waffle fries too, which come doused in some heavenly red spice that’s not quite Old Bay, but hotter, and a secret recipe. These sides are all $3 a piece in case you want to try more than the two that come with. Bucktown also offers the requisite coleslaw if you’re into that (I once tried to start a meme called “slaw or nah,” emphasis on “nah,” so I don’t know if I’m the right person to talk to about what distinguishes the good stuff from the bad. It’s all mayo salad to me. This meme did not take off).
Other platter options follow the same side dish format. You can opt for a fried shrimp situation or the catch-of-the-day fish fry rather than chicken. Aside from these platter options, Bucktown’s got sandwiches galore. There’s a classic fish or chicken thigh sandwich, honey butter chicken biscuit, and shrimp or oyster po’boy. There’s even a fried bologna sandwich clocking in at $5 and bound to leave you full through the next two meals.
Speaking of good value. There’s also a burger that you can make a double and add bacon to. In other words, Bucktown is not here to leave you hungry…your body might recommend a salad the next day, but who wants to eat a salad in the snow? On the bright side, it’ll probably be 80 degrees and sunny the day after an April Providence storm.
Your sauce options are extensive: remoulade, tartar, comeback, aioli, cocktail sauce. I recommend either the black pepper ranch (and I’m not even into ranch re: the mayo-y texture—see above “slaw or nah”) or the creole mustard sauce, which are both excellent. Bon Appetit suggests you “order the largest quantity of fried food that your crew can handle.” I couldn’t second that more, but please leave room for banana pudding.
A final word, my 16-year-old brother who subsists on plain pasta and avocado rolls with the seaweed ON THE OUTSIDE ONLY approved of the Bucktown spread. He was visiting for the weekend. “It’s lit,” he said after one bite of mac and cheese, and then asked us what parts of a chicken wing you’re supposed to eat. “Umm, the meat part?” Ultimately, you should not go outside when it’s dumping snow if you can avoid it, although who can avoid it when there’s things to see, things to do! And Bucktown is great—you should go there. Except it’s extra great for bringing their food to you and saving you one trip outside.