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Fried Chicken, anyone?


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#1 jsibley

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Posted 17 June 2002 - 06:59 AM

Anyone have any favorite places for fried chicken?

I tried "Sandy's Sho-Nuff Fried Chicken" in Garfield last week, and it's really good (it's listed in the phone book as "The Best Fried Chicken North of the South"). It's at 506 route 46 West (and a bit complicated to get to from 46 East).

It's a small shack where Sandy fries the chicken in some large pans (not deep-fried) and you can buy by the piece of as dinners. When she runs out, she makes more (so you might have to wait).

In addition to the tasty chicken, she has home-made ice cream that was also quite good (just in case the cholesterol is still too low, no doubt).

It has a few stools inside and a couple of tables overlooking scenic route 46, so bear that in mind, but the chicken is great.

#2 Rosie

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Posted 17 June 2002 - 07:20 AM

There is a soul food restaurant in Montclair--I think Maple St--called Mr. Jefferson's. Fried chicken is great. haven't tried the fried chicken at Indigo Smoke yet. Niecy's in South Orange also makes a great fried chicken.
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#3 Rachel Perlow

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Posted 17 June 2002 - 07:32 AM

Marva's Southern Cuisine  
1287 Teaneck Rd,Teaneck,NJ 07666
Phone: (201) 837-9080

They have pretty good fried chicken, in addition to other southern/soul foods. Good home cooking. It is mostly take-out, but there are about four tables inside and I think they set up tables out front in good weather.

#4 jhlurie

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 01:43 PM

So after about a year and a half of occasionally passing by this place and promising myself I'd stop, I finally stopped at "Sandy's Sho-Nuff Chicken" today ("Fried" is not actually in the name).

Sho-nuff, I feel like a real idiot for not stopping a long time ago.

The chicken was not freshly fried when I walked in, but to be fair it was after 3pm. You can tell, however, even after some time under hot lights--with all that does to suck moisture out and dry it--how glorious this stuff must be freshly popped out of the pan. The dark meat pieces, which never dry out quite as quickly, still were (fairly glorious, that is), and the breasts were hardly to the point of ruination. Apparently the key is to get there when Sandy is around and frying. Dark meat or breast, regardless, its all a lovely shade of Dark Golden Brown. It just LOOKS right.

I desperately wanted some greens... but they were out. The guy there recommended the Cabbage instead, and boy was he right. Cabbage has bad connotations for a lot of us, but this was both savory and spicy--stewed with carrots, peppers and spices and is still making my mouth water an hour after finishing it.

Some local review piece on the wall (not the Record, just some town rag I think) recommended the Potato Salad. It's not bad. It's got some zest, and some body, and although its got plenty of mayo as the glue it doesn't have that disgusting sameness of a lot of potato salads like that have.

My next test is the "fridge test", since I bought about twice what I'd eat.

Items I DIDN'T try include Corned Beef and Pastrami sandwiches (it looked like a straight "Boar's Head" shop for cold cuts though), Cheese Steaks, Hot Wings, Candied Yams, Collard Greens (as I said, they were out), Mac & Cheese, Cole Slaw, various Breakfast specialties, and a few soul food specialties--Oxtail with Rice, Turkey wings with Rice, and Curry Chicken with Rice. Ribs aren't on the menu, but they seemed to have them as well.

I'm sure I'll get to try some of this eventually, since I doubt it will take me a year and a half to get back here.

As discussed by the previous poster, the address is 506 Route 46, in Garfield. Its about a mile past the Teterboro Airport--which means its also really accessible from Route 17 (Note by RPerlow: actually 3.3 miles past the airport). The hours are 6am to 7pm, Monday through Saturday, although I've got no idea which hours are prime for fresh frying. The tel. # is 973-340-6224, and the place is located inside the most beat up looking old shack I've seen... well... ever.

Edited by Rachel Perlow, 24 April 2004 - 12:03 PM.

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#5 Rosie

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 01:53 PM

Another place--Neicy's in South Orange.
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#6 jhlurie

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 01:54 PM

Another place--Neicy's in South Orange.

Details Rosie, details. :biggrin:
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#7 Jason Perlow

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 01:54 PM

Finks. And they just got a new commerical deep fryer so they can make it in bigger batches.
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#8 jhlurie

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 02:00 PM

Finks. And they just got a new commerical deep fryer so they can make it in bigger batches.

Its like Coke and Pepsi, Jason. Fink is deep frying. Sandy is pan frying. Totally different.
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#9 Jason Perlow

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 02:52 PM

Finks. And they just got a new commerical deep fryer so they can make it in bigger batches.

Its like Coke and Pepsi, Jason. Fink is deep frying. Sandy is pan frying. Totally different.

Well, different in implementation, not substantially different in end result. Both are fried chicken.
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#10 Rosie

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 02:53 PM

Another place--Neicy's in South Orange.

Details Rosie, details. :biggrin:

They have Southern Fried Chicken. Good sides include collard greens and sweet potatoes.
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#11 Dave the Cook

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 02:55 PM

Finks. And they just got a new commerical deep fryer so they can make it in bigger batches.

Its like Coke and Pepsi, Jason. Fink is deep frying. Sandy is pan frying. Totally different.

Jon's right and Jason's wrong on this one. The biggest difference is evident in the crust that forms against the surface of the pan, something that isn't possible with deep frying. Of course, I'm not known for passing up either.

Since pan frying takes 25 minutes (assuming the prep is already done), it's become a lost craft among restaurants -- it just takes too long.

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#12 Jason Perlow

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 03:04 PM

I've had both. Yes, the pan fried stuff is more labor intensive and you get that nice crust. But I don't think one is necessarily superior to the other. I think with deep frying you are probably going to get a consistently better and less greasy product since it is in contact a lot less longer with the cooking medium and requires less skill to prepare -- theres no monitoring of the chicken really once you dump it into the deep fryer -- once you establish how hot the oil is, how long you should keep using the same batch of oil and tweaked the batter correctly and have timed how long it should take to optimally get it golden brown, you can basically turn out a good product every time if you are so inclined. But even that is asking for too much from some places.
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#13 jhlurie

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 03:07 PM

Finks. And they just got a new commerical deep fryer so they can make it in bigger batches.

Its like Coke and Pepsi, Jason. Fink is deep frying. Sandy is pan frying. Totally different.

Jon's right and Jason's wrong on this one. The biggest difference is evident in the crust that forms against the surface of the pan, something that isn't possible with deep frying. Of course, I'm not known for passing up either.

Since pan frying takes 25 minutes (assuming the prep is already done), it's become a lost craft among restaurants -- it just takes too long.

I was going to say "bullshit" to him Dave, but you said it so much better. Pan fried beats deep fried in my opinion every time, but I use the Coke/Pepsi comparison because apparently some people are very attached to the deep fried approach. Getting the pan frying right--avoiding the pitfalls that Jason has pointed out--is part of the artistry of it, and like anything else that takes real effort is worth it when you find an artist who puts the proper effort into it.

Stroud's--in Kansas City--is a really prime example of pan fried, with the addition that its fresh killed chicken. Sandy's is good, but not to that level.

Edited by jhlurie, 06 June 2003 - 03:12 PM.

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#14 Jason Perlow

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 03:10 PM

I was going to say "bullshit" to him Dave, but you said it so much better. Pan fried beats deep fried in my opinion every time


This is only true if you have someone competent doing it. I've had dried out and extremely greasy pan fried stuff. I've had consistently better deep fried chicken.
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#15 jhlurie

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 03:21 PM

I was going to say "bullshit" to him Dave, but you said it so much better. Pan fried beats deep fried in my opinion every time


This is only true if you have someone competent doing it. I've had dried out and extremely greasy pan fried stuff. I've had consistently better deep fried chicken.

It's a great argument for ordering Deep Fried Chicken over Pan Fried if you are going into the process blind. But if you find that someone--the one who knows what they are doing--isn't it worth it? Isn't it common here that we champion the harder to find but spectacular over the merely competent but consistent?

I'm not even saying that this particular place in Garfield fits into the spectacular column (although I'll bet its at least "very good"). But the BEST Pan Fried Chicken? Sure, its not a mechanized and fairly reliable method. That's why the argument is for specific implementations of it and not the technique as a whole. Its an art, and the Deep Frying seems more like a science.

EDIT - maybe, despite its origins recommending a specific place in NJ, this topic could be shifted to "Cooking" or "General" and see what other people feel about Pan Frying vs. Deep Frying chicken? The title doesn't even have to be changed much...

Edited by jhlurie, 06 June 2003 - 03:27 PM.

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#16 Rachel Perlow

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 03:23 PM

The biggest difference is evident in the crust that forms against the surface of the pan...

OK, now I'm hungry. Ooh, pan-fried chicken.

#17 Dave the Cook

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 03:32 PM

The biggest difference is evident in the crust that forms against the surface of the pan...

OK, now I'm hungry. Ooh, pan-fried chicken.

Yeah! (Now go tell Jason.)


Edited: for clarity

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#18 Rachel Perlow

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 03:56 PM

To each their own.

#19 Jason Perlow

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 04:07 PM

I like that style, if done correctly. But frequently its very greasy, and I don't really like that. Some people like all that grease, its not my thing. A very skilled cook can dry it correctly and use an appropriate amount of oil in the pan, and can come up with a batter mixture that is less prone to absorbing oil. But I've had bad examples of the genre more frequently than good ones.
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#20 KNorthrup

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 08:51 PM

Stroud's--in Kansas City--is a really prime example of pan fried, with the addition that its fresh killed chicken.  Sandy's is good, but not to that level.

Ooo. The one time I went to KC, it was on business and after extensive research, I went there of all places. Not sure what the heck that says since it was a free anywhere-I-wanted meal. But definitely the right choice. I had the pan-fried pork chops instead of the chicken but 'prime example' still applies. The starter salad was probably less healthy than the ones on that other thread.

My mother's mother would start fried chicken by pouring the oil into the pan, adding the floured chicken, then turning on the stove.

#21 jhlurie

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 01:32 PM

Why don't we get back to discussing the actual Chicken restaurants? (heck, I'll just move the debate elsewhere)

Sandy's seemed as interesting for the Soul Food as it did for the Chicken--which if Jason's worst fears were realized might be inconsistant. But the Ox-Tail, the hot wings, the Greens, the Cabbage, etc. may not be subject to that fear.

The cabbage was good. Really ass-kicking good. Go just to try that and then RISK the chicken.
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#22 pnapoli

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 09:32 PM

So after about a year and a half of occasionally passing by this place and promising myself I'd stop, I finally stopped at "Sandy's Sho-Nuff Chicken" today ("Fried" is not actually in the name).

this place caught my eye on the way to china 46 last night. i'm going to check it out soon. has anyone been recently? jhlurie, did you ever return and try other menu items? the wings, for example? :smile:

#23 ALANB

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 05:32 PM

Do chicken fingers count? Finks has great ones.

#24 tommy

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 05:38 PM

the kosher nosh, in Glen Rock, has some really tasty fried chicken. it's sold cold, however, and i've always had it cold. they'll heat it up for you, or you can heat it up at home, but i've never done either.

after popeye's f*&$&*ed up my order the last time (they average about one f(*#&$(& up per 3 orders), i decided to never return.

#25 tommy

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 05:41 PM

also, the Allendale Bar and Grill (AB&G) in Allendale has a great fried chicken basket, along with some of the best burgers in northern NJ.

#26 pnapoli

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 11:12 AM

finally got around to trying sandy's today. simply put, this is just damn good fried chicken. NOT greasy. can't say too much else, since they were out of everything else but chicken when we were there. no matter--i'll be back soon. :laugh:

#27 tommy

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 09:13 PM

this has tomorrow's lunch written alll over it.

#28 steakas

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 12:11 PM

How was it?
:D

#29 tommy

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 12:17 PM

went to a cheese shop before lunch and by the time i got out of there there was no way in hell i was having anything *but* cheese, pate, and bread for lunch. i managed to not even touch last night's leftover half bottle of red, much to my surprise.

so yeah, i didn't go. it's just as well as i wouldn't have appreciated it on this particular day.

#30 schmooty

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 11:58 AM

I went to Sandy's for lunch today and grabbed a 6 pack...3legs/3 thighs...the chicken really is something special, especially the thighs...there is just something about dark meat fried chicken that makes me crazy! I spoke to Sandy, and unfortunately next week is their last week in business at this location. They will be moving to a Flea Market in Pennsylvania. This location will have chicken and all the fixins, plus lots of other food as well. Also, they have only carried fried chicken at the location in Garfield for a while now, so no side dishes at all. (doesn't matter what time you get there). I would recommend anyone in the area to stop by next week and grab some chicken. Go early, as they often sell out by mid afternoon. Fried chicken and a couple of Becks. It don't get much better than that.
-Al