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Dirty Bird To Go


Mayhaw Man
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Daniel, I thought the sweetness was from the dip and the absence of seasoning as someone else suggested. It was the absence of saltiness or spiciness that left a natural sweetness of the batter. And taking a look at the healthy sides and small portions I wonder if this is what they're aiming for... maybe not healthy fried chicken, but subtle fried chicken. It's good and a noble effort and the phone orders seem to come in non-stop but I'm interested in how this will fare with walk-in orders. There's a huge difference in the clientele one would draw in on 14th Street closer to 7th Ave where they are, a crowd that would normally go to KFC or Popeye's, versus 8th or 9th Ave where they could be the Pop Burger of fried chicken, drawing in a foodie crowd, trendy crowd, late night crowd who doesn't mind waiting a while to overpay for fried chicken they read about in New York magazine. It's good chicken they just have to sell it better inside the store. Explain to customers who ask what's taking so long - the process behind making it, the freshness, quality, ingredients, etc. Put up a sign or something. You have this captive audience waiting for their food, let them know what it is they're bringing home.

Last night one guy who had called up for two pieces eventually showed up and still waited ten minutes. He asked what takes so long - they weren't busy - and they said it's because they make it fresh. He finally got his food, opened it up right there and took a bite, asked about the ingredients and some guy from the back not a cashier said he didn't know, he'd have to ask someone but he didn't. Everyone behind the counter and in the kitchen - there must be ten people involved - seem to be doing everything to make the business and the food succeed which is great, they just have to focus on the personal aspect of customer satisfaction more.

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Had lunch from there yesterday--rotisserie chicken with snow peas and mac and cheese. Chicken was great--yes it has a sweetness and some aromatic element due, I think, to the brining. Lovely. Mac and cheese was disappointing--too many bread crumbs on top (I scraped them off) and the M&C was surprisingly bland--no sharpness. The peas were quite nice and lovely. I'm eager to go back and try the fried chicken, which they weren't preparing yesterday at lunch.

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Had lunch from there yesterday--rotisserie chicken with snow peas and mac and cheese. Chicken was great--yes it has a sweetness and some aromatic element due, I think, to the brining. Lovely. Mac and cheese was disappointing--too many bread crumbs on top (I scraped them off) and the M&C was surprisingly bland--no sharpness. The peas were quite nice and lovely. I'm eager to go back and try the fried chicken, which they weren't preparing yesterday at lunch.

Bland Mac & Cheese seems to be the order of the day lately. I tried the M&C at Balducci's and it tasted like cardboard. Way too many breadcrumbs and no cheese flavor of any kind.

As for the chicken at Dirty Bird, I had a very small piece that was well cooked, but bland. No wait for service. Very nice girl at the counter. But it was much too expensive for what I got. Perhaps if the location were in the meat packing district where people are less discerning it wouldn't matter, but I don't think 14th St. will accept them unless they are seen to be good value.

I'm also looking forward to the fried version.

Edited by RobinsonCuisine (log)
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Had lunch from there yesterday--rotisserie chicken with snow peas and mac and cheese. Chicken was great--yes it has a sweetness and some aromatic element due, I think, to the brining. Lovely. Mac and cheese was disappointing--too many bread crumbs on top (I scraped them off) and the M&C was surprisingly bland--no sharpness. The peas were quite nice and lovely. I'm eager to go back and try the fried chicken, which they weren't preparing yesterday at lunch.

I went on Saturday and ordered the 1/4 rotisserie with one side + an order of shallot cornbread. It took 10-15 minutes at the register, because they had the wrong prices in the system (my $9 meal was coming out to $14). They were nice but not apologetic. The chicken was great, but the container too compact (I ate it out of the container, as it's "to go") for chicken. I counted 12 snap peas and thought they were great, but there were too few of them. (at $2 for the side, purchased with the chicken.) The shallot cornbread was dense and interesting (and cold), but it was the right price at $1. I'll go back, but I look forward to the bugs being worked out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I thought Dirty Bird, while good, was very expensive for what you get.

Sort of like if Shake Shack charged $7 for a shackburger.

Part of my problem may be that, as I didn't feel like schlepping a bag of fried chicken and stuff over to Brooklyn via subway, I ate my dinner there. Which, when the place is packed for the dinnertime rush, is not a pleasant experience.

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I agree with gaylesn's characterization of the shallot cornbread as "dense and interesting (and cold)." That's kind of what turns me off places like this. If you want to charge premium prices because you're credentialed chefs "elevating" vernacular cooking, then you'd better come up with something better than the ordinary. Not just "interesting", but delicious.

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I went to Dirty Bird this evening, and what I liked best was the reduced salt. So much fried chicken is a sodium delivery system. Alison and Slade make up for this with a mild mix of what tastes like Indian spices. I also like the crispiness of the coating on the fried chicken, although it wasn't as rich (read: fatty) as some I have had down south; I imagine that the "health" claims is somehow connected with a reduced level of fat.

My cornbread with scallions was very hot (wrapped in aluminum foil, the package was alomost too hot to handle - someone got the message), and I found it delicious. The dirty was bland and uninteresting. It would not pass muster in shacks on the bayou.

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