Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chick N' Friends in Columbia

Fried chicken requires a Goldilocks touch -- too greasy and it's fast food, but doctored too close to healthly and you might as well buy something off a rotisserie.

Chick N' Friends takeout in Columbia serves up delicious chicken -- moist and full of flavor, not just the taste of crust.  To me, the difference is that they cook in batches.  Mrs. HowChow and I waited 10 minutes for our order, and we sat on a bench outside with chicken so hot that we had to pull it apart with forks.

Normally, I'm a skinless chicken guy sauteing with a little Pam.  But it's a guilty pleasure to crunch through fried chicken so I'll drive a little extra to the Long Reach Village Center.  I can't coat my kitchen with oil, and I always wonder about the boxes sitting under the heat in the supermarket deli or KFC.  I'll go back to Chick N' Friends, especially for the white meat.  The breasts were so moist, and the large pieces of meat balanced well with the crispy skin.  (Not that I didn't nibble every piece of meat and skin from the wing as well!)

At its best, Chick N' Friends tastes like home cooking in the best possible way.  The corn bread muffin was moist and tasted like corn.  The collard greens were tender without much seasoning.  And the sweet potato pie was superb.  Lightly sweet with a smooth texture, but the taste of something hand made.  The crust was firm, and, even where it was slightly burnt, that made the pie taste like something that I'd gotten from a friend.  

Chick N' Friends roasts chicken if you want a heart-healthy option.  It also fries several types of fish, and there are waffles available all day.  Next time, I'm going to try the chicken and waffles - or maybe the wings.  Recognize this is a takeout place, but, in good weather, you can sit on the benches around Long Reach's flower-filled courtyard.

Can anyone else recommend fried chicken in Howard County?  Have you had the Korean fried chicken at H Mart?

In some ways, Chick N' Friends reminds me of Maiwand Kabob, although it isn't as large and doesn't have seats.  But it is one of those little places in a village center that you might never know about if you didn't happen to shop there.

Chick N' Friends
Long Reach Village Center
8775 Cloudleap Court
Columbia, Maryland 21045

NEAR: This is in the Long Reach Village Center in central Columbia. Chick N' Friends faces the central courtyard, so you can't see it from the parking lot. Easy access off Rte 175 -- just go north on Tamar Drive and look for the village center on the right. Or from Snowden River Parkway -- just go west on Tamar Drive and look for the village center on the left.

Chick N' Friends on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Close to Oromia and next to that Cuban restaurant is Chicken Basket. They are decent enough to satisfy a craving, in my opinion. Only problem is the coating is a bit too salty, but otherwise I'm okay with it.

Anonymous said...

the korean fried chicken at lotte (ellicott city) is really good. it's pretty much what i had when i was in korea with some pickled radish on the side and dipping salt. it's not as oily at KFC and it comes in 3 different flavors. you are allowed to mix them too. i would recommend checking that out!

HowChow said...

Thanks for the comments. Oromia and the Cuban restaurant Cuba de Ayer are in Burtonsvile, so that must be the location for Chicken Basket.

BeerGuy said...

Gotta go with the waffles at some point. I used to hit up Roscoe's for chicken and waffles a few times a year when I was living in Los Angeles.

I'm surprised the C+W concept hasn't been copied more, its silly and fun and accidentally just the right sized meal.

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing some fried chicken in the back corner of H Mart right next to the kimchi. Is that still there? I am always at H Mart, and always buying kimchi, but never paid attention recently to the fried chicken. Go figure. ;)

Anonymous said...

Really good fried chicken along with friendly people. I'll be back.

Karen said...

Anyone have any info on the Chick N Pollo in the back of the Hickory Ridge Village Center?

CJB said...

Chick N Pollo still is not open as of earlier this week. Not much activity that I have seen as of late and it's location at the back corner of the Center could be problematic for attracting prospective diners unaware of it.

Jeffrey said...

Chick N' Friends is still great - tried it today - got some fresh chicken that was tasty and delicious! You should definitely call ahead if you're going or be prepared for about a 15 minute wait. Food was worth it!

Unknown said...

I've steered away from the Long Reach Village Center because of all the crime I read about. Is it safe to check Chick N'Friends - at least during daylight hours?

HowChow said...

I can just give you my experience. I have only been to Long Reach during the day, and I have thought Chick N' Friends was safe. It just felt like people going shopping. Last time, we ate sitting out on a bench in the middle of the shopping center.