Reader: I had FedNuts on Friday at ballpark . The donuts were pretty great for not being fancy. The "spicy" chicken was a winner, the regular lacked salt. But come on, chicken and a donut from the FedNuts crew for $9.50 or a bud light for $7.75?
C.L.: You can hardly buy a bottle of water for much less. Sounds like a decent start for FedNuts. Let's see how the Aramark crew is handling the subtleties of batter and chicken by the all-star break.
Reader: I'm a vegetarian, so the newer, healthier choices at CBP make me happy! I did, however, have a bite of the honey donut at Federal Donuts. It was reminiscent of the apple cider donuts you get at fairs in the fall.
C.L.: Last week KFC dropped the bombshell that it is going to go largely with boneless chicken soon (as opposed to the classic bucket of breasts and thighs, etc.). Now, I'm no KFC fan. But it's an interesting harbinger of mass-market eating trends to come. And so, for those in the "pro-bone-o" crowd who still crave the flavor of a drumstick, I put together this list of local favorites that still fry real birds, in no particular ranking . . . .
Classic soul food-style:
Corinne's Place (1254 Haddon Ave., Camden): The last of the cast-iron pan-fryers.
Henri's Hotts (1003 Black Horse Pike, Hammonton): the chicken may be better than the 'cue.
Deborah's Kitchen (2608 W Girard Ave.): Marvin Harrison's aunt's take-out place; the smothered turkey chops are great, too.
"New Style" fried chicken:
Federal Donuts (multiple locations). I prefer the dried seasonings over the wet ones. Try the Shabazzi, za'atar, buttermilk ranch, coconut curry
Alla Spina (1410 Mount Vernon St.): Maple-glazed fried chicken with mozzarella curd poutine.
Soho Café (468 W Cheltenham Ave.): the Korean fried chicken lounge that started the local "K"FC craze, in particular, inspiring Federal Donuts.
There are many, many others, of course, so . . . discuss!
Reader: Jones has really good fried chicken!
C.L: Yes it does. Mine wasn't meant to be comprehensive, but Jones was one of the first places in town to take a fresh look at the art of chicken-frying.
Reader: Meritage has great Korean fried chicken.
C.L.: Yes it does, absolutely. Meritage's may actually be the best KFC in town right now - but it's so sporadic, it's hard to put on a must-go list. Best to check with the restaurant first.