Today is National Fried Chicken Day.  What better way to celebrate than to check out the hottest trend…both figuratively and literally…in chicken than to indulge in some Nashville Fried Chicken at Fry the Coop (5128 95th St, Oak Lawn)?  Conveniently located directly across from the Oak Lawn Metra Station, Fry the Coop is a cute spot with instagrammable chicken art, chalkboard walls and an open kitchen.

 

Fry the Coop is a recent entry to the chicken game and is focused on quality.  “Quality is at the heart of everything we do at Fry the Coop.  Nothing is ever frozen or microwaved.  We bread our chicken by hand every day, the old fashioned way.  Quality matters.”

 

Fry the Coop has a simple menu:  four sandwiches (including a Donut Fried Chicken Sandwich!), tenders and chicken & waffles.  We tried the classic Nashville Fried Chicken Sandwich.  A large fried chicken breast with coleslaw, pickles, special sauce on a brioche bun, it was juicy and flavorful.   We also had the Chicken & Waffles.  It includes two pieces of the same glorious fried chicken, but with a waffle that has crystallized sugar and smoked bacon baked into the waffle, topped with spiced butter and hot maple syrup. 

 

Reader, the bacon is in the waffle.

 

The special part about Nashville Fried Chicken are the various heat levels.  It is a rub, not a sauce and is available at five levels:  Country - no heat, Mild - taste the flavor, Medium - feel the heat, Hot - feel the burn, Crazy - call 911.  We had Medium on both the sandwich and the chicken & waffles and it was perfect:  a little pop of heat without overpowering the flavor of the chicken.  We also sampled a chicken tender at the Hot level.  While not for MY flavor palate (it melted my face off), I can definitely see the appeal of chicken rubbed in ghost pepper spices.  Plus, Fry the Coop has a strong list of local craft beers to wash it down and ease the sweet, sweet pepper pain away.  They also offer a number of side dishes, including fries (regular, seasoned cheese), potato salad, macaroni salad and coleslaw.

 

Come get your happiness.

Fry the Coop, 5128 95th St, Oak Lawn, 708-576-8645.  Open 11a – 9p Monday – Saturday, 12p – 8p Sunday.