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Love Birds

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The featured attraction—double-dipped deep-fried chicken—sparked some debate. One of us found the crunchy- skinned, juicy-fleshed bird delicious and compelling despite its slightly sweet and overbattered exterior. The other couldn’t see past the thick clumps of bland batter to the bird. It was as if Lucy and Ethel had commandeered the kitchen, lost count of how many times they had dunked the assorted wings and thighs, and just kept on dipping to play it safe.

The lemonade, when they have it, is tart and almost floral—a real treat. And embarrassingly enough, we both liked the giant chicken fingers—a kiddie dish and a debatable fried-chicken subspecies we might never have tried had it not been the only protein available one evening. “Without a bone, chicken lacks its savory essence, its primal Henry VIII appeal,” food writer John T. Edge sniffed in his book Fried Chicken. But at Dirty Bird to Go, for the time being, at least, you take what you can get.

RACK & SOUL
Address:2818 Broadway, at 109th St.; 212-222-4800
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Prices: Entrées with two sides, $9.95 to $17.95.
Ideal Meal: Combo platter of fried chicken and pulled pork with waffles and potato salad.
Note:The thermostat at this place is set at meat-locker level; dress in layers.

DIRTY BIRD TO GO
Address: 204 W. 14th St., nr. Seventh Ave.; 212-620-4836
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Prices: Chicken, $5.99 to $20.99, or $7.99 to $28.99 with various side-dish combinations.
Ideal meal: Fried chicken or chicken fingers with seasonal organic veggie of the day, roasted potatoes, and lemonade.
Note: Get there early before they run out of, you know, chicken.


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  • Ethereal
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  • Not Recommended
  • Very Expensive
  • Expensive
  • Moderate
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  • The Categorical Best
  • Excellent
  • Generally Delicious
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  • Noteworthy
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