Claudie's Fried Chicken, Matawan (NJ) (and other Matawan Notes)

Claudie’s Fried Chicken (of Middletown) has opened a branch in Matawan on Route 34 in the same plaza as Salsa Latina. (They are where Subway used to be, next to Dunkin Donuts.) Their chicken was very good–not quite up to Chicken Holiday (IMHO), because there is some coating on it–and the pieces were quite large compared to other places.

I found the ribs a problem, because if the ribs are covered in sauce, I want to eat them with a knife and fork, and the plasticware provided just doesn’t do it.
However, Mark is a “ribs-are-a-finger-food” sort of guy, and he said they were very good and meaty, although somewhat short. (On the other hand, they gave us six for the price of the four we ordered, so maybe they were unusually small that day.) They are not true BBQ ribs, of course, and I’m not sure if there is a choice of sauce–they list lots of sauces for the wings, but they may be more for dipping than cooking.

We wanted to try both the chicken and the ribs, and we’re small eaters, so we didn’t get any sides. I will leave those for others to report on.

Chicken Holiday has still not reopened. The latest notice posted on the door was from September 23 and said they had passed most of the hurdles. I’m still looking forward to trying their pancit, but I’m not holding my breath.

On the way up Route 34, we passed two new (or soon to be new) restaurants. The Black Fig Greek Kitchen and Bar is where Bistro 34 used to be. Their latest Facebook post says they are getting closer and the awnings are up, but we all know that means nothing. A little further north is “Bon Appetit”, for which I can find no information whatsoever on the Internet. Is it new, old, a
figment of my imagination, or what?

I’ve only had the chicken once at the Middletown Claudies and thought the wings were pretty good. I used some coupon from the mail and got a good deal on 18 wings iirc.

Is that Filipino place open yet near you? @eleeper

Chicken Holiday (“the Filipino place”) opened this last week and had their “Grand Opening” yesterday (with the mayor and everything!).

Their Filipino dishes are weekends only, but we didn’t order them yesterday. We got the fried chicken and frankly, it was a disappointment. I think one problem was that there were so many people that they were overwhelmed. The chicken was not piping hot out of the frier like it used to be, nor were the fries. Also, they seem to have added a bit of coating.

We’re going to wait until December and try it mid-week again for chicken. After that we’ll try the Filipino stuff.

I didn’t think much of the Claudies on 35 in Middletown. Believe it or not, my favorite fried chicken can be found at the Red Bank Foodtown. Only caveat is that the chicken is a little better if it has been put out fairly recently. Usually can tell this by the amount of chicken in the bins.

I hear ya.

They are just about on my corner and I have only gone once and was not impressed. I’ve been meaning to go back and give them another shot due to people I know that like it but I have not.

I guess different branches of the same supermarket have different recipes. I’ve had the Foodtown fried chicken in Ocean and it was really awful. Shoprite does it much much better.

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ShopRite by me is good but REALLY salty. Pantry1 is better.

Tom the one in Middletown has coupons in that booklet we get in the mail. I got 18 wings one time I believe and they were OK for the discounted price. …not great but decent. This was a while back though.

Joon the rb foodtown chicken is damn good. On that topic, the stop n shop tenders are also top notch. The fresh ones out of the fryer are really good.

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I’ll have to try it out one of these days. It’s hard for me to go there for chicken since I live within walking distance to a couple of the asbury spots. Hehe

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Claudie’s in Matawan has apparently gone defunct–windows covered with dark plastic, door locked, and everything removed except the counter and other “installed” stuff.

Chicken Holiday has a big sign that they are now under new ownership, and the cook was different when I went in to pick up a menu, but the menu seems the same (still lists some Filipino dishes). We will probably try it one of these days. (We had a bad experience there about six months ago, when the fried chicken was not entirely cooked through, so we had stopped going, but I’m willing to give the new management a chance.)

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr