I had not realized the fried chicken breast sandwich was a thang. I totally missed this article in the Chronicle back in Jan, only coming across it today as I was looking for the Press article I had seen in March.
By the time the Press had published, I had already discovered Krisp and jumped on a bandwagon I didn’t know existed.
I tried the Krisp Classic first - cider slaw, pickles (house-made???), barrel-aged maple syrup and Crystal hot sauce. Note the breast has not been trimmed to fit the bun. I dug into the portion outside the bun first and was in awe. Very, very juicy and flavorful, like you almost never come across. I loved the sweetness and the pickles, couldn’t taste any hot sauce (Crystal isn’t very hot) and thought the slaw was unnecessary. I generally prefer vinegary over creamy slaw but this one did nothing for me.
I ordered tater tots and got waffle fries. These looked so good I didn’t protest and was glad I didn’t. Usually waffle fries seem like a gimmicky menu item to me, too thin and insubstantial, but there were excellent. I’ll order them over the tater tots again.
Three days later I needed a fix. This is the Southwest - according to the menu, queso, cilantro, avocado and jalapenos. I don’t ever do much staging of food for pictures other than turning the plate around but I hate this picture – I wish I’d done something about that big blob of greenery (biggest pieces of cilantro I’ve ever seen ). Note the breast is smaller; as one reviewer has remarked this is going to happen here. This breast was not as juicy and tender; I judged it was a little over-cooked vs. the first sandwich, but this was a superior sandwich because queso. The jalapenos added mainly flavor, not heat, and my only gripe about this sandwich was that the queso was only drizzled artisanally over the meat and didn’t completely cover it. Because queso.
I tried the fruit salad for a side this time, trying to eat a little healthy. Getting a fruit salad in a fast food resto probably yields you about a third of a cup but the bowl this was served in easily could have held 8 oz of fluid and maybe 10. Except for the insipid kiwis, the fruit was all very flavorful and fresh.
I ordered coffee this time. They serve Boomtown coffee from the highly regarded small roastery in the Heights. It was the middle of the afternoon and there was none ready but they made some for me - I saw them weigh the beans and grind them, then brew them straight into a press pot. I got a 16 oz cup of fresh hot coffee, very, very good. My first taste of any Boomtown brew and I was impressed with the preparation and the taste. I don’t know what variety it was.
It had occurred to me the best way to experience this bird would be sans bun so I ordered the Tenders the next time (I managed to hold out for more than 2 weeks before wanting a fix). There’s a variety of sauces to choose from listed on a card at the register (no queso, unfortunately).
I got the fruit salad again (more insipid kiwis) but I posted this picture to show the sauces - the Come Back sauce on the left which one reviewer says is a blend of Remoulade and Russian, and Charred Jalapeno Ranch on the right. Both good but honestly I ate most of the chicken without dipping it.
The chicken is incredible. It’s sourced from Crystal Ranch Farms in Indiana and the chef/proprietor refers to it as the Waygu beef of chicken. I think I’ve read it’s buttermilk brined and pressure fried but there has been so much published about this place I can’t find where I read that. Buns are from Kraftsman in the Heights.
There was a lot of pre-opening publicity about this place and I didn’t pay much attention to it until I looked at a map and saw where it is. Not in the Heights or Montrose or on Washington Avenue or in the Village or the new ‘River Oaks District,’ but on what used to be called the Richmond Strip in the Clutch City days and dang close to me (well, relatively speaking) at the corner of Richmond and Fountainview. I get so few really good places out this way I had to check this one out and I highly recommend it. The owner says his goal is to do for the fried chicken breast sandwich what Shake Shack has done for the burger. Since I haven’t been to Shake Shack I can’t comment on that. A second location is already in the works in the Heights and I think I remember reading he not only wants to have multiple Houston locations but already has his sights on other cities.
A view of the interior - cans of Steen’s, bags of Boomtown Coffee (the big bag was what my beans came from), pickle jars bearing Krisp labels (the only ones I could make out were bread and butter); the card listing the sauces offered is beside the ordering station at the end of the counter on the right, facing the windows. I don’t know if the pickles and smaller bags of coffee are for sale or what.
You get a choice of spicy or mild chicken and white or whole wheat bun (or waffle). I was not asked any time which I wanted but remembered on my last visit to ask for spicy. It’s not terribly spicy. Sides are $3.95, drinks are $1.95, but add both to make a ‘meal deal’ and it’s only $3.50 so it’s the way to go.