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Birdies

z
zEli173 Apr 18, 2007 09:54 PM

Went over tonight to give it a try. I would love to know what was said when this restaurant was dreamed up because I am simply amazed at how clueless the place is in terms of southern cuisine.

I actually approve of the fried chicken. The batter is crisp and sticks to the chicken well, although it's slightly "heavy" for my tastes, and the (dark) meat was very juicy.

But the sides are so far off the mark that it ruins the entire experience. I'd just assume eat airplane food. The potato salad had a strange tangy quality that was completely out of place. I kept taking bites in order to identify the offending flavor (it might have just been a lot of mustard) and because I was in disbelief as to how bad it was. Meanwhile, the collards are more like a wilted salad than southern greens. I think they must be were quick sauteed (at least tasted that way) rather than slow simmered. And the "southern" iced tea had a fruit flavor.

The accompanyments were so disturbingly bad that it didn't matter if the chicken was any good. They are a clear indictment that the operators have no idea what they're doing.

  1. w
    was_bk Apr 19, 2007 08:11 AM

    did you order the sides separately or do they offer a combo type deal?

    1 Reply
    1. re: was_bk
      Wilfrid Apr 19, 2007 08:16 AM

      My recollection is that sides are priced separately. The fried chicken is good - as described. I happened to get different sides: very good salt and pepper french fries, and hunks of corn which were a little overcooked but suitably butter-slathered. I'll be going back to try the baked chicken.

      As far as the concept of the restaurant goes, the proprietor is attempting to reproduce his grandmother's southern home cooking, so I don't think he's completely clueless: but if there's room for improvement, so be it. I do happen to think it's mainly about the chicken.

      Oh, the banana pudding was good too.

    2. k
      KTinNYC Apr 20, 2007 12:46 PM

      Just came back from Birdies and I really wanted to like the place but I can't say anything great about it. The 3 piece chicken is $5.95 (I got 2 drumsticks and 1 thigh). The chicken was way past golden brown and the seasoning wasn't consistent. Half the thigh was great but everything else was bland. I also ordered an order of mac and cheese (all sides are $3.95). This was pretty good, standard roux based mac and cheese. The lemonade was the highlight. Lots of mint. Almost tasted like a virgin mojito.

      I plan on going back to try the jerked chicken.

      1. pitu Jun 15, 2007 04:01 AM

        I really liked this place!
        Mostly due to the lack of good Southern food in NYC, I think they are a standout.
        The fried chicken was moist and crisp (a little heavy with the Lowrey's Poultry Salt, but that's the way some grandmas do it), slaw and mac/cheese pretty good (they are free with the black pepper in both, and I wish the mac/cheese had a crunch top but the creamy part was delish), and the banana pudding is perfect.
        Nobody I was sitting near was familiar with banana pudding -- which is vanilla pudding, sliced bananas and 'nilla wafers. I had no idea it was such a regional creation.

        They also sell whole pies, which look very promising. Everything I tried made me want to check out their other stuff.

        They had a lunch combo listed on the board. Dinner had sides separately.

        Yeah Birdie's!

        2 Replies
        1. re: pitu
          pitu Jun 15, 2007 11:44 AM

          P.S.
          The other VERY excellent thing is that they use anti-biotic-free chicken.
          If I was getting takeout, I'd go with jerk chicken and other stuff that wouldn't wilt. The fried chicken I had wasn't greasy at all, but there was a puddle of oil in the basket it came in - that's the nature of the beast.

          1. re: pitu
            LNG212 Jun 15, 2007 11:55 AM

            there's a little place on the east side that makes "banana pudding" that way. i can't for the life of me remember the name of it (but it's in the upper 80s, maybe 2nd ave, not positive). anyway ... my friends and i call it "banana crack". yes, it's that good.

          2. a
            Alex Halsey Jun 15, 2007 07:50 AM

            I got take-out a couple of weeks ago, and I hesitate to review take -ut because some food doesn't travel well, but here it is. I ordered the baked chicken, three pieces. It was really greasy, and honestly it seemed more like fried chicken--maybe they gave me the wrong stuff but I wasn't about to call/walk back to resolve. The chicken was fine. I also ordered a side of creamed spinach that was had so much cream in it I actually strained it for a minute to get a better spinach/cream balance. Had I not done that I think the dish would have been inedible.

            Maybe the food is better if you eat it on-site, but I'm in no hurry to go back.

            1. a
              addictedtolunch Jun 16, 2007 01:49 AM

              OK, based on the negativity here I'll be avoiding this place. Which leaves us all with absolutely nowhere to go for decent Southern style fried chicken below 96th Street. Pretty amazing- does this mean I have to learn to cook?

              1 Reply
              1. re: addictedtolunch
                pitu Jun 16, 2007 08:00 AM

                yeah sure, learn to cook
                but as someone that makes great fried chicken at home, I can tell you I totally enjoyed the chicken at Birdie's

                given the utter lack of good Southern food in most of NYC, they are getting a bum rap here

              2. k
                Kaiser Katsup Aug 25, 2007 07:14 PM

                As someone who normally hates mustard in potato salad, I thought it was very good. I love the mac & cheese, and the lemonade is sublime i think. I make it that way from now on. When I tried the tea, I didn't detect any fruit flavoring in it, except for the slight lemony flavor (which I'm told is a fruit). I adored the buttermilk biscuits. I could've just gotten a basket of these and been happy as a clam.

                I go to this place occasionally, and I don't suppose I'll be stopping. Their jerk chicken is outstanding. I can't get enough of this stuff. Birdies rules, whether you like it or not :D

                1. s
                  shirleychow Aug 27, 2007 11:26 AM

                  I enjoyed the fried chicken, except it was too salty at times. They wouldn't let me charge less than $10 on my credit card, so I added on a slice of peach cobbler -- oh man. I heated it up in the oven as he suggested and it was the best cobbler i've ever had. Anyone else had the cobbler?

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