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Fried Chicken in the East Bay

Cam Kwong May 7, 2007 03:37 PM

I am looking for a good fried chicken restaurant in Oakland or Berkley. Casa Orinda is a bit to far, but they have great fried chicken.

  1. The Dive May 7, 2007 06:44 PM

    I have to put in a good word for the fried chicken at Luka’s (served during brunch) – excellent, old-style served with grits and good greens. Also have to sheepishly admit to having excellent fried chicken as an early bird special at the Harbor House in Alameda a couple of months back. I’m not saying to go there, but if you are stuck there for some reason (like I was) by all means, order the fried chicken. And, of course, there’s 900 Grayson’s Demon Lover—wow!!!!

    Now for the bad. The fried chicken served on Sundays at Barclays is just plain bad—greasy and bland. The chix at Somerset is marginally better (if you have to order it, ask for the gravy on the side and add a lot of salt). The chicken at Quinn’s Lighthouse should be good, given they seem to know how to fry things, but it’s a disappointment because it’s made with just a boneless breast, resulting in dry and bland.

    1. nicedragonboy May 7, 2007 04:15 PM

      Merritt Bakery & Delancy's in Oakland. Jodie's in Albany. goodstuff.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nicedragonboy
        rworange May 7, 2007 06:50 PM

        I second DeClancy's Wlelcome Table. For breakfast they will serve it with Waffles

        I'm also a fan of Nellie's.

        With Jodies it is only served on weekends and you have to be sure they fry it to order, otherewise it is kept warmed in the oven.

        900 Grayson and Bakesale Betty's have fine pieces of chicken but it is not on the bone.

        1. re: nicedragonboy
          chemchef May 7, 2007 08:35 PM

          I agree that Jodie does do good fried chicken, but the sides left something left to be desired. On one hand, I got a huge fried chicken breast (on the bone for those who care), but on the other hand, it came with one side, either potato salad or french fries. I had the potato salad and my husband had the french fries and both were good, but not great. I'd rather have had more traditional sides or even a green salad.

        2. Morton the Mousse May 7, 2007 03:52 PM

          Casual/Home Style - Nellie's Soul Food in West Oakland

          More upscale/fancy - Pizzaiolo in North Oakland

          With waffles, gravy, and/or syrup: 900 Grayson in West Berkeley

          Nellie's is the place to go if you want a huge serving of perfectly cooked chicken, with all the southern sides.

          Pizzaiolo make the best fried chicken I've had, but it's available infrequently (most, but not all, Fridays) and they make you pay for it.

          900 Grayson is where I get my fix, something about the combination is deeply satisfying.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Morton the Mousse
            grishnackh May 7, 2007 04:00 PM

            Bakesale Betty in North Oakland is supposed to have an amazing fried chicken sandwich. http://www.bakesalebetty.com/

            1. re: grishnackh
              lamlex May 7, 2007 04:04 PM

              What about Merritt Bakery?

              1. re: lamlex
                grishnackh May 7, 2007 04:15 PM

                Merritt Bakery's fried chicken can range from quite decent to very good and they are open very late, if memory serves.

                Lois the Pie Queen at 60th and Adeline in North Oakland does a very respectable fried chicken and waffles, if you are into that sort of thing.

                1. re: grishnackh
                  Hunicsz May 7, 2007 07:05 PM

                  Chicken & waffles is the thing to order at Merritt Bakery as well, if you ask me.

              2. re: grishnackh
                wolverine61 May 7, 2007 04:17 PM

                Depending on the time of day and the available pieces the sandwich may be huge,
                enough for 2 meals. The slaw enhances the experience. The price is right but it is not a sit down sort of place like the other suggestions.

                1. re: grishnackh
                  Morton the Mousse May 7, 2007 04:17 PM

                  I stopped going to Bakesale Betty after 900 Grayson opened. Tried it a couple of weeks ago, and it just didn't hit the spot in the same way as the FC&Waffles. Don't get me wrong, it's a good fried chicken sandwich, definitely worth trying if you're searching out a good FC spot. It's also a great deal at $7 for an enormous sandwich. I really like her coleslaw.

                  1. re: grishnackh
                    chemchef May 7, 2007 08:28 PM

                    Only for lunch at Bakesale Betty. I found out the hard way...

                    On the flip side, my husband and I asked about the fried chicken at Pizzaiolo one night while we were having dinner there (and it wasn't on the menu), and our waiter said to go to Bakesale Betty's for good fried chicken!

                  2. re: Morton the Mousse
                    JasmineG May 7, 2007 08:50 PM

                    You know, I used to feel the same about Pizzaiolo's fried chicken, but I think that it depends on the preparation. The fried chicken with the spicy oil and garbanzo beans is incredible, but the past few times I've seen it on the menu (only Saturdays, by the way, so I think that it's around frequently on the weekends) they've had it with mashed potatoes and coleslaw, and while it's still good, it's not as good. I think that that's partly because the mashed potatoes are pretty awful, and also because the spicy oil was just so good and such a great compliment to the chicken.

                    I still mourn the fried chicken that they had at the Purple Plum. That was some great chicken.

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