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Jan 30, 2008 10:13 PM

Really Good Fried Chicken at T-Rex (

Fried half sonoma chicken served with grits and greens. Meat was tender, juicy, and flavorful - even the breast. Crust was thick and really crispy, though it didn't have a peppery kichk. A little greasy, but not excessively so. Huge portion for $18; enough meat for two. Went great with the Bear Racer 5 on tap.

I just hope this chicken doesn't suffer from the barbecue's consistency problems. But I will definitely order it again. In fact, it will be a while before I order my usual two-way of bbq spare ribs and beef ribs.

I'd rank this fried chicken above Farmer Brown, Front Porch, Gregoire, Nellie's, Bakesale Bettys, 900 Grayson, and Lukas. Not at the level of Ad Hoc's fried chicken perfection, but a good option at a much better price.

It's not always on the menu, and the online menu isn't updated daily, so call ahead if you have your heart set on it.

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  1. Are you willing to rank the fried chicken at the places you list from best to worst?

    13 Replies
    1. re: Atomica

      Bone-in, fried chicken pieces (thigh, breast, wing, drum):

      #1) Ad Hoc - just perfect
      #2) T Rex - see above
      #3) Nellie's - as I've become more committed to eating organic foods, I've stopped going to Nellie's because their birds come from factories. However, the execution was consistently excellent back when I was a regular.
      #4) Front Porch - Love the skin. Love that you can get a bucket. Rest of the menu is meh.
      #5) Farmer Brown - Serious consistency problems, especially on the breast meat. When it's good, it's good, but dry fried chicken just breaks my heart. Rest of the menu is pretty good.
      #6) Luka's - Not a fan.


      #1) 900 Grayson. It's funny, because though the chicken itself isn't so impressive. But something about the combination of fried chicken, country gravy, maple syrup, and a fresh waffle elevates the dish to magical comfort food. Especially with a 12 ounce glass of freshly tapped Drakes. It will be one of the things I miss most about the Berkeley food scene.
      #2) Gregoire - but it depends on who is frying it. Chicken tenders with a spicy bbq sauce. It's good, it's nostalgic, but it's hardly mind-blowing.
      #3) Bakesale Betty - There was a time when her sandwich was excellent. That time has passed. Last two visits - dry as a bone and boring as hell. Allison is a great woman, but the success of this sandwich has ruined it.

      1. re: Morton the Mousse

        As someone who seems to be doing a fried chicken tour of the Bay Area, I would suggest you try Maverick. Also, when it is on the menu, Firefly.

        1. re: Morton the Mousse

          I'm reading this while eating a Bakesale Betty's sandwich. Tasty as ever in my book.

          1. re: SLRossi

            Yeah, I'd agree -- there was a brief downhill period when demand started to overwhelm them and they were making the sandwiches too fast and not paying enough attention to quality, but I think that they hired some more staff to deal with the demand, and the sandwiches went back to being good again.

            1. re: JasmineG

              I tried this sandwich for the first time today. They definitely had a large staff prepared for the lunch rush (I was there at 11:40 am). The chicken was moist but was missing some spice. My biggest complaint was how quickly the sandwich became soggy. I ate the sandwich on one of the ironing boards out front and it was already soggy a minute after receiving it. I enjoyed the slaw, but thought it may have been better if I added it on as I ate the sandwich; this surely would have prevented it from becoming a soggy mess.

          2. re: Morton the Mousse

            Morty: "It will be one of the things I miss most about the Berkeley food scene."

            Where ya headed? Hope they have some good chow, hound!

            1. re: foodeye

              I'll be chowing on Amish meat and dairy and neighborhood Italian joints in Philly starting this summer.

              1. re: Morton the Mousse

                Good luck to you and Mrs. Mousse in Philly; we'll miss your local reportage but I'm sure you'll be back to visit and eat.

                Have you tried the fried chicken at Chez Panisse? I recall Robert L. saying it's excellent. Not sure when they have it on the menu though...

                Husband has been begging me to make fried chicken lately, and after reading this thread, I think I will. Here's a link to a SF Chron article on fried chicken:

                1. re: Carb Lover

                  I'd love to try the fried chicken at chez, but you have to make reservations in advance, it's a toss up as to when it will be on the menu, and the cafe is outside of my price range.

                2. re: Morton the Mousse

                  You'll like Philly. You could do worse than starting out at the Reading Terminal Market: Carmen's Hoagies (formerly Rocco's), Dutch Eating Place and the Amish pretzel stand across the way, Dinic's.

                  Thanks for posting re fried chic at T-Rex. You convinced me to give it a try only 2.5 years and half a mile away in the neighborhood.

                1. re: junk2

                  Doh! Pizzaiolo belongs above T-Rex and below Ad Hoc.

            2. Thanks, that sounds really good, though I'm disappointed that it isn't more spicy. I favor Nellies because I need some spice with my fried chicken, and avoid Lukas for the same reason.

              1. Wow, thanks Morton. Good to know...

                1. Had the fried chicken again tonight. As good as the last time. I learned that they serve it every Monday and Tuesday.

                  It's really a great deal. Portion is so big, Mrs Mousse and I split one entree, no apps, and a couple of sides and we still had leftovers. Dinner for two with tax, tip, and a drink was under $40.

                  1. I would love for you to try Maverick's version and tell me what you think.
                    i was not impressed with the Front Porch at all and Farmer Brown's didn't really do it for me either.
                    i know i will never ever make it up to yountville for fried chicken, so it would be nice to know how maverick's version stacks up in your ranking.