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Honey Kettle fried chicken for your lizard-brain

Thi N. Mar 9, 2010 03:02 PM

It's interesting. I don't think Honey Kettle is as *fine* as Flossie's. The chicken isn't quite as good quality. The batter isn't as finely spiced, and the crispiness isn't as shattering. I don't sit and inhale it with quiet contemplation. Also: Pann's. I admire Pann's more. Their chicken is the more skillfully fried, more perfectly crisp, most intensely chicken-y.

But I want Honey Kettle more. A lot. Often. All my friends I've taken there, we go back a lot. It gets under your skin.

From which I conclude: Honey Kettle has soul. Maybe it's some subconscious wrangling of elements. But Honey Kettle: I crave it. I kind of start driving there automatically when I'm sad.

Maybe: Pann's: finest, most appealing to the high-conscious sensibilities. Flossie's: perfect in every way, but a clean, and a fairly refined chicken. Honey Kettle: straight for the gut, straight for the lizard brain, down-home crunchity satisfaction.

At Pann's and Flossie's, I eat quietly and am spending my forebrain studying and admiring the chicken in all its delicacy. At Honey Kettle, I go with friends, we talk over the chicken, it doesn't call for perfect attention and focus, but I always leave just totally, totally happy.

Also: good macaroni salad.

(I took a Southern girl here, who warned me she had very high standards for fried chicken. On the first bite, she said, "This isn't bad. It's actually pretty good." Grudgingly. Then she fell completely silent, and by the end she was covered in batter fragments, with honey and grease dripping out of her mouth, rubbing her belly and burping. It gets to you, this chicken.)

-thi

  1. l
    la tache burger Mar 12, 2010 01:48 PM

    Totally! I like the breast, which is amazing because usually I only care about the dark meat, but the breast is super moist and tasty. I break off pieces and eat it on a piece of biscuit with cole slaw. I think a breast and a biscuit and a side of slaw is under 5 bucks, too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: la tache burger
      Thi N. Mar 14, 2010 12:28 PM

      You are right about this. Very, very right.

    2. Thi N. Mar 12, 2010 11:20 AM

      Also - does anybody know if the honey+chicken thing is from somewhere, or is it their own thing?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Thi N.
        Will Owen Mar 12, 2010 12:51 PM

        If you hang around Southerners much, honey+biscuits and chicken+biscuits are two pairings commonly found on dinner tables, church picnics, whatever. If you go to any of the few remaining common-table temples of Southern cookery, such as Miss Mary's Boarding House in Lynchburg TN, you will find all of these on the table. Get rid of such nonessentials as the green beans and the mashed potatoes, and you wind up with chicken+biscuits+honey. Nobody told me that, but it's an equation that suggests itself.

        And, BOY! You talk about your snake-brain attractions...!

        1. re: Will Owen
          Servorg Mar 14, 2010 01:19 PM

          I believe it appeals to my "snack-brain" OTOH my snake-brain would be looking for a little fresh Cuy!

      2. JEN10 Mar 10, 2010 04:12 PM

        Never had it, but boy do I want it now!!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: JEN10
          Thi N. Mar 11, 2010 02:02 AM

          Again: this is not a temple. Do not go alone, hoping that it will be the All and the Everything. Go with friends. This is food to talk over. I don't mean that in a bad way. I mean, this is food that will Make The Good Times Better with your friends.

          God, I wish they'd let me bring beer into this place.

          God, I wish I had some *right now*.

        2. a
          annapurna7 Mar 10, 2010 03:43 PM

          I get the Honey's Kettle cravings too...I want a couple of wings with some hot sauce and a biscuit now.

          4 Replies
          1. re: annapurna7
            Thi N. Mar 11, 2010 02:01 AM

            It's the *craving* that's really interesting. I really think that some restaurants speak to your forebrain, and some to your hindbrain. (The greatest appeal to both.) We tend to write the best reviews out of the stuff that appeals to our forebrain. But sometimes that hindbrain wants some lovin'.

            It's like the music that you can write a long and interesting review about, and then the music that makes you - I mean *makes* you - start shakin' that ass.

            1. re: Thi N.
              Mr Taster Mar 12, 2010 01:43 PM

              Count me among those that don't get it. We went to the same Culver City branch about 2 years ago. This is based on one visit.

              The chicken was greasy, the seasoning completely bland. And the annoying high school students behind the counter made it a trifecta.

              Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster
                k
                kevin Mar 12, 2010 04:56 PM

                i wasn't a fan either of the fried chicken, too greasy, i believe. i wish i liked it, because it would be much closer than other fried chicken spots.

                1. re: kevin
                  c
                  carter Mar 14, 2010 08:41 PM

                  Won't deny the taste test issue - proximity may make it more important, but do not go JUST for the food, you will be dissappointed.
                  Fairly bland, unless that is the way you prefer your chicken, but then you could just go to Costco for $5.43 or so and get a 3lb roasted version that serves at least three.

          2. s
            silence9 Mar 10, 2010 03:03 PM

            You had me at "...she was covered in batter fragments, with honey and grease dripping out of her mouth, rubbing her belly and burping". Bet she could use a sweet tea bath, afterwards ;-)

            1. GenevieveCa Mar 10, 2010 01:10 PM

              that is exactly how i feel about this place. Not the best i've had but sometimes i just NEED it.
              I can go without the sides there, not a big fan of any of them. Just give me a bottle of Louisiana hot sauce and i am a happy girl.
              Even cold it's tasty, eating it in front of the open fridge door in the middle of the night when no one sees me. what?! otherwise the kids swipe it all!!

              1. TonyC Mar 9, 2010 10:23 PM

                "here" means the Compton HQ, yes?

                1 Reply
                1. re: TonyC
                  Thi N. Mar 9, 2010 10:27 PM

                  Sorry! You are very good to point this out. "Here" means the Culver City branch. I have heard that Compton HQ is better, but haven't had the time to hit it down.

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