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Jul 25, 2010 06:29 PM

Max's Deli - Fried Chicken

I've received emails and Facebook updates from Max's Delicatessen recently - they are now serving fried chicken each evening beginning at 4 pm until gone.

I love Max's Deli...and I love fried chicken. Have any of you tried the chicken @ Max's yet?

Max's Delicatessen
3431 Colonnade Pkwy, Birmingham, AL 35243

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  1. I just had the best fried chicken I've ever had - and that includes what my mother and grandmother used to cook. Max's Deli has the juiciest, most flavorful fried chicken I've experienced either at home or out.

    According to the gentleman we spoke with they've been working to perfect the combination of brine/marinade and seasonings in the dredge.

    The half a chicken arrived on my plate with ample sized portions (a to-go box was in order.) The breast, normally one of the most dried out pieces of chicken, was so moist and tender. It was plump, and quite meaty. The breast, half of my spinach, and half of the order of fruit, coupled with half a potato knish I split with my husband was enough to do me in. The leg, thigh, and wing, remaining spinach and fruit will be lunch tomorrow.

    The crust on the chicken was light and had just enough flavor to accent the meat, without overpowering it. It wasn't too salty, in fact, it was a good balance of seasonings.

    And, what's even better - the chicken wasn't greasy. Moist, tender, not salty, seasoned perfectly, and not greasy. What more can you look for in fried chicken?

    They cook the chicken to order. We arrived shortly after 4:30, wanting to be sure we were there before the chicken flew the coop. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) Not sure when they started to cook the chicken, since we'd ordered the potato knish as an appetizer, but it came to the table piping hot.

    Too bad we're moving out of the area this weekend, or I'd be going to Max's more often when I want fried chicken.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Jannae

      Jannae, thank you SO MUCH for your review!

      I wonder if the gentleman you spoke with was Steve Dubrinksy? He's the owner and an absolute gem - he always goes to every table and speaks to every customer. If he was an older gentleman with glasses, then that is Steve.

      I eat there for lunch on average once weekly since I work in the area, but I get off of work at 4. I've been on the fence about stopping there right after 4 or just trying to get a jump on 280 traffic.

      Now, thanks to your review, I now can just enjoy some delicious chicken while everyone else sits in traffic!

      1. re: johnnystiletto

        I believe it was Steve who stopped by to chat with us. A gracious man, and one who was very intent on my comments regarding the chicken.

        Several others were ordering the chicken as we left, so I think this is going to be a hit with them. After you've had the chicken, I'd love to know what you thought about it.

        My husband ordered one of their Angus hamburgers. Wow.. the small bite I had from it made me happy he skipped Baha burgers tonight!

        3439 Colonnade Pkwy, Birmingham, AL 35243

      2. re: Jannae

        Your description of this chicken made my mouth water, so my husband and I just HAD to stop by Max's when we were driving through this Christmas. All I can say is WOW! It was probably the best chicken I have ever had and I've tasted quite a bit... Even if its the second best, that's still saying something. The crust was light and airy, almost not there. When you touch it ever so lightly, it crunches. And the chicken inside was perfectly brined. Just talking about it makes me want to eat it again! Thanks guys.

        1. re: tsierer

          Glad to hear you liked the chicken! Steve, the owner, is a great guy and is always looking to please the customers. If you're on Facebook, drop him a note on his Max's Deli page.

      3. After reading Jannae's review, I've been wanting to go to Max's and try the fried chicken. I work off 280 and go to Max's regularly, but the fried chicken was only being served after 4 pm. Today I noticed on Facebook that they were serving fried chicken all day, but of course, I didn't notice the post until after I had already gotten home from work.

        First off, I should say that I scope out good fried chicken. I take my homemade fried chicken very seriously and I consider the proper brine, batter, cooking vessel (cast iron ALWAYS) and oil important. I render my own lard for my fried chicken.

        I went tonight, and had the BEST fried chicken that I have EVER had. I put it right up there with Prince Hot Chicken in Nashville, the only difference being that Prince obviously has spicy chicken. I'll admit it, it was better than mine, and my recipe comes from my grandmother, who was KNOWN for her fried chicken and used to serve it in her restaurant years ago when she was still alive.

        My meal was 1/2 chicken, cut up and fried; very generous portions. I ended up having to take the entire breast and a wing home. This was great for me, as the price was already very reasonable, but the one thing I love more than fresh fried chicken is cold leftover fried chicken. I will easily get 2 meals out of this. I ordered the spinach as a side, which was cooked perfectly; not mushy and dark like so many places do. I also ordered the mashed potatoes, which were the perfect blend of creaminess with a few lumps. Definitely homemade and not boxed flakes. The brown gravy was great; also obviously homemade and not overly salty.

        The crust was perfect; light, almost airy, but not overly seasoned. What you taste isn't salt or spices; you taste GOOD FRIED CHICKEN. The crust wasn't overly thick, nor did it crust up and fall off with each bite. The one thing I noticed is that the chicken was incredibly moist and juicy, but not at all greasy. When I had to wipe my fingers, it was the juices of the chicken, not oil.

        The chicken is cooked to order; I did not have to wait overly long, and it arrived piping hot. I saw a few jealous looks as my food arrived as well.

        Typically fried chicken gives me absurdly bad heartburn, usually within 10 minutes of the first bite. None of that today.

        I don't know when I will cook fried chicken again. For the very reasonable price of $9.99 for such hearty portions and great homemade sides, I won't be going anywhere else for my fried chicken, and I'm already looking forward to my cold leftovers later.

        2 Replies
        1. re: johnnystiletto

          I was hoping you would enjoy the chicken as much as I did. I've got to hand it to the folks at Max's. We've been there a few times, and never have been disappointed.

          1. re: Jannae

            This Chowhound review has been all over their Facebook page!! And yes, I did enjoy it, and have enjoyed everything I've ever eaten at Max's.

        2. I just finished eating at Max's Deli because of these reviews. Let me start with saying I was VERY skeptical after reading them. How good can fried chicken from a deli that just started serving it really be?

          Well, they certainly proved me wrong. Their fried chicken is awesome!!! Additionally, the sauteed spinach was seasoned perfectly (the onions with it were a great touch). The potato salad was terrific. Everything (except for the potato salad, of course) was piping hot.

          Service was great. I'd just finished running five miles so I was a bit dehydrated. Every time my diet coke was empty, they'd have another one right out on the table.

          Steve, the manager?/owner?, introduced himself to me and told me to try their Reuben next time. I love corned beef and pastrami. If it comes close to comparing to their chicken I'm going to be living at Max's.

          5 Replies
          1. re: mahalan

            I prefer their corned beef over their pastrami but both are the best I have had in town. While the Rachel at the Garage is fine for what it is, it does not compare to the sandwich of the same name at Max's, but Max's reuben is even better.

            1. re: Dax

              I like the corned beef better, too. Funny thing is, he gets the corned beef (possibly both that and pastrami) from Detroit.

              1. re: Big Daddy

                My husband brought home the fried chicken supper from Max's last night. It was *delicious*!

                Let me get the only one negative thing I can say out of the way: the potato salad was Sysco. C'mon...

                BUT! All the rest was *fantastic*. The fried chicken was incredible - I'm putting a pic of it here at the bottom. It was just the style MawMaw made. A nice not-too-thick crust, seasoned perfectly. Not overly salty. The meat was juicy and tender. Not greasy. Very, very nice.

                It's my new favorite chicken in town. Seafood & Chicken Box in Trussville has just dropped a notch.

                I've had Max's sandwiches, soups, blintzes, chopped liver, and their shiva trays get raves too.

                It's all excellent, and Steve Dubrinsky (who my husband knows much better than I) is a mensch. He's there all the time, making sure everyone is happy.

                The latkes are the size of tea cup saucers, and another side we chose (of several) was the fresh fruit, which - especially as a Mommy - I was appreciative of. Seedless grapes, watermelon, honeydew, strawberry...perfect.

                The chicken is cooked to order, so you're getting it super-fresh and super-hot. Way to go, Max's! Can't wait to enjoy it again!

                Seafood & Chicken Box
                1617B Center Point Pkwy, Birmingham, AL 35215

                1. re: deepfriedkudzu

                  SO happy to hear about the success of Max's. We are going to try the chicken this weekend. Steve is a very good restaurateur and his is obviously a labor of love.

                  Will report on the chicken, but I have to say my expectations have been raised quite a bit......

          2. There is a coupon for BOGO free sandwich in the Bham news today.

            1 Reply
            1. re: smithareeny

              And they posted on Facebook "Buy 1 fried chicken plate and 2 drinks get 1 fried chicken plate FREE!!! Dine in only and tonight only!!!" August 07, 2010.

            2. OK we tried the lauded chicken this weekend.

              I tried my best not to be too influenced by the amazing reviews here, although our choice of sides was definitely inspired by what I read on chowhound.

              Steve has done it... he has found the perfect chicken combination of crispy (outside) juicy (inside) and flavorful (throughout.)

              We arrived to a PACKED Max's at about 11:40 on Sunday morning. This wasn't the after church "look at me" crowd... this was a crowd that was all about good eating. We ordered our usual app, the amazing chopped chicken liver (great as usual) and were informed that it would be a 25 minute wait for the chicken. The couple next to us was informed the same a few minutes later and decided they would order sandwiches instead. More on them later.

              By the time we had worked our way through the chicken liver and two baskets of the amazing pickles (try the pickled tomatoes, thank me later) our chicken arrived, with our chosen sides of a potato latke and the sauteed spinach. Not being all that hungry, we decided to share one order among the 3 of us. It was more than enough, although we surprised ourselves by devouring the whole serving.

              As others have stated, the serving is one leg, thigh, wing, and an enormous breast half. The coating is crispy and delicious, without being too salty or over-seasoned. I am going to make a guess at one of the secret ingredients: Whole-wheat flour? In any event, it was cooked to perfection and served piping hot.

              The flavor is not confined to the exterior of the chicken, however, as even the breast meat nearest the bone was juicy and nicely flavored.

              The sides were equally remarkable, with the spinach especially delicious. Like others have said, it has great flavor while still maintaining the characteristics of spinach.

              We were three very happy fried chicken fans stuffing our faces with this remarkable chicken.

              As for the couple next to us, our chicken arrived just minutes after their sandwiches, and the woman was *literally* drooling while watching us devour the golden-fried goodness on our plates, while she gnawed at her sandwich.

              We ordered several orders with assorted sides to bring back home (I live in Montgomery) and the flavor actually deepens after refrigeration, but unfortunately much of the crispiness is lost. Still, it is a very satisfying "leftover chicken" experience.

              I have very mixed emotions about not living closer to Max's.... on one hand I could eat there several times a week... on the other hand, I would soon weigh 300 lbs. Max's will remain a special treat for my family, but with football season approaching, I can predict many tailgate parties featuring food from Max's this fall.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Andrew in Alabama

                It's been a few months since I've been able to make it back to the area to have a meal from Max's. (And it's my birthday, so the birthday meal is a special reason to drive back on 280!)

                The chicken is as tender and moist, perfectly seasoned as it was the first time I ordered it. I paired it with a side of the creamed spinach and the latke. It's got to be one of the top ten perfect meals in town.

                Even taking the meal back home it withstood the ride home very well, and was fantastic!

                I've got to get back to this part of town more often to visit Max's. Now I'm craving one of their sandwiches.