I was at City College this morning for a meeting and decided to stop into Urban Chicken at 25th & Market for lunch. I'd heard the skinny on this place was that they use all organic produce, free-range chickies, make their own soups and in generall are trying to serve tasty + healthy food in a community not necessarily known for it. Their motto is "slow food, fast". Results was a mixed bag.
* Easy location right on the corner, lots of parking
* Cute little (which is the operative word here) dining room. Seats maybe 10-12. Kind of an urban chic interior.
* Ordered 1/4 chicken which comes with 2 sides and 2 corn tortillas, so I chose the grilled veggies and black beans with epazote. If you want white meat it's $3 extra. They have 3 sauces for the chicken. I chose the one with Tequila in it. Total damage = $7.35 incl. tax. I did not order a beverage since I was taking it back to the office.
* I probably should have eaten in as I think the final product suffered from travel time.
* The chicken skin was pretty flaccid, but I liked the flavor of the chicken itself, it was very moist. The Tequila sauce was more of an afterthought and I didn't think very good. The chipotle aioli or cilantro pesto probably would have been better choices.
* Grilled veggies were nicely done but could have used more time on the grill as they were a tad too much on the al dente side for me.
* Black beans were very good, though I thought they had too much epazote in them.
There is a sign in Urban Chicken that says they purchase their products from Suzie's Farm, R & L Farms, Hamilton Meats and Bread et Cie. The salads I saw on several occupied tables looked generous and fresh, I'd be interested in going back to try one of them.
The guy working the front counter (owner perhaps?) was very gracious, helpful and engaging. They also have a secret hot sauce (chile de arbol, peanut butter and ground sesame) that's got quite a few scoville units in it but won't scortch your tongue off.
In spite of the flaws I liked the chicken, beans and veggies. I appreciate that they are trying to use premium products and providing fresh and healthy alternatives to the steady diet of taco shops and fast food that are so easy to pick up for lunch. Would I make a special trip to try it? No, but if in the area it's not a bad option.