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fried chicken/sonoma

pinotho Mar 30, 2012 12:14 PM

are there any "fried chicken places" in Sonoma? All I can find is KFC. Would prefer Santa Rosa area, but I am certainly willing to drive for good fried chicken. Thanks in advance.

  1. f
    foodeye Mar 30, 2012 01:07 PM


    4 Replies
    1. re: foodeye
      pinotho Mar 30, 2012 05:48 PM

      thanks, foodeye.........Freement Diner is not far away....I didn't know that they had fried chicken on the menu.

      1. re: pinotho
        VealParmGuy Nov 28, 2012 12:12 PM

        I had the "Nashville Hot Chicken" at Fremont Diner last saturday. Probably not worth a long, long drive for, but certainly very good. Be warned, especially if you are making a drive, they attract crowds and there can be a wait.

        It's nowhere in the league of heat of true Nashville chicken, but has a nice cayenne kick to it. The breast was a little dry, but the dark meat was great. All of it has a nice satisfying crust. They also serve chicken & waffles so I assume it's possible to get the chicken regular instead of hot.

        1. re: VealParmGuy
          pinotho Nov 28, 2012 01:01 PM

          what time of the day were you there, VealParmGuy? And, thanks for the report.

          1. re: pinotho
            VealParmGuy Nov 28, 2012 08:13 PM

            About 1:30pm (give or take) on a Saturday. Was about a 15min wait IIRC. Seemed like a longer wait before we got there, and tapering off when we left.

    2. f
      foodeye Mar 30, 2012 03:44 PM

      Not Sonoma, but a nice drive over the mountain: http://www.adhocrestaurant.com/addendum/

      6 Replies
      1. re: foodeye
        tre2012 Mar 30, 2012 06:36 PM

        Limited hours/days, though, for Addendum. Like it mentions, call in advance to order; they do run out.

        1. re: tre2012
          pinotho Mar 31, 2012 12:28 PM

          the heads-up is much appreciated, Tre.....

          1. re: tre2012
            pinotho Apr 23, 2012 01:20 PM

            picked up the box lunch at Addendum on Saturday. They were busy, the line was always 8 to 10 deep. We got there around 1:00. The restaurant, Ad Hoc, is closed for lunch. But, in the back is a small building where you pickup your box lunch. We had pre-ordered, but that just means that you go to a separate window when you get there, at which point they start your order. We waited 30 mins for the food. The choices were fried chicken, BBQ chicken, or ribs. The fried chicken was very good. They are fryng small chickens, and butchering them such that you get small pieces, but you get 3 pieces of chicken, which is enough food. My order had a drumstick, a portion of thigh, and a portion of breast. It was fried dark, so when I looked at it, I assumed it would be dry, and I was wrong. It was very juicy, even with the dark crust, so I think the chicken is probably brined. Whatever, it is delicious. A piece of cornbread was OK, a little sweet, the sides of potatoes and greens were utterly forgettable, we were a party of five, and no one cared for those sides. I didn't pay the bill, but I believe the box lunch runs $18.00. Perhaps a little steep since all you net out of the deal is the chicken and a piece of cornbread. But, the chicken is great.

            1. re: pinotho
              CarrieWas218 Apr 23, 2012 09:03 PM

              But $18 great for just chicken and cornbread?

              I think not...

              1. re: pinotho
                Melanie Wong Apr 25, 2012 10:57 PM

                Please keep those reports coming in.

                Saturday I tried a new place in Cloverdale called Railroad Station Bar and Grill (114 Railroad Ave, 707-894-4779). It's been open a couple months. "Clovertucky Fried Chicken", $17 is three pieces of chicken with braised greens mashed potatoes, veal gray and cornbread. I asked my server which pieces, and was told the thigh, breast, and drumstick.

                The plate turned out to be a small thigh and a half breast cut into two pieces. I'm a dark meat kind of gal, so I was not happy about this. The breast piece without the rib cage attached was on the dry side.

                BUT, on the positive side, the chicken was seasoned nicely and fried to a crunchy medium-brown. The collard greens were outstanding, not chopped but cut into large pieces and cooked to the point where they soften and stay dark green. They're seasoned with bacon. Mashed potatoes were standard and the gravy was fine. Cornbread was mildly sweet and the fluffy style.

                While the burgers on the menu are grassfed beef and the menu says they're sourcing locally, the chicken right now is from a national industrial brand. I did make a request that they use local chicken in the future and was told that they're still working on sources. The price is too high for factory chicken.

                This was a pretty good effort though and I'll check back to try other items. If they would use chickens that taste better and have non-mushy texture, this could be worthwhile.

                1. re: Melanie Wong
                  Melanie Wong Jun 3, 2012 04:06 PM

                  Just noticed that Railroad Station has changed the menu description and is now using Rocky Jr for the fried chicken.

                  And a friend highly recommended the fried chicken Tuesdays at Solage in Calistoga. Haven't tried it myself yet.

          2. Melanie Wong Apr 16, 2012 12:31 AM

            Has anyone tried the fried chicken at Sweet T's in Santa Rosa?

            Or the Monday fried chicken dinner at the Swiss Hotel? Tuesday special at Cafe 522 in Sonoma?

            How about the fried chicken at Rocker Oysterfellers in Valley Ford?

            And I suggest that you check out the fried chicken at the deli at the Sonoma Market. We could use an update.

            I'll warn you away from the fried chicken at Willie Bird in Santa Rosa. Not good at all.

            1. CarrieWas218 Apr 16, 2012 09:25 AM

              In downtown Napa - on Main Street - Biscuits just opened a month or so ago. Haven't tried 'em yet but the Yelp reviews are good.

              3 Replies
              1. re: CarrieWas218
                Robert Lauriston Apr 16, 2012 09:29 AM

                In Napa, the fried chicken at BarbersQ is the best I've had. I guess they're currently serving it only Sundays and Mondays.


                1. re: CarrieWas218
                  pinotho Apr 20, 2012 12:47 PM

                  dropped by Biscuits yesterday around 4:15 and they were closed. Yelp is showing that they close at 2:00 and then reopen for dinner at 5:00.

                  1. re: pinotho
                    CarrieWas218 Nov 18, 2012 08:05 PM

                    I've gone to Biscuits a number of times for their chicken and waffles - as well as for their fried catfish. I like it better than Addendum's chicken; great crunchy exterior and very juicy, moist interior. They are applying for an alcohol license so it will be interesting to see if they expand their menu.

                    I've only been for breakfast...

                2. Melanie Wong Apr 16, 2012 12:29 PM

                  If you're willing to head up to Healdsburg, the Sunday blue plate special at Zin Restaurant is skillet fried chicken.

                  In December or so, there was a bunch of hoo-ha over Healdsburg Bar & Grill adding Southern comfort food, including fried chicken to the menu, but I don't see it on the online menu. But there is something battered and fried in the slideshow.

                  Gypsy Cafe in Sebastopol has Rocky fried chicken on the dinner menu. Have heard good things about breakfast, but don't know anybody who'd had dinner there.

                  The old roadhouse, Washoe House, in Petaluma is known for its fried chicken and biscuits. Can't say how good it is these days.

                  Not quite as old as Washoe, Pete's Henny Penny, the long-time diner right off the freeway has fried chicken on the menu. Haven't been there in eons, would love to hear how it's doing.

                  1. Melanie Wong Apr 17, 2012 11:34 PM

                    Here's phil pinto's positive report on the fried chicken at Sweet T's in Santa Rosa,

                    A couple other possibilities in the chicken and waffle genre in Santa Rosa: WOW (Worth Our Weight) for weekend brunch and Viola Pastry Boutique. Also an occasional appearance on the brunch menu at Zazu.

                    According to Heather Irwin, fried chicken is on the menu at Rosso Pizzeria on Tuesdays.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      Melanie Wong Feb 18, 2014 01:13 PM

                      Last Saturday fried chicken, $20, was on the daily big plates menu at Rosso in Santa Rosa, so I gave it a go. It's half a bird, deboned, marinated in buttermilk, and lightly battered. The impression was sort of like chicken picatta. This was sauced with an overly sugary pancetta-maple agrodolce. I would have asked for a wedge of lemon to bring it more in balance if our waitress hadn't been so busy. The chicken itself was fine, but seemed a bit flat-tasting and not that juicy. I'm not saying it was dry, as it was plenty moist, but didn't squirt with juice or have the depth of flavor of chicken cooked on the bone. IIRC, this was Mary's chicken. I did love the onion-y and dairy-rich smashed potato side that came with it.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                        pinotho Feb 18, 2014 02:03 PM

                        which restaurant, Melanie ? Thanks for the report.

                        1. re: pinotho
                          Melanie Wong Feb 18, 2014 02:33 PM

                          Oh, good catch, thanks! I've edited . . . this was Rosso in Santa Rosa.

                          How's your chicken saga going?

                          1. re: Melanie Wong
                            pinotho Feb 18, 2014 11:24 PM

                            I've managed to addict myself to the chicken strips at Big John's in Healdsburg. I think there is some cayenne in there. Whatever the spice is, it's very well done, very balanced. Best to you.

                            1. re: pinotho
                              Melanie Wong Feb 21, 2014 10:38 AM

                              Is this the cozy end of your fried chicken trail?

                              I've had the regular fried chicken (bone-in) at Big John's. Will have to try the strips next.

                              1. re: Melanie Wong
                                pinotho Feb 21, 2014 02:59 PM

                                no, not the end...but I've slowed down, as my doctor has been giving me a hard time.

                                1. re: pinotho
                                  Melanie Wong Feb 24, 2014 11:39 AM

                                  More red wine!

                                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                                    pinotho Feb 25, 2014 01:03 PM

                                    LOL.....OK, I'll do my best !

                    2. s
                      Sharuf Jun 4, 2012 11:56 AM

                      There's fried chicken on the dinner menu at the Black Bear Diner in Sonoma. I haven't had it so I can't give an opinion, but I like everything else I've had there.

                      1. Melanie Wong Jun 11, 2012 11:59 AM

                        Fried chicken is on the menu tonight at Bodega's Casino Bar and Grill,

                        Any updates on your chicken trials?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                          pinotho Jun 11, 2012 12:48 PM

                          Melanie, THANKS for the tip about Casino Bar and Grill. I sampled the fried chicken at Sonoma Market, their sister store Glen Ellen Market, and at the Pacific Market. All were good, but they all suffered from the fact that the deli dept fries it up and then it goes under a warming light. I'm one of those people who likes fried chicken, even when it's at room temperature, or even when it's cold, so I'm not complaining about the grocery store chicken. It's just difficult to compare chicken from a deli operation to hot fried chicken, from say Ad Hoc. One thing I liked about the grocery store chciken is paying for it by the pound.....seems to me that this was fair to the customer and fair to the store. Came close to trying the chicken at Zin on Sunday night, but they don't start up until 6:00 and we couldn't make that work. Same for Freemont Diner: got there about 3:45 and they were closed. More to follow, again certainly appreciate your tip on Casino.

                          1. re: pinotho
                            Melanie Wong Jun 12, 2012 11:01 AM

                            Was hoping to make it over to Casino myself last night, but no. Its on daily menu again today, with luck it will be offered on a night that you or I can try it.

                            Thanks for re-upping us on grocery store chicken. Once I got lucky to be at the deli at Sonoma Market when the new batch was coming out. But I'm like you, fried chicken is good in all its forms, just different. Those places are a good spot to pick up some for a picnic. I've not tried Pacific Market's.

                        2. Melanie Wong Nov 18, 2012 07:34 PM

                          How's the fried chicken quest going?

                          Backyard, newly opened in Forestville, has a fried chicken family dinner on Wednesday nights.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Melanie Wong
                            pinotho Nov 19, 2012 11:59 AM

                            I need to get back to work on the fried chicken project....perhaps after Thanksgiving. Thanks for the tip on Backyard, though it won't be easy eating there on Wednesday night. I did manage to eat at Zin (Healdsburg), on a Sunday night, and I liked their fried chciken. They tried to make it a real southern style meal, as it was served with cornbread or biscuits, and green beans and mashed potatoes. A polished take on a "meat + three".....or, a "meat + 2" ,in this case. I wouldn't hesitate to do Zin's fried chicken again.

                            1. re: pinotho
                              Melanie Wong Nov 28, 2012 11:20 AM

                              The friend that told me about Backyard had the chicken and waffle on the weekend, if that makes an easier visit for you. Now he's fairly obsessed with it and keeps raving that it's the best fried chicken he's had since his grandma left this earth. She used to raise her own and fried 'em whenever he visited.

                              Zin's sounds great, I need to try it. Thanks for keeping on.

                              1. re: pinotho
                                Melanie Wong Oct 16, 2013 12:18 PM

                                If you haven't been to Backyard yet, you need to move it up on your bucket (o' chicken) list. It's available with a waffle for Sunday brunch too. I'd be interested in hearing how it compares to Addendum, since the chef came from Ad Hoc. Here's my post,

                            2. Melanie Wong Dec 30, 2012 03:10 PM

                              Friday night I gave the fried chicken pop-up dinner by Butcher & Cook a try. It uses the space at Omelette Express in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square.

                              The $28 dinner included four pieces, half a Mary’s air-chilled chicken. This came with buttermilk cornbread, kale braised with pork belly, and hoppin’ john, plus a bit of sweet-sour sauce. On a condiment table, I helped myself to some hot sauce, butter, and pickled green tomatoes.

                              The chicken’s double-fried which doesn’t do the breast meat any favors, making it parched and dry. But the thin coating on the outside gets wonderfully crackly and brown. Not much seasoning on the chicken as is, I needed to add salt and pepper and dunk it in the two sauces. The thinnish yellow-red vinegar-based hot sauce was marked as “mild” but it was hotter than that and only a dab was needed. I especially liked the sweet-sour sauce that had a genuine zing of zippy acidity and citrus notes besides being sweet. I even put it on the cornbread.

                              The buttermilk cornbread was the highlight of this meal. Fluffy and showing some grit, this hit a middle ground between the two poles of cornbread styles. I loved the pickled green tomatoes and onions.

                              On the downside, the greens were tough and too chewy, not cooked long enough to either soften or develop the full depth of flavor. Hoppin’ John needed more seasoning.

                              They said they’ll be changing up the menu to offer customers more variety.


                              1. Melanie Wong Dec 30, 2012 08:46 PM

                                And just ran across another one, right in Santa Rosa, the Thursday night dinner at Three Squares Cafe, Josh Silvers new place (formerly Syrah, Petite Syrah).

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Melanie Wong
                                  Melanie Wong Oct 16, 2013 12:19 PM

                                  Three Squares has closed.

                                2. Melanie Wong Feb 24, 2014 11:46 AM

                                  Red's Apple Road House in Sebastopol is a fried chicken specialist. I've only had the morning donuts (fried in lard!), but maybe someone can tell us about the chicken.

                                  The Cheese Shop of Healdsburg has fried chicken and biscuits on Fridays. Haven't tried this either.

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