The other day, a friend complained to me about how food trucks serve such small portions. I explained that it’s because the food is meant to be eaten “on-the-go”. In most scenarios, you won’t have a place to sit and eat. So most people eat the food right outside the food truck or take it directly back to their office for lunch. Also the trucks are limited to the amount of inventory they can carry to serve the lunch crowd; too large of portions and they’ll run out of food while the lines are still long. This conversation had me thinking more and more about one of my favorite finger foods, chicken wings. A chicken wing is the perfect finger food, no fork required! However, I’ve been favoring chicken tenders, more meat and less hassle (no bones). Recently, I’ve discovered two new chicken spots in New York City:
Dirty Bird-to-Go has a great, “Fast Slow Food.” It’s a small spot, more like a whole-in-the-wall, that you can easily miss walking along 14th Street. It has minimal seating so it’s not good for groups, as its name suggest. It’s some of the best chicken I’ve had in NYC; they offer both fried and rotisserie chicken and their chickens are grass-fed, organic produce. I had an order of chicken tenders with some honey mustard and a bowl of their creamy mac ‘n cheese, and even this small order really hit the spot.
I first had Sticky’s Finger Joint chicken at Grub Street Food Festival, but something went wrong with their equipment and all of the chicken was cold. I gave it another shot when I passed by the restaurant in the West Village. One of the owners was behind the counter and in a very good mood. I recognized him from one of the reality shows on the Food Network. Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay was helping new fledgling businesses get started and Sticky’s Finger Joint was one of the restaurants featured on the show. I got there during that slow period where the lunch crowd is over. I ordered two chicken finger dishes; but the owner insisted that I tried some of their chicken poppers, some Cajun fries and a sample of all their homemade sauces. I didn’t realize I was in for such a treat; I ended up with a nice spread at my table – much more than I could consume. I had a good combination of salty, sweet and spicy fingers. The spicy fingers really brought the heat! I love spicy food, but I’d suggest that you order a drink to ease the temperature. One thing that couldn’t get enough of were those poppers – awesome. I left with a full belly and a great impression of their menu; it made up for the Grub Street experience!
Dirty Bird-to-Go, 204 W. 14th St. @ 7th Avenue, 212-620-4836, dirtybirdtogo.com
Sticky’s Finger Joint, 31 W. 8th Street @ Macdougal Street, 212-777-7131, stickysfingerjoint.com