Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Excellent fried chicken at Revel Room

Revel Room on Urbanspoon

I was last at the Revel Room just under a year ago, and I don't see what I had then on the menu anymore. Which is a good reminder to myself that reviews are really outdated after a year, and even sooner for newer restaurants.

Went in Wednesday night at 5pm for an early dinner before a Yelp Event involving boardgames in the upstairs dining area. Disclaimer: I couldn't go entirely incognito on this dinner. They asked if I were part of the 6pm Yelp event and I had to fess up (since they'd obviously spot me there later!), so from the get-go they knew I was at least a Yelper.
Of course, nowadays, Yelpers are dime a dozen so I'm pretty sure they didn't treat me any differently. Probably.

Kentucky Sweet Tea Fried Chicken ($23) butter mashed yukons, gravy, vegetables, cornbread hush puppy
  • Not a huge plate, but definitely a filling one for your money without forcing you to leave behind leftovers on the plate.
  • Single "hush puppy" that looked like it was a battered and deep fried ping pong ball of cornbread. This means a moister, almost pudding-creamy, interior and a dessert-like sweetness. Very yum! Why don't they sell these on a sharing plate?
  • White meat and dark meat -- looked like basically the easy-to-eat portions of a half chicken on my plate. And it was also about half of what was on the plate -- there's no "cheating" to fill you up with cheap carbs and only a little chicken here.
  • White breast meat was tender (as breast meat goes) and more importantly, moist. No trouble having to force down dry, wooden meat here. Can I give bonus points for this? Dark meat was of course moist and tender.
  • Deep fried batter looked strangely baked maybe, in part because there were some (small) sections that were basically black. Fortunately not enough to interfere too much with the taste. Batter was otherwise excellent - very crispy, not super thick or oily tasting.
  • Vegetables today turned out to be mostly bell peppers, onions, and string beans. If you are hoping for a salad, ask first and maybe ask for a substitute.
Only tried the chicken today, so no idea if the rest of the menu is as tasty. Price considering both portion and quality is excellent.
If a filling dinner isn't for you but you want to try the chicken, the Cajun Fried Chicken Bites are apparently NOT done in the same manner, so check with your server as to your options. Or maybe beg to sub out all the veggies and mashed potatoes for more of them super-tasty hush puppies!

I recommend going earlier (especially during their 4pm-6pm happy hour) to not only avoid the dinner rush but to be able to talk to your dining companions without shouting if there's a band on. You can increase your chances of not having to shout all night by asking to be seated upstairs, where there are air conditioners toward the back as well.
I walked in at 5pm and found the place was completely dead. Dinner rush hadn't started and the place wouldn't really get underway until after 6pm when the live band was playing. Around 8:30 pm, the place was almost at capacity with the small downstairs full, upstairs nearly full, and a few persons on the tight "dance floor" area just inside the door.
The quieter 5pm dining time also means a kitchen free to dedicate to my order and staff readily available and promptly checking on you shortly after dinner is served.

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