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Clucker's Charcoal Chicken in Highwood

Clucker's Charcoal Chicken in Highwood
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  • Clucker's Charcoal Chicken in Highwood

    Post #1 - November 1st, 2008, 3:08 pm
    Post #1 - November 1st, 2008, 3:08 pm Post #1 - November 1st, 2008, 3:08 pm
    If you like rotisserie chicken, you'll love Clucker's.

    Grandma Bobbi and I had dinner there last night. It's basically a carry out place, but they have five booths, a table for five or six and several lounge-type high tables and chairs. After you place your order, you get a number and take your seat. They bring the food to your table.

    Grandma Bobbi ordered their Charcoal-fired Chicken Caesar Salad with grated parmesan cheese, garlic croutons and homemade eggless Caesar dressing. I ordered the Quarter Clucker (dark), which is more than a quarter chicken (two legs plus a thigh). The order came with tortillas, peanut slaw and a choice of potato, rice & beans or veggies. I ordered the sweet potato fries and the counterman informed me that they cost an additional $1.29. He asked, "Would that be OK?" I thought was a nice way of telling me about the extra cost.

    Grandma Bobbi told me her salad was one of the best Caesar salads that she's ever eaten. My chicken was extremely juicy and flavorful. The potatoes were also flavorful and not greasy. The sauce was unique and complemented the chicken nicely. I found out later that they brine their chickens which helpd retain both the flavor and the juices.

    Our two meals including one soft drink and tax was just under $19 bucks.

    Here's one thing I really enjoyed about the place - the food was served on a china plate along with metal cutlery rather than on paper with plastic knives and forks. I dislike eating off paper with plastic utensils even in a fast food joint.

    The chef, Fructoso Sardoval, stopped by our table twice to ask if we were enjoying our food. I had the chance to talk to him later on in the evening and fine out more about the business. A number of years ago, Clucker's had two restaruants - one in Chicago and another in Wheeling. The new Highwood Clucker's opened about 10 days ago. It's not part of a chain, but I imagine if they become success, the owner might open additional restaurants. They'll be starting lunch service this coming Wednesday and plan having delivery service by next weekend. Call them at the number below to check on their near-term hours and delivery.

    They're planning to have a website sometime soon. I'm sure you can phone them and they'll fax out a menu.

    Best regards,
    Grandpa Bob

    Clucker's Charcoal Chicken
    760 Sheridan Rd. (in the strip mall just south of Sweet Pea's ice cream store)
    Highwood, IL 60040
    8470432-CLUC (2582)
    Hours: Mon., Wed., Thurs.: 11 am to 8 pm
    Fri. & Sat.: 11 am to 9 pm
    Sun. 3 to 8 pm
    Closed Tuesdays
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #2 - November 1st, 2008, 4:38 pm
    Post #2 - November 1st, 2008, 4:38 pm Post #2 - November 1st, 2008, 4:38 pm
    Grandpa Bob wrote: The chef, Fructoso Sardoval, stopped by our table twice to ask if we were enjoying our food.

    I need to write a novel so I can work this sentence in somehow... :D

    Thanks for the heads-up GB!
  • Post #3 - March 30th, 2009, 9:13 pm
    Post #3 - March 30th, 2009, 9:13 pm Post #3 - March 30th, 2009, 9:13 pm
    Hi,

    On a recent Monday, I visited Clucker's for lunch. We began with a bowl of Clucker's Chili, which we had with added chicken. This would be a good lunch by itself for $4.99 and a great vehicle for leftover chicken.

    Image

    We each ordered all-dark meat quarter chicken offered with two legs and a thigh. We ordered a different sides to trade later: beans and rice, and roasted seasonal vegetables.

    Image
    Image

    We tried the signature sauces: 1) Clucker Style consisting of honey, chutney and curry; and 2) Barbecue that promised to be homemade, spicy-sweet and chunky. Both sauces were definitely sweet with the BBQ having a tinge of liquid smoke. We never used the sauces on the chicken, though I did dunk my tortilla in the Clucker-style sauce. While neither sauce was a favorite, I brought them home to my family who did like the sweetness.

    We were there just before noon, the rotisserie was empty. While we were dining they were loading the rotisserie with chickens. If the chickens cooked in an hour, they would finish just after 1 PM when the lunch push was largely over. Unless they experience a heavy mid-afternoon crowd, I suspect the chicken would be held over for dinner that was hours away. If my supposition is right, they may need to gauge their chicken cooking to time it closer to peak periods to give customers a sense of fresh from the rotisserie. I began to evaluate our chicken, which also had a held over feel, if not warmed over from the night before. It certainly was not fresh from the rotisserie.

    I will certainly give them another shot. If I am not convinced the chicken is fairly freshly cooked, then I will glady eat the chili with chicken.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - March 30th, 2009, 10:05 pm
    Post #4 - March 30th, 2009, 10:05 pm Post #4 - March 30th, 2009, 10:05 pm
    Being the other person at this lunch with C2, I pretty much agree with her assessment. I liked the chili, which had good flavor, and contained both ground and shredded chicken. I thought the beans and rice were decent, as were the roasted vegetables. I didn't care for either sauce. One kinda had that sharpee aroma and the other was way too sweet. Chicken (very small parts) did have a less-than-fresh aura to it but I'm not sure that it would have been much better straight off the rotisserie. It was passable but nothing I'd eagerly seek out again.

    I'm guessing that Clucker's is a chain that competes with El Pollo Loco but I can't remember ever seeing another unit. In any case, service was friendly, the place was clean and prices weren't too out of whack. The highlight of this meal was definitely the company. :)

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #5 - March 31st, 2009, 6:56 am
    Post #5 - March 31st, 2009, 6:56 am Post #5 - March 31st, 2009, 6:56 am
    Is Cluckers next to Sweat Pea's? That little mall seems like the location of the damned. Sweet Pea's should be so much busier. If he were located in Downtown HP or LF he would be mobbed as it is easily the best ice cream shop in the area.

    I remember Cluckers from the milwaukee ave days, it didnt last long. Wonder why they decided to revive the brand? Will have to check it out to see if it is an improvement over my go to cheap chicken option, woodfire in deerfield.
  • Post #6 - March 31st, 2009, 7:36 am
    Post #6 - March 31st, 2009, 7:36 am Post #6 - March 31st, 2009, 7:36 am
    iblock9 wrote:Is Cluckers next to Sweat Pea's? That little mall seems like the location of the damned. Sweet Pea's should be so much busier. If he were located in Downtown HP or LF he would be mobbed as it is easily the best ice cream shop in the area.

    I remember Cluckers from the milwaukee ave days, it didnt last long. Wonder why they decided to revive the brand? Will have to check it out to see if it is an improvement over my go to cheap chicken option, woodfire in deerfield.

    where's Highwood, and what's HP or LF? all real estate is location, location, location.
    it's a winning concept if you do enough volume, tough row to hoe these days, unless you're McD's
    franchise is the only option to achieve economy of scale in this type of restaurant, that's why it feels like a chain.
    and as a compliment, if I ever need a PR person, I'd hire Grandpa Bob :)
  • Post #7 - March 31st, 2009, 7:53 am
    Post #7 - March 31st, 2009, 7:53 am Post #7 - March 31st, 2009, 7:53 am
    dk wrote:
    iblock9 wrote:if I ever need a PR person, I'd hire Grandpa Bob :)


    Not to offend any PR people, but I'm not one of them. I just happen to have some favorite restaurants and I like to see them succeeed. The LTH Forum has great influence in the Chicagoland restaurant scene.

    I recently had the opportunity to talk to a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives pre-production person and was told they check the LTH Forum routinely whenever they're considering a Chicagoland establishment.

    Best regards,
    Grandpa Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #8 - March 31st, 2009, 8:01 am
    Post #8 - March 31st, 2009, 8:01 am Post #8 - March 31st, 2009, 8:01 am
    Grandpa Bob wrote:I recently had the opportunity to talk to a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives pre-production person and was told they check the LTH Forum routinely whenever they're considering a Chicagoland establishment

    GB,

    Coincidence, last night I caught an episode of DDD that included Vito and Nick's and the thought that DDD must, at least occasionally, check LTHForum popped into my head.

    Vito and Nick's showed exceptionally well on DDD, pizza looked terrific, lots of energy and Guy was scarfing down the pizza with rapid fire Cali-Quips and evident gustatory pleasure.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - March 31st, 2009, 9:43 am
    Post #9 - March 31st, 2009, 9:43 am Post #9 - March 31st, 2009, 9:43 am
    dk wrote:where's Highwood, and what's HP or LF?


    Highwood is a city in the Morraine Township of Lake County, Illinois, United States. Highwood is located at 42°12′19″N 87°48′44″W / 42.20528°N 87.81222°W / 42.20528; -87.81222 (42.205357, -87.812345). (Thank you wikipedia :) )

    HP is Highland Park, LF is Lake Forest. All located in suburban Lake County on the North Shore of Lake Michigan.

    Highwood has lots and lots of very good restaurants, including GNRs Maria's Bakers, La Casa De Issac and several pretty well regarded fine dining establishments like Carlos, Gabriel's and the (recently) Roland Liccioni helmed Miramar
  • Post #10 - March 31st, 2009, 10:49 am
    Post #10 - March 31st, 2009, 10:49 am Post #10 - March 31st, 2009, 10:49 am
    There's no reason restaurants cannot survive and thrive in the suburbs but unlike in the city where the population density can keep a well-located, mediocre place afloat, the same luxury isn't always as true in the 'burbs. In the northern burbs -- especially on the shore -- the income level is generally there to support places.

    I think there are more exceptional restaurants in the city than in the suburbs and competition is certainly stronger but it's been demonstrated over and over again that a great place, no matter where it's located, has more than a fighting chance of developing a following and enduring.

    That said, if you could magically re-locate this Clucker's to the corner of Broadway and Irving Park, I'm guessing it still wouldn't be much of a hit. Even if you did and it became popular, that wouldn't necessarily make their food any better. I don't think their lacklusterness (is that a word?) has anything do with their location.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #11 - March 31st, 2009, 1:27 pm
    Post #11 - March 31st, 2009, 1:27 pm Post #11 - March 31st, 2009, 1:27 pm
    Grandpa Bob wrote:
    dk wrote:
    iblock9 wrote:if I ever need a PR person, I'd hire Grandpa Bob :)


    Not to offend any PR people, but I'm not one of them. I just happen to have some favorite restaurants and I like to see them succeeed. The LTH Forum has great influence in the Chicagoland restaurant scene.

    I recently had the opportunity to talk to a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives pre-production person and was told they check the LTH Forum routinely whenever they're considering a Chicagoland establishment.

    Best regards,
    Grandpa Bob


    I talked to a DDD pre-production person last summer, and when I suggested they try looking for ideas at LTH
    they informed me of the same information you were given.
    edit to add: and you do write very well, it was indeed a compliment
  • Post #12 - March 31st, 2009, 2:14 pm
    Post #12 - March 31st, 2009, 2:14 pm Post #12 - March 31st, 2009, 2:14 pm
    dk wrote:edit to add: and you do write very well, it was indeed a compliment

    I took it as a compliment. Thanx. I know someone who thinks that I'm a professional writer. That's not true either. I just keep thinking back to Mrs. Owsley's 8th grade grammar lessons (ca. 1949) and keep working at my writing skills.

    A few comments regarding Cathy's post above. I find that Clucker's is just what it's supposed to be - inexpensive food that' reasonably fresh. I don't think that one should judge it as one would a gourmet dining experience. Sure freshness is important, but it must be difficult for a restaurant to plan exactly how much food to have available. (For example, Burt's Place.)

    So if a couple of birds were made the evening before, that means they were prepared maybe 16 hours or so earlier. I don't think anyone's palate is so refined that they can tell the difference between freshly prepared rotisserie chicken and some that's be made earlier.

    No doubt some of the birds being cooked at noon would be served nine hours later.

    IMHO - I don't think that Cathy's criticism was justified.

    BTW - While I've eaten their dark meat chicken and enjoyed it, I'm extremely partial to their chicken chili. I always make sure that I order some to take home. It's a great topping on a microwaved baked potato the next day along with onions and cheese.

    Someone in this thread mentioned that Clucker's might be a chain. I don't believe it is although I seem to recall there used to be a store in Wheeling and one in Chicago a number of years ago. Same owner?

    Best regards,
    Grandpa Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #13 - March 31st, 2009, 4:14 pm
    Post #13 - March 31st, 2009, 4:14 pm Post #13 - March 31st, 2009, 4:14 pm
    Grandpa Bob wrote:I don't think anyone's palate is so refined that they can tell the difference between freshly prepared rotisserie chicken and some that's be made earlier.

    GB,

    I disagree, and I do not think it requires a refined palate either. A well made fresh from the rotisserie bird is juicy with crisp glistening skin and a certain liveliness to the flesh. Held over reheated birds tend to be drier with wrinkled flabby skin and a, comparatively, dead mouthfeel.

    Think about how a chicken tastes fresh from Grandma Bobbi's oven and then reheated for lunch the next day.

    My opinion, Cathy was well justified in her criticism, though I took it as more observation than criticism.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #14 - March 31st, 2009, 4:27 pm
    Post #14 - March 31st, 2009, 4:27 pm Post #14 - March 31st, 2009, 4:27 pm
    HI,

    Papa's Pollo Chon in Humboldt Park region of Chicago has excellent rotisserie chicken that is fresh cooked. If Clucker's experience approached that level of fresh cooked, I would be delighted. What we had was held over for quite a while or reheated, both of which were very apparent.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #15 - March 31st, 2009, 5:20 pm
    Post #15 - March 31st, 2009, 5:20 pm Post #15 - March 31st, 2009, 5:20 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Think about how a chicken tastes fresh from Grandma Bobbi's oven and then reheated for lunch the next day.


    Actually I never reheat chicken. I either eat it cold, make a cold chicken sandwich or else add it to soups.

    I wonder if Clucker's undercooks some of its birds then puts them back on the rotisserie as their busy time approaches.

    I know that my palate is not very refined due to being a chemist early in my professional life. In those days (1960s) we didn't take the kinds of precautions that they do today and a lot of chemicals were poured without extra ventilation or other safety precautions. So i think my taste buds may have been damaged somewhat then.

    One of my favorite ways to make chicken and keep it juicy is to saute chicken breasts for about five minutes on a side, then cover the chicken and let it finish cooking. I saw Jacques Pepin (sp?) do it that way on a cooking show and it really works. You can make a just about any sauce with the deglazed drippings.

    I'm still partial to Clucker's chili.

    BTW - IMHO Cathy's observations were critical. :roll:

    Regards,
    GP Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #16 - March 31st, 2009, 6:00 pm
    Post #16 - March 31st, 2009, 6:00 pm Post #16 - March 31st, 2009, 6:00 pm
    Grandpa Bob wrote:BTW - IMHO Cathy's observations were critical. :roll:

    GB,

    Complimentary, critical and all points in between are, as long as its reasoned, and Cathy is always reasoned, encouraged on LTHForum.

    It's a discussion site after all.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #17 - March 31st, 2009, 9:36 pm
    Post #17 - March 31st, 2009, 9:36 pm Post #17 - March 31st, 2009, 9:36 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:HI,

    Papa's Pollo Chon in Humboldt Park region of Chicago has excellent rotisserie chicken that is fresh cooked. If Clucker's experience approached that level of fresh cooked, I would be delighted. What we had was held over for quite a while or reheated, both of which were very apparent.

    Regards,

    just to relate a funny story from today.
    On Friday I went to Papa's on Division for the first time because of the reviews on this site and was blown away by just how good his chicken is, and sat there admiring the leaness of his staff and the beauty of his gas and charcoal rotisserie.
    So today, after reading this thread, I'm at Restaurant Depot, and who's getting chicken in front of me but Papa, himself. So I introduce myself as having a chicken restaurant just around the corner from his, and just started gushing about what a superior product his is, and that I really liked his rotisserie oven.
    Do you know this man was generous enough to take the time to shoot the shit w/ me for a few minutes and then offer to help me find a gas rotisserie of my own? It's his generosity of spirit and attention to detail that you can taste in his bird, as only he or his wife cook the chickens on the rotisserie, no one else. I absolutely stand in awe. We had a nice conversation about Puerto Rican mothers making pasteles at Christmastime too, he's a very cool guy and very wise also.
  • Post #18 - March 31st, 2009, 9:38 pm
    Post #18 - March 31st, 2009, 9:38 pm Post #18 - March 31st, 2009, 9:38 pm
    Let me say that if Feed starts putting out a chicken nearly as good as Papa's it's going to be a truly killer restaurant. I'm a fan now, but papa's chicken with Feed's sides would make me a very, very happy man.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #19 - April 1st, 2009, 9:25 pm
    Post #19 - April 1st, 2009, 9:25 pm Post #19 - April 1st, 2009, 9:25 pm
    With the various postings yesterday regarding Clucker's, I decided to stop by tonight and pick up something for dinner. I spoke with the owner as I was waiting for my order. I mentioned Cathy's post and here's what he told me.

    They never keep any of their rotisserie chicken overnight and don't reheat it. (The owner seemed surprised that I even suggested it.) He told me they start cooking rotisserie chicken at around 9 am. The chickens take one-and-a-half hours to cook. So the chicken that Cathy and Ronnie Suburban ate probably came out of the rotisserie at 10:30 am that morning.

    I reviewed Cathy's post again and she made no reference to the dark meat chicken that she ate. Ronnie talked about the chili and barely mentioned the chicken. I've always enjoyed the chicken that I've ordered there. It may not have come right out of the rotisserie, but it certainly was just fine as far as I can tell. I'd be surprise if any reputable restaurant owner would serve food that wasn't fresh.

    Clucker's owner suggested that Cathy and Ronnie stop by and try their chicken again.

    It should be noted that when we stopped by at around 7:00 pm tonight, there were no chickens in the rotisserie. While we waited, we were offered samples of their curry chicken salad. They incorporate it into a roll-up. The salad has celery and grapes along with mayo, chicken and curry spice. It's a very nice chicken salad and Grandma Bobbi plans to order it the next time we go to Clucker's.

    We also splurged on a brownie that is made by the owner's wife. They were soft and quite good. I've eaten half and saving the rest for tomorrow unless I'm overcome by temptation.

    Regards,
    GP Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #20 - April 2nd, 2009, 12:09 am
    Post #20 - April 2nd, 2009, 12:09 am Post #20 - April 2nd, 2009, 12:09 am
    Grandpa Bob wrote:Ronnie talked about the chili and barely mentioned the chicken.

    I guess it was pretty unremarkable for me -- just one person's opinion and not meant to dissuade anyone else from trying it or appreciating it.

    Grandpa Bob wrote:Clucker's owner suggested that Cathy and Ronnie stop by and try their chicken again.

    I'm sure I will at some point in time.

    Grandpa Bob wrote:We also splurged on a brownie that is made by the owner's wife. They were soft and quite good.

    Sounds like something to look forward to when I do visit again.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #21 - April 3rd, 2009, 7:51 am
    Post #21 - April 3rd, 2009, 7:51 am Post #21 - April 3rd, 2009, 7:51 am
    Last night I ate the second half of the homemade Clucker's brownie mentioned above. I hadn't noticed before, but there were whole chunks of chocolate incorporated into the brownie. So you get an exceptional burst of chocolate.

    If you're up that way and need a quick chocolate fix, I highly recommend stopping by and getting one of their brownies. As Mike Myer's Linda Richman character on SNL used to say, "They're to die for!"

    Best,
    GP Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #22 - April 20th, 2009, 8:01 am
    Post #22 - April 20th, 2009, 8:01 am Post #22 - April 20th, 2009, 8:01 am
    I decided to pick up dinner last night at Clucker's prior to visiting the grandkids. I called ahead to place our order. One of the items I ordered was their curried chicken salad wrapup, which I had sampled at a previous visit. Within a few minutes, I received a phone call back that they hadn't made any that day. I asked why and was told that the grapes they use in the dish "didn't look right." So they decided not to make the product. A suggestion was offered for a different chicken salad wrapup, which was a very nice substitute.

    My point is that the Clucker's management seems to feel that their ingredients need to be fresh or else they won't serve them. LTH Forum folks try to patronize establishments that guarantee fresh food, so based on my experience last night, it looks like Clucker's is one of those places.

    Regards,
    Grandpa Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #23 - April 20th, 2009, 9:28 am
    Post #23 - April 20th, 2009, 9:28 am Post #23 - April 20th, 2009, 9:28 am
    At my house we sometimes want what we call "cheap chicken" for dinner. That usually involves running over to Woodfire in Deerfield or The Little Red Hen in Glencoe for a bird. We tried Cluckers recently and found it adequate. The chicken was fine, the cole slaw was tasty and the chili was decent. The clucker burger was a clunker, it is a turkey burger and it was cooked into a hockey puck. The signature sauce is horrid--way too much liquid smoke.

    I find the chicken at the Little Red Hen to be a way better option even though their menu is very light on non fried sides. Cluckers does have some salads and other things that i might like to try if I get around to it but overall this is not a place that will knock the other cheap chickens out of contention.
  • Post #24 - July 25th, 2009, 6:28 pm
    Post #24 - July 25th, 2009, 6:28 pm Post #24 - July 25th, 2009, 6:28 pm
    I picked up some chicken chili for me and a curry chicken salad wrap for GM Bobbi at Clucker's last night. We like both dishes and find them to be quite good. And I bought one of their brownies which is homemade by the owner, Debbi. I shouldn't have, but couldn't resist it. They are incredibly delicious as I've mentioned before.

    I picked up around 4:30 pm to avoid the dinner crunch. There were a bunch of birds on the rotisserie and they were browning nicely. The owner told me that they had started Clucker's some 25 years ago and are glad to be back. Their chicken is a nice change of pace for us and healthy if I stay away from those brownies!

    Regards,
    GP Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #25 - October 8th, 2009, 10:46 pm
    Post #25 - October 8th, 2009, 10:46 pm Post #25 - October 8th, 2009, 10:46 pm
    Not everyone dislikes Clucker's. Renee Enna just gave it 4 Forks in a Cheap Eats review at the Trib's web site:

    Renee Enna at the Chicago Tribune's web site wrote:Maybe all the competition is why Clucker's Charcoal Chicken has set its bar so high. This independently owned strip-mall spot is spacious and well designed, but it still has the fast-food vibe, with rigid booths, bright lighting and major decor elements being a giant copper chicken and serve-yourself soda fountain. Order at the counter, and your meal is brought to you.

    And boy, did we love what was brought to us. The ample chicken-centric menu and its execution -- all items are made on-site, says owner Reed Merdinger -- proved first-rate with everything we tried, from the tender, fall-off-the bone roasted chicken with choice of killer sauce to a chicken salad that tasted fantastic without the chicken. Vegetables get respect.

    Cheap Eats: It's 4 forks for great dishes at Clucker's Charcoal Chicken

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #26 - October 9th, 2009, 6:53 am
    Post #26 - October 9th, 2009, 6:53 am Post #26 - October 9th, 2009, 6:53 am
    i have been eating at cluckers occasionally and it is much improved. The chicken has, of late, been very fresh, tender and juicy.
  • Post #27 - October 9th, 2009, 10:52 am
    Post #27 - October 9th, 2009, 10:52 am Post #27 - October 9th, 2009, 10:52 am
    Two questions...

    1.) Is this the same ownership that ran Cluckers on north Clark street during the late 80's?

    2.) On the chicken freshness question...we've experienced what we believe to be freshness issues with fried chicken at Dixie Kitchen....do restaurants fry and then reheat chicken....or fry half-way like risotto and then finish when an order is placed?
  • Post #28 - October 9th, 2009, 10:54 am
    Post #28 - October 9th, 2009, 10:54 am Post #28 - October 9th, 2009, 10:54 am
    auxen1 wrote:do restaurants fry and then reheat chicken....or fry half-way like risotto and then finish when an order is placed?


    any fried chicken restaurant that is any good cooks fried chicken to order.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #29 - January 11th, 2010, 4:23 pm
    Post #29 - January 11th, 2010, 4:23 pm Post #29 - January 11th, 2010, 4:23 pm
    After a co-worker read the plaudits about Clucker's in the Trib, he suggested we carry it out for lunch today. Agreeing was easier than coming up with an idea of my own (or going to get it), so Clucker's it was.

    Overall, with my expectations adjusted, this experience was better than my first. A caesar salad was nothing special but at least the romaine was crunchy, green and fresh throughout. I didn't care for the dressing, which was actually sweet (at least it was on the side), so I ended up making my own in the office, which worked out fine. The Clucker's Famous Chili was tasty. It had a good amount of kidney beans that weren't mushy and a generous amount of tender, shredded chicken, which, I'm guessing, is harvested from leftover, unsold birds. The chicken is a bit salty but since the rest of the chili wasn't, it was a nice addition. An order of Charcoal-Fired Veggies was completely respectable. It consisted of nicely-seasoned zucchini, red bell peppers, yellow summer squash, mushrooms and corn. The veggies were slightly on the soft side but in this application, that preparation really hit the spot. The menu makes the dubious claim that the veggies are seasonal, which is probably true if you consider that they are not in season anywhere near here but this time of year, that's ok. They were tasty and I've had far worse at much 'nicer' places. 4 salsas were included in our order. 2 -- a mustardy one and another that smelled like liquid smoke -- were nearly inedible. A greenish one that was probably tomatillo-based was good and a pureed, tomato-based one was even better.

    For me, the weak link here is the actual chicken, which I'm beginning to understand is probably more a matter of style preference than anything else. For me, this chicken is too-salty, too soft (especially the flappy skin) and generally uninteresting. I haven't been to Boston Market in years and have only tried KFC's grilled chicken once but this seems comparable to both. I suppose that it might be slightly different from those but not in any substantial way.

    Not a particularly memorable lunch but I've suffured through far worse.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #30 - January 11th, 2010, 4:58 pm
    Post #30 - January 11th, 2010, 4:58 pm Post #30 - January 11th, 2010, 4:58 pm
    Messing around with a new camera and it's slow at work, so a couple of pics from today's lunch . . .

    Image
    Clucker's Famous Chili


    Image
    Fire-Roasted Veggies


    Image
    Charcoal Chicken

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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