A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I went to Crown Fried Chicken at 40th and Market in Philly. I posted to this board asking about it and got really positive notes about it -- which were confirmed! We had an EXCELLENT meal.
We wanted to try a little of everything, so we got a two-rib meal, which came with mashed potatoes and a dinner roll. We ordered six pieces of fried chicken and asked for no breast meat -- they interpreted this to mean no white meat, so unfortunately we didn't get to try my favorite, wings. The counterperson warned us that we'd only get five pieces of chicken. This seemed ok to us, since we were only two and we ordered so much food. When we took our order home, though, he'd given us seven legs and thighs. This came with another dinner roll. We also ordered french fries -- one order was pretty large.
While we waited, my friend asked about the mysterious yellow thing in small containers in the fridge, next to the potato salad. "Oh, that's banana pudding," he said. We were a little surprised. When we left, he put in a container of banana pudding for us to try, which was really nice of him. I wouldn't touch it; my friend wanted to try it and it was the only bad thing we had (besides the smushed cafeteria-style dinner rolls which we didn't expect to be good). The mashed potatoes were okay, nothing special, but they came covered in gravy which adds points in my book. All of this food was something like ten dollars. We took it back to my friend's apartment and ate everything with a bottle of red wine. Nothing like fried chicken and red wine.
So, the food: the ribs were GREAT. Two ribs was actually a lot of food. They were covered in a sort of vinegary, sort of ketchupy sauce. I never thought of myself as a rib fan, but these have converted me! I felt a little bad, though, because my mom's side of the family is from Georgia, and I figure this was probably the wrong rib recipe. (You know, there's such regional controversy over ribs.) I'm not sure which style of ribs these were -- Texas? North Carolina? Whatever. They were good. I had asked for packets of hot sauce and I dumped that over my ribs to cut the sweetness. Perfect.
The fried chicken: DELICIOUS. The best fried chicken I've had after my mom's, and, you know, that's a HUGE compliment. (I hesitate to put it up next to my mom's, but hey, it was THAT GOOD.) The pieces were lightly coated, simply, in flour. They needed a little salt and pepper. It was juicy and cooked just right, not at all dry. I ate four pieces.
While we ate the ribs and chicken, we dumped the fries out and covered them with salt and pepper. They were crispy and also delicious, not too thick but thick enough to be potatoey. They were hot and seemed twice-cooked like proper belgian frites. There were plenty for two people, even if we hadn't ordered too much other stuff.
We were full after all this food, but SO happy. It was one of those meals that just make you grin for hours afterwards.
Sorry for the long post, but this place totally took me by surprise, it was so good. Everyone who has any interest at all in ribs, chicken, or french fries should go ASAP. There's a branch at 40th and Market, one at Broad and Ellsworth, and there are lots of others -- just go to the yellow pages and do a search. Oh, one last thing, this is not a sit-down place, but you do order and wait a bit, so everything is fresh enough to survive a short trip.