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Restaurants & Bars 4

Pinole – Blackies Fried to Order Maryland Fried Chicken

Krys | Mar 2, 200511:18 PM

You have to be prepared to wait for Blackies Fried Chicken because it is cooked to order. Hot from the fryer, the super crisp coating almost shatters when you bite into it. A little hot oil oozes out enhancing the juiciness. The coating is simple, flour, salt and pepper. No pedigreed bird, but a fine chicken.

The chicken is good cold as well. The batter clinging to the chicken isn’t crisp when cold, but there are crisp pieces attached. It just occurred to me that this chicken comes without the skin and that makes it different as well.

You have your choice of fries, potato salad or cole slaw, which was pale chopped cabbage and carrot in a creamy heavy mayonnaise dressing. It was fine, but I’ll probably try the potato salad next time.

You can order anything from a single wing (.99) up to a 20 piece family dinner (23.99). Chicken pieces available besides the wing are leg (1.69), Thigh (1.89), rib breast (1.89) and center breast (2.49). A two piece center breast and leg dinner with a side and roll is $5.59.

Blackies bills themselves as “The best fried chicken in town since 1964”. That’s pretty funny for a town the size of Pinole. It does have competition from the Colonel at the Apian Way Mall a few miles away.

I would say this was one of the better fried chickens I’ve ever had and the best I’ve tried in the Bay Area. My caveat is that I don’t eat it that often. It was mentioned in an old Bay Guardian ‘best of the bay/ list.

Other than chicken, it is the standard burger joint with egg rolls (4 for $1). There are a few odd touches like that. You can get a burrito and Jarrito Mexican sodas. You can get a tri-tip steak sandwich and since this is next door to Antlers, I wonder if that is where they get their very good Wednesday night tri-tip. The New England clam chowder is canned, so skip that.

Given that they fry chicken so well, I might give the fish and chips a try in the future. There is also fried shrimp and you can order two for $1.69 or as part of a dinner.

They offer a caramel shake in addition to the usual vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and pineapple. Pineapple shakes seem to be common in this area. There is also a root beer float.

Some teens ordered the chili cheese fries which were a huge order.

I am guessing that Blackies is not owned by the same people who opened the store in 1964. The current owners are very pleasant Chinese people who really don’t speak English. Love it, a burger joint where I need a translator … in Pinole. A small gold lucky kitty, Maneki Neko, sits on the counter waving its paw at customers.

The restaurant is super clean with a counter with four stools where you can watch your burger being fried. The chicken is fried in the back and you can watch the large TV over the counter which was playing a soap opera today. There was a free copy of the West County Times on the counter as an alternate option for your chickeny wait.

The place is sparsely decorated with a few tables. White Christmas lights with silk flowers attached are on the walls. Five pictures with divergent themes are on the wall … a charcoal of a fishing boat, some green vines and the picture on the Beatles Abbey Road album. It was a bit of a wait for the chicken. I should have read the paper instead of contemplating the décor. The chicken was worth the wait and the calories.

I never heard of Maryland Fried Chicken before, but there are lots of recipes on the web. Here’s a link I started on the General Board to get more info hopefully.

Blackies Hamburger and Fried Chicken
600 Tennent Ave
Pinole, CA. 94564
Just Off San Pablo Road on the same block as Antlers

Closed Monday
11 am – 9 pm Tuesday – Saturday
(Well, that’s what the take out menu says, I think they really close at 4.
You might call to check the hours. I’ve never seen them open after 5).


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