Sunday, February 17, 2008


In my head, Valentine's Day went something like this:

"Baby, I love your fat ass. Your ass is plump and juicy and I'd do anything to ensure that ass doesn't lose ground. I wanna help you retain that ass. Don't worry about eating leafy greens. Greens only serve to decrease that junk. Let's do something special, something greazy and fatty and succulent. Something reminiscent of that ass."

In reality, it didn't go anything like that, but it may as well have. I wanted Korean fried chicken on Valentine's Day, because that's just the kind of classy broad I am. Dave and I headed to Crisp at 2940 N. Broadway, knowing that it wouldn't be crowded on that particular night. I had wanted to try it since I spotted their funky awning a fewn months ago. We weren't disappointed.

The owners were very friendly. They explained how Korean fried chicken varies from the standard American varieties through uniquely spiced batters that are prepared fresh every day. Breasts and thighs are cut into pieces to allow for more even cooking and overall juiciness, and more of that delicious breading. They cook it in a pressure fryer for a very specific amount of time, ensuring that the chicken absorbs a minimal amount of oil. Crisp claims that their fried chicken has about 100 less calories than regular fried chicken because of this method. So what if it's not a significant savings; if you're eating fried chicken, you're not really watching your weight, my fat friends! Regardless, it does result in a perfectly cooked crispy bird that's not oozing grease.

Customers can order half or whole chickens in a variety of flavors. Ordering a whole one allows you to split between two flavor combos. To the surprise of the owners, Dave and I both ordered whole chickens. It's because we're disgusting, but it was well worth it. We tried the Korean barbeque and Seoul Sassy flavors. The barbeque was decently saucy and packed a spicy punch, but was very different that American barbeque. The Seoul Sassy was awesome, with predominant soy and ginger flavors. Both tasted even better the next day, and the chicken was just as crunchy as when freshly cooked after reheating in the oven for 12 minutes.

My only complaint, and it's a small one, is that the cole slaw was bland and had an odd texture. The cabbage was shredded so small that it practically fell through the fork tines. It could use a bit more salt and pepper, at the very least, and a larger hole on the four-box grater.

It's about $12 for a whole chicken, a small price to pay for such a large quantity of really good, fresh food. They're cash only at the moment and have no liquor license. Other menu items include sandwiches, bim be bap, and salads. Take out is available.

Fun factoid: Crisp's owners also run Budacki's Hot Dog Stand at Damen and Lawrence. They chastised me when I professed my love for Super Dawg.

Oh, and I also got The Love Tower from Vosges Haut Chocolat. Yes!!!

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