Fried chicken; it is such a simple yet complex food that can be so versatile. It can be made at low cost, or fancied up and presented gourmet. Eat it plain, dip it, toss it in sauce, put it on a waffle, the possibilities are endless. But I think I speak for all of the non-vegetarians/vegans out there when I say that fried chicken is universally loved and adored. If you are one of these fried chicken praisers, you must seek out the most tender, most lip smackin fried chicken you have ever dug your pearly whites into. But don’t worry you don’t need to go on a wild goose chase (why would you chase a goose, you’re looking for fried chicken not fried goose, you silly goose). Just head over to Bucktown, nestled into Providence’s West End.
Bucktown, specializing in both chicken and fish, is a champion of comfort food. The foodie scene runneths over in little Rhody, but southern comfort food spots are far and few. So if hearty, deeply flavorful, mouthwatering fried classics is your thing (I say this because I am pretty sure it’s everyones thing) you must.try.BUCKTOWN.
The way I see it, fried food is something that is simple, but that doesn’t mean bland. Friend food can be elevated; which is exactly what Bucktown does. The key word that will pop up in every single dish is “seasoning”. Each dish is seasoned so that the balance of savory, salty, and juicy creates melodious dishes and sandwiches. OK lets look at what we got!!!
For example, this shrimp po’boy was literally perfection. Deep fried shrimpies on a bed of shredded lettuce, tarter sauce and resting like sleeping beauty on a baguette. Fuckin gorgeous. These shrimp were so succulent and the seasoning brought out flavours that just make you feel that this is what shrimp po’boys are supposed to taste like.
On the side, we had some traditional cole slaw. I have to say, I love a good slaw. And this one was done the right way. It was not heavy and bogged down with drippy mayo. No, it was lightly tossed and had a vinegar bite, with the perfect touch of salt and sugar. Just right! We also snacked on a cousin of cole slaw, a pickled cucumber salad. What I loved about this lil salad was that is simply done and allows the natural flavors to speak for itself. It's almost like "make up free, naturally beautiful" version of food. You don't need any extra sauce girl, you let your inner beauty shine cuke! Lightly tossed with vinegar and dill, this side is the perfect accompaniment for the heavier entrees we had.
Oh did I mention we forked down some mac n’ cheese? Uh-huh honey. So rich and cheesey! Elbows (the best kind of pasta for mac n’ cheese, FYI) smothered in melty cheese and topped with black pepper. Bomb.com. Look it up.
We also popped our Hush Puppy cherry whilst at Bucktown, and we’re glad that this was our first. Deep fried balls of scallion cornmeal dough, served with a side of honey butter. Mmm, mmm, mmm! These round lil babies stole my heart!
Of course, we couldn’t leave Bucktown without trying the fried chicken. What did you think we were, crazy!? I am not even going to say “its exactly how good you would expect it to be” because it was even better than anticipated. This chonky piece of chicken thigh was literally, fried to crisp, golden brown perfection. The exterior had the crunch, but the interior was moist (sorry to use to ‘M’ word for all you weirdos who hate it from some reason) and luscious. This tender chick was served on a bun and paired with a tangy sriracha aoli called "comeback sauce". Now I am pretty sure an elementary school aged child could figure out why they call this "comeback sauce". Cause it's so dang good it keeps you coming back for more. DUH. GENIUS. This sando certainly put comfort food into perspective for us, because we were certainly comfy AF eating this guy.
Of course every hero has it’s side kick, and robin to this batman were the waffle fries. I’ve said it multiple times already, and I risk sounding like a broken record, but it’s so important! They were seasoned.by.the.GODS. I am a big fan of the waffle fry, I mean what's not to love? It’s got little cripsy nooks and crannies that give the extra crunch that regular fries lack. Big win for the waffles here baby!
If I could give the food at Bucktown a personality, it would be someone who has a strong connection to their family tradition, someone who is witty, and peppers in funny anecdotes into conversation, firey with conviction and manages to wink in the not creepy way. This person is soothing and is able to butter you up. Bucktown embodies a wholesome, robust taste, and finesses it’s beautifully flavored and textured dishes in every.single.bite.
A big huge thank you to our friend, Chef Michelle, who cooked all of our yummy dishes and slayed the fryolators like a boss. We perched on the counter, watching her do her thang. Thanks Michelle, you are the culinary MVP!
Our hungry honey Ariana is a fitness model. Lucky for us she has her cheat meals with buns and bites! Thanks Ari! Look her up on instagram @aricamxo