Top Ten Best Chicken Dishes
I don't have chicken often when I'm reviewing, but maybe more often than you might think. It's something many of us eat a lot of at home, so it's not the first thing you (or at least I) think of ordering at a restaurant.
Not that I don't like it, but I've brought home one too many last-minute emergency rotisserie chickens. Chicken at a restaurant just doesn't seem like enough of a treat.
When I'm reviewing, usually my guests, who get to choose first, want the beef or the seafood dishes; my husband goes for the healthful alternative; and sometimes I'm stuck with the poultry to balance things out. But you know what? My chicken dish is often the best thing at the table.
Anyway, here's my list. Obviously I haven't tried all the chicken dishes in Baltimore, so I hope you'll have some other suggestions. ...
* The succulent Caribbean baked chicken with the chef's own dry rub at Luca's Cafe in Locust Point.
* Crisp-skinned Peruvian-style whole chicken roasted over coals at Chicken Rico (3728 Eastern Ave.) in Highlandtown (part of a small regional chain).
* The green curry with white-meat chicken, eggplant and fresh basil leaves at Lemongrass in Annapolis. We have a branch here, but I didn't try its green curry.
* Boneless chicken legs (organic and Amish) grilled over a wood fire so they have a bit of crunch at Pazo in Fells Point.
* The Maryland pan-fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy for $10 at Gertrude's at the BMA (Tuesdays only).
* The Ambassador's aromatic chicken tikka masala, which comes with a side of creamed spinach Indian-style. There are probably others just as good, but I usually don't order this dish when I'm reviewing because every Indian restaurant does it. I sometimes get it from here as take out.
* Tender young half-chicken, juicy and flavored with an edge of smoke at Woodberry Kitchen in Woodberry/Hampden.
* The Eastern Shore-style chicken at Big Bad Wolf's House of Barbeque, the kind sold along the highway by churches and charities to raise money. It has a touch of Old Bay in the mix.
* Marinated, char-grilled chicken kebabs at the Helmand.
* The chicken noodle soup at Eddie's of Roland Park, the one on Roland Avenue. Full-flavored, not too salty broth, big pieces of white meat chicken, tender noodles, bits of carrot. If I sound a little too enthusiastic about this particular dish, it's what rescued me from the dead recently when I had the Cold That Wouldn't End.
(The archives are a little short of pictures of particular dishes, so I pulled a photo of my favorite no-longer-available chicken dish, the now-closed Woman's Industrial Exchange's white meat chicken salad platter with tomato aspic. Sadly, this was taken after the kitchen stopped making its own wonderful rolls. Amy Davis/Sun photographer)