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June 15, 2009

English's in Ocean City and Eastern Shore fried chicken

PX00171_9.JPGMisha was one of the first readers to respond to my request for a beach memory, and I do like this one. Alas, I don't have the right art to go with it, but a nice photo of a beach scene is always a good substitute. Thanks for the memory, Misha. EL

I saw the post for reviews/commentary/memories just after having a chat about Eastern Shore fried chicken with my boyfriend. When I was a child one of "the places to go" for dinner was English's in Ocean City. I remember waiting in long lines just to get in the shade of the porch. ...

When I was a wee one there was a barrel of candy corn at the front door. Mom always regulated just how many pieces I was allowed so I did not spoil my dinner.

I also remember how they looked before they renovated and tried for a nicer look. The place was simply filled with row upon row of wooden picnic tables. Buckets of delicious fried chicken held sway on those picnic tables.

Occasionally if the line was too long, my brother was sent to the carry out for a bucket of chicken to be taken back to the rental place where we dined like royalty... ok, I was 6 or 7, really good fried chicken was supreme!

This is the memory I'm choosing to share with you. I can still see the pretty script that English's was written in, the buckets, and the crispy reddish hue of the chicken's crust.

-- Misha the Veggie Lover

(Barbara Haddock Taylor/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 3:35 PM | | Comments (28)
Categories: Beach Eats
        

Comments

English's is coming!

Best pig out food there is! I fondly remember English's here in Baltimore County a number of years ago. They had a store on Joppa Rd. in Carney and another one on Ritchie Hgwy in Glen Burnie. Wonderful decadent fried chicken with a honey based batter. Makes me hungry just thinking about it.

How is eastern shore fried chicken different than "regular" fried chicken?

There was also an English's on Patterson Avenue across the street from Reisterstown Road Plaza. The location is now a state office building.

The Englishes on 15th st has awesome chicken. The dinner buffet rocks- fried chicken, steamed shrimp for about $15. Dont tell anyone.

Oh, man, is this new font horrible! It makes the blog look like an old SF fanzine.

Not readable, the kerning is bizarre...

Gack!!!!

The entire new layout blows!

I may be having a seizure...getting lawyer on phone...arrrgh!

Phew...I thought I was the only who didn't like the new design and I know I was incredibly busy at work today, but I stopped by in the morning and it wasn't like this...then *poof*, no warning...no classic view.

Sigh

Less content up front, takes at least 4 times as long to load.

When they did this to my beloved Detroit Free Press, I stopped reading it. I'm seriously considering the same here.

Although, the old font is back now. No more seriffed madness. Maybe the old font is in my cache.

Thanks Misha. I have never had the "Eastern Shore" style fried chicken, though I have heard a lot about it.

Is the reddish hue from Old Bay?

(the font changes are confusing. I thought there was something wrong with my computer an hour ago when the font was new, but now it's back to the old one, thank goodness)

I agree with everyone about the new format of the website. DISLIKING it very much. Too difficult to navigate. It was perfect before.

Yikes!
I am trying to be open-minded and mature, but waaww, I want my Baltimore Sun back!
I felt like I was reading the paper online; now it is like reading a tabloid or something.
Yuck, yuck, triple yuck!

Unlike NotableM, I wouldn't say the website layout was perfect before. But it certainly is way worse now.

Not only is it harder to actually find any information, it's not even aesthetically pleasing.

I can't say for sure yet if it loads slower (although if Lissa says it does I expect it's true), but even before the change it was a very slow-loading website. Trying to read it on a smartphone was just this side of impossible.

Oh, and what the heck is "Good Life" supposed to mean as a section name? Sheesh...

"Everything tastes better on vacation"

Is it wrong to quote one's self? Because according to my relatives I said that at something like age 4. Early onset Foodie-ism? Who knows.

I kind of like it. Plus, it's going to work well on a Kindle.

bryanintimonium, I agree with your self quote until I've been on vacation going on something like day 5 or 6. By then, I'm all too ready to go home and have something not "restauranty".

I don't often go away for that long, but the few times that I have, I do find that I start longing for something home cooked. Isn't that crazy?

Sounds like the Sun nailed the Colorado male Avs fan of a certain age demographic.

Kindle? You got a kindle, Bucky?

One thing in favor of the new design is that if you access the blog through the blogroll feature it is now arranged alphabetically, rather than by category, which put most of what I wanted at the end, after all the sports blogs, so Dining@Large comes up sooner.

There used to be English's all over the Eastern Shore. One of the landmarks for be on the way down to OC was the Englishes that stood on the corner right as you were leaving Cambridge towrds Salisbury. I think it;s a pharmacy now.

A few years back, I stayed in Salisbury for a few days and all I could crave was English's chicken. I saw several locations in the phone book, but what I didn;t realize was that the book was dated. Sadly, all the locations had closed, except for the one on 14th (or is it 15th) Street in OC.

The chicken is still good, but I owuldn;t eat there for the buffet. The service lacks, and the rest of the buffett food is like cafeteris food. I'd rathe pick up a bucket to go.

Although, I will say that Dumsers Dairyland (the fullr estaurant locations) has excellent chicken too.

There used to be English's all over the Eastern Shore. One of the landmarks for be on the way down to OC was the Englishes that stood on the corner right as you were leaving Cambridge towrds Salisbury. I think it;s a pharmacy now.

A few years back, I stayed in Salisbury for a few days and all I could crave was English's chicken. I saw several locations in the phone book, but what I didn;t realize was that the book was dated. Sadly, all the locations had closed, except for the one on 14th (or is it 15th) Street in OC.

The chicken is still good, but I owuldn;t eat there for the buffet. The service lacks, and the rest of the buffett food is like cafeteris food. I'd rathe pick up a bucket to go.

Although, I will say that Dumsers Dairyland (the fullr estaurant locations) has excellent chicken too.

For inquiries about the difference in Eastern shore versus Southern Fried chicken. I will admit I am making some guesses here. I believe the reddish hue is from a huge amount of paprika. I do not recall the taste of the crust being spicy so that would nix the Old Bay theory. The Eastern shore style crust also tends towards the thin and crispy side. Unlike many Southern styles where the crust can be very crunchy and thick due to the buttermilk. I would guess that Eastern shore style is not done in a buttermilk marinade. I have yet to recreate the Eastern shore style. If anyone has, please share the recipe!

I am so glad that others have warm memories of English's!

I thought eastern shore chicken was dredged in egg instead of buttermilk.

English's bills their chicken as "open kettle" fried chicken. Whatever that means, it sure tastes good.

I waitressed at an English's in my college days; it was on North Salisbury Blvd in Salisbury and part of the building was an old time diner car. I got real tired of the chicken, especially serving it for all-you-can-eat meals. I LOVED the sweet potato biscuits though. I heard that the old diner car was moved to a Smithsonian Musuem up north somewhere. A lot of fond (and not so fond) memories from working there.

I worked at English's in North Ocean City when I was in high school and college. I used to cook the chicken by the carton. The reddish color was from the paprika. No Old Bay in it. The chicken came in pre-breaded from the commissary, so there was no egg or milk wash and breading done at the restaurant. It was gooey and came in waxed cartons. When it was freshly cooked, you couldn't beat the taste!

If the chicken is still served at 15th street, it is worth the trip. Too bad there are not other locations. I miss them!

Close your eyes for a second everyone and imagine a Baltimore City where English's Fried Chicken is readily available and easily accessible.

Now that's a Baltimore I can Bohlieve in!

How hard can it be to open a franchise?

Does anyone know if the one in Ocean City on Coastal hwy. & 15th street is open after Sunfest?

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.
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