On the low, some of the best fried chicken spots in New York aren’t fried chicken spots at all. They’re Jamaican spots. Since the focus of this blog so far has been chicken wings served at Chinese joints, we’ve neglected the larger fried chicken trend going on in the city. That may change. But let’s start with the Golden Krust lunch special.
Many people would turn their noses up at the mere mention of Golden Krust — it’s a chain after all. And nearly every Golden Krust franchise I’ve been to suffers from poor lighting along with years of apathy and dust having gathered around the corners like moss. But this one is different. The franchise on Flatbush Avenue opened about a year ago. The “Employee of the Quarter” placard is updated on time. The service is fast enough and cheerful. And the menu turns daily according to a schedule I haven’t quite figured out yet.
A couple days a week the lunch special option includes fried chicken. I get mine with rice-and-peas, and either stew chicken or oxtail gravy on the rice. The chicken goes on top, followed by the cabbage packed into the back of the container. It’s glorious. Something about the chicken resting on top of the gravy gives every third bite a juicy extra kick. The gravy would be distracting if the whole serving was covered in it, but these people know what they’re doing. And the price is right.
During yesterday’s trip to Golden Krust one of the kitchen guys referred to the curried goat dish as mutton as he delivered a tray to the front. A customer asked why he said mutton and not goat. Turning back to the kitchen through the double doors he shouted over his shoulder, “because in Jamaica, everything we say, we say it sexy!” Everyone laughed.