Maketto: Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

Maketto is getting wedding anniversary level love lately. The Post’s Tom Sietsema penned a rare glowing review and Eater named it one of the best new restaurants in America. Given these fireworks, you’re likely headed there soon.

It’s easy to get distracted at the H Street spot that exudes cool. Should you drink coffee or booze? Should you buy those condoms out of the vending machine? Should you sit inside or outside? Upstairs or downstairs? Should you pick up that gun powder scented candle for your dude friend? These questions about Maketto deserve answers, but your focus should remain on the food because it lacks the watered-down effect some Southeast Asian eateries suffer from.

Sure, the bap buns are fantastic. In fact, Chef Erik Bruner-Yang is so well known for his buns that they pretty much double as his business cards. But, they’re not the Best Thing on the Menu. That honor is reserved for the fried chicken. Giant cutlets come in a sticky bath that should be illegal, especially when served with warm (seemingly fried) bread designed to lap it all up. The portion size is as generous as a grandparent during Christmas and the kick comes from chillies and fried shallots.

Mala Colada

If heat is your thing, pair the fried chicken with a Mala Colada. The tropical beverage carries a welcome Tabasco-level of spiciness. Not into alcohol? There’s more to the beverage program at Maketto, including sipping vinegars and cool flavors of kombucha.

Fried chicken not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

Maketto is located at 1351 H Street N.E.

Mason Dixie Biscuit Co: Pulled Pork with Jalapeño Slaw

Biscuit

 

UPDATE: Starting Thurs, Nov 6 Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. will be serving out of Union Market, parting ways with EatsPlace.

Unless you’ve been too busy holding hands while apple picking in matching sweaters all Fall, you’ve probably picked up on the biggest buzzword: biscuit. Until recently, DC had been sorely lacking in the fluffy, flakey, buttery department. But this void has been filled by Mason Dixie Biscuit Co.

The biscuit slingers include Executive Chef Jason Gehring, Managing Chef Mo Cherry and CEO Ayeshah Abuelhiga. They’ve been super innovative in launching their concept through pop-ups, and now a residency at EatsPlace, which opened its doors this month.

Located in Park View (near Petworth), EatsPlace is a food incubator that allows up and coming concepts to be nurtured during short residencies. It doesn’t look like a science lab of sorts. Rather, it’s a cozy brick row home complete with seating, and a full bar. It’s there that you can try Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. Mon-Fri 7a-1:30p through the remainder of 2014.

Be sure to order The Best Thing on the Menu: Pulled Pork Biscuit Sandwich with Jalapeño Slaw. Bet you thought we’d say Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich. Well, surprise. Tender pulled pork piled high between two fluffy biscuits breeds the best of the BBQ and Southern comfort worlds. You can choose between three biscuit flavors for sandwiches, and in this case Ham & Jalapeño is a no-brainer.

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Obviously, the fried chicken biscuit sandwich isn’t bad. Jason, after all, was the opening chef for Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken. But it’s one of those situations where there’s more fried matter than chicken meat, which somehow makes you feel even more guilty about your mid-morning heart attack snack. Last tip: Bring a team of hungry friends so you can try most of the menu.

Find Mason Dixie Biscuit Co inside EatsPlace at 3607 George Ave NW. 

Pulled pork sandwich not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

Teddy: Fox Hollow Fried Chicken

Teddy's Fox Hollow Fried Chicken

Happy 4th of July from Best Thing on the Menu! To celebrate America’s birthday and two of its greatest presidents, BTM visited Lincoln and Teddy in one night. We covered Lincoln back in May, but desperately needed to get our hands on a Gettysburg Address cocktail.

Congratulations to owner Alan Popovsky on a successful opening for Teddy & The Bully Bar. While the interior doesn’t scream Teddy as much as Lincoln screams Lincoln, with its copper penny floor and Mason jar ceiling installations, Popovsky and his team did a heck of a makeover, creating a historically hip space you’ll want to lounge in.

Keeping up with the times, The Bully Bar’s mixologist is certainly a mad scientist, but with an old-fashioned flare. You can indulge in barrel-aged beverages or down-to-party drinks like the “square deal shot & beer” consisting of a can of PBR, Milagro Silver shot and a green sangria backer.

The Best Thing on the Menu: Fox Hollow Fried Chicken with Buttermilk Brined, Pickled Okra and White Gravy is touted by Chef Michael Hartzer as a dish that Roosevelt would have loved because of his affinity for simple classic food. Other notables include the bison tartare, peaches & goat cheese and crab & avocado. There was great balance in all of the dishes (and the cocktails) and they put some TLC into their plating techniques.

But, small plate haters beware; these American tapas are even smaller than what we’re used to in DC. We’re anxious to see if they up the portion size over the next couple months. I doubt Teddy would want us leaving hungry.

Fox Hollow Fried Chicken not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.

ZooFari: Redwood’s Donut Hole Fried Chicken

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Today’s entry makes a departure from the norm to detail, instead, the Best Thing at the Party. BTM had the great pleasure of attending ZooFari Thursday evening and, with elastic waistbands and empty stomachs in tow, we set off to try almost every offering from more than 100 restaurants.

There were big names in attendance, including Top Cheftestant Mike Isabella who was debuting a fish dish from his soon–to-debut Greek restaurant, Kapnos (coming to 14th and W). Also serving up bites were 1789, Central Michel Richard, Jackson 20, Masa 14, Plume at The Jefferson Hotel, Rogue24 and so many more. As usual, the Georgetown Cupcake stand had the longest line, and the greediest double-cupcake hoarding patrons.  Pork belly was featured in all imaginable incarnations, and the crowd definitely picked up on the piggy popularity.

But, it was Redwood Restaurant & Bar that created a dish worthy of luring animals out of their dens. The Best Thing at the Party: Glazed Maple Donut Hole with Fried Chicken and Arugula Salad was a hot sticky mess served as neatly as possible on a stick.

To our dismay, this flavorful concoction is not offered on Redwood’s brunch, lunch or dinner menus. However, if the morsel served at ZooFari is any indication of the chef’s ability to combine flavors and textures, Bethesda Row’s Redwood, is definitely worth a visit.  We’re excited to try their Elvis Burger and Moonshine Eggs.

Redwood not your favorite offering at ZooFari? Share your favorites in the comments section.