There was a quiet but persistent group of people on EatGR saying “New York Friend Chicken had the best chicken in Grand Rapids” (743 Division Ave S, Grand Rapids, MI 49503). I ignored that drumbeat for months. Let’s face it, there can only be one “best”, and I was hearing this from such a small group of people, that I knew they could not be right. If they were, the whole world would know.
One day, I finally got sick of hearing that drumbeat and I popped into New York Fried Chicken for a chicken breast. That was as much a chance as I would be giving them. Once I knew that the small faction in the food group were wrong about the chicken there, I could continue forward and ignore the nonsense.
As I drove away from the restaurant, I started eating that chicken breast. I didn’t get a 1/2 mile down the road before I turned around and raced back. ” I need a leg and a thigh as well.” I bought these additional items to bring home to my wife to affirm that I was not mistaken. She confirmed my thoughts. This was REALLY GOOD fried chicken. Now I had to know more.
I went back the next day and ordered fried fish from them…..also good. I shared this with the food group who then asked if I had tried the Italian beef yet. I said, “No, should I?” The Italian beef, philly cheesesteak, double cheeseburger, pizza puffs and okra…..all good. They really had a lot of great menu items. These guys have been putting out fantastic food for 5 years and I had been missing it all this time, but if you think about it, it is perfectly logical. New York Fried Chicken is not on the main drag, so it is easy to miss, and they also serve a primarily word of mouth clientele. Both of these things kept them off my radar forever.
As for the food itself, they cook their chicken in high end pressure cookers that they use to keep the chicken moist as it cooks. Nobody cooks chicken quite like these guys do, and it shows in the final product. In addition to putting out some great food with some of the best equipment available, they offer a pretty wide delivery area AND are open into the wee hours of the morning. Chicken delivery needed at 3 am on Saturday? Yep, they can do that.
New York Fried Chicken is a surprising little place with a lot of great food options, an impressively large delivery area, and a late night schedule that is appealing for those who keep late hours. It is a perfect storm of fried food goodness that deserves your attention.