They had me as soon as I saw their Instagram page. Late at night when I am about to go to bed I have this terrible habit of scrolling through all of my social media. Instagram is a favorite especially because I can keep up with pop culture without reading. This is a HUGE plus when I am having a migraine, which is more often than not.
I cannot think of a food that does not appear to glow on Instagram. If anything I feel like this medium has reintroduced me to what it means to take foodie photos. Something ordinary can appear so extraordinary that I begin to drool and frantically search for the restaurant where my new obsession is. The only downer, and it’s a big one, is when people do not indicate the name or even city where they are located thus increasing my anxiety. Once I see something I want I need to begin to plan my way there as soon as physically possible.
That being said, it was during one of those nights when a glorious, glamorous dish of fried chicken made eye contact with me. Luckily the restaurant was clearly displayed and I was able to find my way to Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken.
It had only been a few weeks (which in my world is recent) from the time I learned about Blue Ribbon until I arrived there. I decided it would be the meal my family and I would share on my father’s birthday this year. He is a huge fan of fried chicken and there is no better reason for the rest of us to take advantage.
After a nice afternoon at the S.N.L. exhibit (review will be in the next blog) we were hungry and headed out for some grub.
When we arrived it was fairly crowded but people were constantly going in and out. It is not a fancy place; it is more reminiscent of an updated cafeteria motif. There was no waitress service. You order your food and bring it to a table. No muss no fuss. Right up my father’s alley.
The menu too is nice and neat. All you have to decide is what part of the chicken you want and whether you want it as a sandwich or not. They have a list of custom sauces on every table so you can mix and match to create something you will love.
Between the four of us, we had The Blue Ribbon, The Rancher (technically two), and a Tender Supreme. The Blue Ribbon had its special sauce on it. The Ranchers had bacon and creamy ranch dressing. The Tender Supreme contained three boneless tenders with fries. We had more than enough fries to go around. There is also an abundance of soft drinks that had free refills. It is the cafeteria you wish you had as a kid in school.
I am a fan of fried chicken. Perfectly fried chicken should be crispy on the outside but moist and tender on the inside with just the right amount of the perfect seasonings. While this sounds easy enough to find chances are it’s not. I have been tasting fried chicken for years as I go out in search for my blog. I realize now I have had a lot of okay chicken, some not so good chicken, and something I would request if I were on death row.
Sadly Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken fits into the second category for me. It was so not what I had pictured, despite looking at many. I think part of the problem might be that I ordered wrong. I am sure you have ordered wrong at times too. Ordering wrong is when you go to a popular place and instead of ordering whatever the restaurant is known for, you go rogue pick something else and are disappointed. Case in point is my experience at Carbone earlier this year (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2015/01/for-meal-thirteen-months-in-making.html). God I hate that especially since I have almost always been eyeing the menu for weeks beforehand. Another bummer is when you are torn between two things and then choose wrong. Ugh that hurts.
I am not sure that this is what happened to me at Blue Ribbon but I have my suspicions. When I bit into my sandwich I felt disappointed immediately. The chicken appeared to be crunchy but was not. It was also incredibly dry despite all of the toppings on it, and they were too overwhelming anyway. I took bite after bite hoping it would change but it didn’t. I was also starving so that too played a role. My mother had the tenders plate, which was the most delicious out of all of our orders. The tenders were actually crispy, light, and yummy. Hence my feelings of ordering wrong. I was too full after the sandwich to try the tenders but I have a feeling just ordering the individual chicken pieces you prefer is the best way to go. The fries were ok, they were fries nothing too memorable.
I suppose the most important part of this story is that my father was happy, happy and full. He liked his food and it was gone long before I had a chance to get comfortable in my seat. It was his kind of joint.
As for me, I am a more discerning type of customer. Plus I have had some of the best-fried chicken you can have in this country, perhaps even in this world. That would be in Memphis Tennessee at Gus’s (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2011/06/for-rock-n-roll-ribs-and-reflection_7249.html). That man is a legend, at least to me.
Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken has opened a second location, in Las Vegas, Nevada. This will be good news for my father. Now he has a place to visit for fried chicken in Sin City.
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