Chicken that lives up to its name at Crisp (photo by Joseph Storch)
If you're planning a July 4th picnic this weekend, chances are fried chicken will show up on the menu. Potato salad, coleslaw and watermelon are also likely candidates. You could probably do just fine picking up a few pounds from Harold's, but if you haven't yet tried Crisp in Lakeview, now is your chance. The Korean-style fried chicken is twice-fried (first, under pressure; the second time to crisp it up) then tossed in a large bowl with seasonings. You could opt for buffalo (pictured, above), but I would strongly recommend their "Seoul Sassy" version, which contains garlic, soy, sesame and ginger. The skin absolutely lives up to its billing, and with a side of crunchy daikon radish, this ethnic picnic protein will steal the show. If you're looking for an alternative to the usual Jewel potato salad, check out the German/Polish version at Gene's Sausage Shop at Delicatessen Meyer in Lincoln Square. They first render some gypsy ham until it's crisp, then toss the lardon-like pieces with sliced new potatoes, two types of imported vinegar, scallions and grainy European mustard. I could live off the stuff for weeks; I mean, how perfect? Ham and potatoes in every spoonful! Happy Fourth everyone!
Crisp's "plain jane" chicken (photo by Joseph Storch)