Saturday, May 31, 2008

Another "Express Chicken" Rave Review

A reader writes:
Hey, UU, I finally got a chance to stop in Express Chicken and Ribs last night. Never would have gone there without your recommendation. Good, good food. I ordered a 4-piece meal, 2 biscuits and a Coke, and it was ten bucks. Ten bucks! I was expecting fast-food-size portions, but it was huge and I ended up having to take half of it home. So I'll get three meals for my ten-spot.

The only thing that bugged me was that the place was empty. I've read on your blog they're having trouble making ends meet. Which is a damn shame, because it's a mom-and-dad restaurant, great food, unbelievable prices, good service. Just what we need more of in Uptown. I'd hate to see this place go under and hope you post this to encourage more folks to get out there and enjoy a really good home-cooked meal for a really low price.


  1. Does anyone know why the owner comes all the way up here from the south side? His life would be a bit easier if he were able to own a business here and live here as well.

  2. I know the spare decor and usual emptiness of Express Chicken makes it an "iffy" place to visit for many people, but please give it a chance. The owner operator seems like a very nice guy working hard to do well, and the chicken is very good. We need more of these guys in Uptown. Please give them your business!

    FYI, if you do carryout, call in your order because they cook all the chicken to order which takes a little while. It's worth it!!!

  3. I do wish these guys the best -- but they're not doing themselves any favors as far as marketing goes. You can't do a ton about the emptiness, as that is a chicken and egg situation.

    However, I think it would be helpful if they had some sort of counter (ala Uptown BBQ or Jake's) from which to order as that is the kind of place it appears to be. Right now, I think it is confusing for a potential customer to walk in -- is it a sit-down place? Also, they should throw a menu on the window at the very least, so people walking by can see what they offer. Some pictures on the walls and color on the tables would help take away from the stark look of the place and make it more inviting.

    It just seems like they could do a few very inexpensive things to help themselves out. Maybe others have more ideas that could help these folks drum up a bit more business on the cheap.

  4. This might be a dumb question, but is the chicken deep fried? Just trying to be health conscious...


  5. Deep fried and delicious. ;-)

    It reminded me of the food I used to get at small town gatherings. I mean that in a good, wholesome, home-cooked way.

  6. Would the reviewer please Yelp it? As much as I hate to admit it, Yelp can play a big role in a business's success. Please submit a review on Yelp. Thanks:)

  7. This is the most fattening and unhealthy artery clogging food anyone can eat.

  8. In moderation, fried chicken helps you live a longer life.

    OK, probably not true, but it definitely helps you lead a much happier life!

    I agree, the folks at express chicken are doing a terrible job with the marketing and I think even their overall business plan. But the chicken is still very, very delicious!

  9. I guess all that morbid obese fat has affected my teeny brain, caus' I luv' that Chicken!

    Imagonna go get some now and buy some extra for later. Menu is right here on my table.........yummy.

    Here's a solution. If you don't like fried chicken then don't eat there.


  10. Sorry, I like to see small businesses doing well just like the next guy, but I just had dinner there based on these reviews. I couldn't even eat it. One piece of chicken was very dry, the other was juicy/greasy and had a bad oil taste. The fries were limp and soaked in grease and the corn on the cob had seen better days. I tend to eat fairly healthy, but I love fried chicken. This wasn't it.

  11. Not to be overly negative but the main reason this place doesn't thrive is that they flat out can't cook. The chicken is very dry and the battet they use is weak. I ordered the ribs once and it didnt even have any sauce!!! Maybe they would be better served trying an african menu because they cleary have no idea how to make chicken or barbecue. It's really sad because i was so excited when they first opened up

  12. They know how to cook. I don't know what the "agenda" is behind the last two comments, but they are clearly wrong. I've gotten their chicken at least a dozen times and it has been good to great each time.

    Perhaps having a restaurant that is "talked up" on UU bothers some folks.

    I could speculate why, but I have a garage to paint........

  13. I have gotten carryout from Express Chicken five or six times and had, like Irishpirate, good to great experiences.

    Yesterday I got carryout from them again and the chicken was definitely a little off. Bad or old oil, improper seasoning, I don't know. But it wasn't right.

    Every restaurant has a bad day though, so I will give them another chance.

  14. It's obvious that just like Shiller has an agenda and is on the take, the blogger who raves about this hole-in-the-wall greasy chicken dive also has some nefarious agenda.

  15. Et Tu, Anonymous 5:56.


  16. Me personally, I have eaten there twice and the chicken was piping hot, crispy, and moist inside. The greens were good too.

    For those of you with concerns about the appearance etc., the owner may not have the resources to make it as nice as some other places (esp as they got robbed recently). How do you think it compares to a more established place like Alma Pita?

    Perhaps you could volunteer suggestions or help (e.g. take digital pictures of food to be posted with menu & prices on the window, etc.).

  17. Why does the owner come from the SOuth Side? Possibly becaus etehre are SO MANY chicken & rib places, that they would get drowned out by other more established places.

    The thing is, so far for me, most of those places haven't impressed me either.

    Why is it so empty? Haven't been there yet to try it out. But for some strange reason, it seems like ver few places that sell fried chicken seem to do well on the north side. The Church's & Harold's (2 of them) didn't do well, despite those being popular chains on the SOuth & West Sides. Theoretically, there should be a significant audience for them in Uptown.

    For those anonymous complaints, it sounds like they taste like the "reputable" places on the South Side...i haven't been impressed by it yet.

    Irishpirate, how does the chicken at Express Chicken compare to Jake's? Or the ribs to Uptown Pizza & BBQ?

    If i ever get an opportunity, i definitely will try out Express Chicken.

  18. Why is one lousy fried chicken joint the focus of this website? It's obvious there is a financial interest in that business by the owner of the blog.

  19. The chicken is OK I had better way better. like 8:55 PM said why is one lousy fried chicken joint the focus of this website. why not UPTOWN barbecue or el pollo loca, jj chicken and fish.Now they have gooded chicken.

  20. i think this restaurant is a focus because 1) ANY legit business in Uptown needs support

    2) That business has reciprocated such support

    3) There has been a previous lack of support, even of good community members, such as Chris Pries' Pride Flowers, formerly based not too far from Express Chicken.

    The current effort by Uptown Update is a positive sign, and shouldn't be discouraged.

    *sigh* i wish this blog wasn't so full of anonymous's hard to tell who is saying what.

  21. Actually, if you look through this blog over the past year, you'll see lots of posts heralding new businesses ... showing spaces for lease in hopes that others will join them ... and lamenting when good businesses close (Sweet Occasions, Curves, and the sandwich shop across from Truman).

    I've found out about Express Chicken, Thai Uptown and Viet Bowl because of this blog. I had to read about them here, even though they're really close to my house! Better known, but still promoted here, are businesses like Unique So Chique and Crew.

    UU is showcasing businesses in Uptown that might be overlooked and hoping to help them establish a customer base. I read over and over again comments saying we want non-franchise stores here, so what's wrong with helping promote them?

  22. The fried chicken is only okay-the chicken fried steak is better and I'll get that again.

  23. i keep trying to go there and it is closed!

  24. I tried to go today and it was closed.

    Not looking good.

  25.'ve obviously never had good chicken or ribs. Try JJs or Lem's on the southside

  26. HaHa to Anonymous June 2, 2008 8:55 PM " It's obvious there is a financial interest in that business by the owner of the blog."

    Why don't you go jump in the lake.

    I had Express the other night and we liked it just fine. Unknowingly I was expecting the KFC/Popeyes flavor, but it was homemade- so different and yummy. Had the chicken, greens, coleslaw, fries(popped those in the toaster oven-they got soft on the walk home), and corn on the cob. The biscuits were super. I liked it.

    We wanted the ribs but they had just started cooking them. We will go back to try them.

    I think the suggestions on here are great, put the menu with some pictures on the windows, then get a piece of glass on that little table in the front where people wait, cover those seat cushions(there was a tear in them), reposition the coke machine to the wall adjacent to it behind the door, not sure if it would fit though...

    Paint the lobby a warm brown tone(the white looks dingy and dirty) and clean up the front counter area, to look more like a carry out counter. Perhaps a hanging sign above the counter for carry out or dine in customers to distinguish. Also move the warming oven into the kitchen and close the door to the office until they get it fixed up.I saw toys and messes in there, messes are not good for a restaurant.

    Good Luck Express!