Instagram Post 2/14/2020
KTown, Part Three.
BB.Q (aka Best of the Best Quality) Chicken is a bewildering South Korean franchise. It established a “Chicken University” (look out, McDonald’s) complete with auditoriums, seminar rooms, and training areas plus an R&D center staffed by Ph.D. level researchers, all dedicated to creating unexcelled fried chicken for their thousands of locations. They take particular pride in their use of costly 100% EVOO for frying because they believe it’s healthier and tastes better.
So why do I find it bewildering? Because for all their culinary and marketing bona fides, I found their chicken disappointing.
Upstairs at the 25 West 32nd St location in Manhattan’s Koreatown, the “Grab & Go” area is a model of efficiency. Mini buckets of a number of chicken varieties – many unusual – perch patiently in a warming cabinet; take a tray, load it up, bring it to the cashier, find a table, and chow down.
(Click on any image to view it in high resolution.)
This is boneless Galbi Chicken, “smoky, sweet and savory; marinated Korean Barbeque flavor” (unlike any galbi I’ve ever tasted BTW).
Boneless Surpfried Chicken, “a new kind of fried Chicken that never existed before! Crispy fried chicken with a hidden layer of caramelized onion sauce.”
Both were extremely dry, partially the result, I suspect, of sitting uncovered in the warming cabinet for an unspecified amount of time. Had they been covered, of course, they would have steamed and lost any crispness they may have started with. Further, it seemed like every unhappy bite was white meat, dry by definition.
All this is in stark contrast to my last post from Pelicana Chicken where there’s a sign informing customers to anticipate 10 minutes cooking time for boneless and 14 for drumsticks and wings.
Now, maybe I “did it wrong” and someone out there has had a better experience than I. Should I have ventured downstairs to the chimaek (fried chicken and beer) seating area, perhaps to consume equal quantities of chicken and draft beer or soju? Is the chicken prepared to order down there? Should I have chosen a variety that was less “creative”? Let me know. Seriously. I’ll go back for Round Two if you make a good case for it.