Zagat editor James Mulcahy takes a look at Blue Ribbon's new fast-casual concept in the East Village and filed the following report.
Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken
28 East 1st Street
New York, NY 10003
Bruce and Eric Bromberg founded the Blue Ribbon restaurant group in 1992, and this fast casual eatery in the East Village focuses on the chicken that quickly became their must-try dish.
"We're from New Jersey, which is not really a hotbed for fried chicken, so to speak," says Bruce. "But it was something that we always loved, and when we started cooking it at Blue Ribbon we realized we figured out a good way to make it, and it's become a staple at our restaurants for the last 20 years."
The success of their signature dish was no fluke. With a unique recipe that deviates from Southern-style fried chicken, the drumsticks are some of the crispiest and least greasy in town.
Eric was willing to share some of his culinary secrets.
"The secret ingredient is matzoh meal," he says. "It holds all the moisture in, and it essentially steams the internal juices inside the chicken. It's a clean, tasty as can be, crunch, crispy fried chicken."
Now it can be enjoyed at the colorful, East Village outpost which uses a counter service model and serves other offerings like chicken burgers and unique ice cream flavors.
"We wanted it to feel authentic, and faster. We wanted to be able to reach out to a lot of different people," says Bruce.
Like their other restaurant, the new place will be open late, surely pleasing neighborhood bar goers. As for those who think fried chicken isn't the healthiest dish out there? Eric has an answer for them:
"There's so many people who really just love the taste and love the experience of it, and that brings them to a happy place, and I think that's good for you," he says.
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