I generally don't aim for showing up to a place just days after it opens but it was 4:40 and I had 20 minutes to kill before a meeting in the neighborhood, so seeing that the place was empty, I stopped in for a quick schnack.
Choices are pretty simple: select a treatment for your chicken (Nashville Hot or Pickle Brined), a piece-type (boneless breast or thigh) and a bread (housemade bun or buttermilk biscuit) for your sandwich. A variety of toppings are offered (romaine, Living Water Farms tomato), including a bunch of different sauces; some housemade (Rancho verde, housemade catsup, etc.), some off the shelf (e.g. Kewpie mayo). The first sauce is free, after that, they're $0.25 each.
Clearly, there's a political agenda here that references Chick Fil A. The carry-out menu boasts "WE ARE OPEN ALL DAY ON SUNDAY." (their caps, not mine). Also mentioned is the fact that 2% of all profit is donated to organizations that support gay rights. Free, branded birth control is offered too (would you like a condom with that sandwich?) The menu also informs that corporate bullshit is abhorred.
There's some food philosophy declared, too. According to the menu, Leghorn soley supports Local and Sustainable farmers. And happily, that really shows up on the plate (or in the brown paper sack, as was the case for my carry-out order). I was informed that only the Nashville Hot / thigh was available, so that's what I ordered. On a biscuit, with house pickle slices. I tried the Rancho Verde and the Spicy Mayo, both of which were served on the side. I really liked what I ate. The chicken was ultra-cripsy on the outside, nicely spiced and very flavorful overall. I thought the flakey biscuit, which could be properly pulled apart in layers, was also very tasty, and was a nice vehicle for the thigh. Sauces were both tasty. Pickles were a nice touch. I also ordered the Tuesday special, Chicken Fried Fries, which were really tasty, and beautifully and lightly crispy. I wasn't a huge fan of the housemade catsup but it wasn't awful, as so many housemade catsups can be. What can I say? I'm a Heinz guy.
According to the menu I have, there are also daily specials offered on Mondays (fried chicken skins) and Wednesdays (fried chicken nuggets). In addition to that, a Grilled Chicken Bowl (quinoa, kale, carrots, cucumbers, blue cheese) appears on the regular menu, as do Fried Chicken Tenders. A few sides are also offered, including whole versions of the pickles that come on the sandwiches, hand-cut Nori fries, shaved vegetable slaw and Green Chile Hush Puppies, to name a few. Menu here.
Leghorn is located almost directly across the street from Sportman's Club, which makes for a potentially fantastic 1-2 punch. However, I'm told that they generally sell out of all their food at Leghorn by late afternoon, which would negate any such synergy. I just assumed that the running out was a function of their having been open for only a few days but some folks who claim to be in the know tell me that that's the model. The goal is to run out by that hour, if not earlier. I really hope that's incorrect. I guess only time will tell.
It's kind of funny to me that Leghorn takes its shots at Chick Fil A since their food is infinitely superior to Chick Fil A's. Why even bother drawing any comparisons? But if that's the fuel on which this place runs, so be bit. It seems to have hatched something pretty darned promising.
Leghorn Chicken (website)
959 N Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
Sportsman's Club (website)
948 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60622