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Parson's Chicken and Fish - Armitage and Humboldt

Parson's Chicken and Fish - Armitage and Humboldt
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  • Parson's Chicken and Fish - Armitage and Humboldt

    Post #1 - March 11th, 2013, 4:46 am
    Post #1 - March 11th, 2013, 4:46 am Post #1 - March 11th, 2013, 4:46 am
    Slated to open in mid-April, everything about this article makes it sound promising: http://timeoutchicago.com/restaurants-b ... unces-chef

    I've been watching this space for the last six years as it is right between work and home. So glad it's not another doughnut shop!

    Parson's Chicken and Fish
    2952 W. Armitage Ave.
    "We eat slowly and with gusto." - Paul Bäumer in AQOTWF
  • Post #2 - March 11th, 2013, 9:25 am
    Post #2 - March 11th, 2013, 9:25 am Post #2 - March 11th, 2013, 9:25 am
    I try to keep up with hipster trends, but I'm getting old. Is this along the same lines as R. Kelly headlining Pitchfork? I think I like it. As long as it's an unironic homage.
  • Post #3 - March 11th, 2013, 10:23 am
    Post #3 - March 11th, 2013, 10:23 am Post #3 - March 11th, 2013, 10:23 am
    JeffB wrote:I try to keep up with hipster trends, but I'm getting old. Is this along the same lines as R. Kelly headlining Pitchfork? I think I like it. As long as it's an unironic homage.


    Hipster is as hipster does, I guess. Nothing about that article stood out to me as "hipster". What stood out to me were the ties to L&E, Girl and the Goat, Xoco, Nightwood, North Pond, and Lula; all of them, time-tested board favorites. Time will tell, but chances are if you like three or more of these places, Parson's will also be up your alley.
    "We eat slowly and with gusto." - Paul Bäumer in AQOTWF
  • Post #4 - March 11th, 2013, 10:56 am
    Post #4 - March 11th, 2013, 10:56 am Post #4 - March 11th, 2013, 10:56 am
    The reference wasn't to the article, it was to the Longman guys opening a high-end Harold's. Sorry if I was being obtuse.


    And no offense meant; I'm a sucker for these themes. I really like all the amped-up "diner" stuff at Au Cheval, for example, despite the conceit it involves. Wondering whether this will be closer to the inspiration (like Big & Little, and less so Big Star) or polished to a high and expensive sheen (more likely). Who knows. I wouldn't throw Xoco in with this lot, however. That guy is without guile or irony, best I can tell. I never took the Bayless torterias to be a "sly" or "improved" homage to the corner Mexican sandwich joint, but straight ahead exuberance for the food being offered. I guess it doesn't matter. If the fried fish is good, I'll buy the irony.
  • Post #5 - May 15th, 2013, 4:15 pm
    Post #5 - May 15th, 2013, 4:15 pm Post #5 - May 15th, 2013, 4:15 pm
    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130515 ... ource-says
  • Post #6 - May 15th, 2013, 6:24 pm
    Post #6 - May 15th, 2013, 6:24 pm Post #6 - May 15th, 2013, 6:24 pm
    I can confirm that it was indeed open tonight. Stopped in for a drink on the patio and then went inside for some food (currently they are not serving food on the patio; they are letting the kitchen get ramped up and will serve food out there as early as this weekend). The negroni slushy was really good and not overly sweet as some slushies can be. Had the vegetable club at the suggestion of one of the staff and was not dissapointed. Bright acidity and great flavor. Thought the ingredients really sang together. Also had the baccala fritters, and thought they were good, but not nearly as creamy as I would have expected (the potatoes were more like shoestring than whipped).

    Overall, I was really impressed with the food and the service considering this was their first day. Looking forward to spending a lot of time on that patio this summer.
  • Post #7 - May 16th, 2013, 9:34 am
    Post #7 - May 16th, 2013, 9:34 am Post #7 - May 16th, 2013, 9:34 am
    What the F is up with the name? Who the F is Parson?
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #8 - May 16th, 2013, 10:17 am
    Post #8 - May 16th, 2013, 10:17 am Post #8 - May 16th, 2013, 10:17 am
    Habibi wrote:What the F is up with the name? Who the F is Parson?


    I'm just glad it doesn't include the now obligatory ampersand.
  • Post #9 - May 16th, 2013, 10:37 am
    Post #9 - May 16th, 2013, 10:37 am Post #9 - May 16th, 2013, 10:37 am
    AlekH wrote:I'm just glad it doesn't include the now obligatory ampersand.


    Looking at their website, Facebook page and signage it appears they've got it covered - "Parson's Chicken & Fish"
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #10 - May 16th, 2013, 10:37 am
    Post #10 - May 16th, 2013, 10:37 am Post #10 - May 16th, 2013, 10:37 am
    AlekH wrote:
    Habibi wrote:What the F is up with the name? Who the F is Parson?


    I'm just glad it doesn't include the now obligatory ampersand.


    uhhh... Parson's Chicken & Fish
  • Post #11 - May 16th, 2013, 11:40 am
    Post #11 - May 16th, 2013, 11:40 am Post #11 - May 16th, 2013, 11:40 am
    Habibi wrote:What the F is up with the name? Who the F is Parson?


    Who's Longman? Who's Eagle?
  • Post #12 - May 16th, 2013, 11:49 am
    Post #12 - May 16th, 2013, 11:49 am Post #12 - May 16th, 2013, 11:49 am
    chgoeditor wrote:Who's Longman? Who's Eagle?


    It's a reference to the Illinois Centennial Monument that stands at the center of Logan Square. Evelyn Longman was the sculptor, and it has an eagle on top of it.
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #13 - May 16th, 2013, 1:40 pm
    Post #13 - May 16th, 2013, 1:40 pm Post #13 - May 16th, 2013, 1:40 pm
    Since this is a riff on the various chicken and fish joints of Chicago, maybe they just made up the name Parson because it sounds like the name of a 20 something white person. Actually, they should have called it White Person's Chicken & Fish. That would have been funny.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #14 - May 16th, 2013, 5:07 pm
    Post #14 - May 16th, 2013, 5:07 pm Post #14 - May 16th, 2013, 5:07 pm
    Attrill wrote:
    chgoeditor wrote:Who's Longman? Who's Eagle?


    It's a reference to the Illinois Centennial Monument that stands at the center of Logan Square. Evelyn Longman was the sculptor, and it has an eagle on top of it.

    You learn something new every day! Thank you.
  • Post #15 - May 16th, 2013, 5:26 pm
    Post #15 - May 16th, 2013, 5:26 pm Post #15 - May 16th, 2013, 5:26 pm
    I thought of Gram Parsons when I heard the name, but I guess that it's not Parsons' and that would look silly anyway.
  • Post #16 - May 17th, 2013, 6:34 pm
    Post #16 - May 17th, 2013, 6:34 pm Post #16 - May 17th, 2013, 6:34 pm
    I'm hoping for irony with the name:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygostyle

    Essentially the assflap of the chicken.
  • Post #17 - May 17th, 2013, 7:59 pm
    Post #17 - May 17th, 2013, 7:59 pm Post #17 - May 17th, 2013, 7:59 pm
    Essentially the assflap of the chicken.


    Well this is going off topic but what is an assflap?
  • Post #18 - May 17th, 2013, 8:05 pm
    Post #18 - May 17th, 2013, 8:05 pm Post #18 - May 17th, 2013, 8:05 pm
    A flap which does it's flapping over, or in the general vicinity of the ass.
  • Post #19 - May 17th, 2013, 10:20 pm
    Post #19 - May 17th, 2013, 10:20 pm Post #19 - May 17th, 2013, 10:20 pm
    The pygostyle (or pope's nose) is the best part of a chicken or turkey! My family has been known to fight over it at Thanksgiving, if my uncle (the carver) doesn't snag it for himself before we notice.
    Anthony Bourdain on Barack Obama: "He's from Chicago, so he knows what good food is."
  • Post #20 - May 18th, 2013, 11:46 am
    Post #20 - May 18th, 2013, 11:46 am Post #20 - May 18th, 2013, 11:46 am
    I have never met or heard of a 20-something white person named Parson. To me it sounds like an old-fashioned version of "minister"or "reverend."
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #21 - May 19th, 2013, 12:19 pm
    Post #21 - May 19th, 2013, 12:19 pm Post #21 - May 19th, 2013, 12:19 pm
    Was with a few friends last night and was hoping to give this place a try. We got there at 8 pm and the place was swarming with people.

    Three hosts were outside the door and informed us that there would be a 2-3 hour wait. Patio was open for having drinks, but food was only being served inside (as has been previously mentioned in this thread). We were too hungry. Hope I'll have a chance to try again this week.
  • Post #22 - May 19th, 2013, 2:50 pm
    Post #22 - May 19th, 2013, 2:50 pm Post #22 - May 19th, 2013, 2:50 pm
    We were also there last night and quoted a two hour wait. Left and went to Harold's on clybourn and Fullerton. The host did say that they plan on serving on the patio on Wednesday.
  • Post #23 - May 27th, 2013, 7:36 pm
    Post #23 - May 27th, 2013, 7:36 pm Post #23 - May 27th, 2013, 7:36 pm
    Arrived at quarter of 4 today (opening time), already a dozen or so people in line. We put our name on the list, and at 4pm, were promptly seated with 3 strangers at a communal booth. Nice beer list, excellent cocktails, particularly their specialty shots (I think they were listed under 2x2 on the back of the menu,but it's not up on the website yet, so I'm fuzzy on the details), which our friends who had already been there several times insisted we try. We had a great deal of the menu, with seconds of the chicken and fish, and really enjoyed everything. Apps, mains, sauces, service, all very enjoyable. They really know what they are doing with chicken, some of the best I've had in Chicago, very nicely spiced breading and juicy despite the hard fry. We were there so long that we got a second group of three at our table, so if communal dining is not your thing - and it is typically not mine - maybe not the place for you, but it worked out okay for us this evening. Would I wait 2 hours to eat here? Absolutely not. However, I think when they start serving food on the patio next week the waits will be greatly alleviated. Looking forward to seeing how things develop here. Tab for 4 with multiple drinks and rounds of food with tip came out to a bit over $200, so not inexpensive, but not outrageous either considering how much we consumed. Very nice addition to the neighborhood.

    *Edited to add that I had the best Michelada I've ever had in Chicago here this evening, really a standout.*
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend. Few understand." Leo Durocher
  • Post #24 - May 27th, 2013, 7:47 pm
    Post #24 - May 27th, 2013, 7:47 pm Post #24 - May 27th, 2013, 7:47 pm
    I visited Parson's yesterday for the first time, arriving when they opened at 4pm. We sat at the bar/counter, which seemed to me a great option for two persons. The other tables are communal, enclosed booths and seem a bit awkward -- everyone needs to get up and leave the booth to allow others to get out. Also, sounds like they'll be serving food in the outdoor area shortly.

    I started with a negroni slushy, and I agree with what Fropones said. It's terrific.

    Image
    Negroni Slushy


    As for food, we started with hushpuppies, which were very good. Crisp, only slightly greasy, and delicious. The only aspect I found unnecessary was the harissa aioli, as it somewhat dominated in flavor - go easy on it if you use it.

    Image
    Hushpuppies


    My favorite item was the fried fish of the day (pollock). Crisp, flavorful, delicate batter, not the least bit greasy, and incredibly moist. It was served with a flavorful tartar sauce.

    Image
    Fried Pollock



    The fried chicken was very good too. It seems to be a batter-fried chicken (as opposed to breaded) . . . similar to what you would find at Big Jones. This makes it very crunchy, as opposed to a light, delicate crust. But it's very flavorful, crunchy, and the meat was as moist as I've ever encountered.

    That being said, if I were up for a great fried chicken lunch, the cornbread, biscuits and greens at Big Jones would probably send me in that direction. The chicken itself is a tough call - both do a terrific job.

    Image
    Fried chicken


    The only item I couldn't really recommend is that clam roll. Although crisp and beautifully fried, the clams were really obscured by the breading . . . with some bites, I'm not sure I even ate clam. That being said, the accompaniments (butter lettuce, red onions, pickled peppers and celery root remoulade) and the Texas toast-type roll on which it was served were terrific.

    Image
    Clam Roll


    Service at the bar/counter was terrific, both friendly and efficient. In fact, pretty much every employee we encountered was very friendly and eager to serve. I definitely look forward to hanging out on the huge patio this summer, throwing down several negroni slushies and lots of fried chicken and fish. It's a pretty big outdoor space, although even on a cold Sunday (yesterday), and even though they are not yet even selling food, that patio was pretty full by 5pm yesterday. So keep that in mind when you visit (and the indoor space is pretty small).

    The website is not yet fully functional, but here's a link to their menu, compliments of Thrillist.
  • Post #25 - May 27th, 2013, 8:04 pm
    Post #25 - May 27th, 2013, 8:04 pm Post #25 - May 27th, 2013, 8:04 pm
    BR wrote:I visited Parson's yesterday for the first time, arriving when they opened at 4pm. We sat at the bar/counter, which seemed to me a great option for two persons. The other tables are communal, enclosed booths and seem a bit awkward -- everyone needs to get up and leave the booth to allow others to get out. Also, sounds like they'll be serving food in the outdoor area shortly.

    I started with a negroni slushy, and I agree with what Fropones said. It's terrific.

    Image
    Negroni Slushy


    As for food, we started with hushpuppies, which were very good. Crisp, only slightly greasy, and delicious. The only aspect I found unnecessary was the harissa aioli, as it somewhat dominated in flavor - go easy on it if you use it.

    Image
    Hushpuppies


    My favorite item was the fried fish of the day (pollock). Crisp, flavorful, delicate batter, not the least bit greasy, and incredibly moist. It was served with a flavorful tartar sauce.

    Image
    Fried Pollock



    The fried chicken was very good too. It seems to be a batter-fried chicken (as opposed to breaded) . . . similar to what you would find at Big Jones. This makes it very crunchy, as opposed to a light, delicate crust. But it's very flavorful, crunchy, and the meat was as moist as I've ever encountered.

    That being said, if I were up for a great fried chicken lunch, the cornbread, biscuits and greens at Big Jones would probably send me in that direction. The chicken itself is a tough call - both do a terrific job.

    Image
    Fried chicken


    The only item I couldn't really recommend is that clam roll. Although crisp and beautifully fried, the clams were really obscured by the breading . . . with some bites, I'm not sure I even ate clam. That being said, the accompaniments (butter lettuce, red onions, pickled peppers and celery root remoulade) and the Texas toast-type roll on which it was served were terrific.

    Image
    Clam Roll


    Service at the bar/counter was terrific, both friendly and efficient. In fact, pretty much every employee we encountered was very friendly and eager to serve. I definitely look forward to hanging out on the huge patio this summer, throwing down several negroni slushies and lots of fried chicken and fish. It's a pretty big outdoor space, although even on a cold Sunday (yesterday), and even though they are not yet even selling food, that patio was pretty full by 5pm yesterday. So keep that in mind when you visit (and the indoor space is pretty small).

    The website is not yet fully functional, but here's a link to their menu, compliments of Thrillist.


    I second it all, we had 4 orders of the fried chicken and one of the grilled, really well done, as was the fish. We didn't sample the clam role, although someone in another group at our table said it was a delight. I also really liked their take on tuna tartare, the salt-cod fritters, and the oysters. Looking forward to a return visit.
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend. Few understand." Leo Durocher
  • Post #26 - August 23rd, 2013, 9:47 pm
    Post #26 - August 23rd, 2013, 9:47 pm Post #26 - August 23rd, 2013, 9:47 pm
    011.JPG Behind the bar

    I went to Parson's tonight with some trepidation given the stories out there about the lines. We arrived at 6:00 and say immediately at the bar in the small indoor seating area. At 6:20, I stepped outside to put my name down and, despite a significant number of empty spaces, I was told it would be a 15-30 minute wait for my party of 2. I returned to my drink at the bar and 35 minutes later, was taken to a table. Given the wait I worried about, this seemed like fast seating. Incidentally, the other half of my table (seating at the large picnic tables is communal) left a couple minutes after we sat down and remained empty for over 20 minutes despite the growing crowds waiting for table.

    At 7:00, we ordered hush puppies (6 for $4), a 3-piece fish (today's fish was pollock), and a whole chicken (which I'm certain was $20 despite all online sources indicating is $24). The hush puppies came within a few minutes and the chicken and fish took about half an hour.

    012.JPG Hush Puppies
    013.JPG Inside the hush puppies


    The hush puppies were really excellent. Compared to other offerings in town, I thought these were the best things at the restaurant. The cream cheese mixed in there made for a nice moist interior and the specks of ham hock were an added bonus.

    014.JPG Fish - is pollock always the daily fish?
    016.JPG


    The fish, while not bad at all, was the least successful thing we tried. I appreciated the light batter and the pollock was a perfectly fine flaky white fish, but there was nothing all that exciting about it. Our order was oversalted but I'm going to assume that was abnormal.

    015.JPG Whole chicken = 10 pieces: 2 wings, 2 legs, 2 thighs, and 2 breasts (each split in half)


    The fried chicken was the reason for going there and we were not disappointed at all. I inhaled my half chicken and went back over the bones a couple of times to get the last bits of crisp and well-seasoned (with a slight kick) crust. The chicken itself was really, really juicy - there must be some kind of brine involved.

    All in all, Parson's is another solid addition to the ever-burgeoning dining destination that is Logan Square. Given that I live a mile from Big Jones, which takes reservations and has superior fried chicken, I'm not sure I'll make it back to Parson's unless I move a lot closer. That said, it's definitely worth checking out, though visits should be restricted to off-peak hours. When we left at 8:00, we were told the wait was 2 to 2.5 hours.

    P.S. The cocktails were excellent. The negroni slushi is well worth the hype despite the use of luxardo instead of campari. That said, I'd recommend making it your only or final drink of the night as it overwhelms the more subtle cocktails.
  • Post #27 - August 23rd, 2013, 10:30 pm
    Post #27 - August 23rd, 2013, 10:30 pm Post #27 - August 23rd, 2013, 10:30 pm
    Not feelilng it for this place. Went with a friend for lunch last wk.

    Hushpuppies suffered from masking- when something touches/lays on top of something else in the deepfryer or saute pan, and is not rectified (shaken/moved off) the parts that touch don't cook @ the same rate aka masking. Fish was the closest to good, but quite salty and for $8. maybe 3 oz. The chix was overcooked to the point of the battered skin being so hard it sounded good when I tapped it w/a knife... and was oversalted. In all, we both agreed we'd prob would have done better @ Popeye's. Most everyone around us seemed happy (perhaps the Negroni slushies we ordered but never received). Wondering if tattoos affect your tastebuds?
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #28 - August 23rd, 2013, 11:29 pm
    Post #28 - August 23rd, 2013, 11:29 pm Post #28 - August 23rd, 2013, 11:29 pm
    I've been to Parson's 4 or 5 times and have really enjoyed it each time. For me, it comes down to a handful of items that make it a destination of a place:

    Fried Chicken - definitely a polarizing style but really delicious on all my visits except for one, when it was slightly overcooked. Not saying it's my favorite but I do think it's excellent and craveable.
    Fried Fish - a sleeper that, over my visits, has been consistently crispy on the outside, moist and flakey on the inside, and delicious overall.
    Shaved Vegetable Salad - a thoughtful rendition with a well-balanced dressing that accentuates the medley of crispy vegetables very nicely.
    Little Gem Salad - another sleeper that's always nicely dressed. I love the bits of smoked trout in this salad.
    Michelada - favorite one I can remember having in Chicago. The sangrita has intense flavor and a goodly amount of heat.

    I'm not a fan of the frozen Negroni but my wife really digs it. I've never had the grilled chicken but a friend whose opinion I trust recently told me it's outstanding, so I intend to try it next time I go. I had a dozen raw oysters once and they were excellent -- served at the right temperature and shucked very skillfully (lots of liquor, no shells). I think this place is a lot of fun and with the exception of one visit, I do tend to avoid it at peak hours. But if you just want a michelada (and/or don't mind a wait for food), there's no reason not to stop in when it's a bit busier.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #29 - August 25th, 2013, 7:25 am
    Post #29 - August 25th, 2013, 7:25 am Post #29 - August 25th, 2013, 7:25 am
    fropones wrote:The negroni slushy was really good and not overly sweet as some slushies can be.
    I could get in serious trouble with negroni slushies.

    Busy, but not overflowing, immediately seated at the outside bar, young, old, hip, not so hip, everyone seemed to be having a good time, including the friendly staff.

    Moved to the inside bar to eat, no wait. Hushpuppies, crisp on the outside, moist flavorful interior, light crisp fish (pollock), terrific fried chicken. Is Parson's fried chicken the best in Chicago? After a few negroni slushies while engaged in conversation with the pretty tattooed girl on my left and JR, the affable tattooed bartender who, for some odd reason, reminded me of Patrick Swayze in Road house, who gives a shit. It really hit the spot!

    Parson's Fried Chicken

    Image
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #30 - August 27th, 2013, 11:27 am
    Post #30 - August 27th, 2013, 11:27 am Post #30 - August 27th, 2013, 11:27 am
    Is this place going to become a patio destination similar to Big Star? Beautiful people hanging out all day getting drunk? Or is it more of a go, eat, and leave type of patio?

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