Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bon Chon Chicken

6653 Little River Tpke
Annandale, VA 22003
(703) 750-1424
www.bonchon.co.kr

Visited: May 2009


*** 4.5 stars ***

I'm a H-U-G-E chicken lover...
Not a chicken f'er...but a connoisseur of anything chicken.

I *heart* every part of the chicken cooked any which way imaginable. Out of all the ways to eat a chicken, I love me some fried chicken. For all fellow fatties, I'm sure you'll agree on the following basic assumption:

Fried food = tasty

Now imagine you're me for a minute and imagine how slobbery drooly my mouth becomes whenever I think of chicken prepared submerged in a vat of boiling hot oil. Yes, you know I'm referring to the Utopian miracle that is fried chicken heaven!

For months I had heard and read about Bon Chon Chicken and knew I had to try it out as it was a Korean version of one of my most favorite foods. The day finally arrived when the perfect combination of errands came together with location, allowing the wife and two monkeys to follow me to Bon Chon Chicken for a late lunch.

By now you're already heard (if not, read on) that there is a loooooooong wait for the chicken. Yes, it's true and you may want to take that into account if you're starving hungry and ready to gnaw off your left hand. After putting in your order, it typically takes 45 minutes to an hour for your chicken to come out of the kitchen.

Although we were starvin Marvins, we dealt with the hunger by ordering a plate of frenchy fries and some brews. Although the monkeys couldn't enjoy the beer, they did munch on the hot fries as soon as Mommy and Daddy cooled down a few for their chubby eager hands. By the time the chicken arrived, we were still hungry but no longer Hannibal the Cannibal ravenous.

We had ordered one plate of the Spicy drumsticks and a plate of the Garlic drumsticks. The chicken was steaming hot and was too hot (temperature) to hold. My mouth was salivating like a dog locked in a hot car in the middle of July, I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into that chicken goodness.

When the chicken cooled enough to eat, I saw the light. It was a bright beacon where some faceless higher power being said in Korean, "That chicken is the bomb diggidy yo..."

Damn straight...

The skin of the chicken had become crispy in a texture I had never in my life encountered. It was as if the skin had become some sort of delicate rock candy filled with garlic flavor goodness that fell apart as it gave way to the biting of my teeth. The skin crumbled onto my tongue and eat subsequent bite was met with more crunch until the inside meat of the drumstick was reached...a meat so tender, flavorful and juicy unlike any chicken I had ever eaten.

The wife had accidentally picked up one of the spicy drumsticks first and her face was red with hot hot spicy heat. There on her plate lay one drumstick with a single small bite mark, she looked up at me and said, "It's too spicy for me."

Sweet, more chicken for me.

She dove into the garlic chicken and could not help describing the amazing flavor and texture of the skin. This was impressive as my wife is one of those odd dames that HATES chicken skin. Yes, I know...I know, but I still love her. :-) For her to comment on the skin and actually eat all that crispy goodness, I knew it was something special.

I continued to attack the spicy drumsticks and admit that whatever spices they used...was even too hot for me. But I endured and pressed on as I could not have enough of that chicken goodness.

Another beer was ordered and I ate almost all the spicy chicken drumsticks except for one lone piece. By this time my stomach was on fire and all hunger pangs had been replaced with a warm "glow" that seemed to come from all the spices.

The wife (being a delicate lass) ate 3 pieces of the garlic drumsticks and decided to pack up the rest in a to-go box. I was stuffed to the gills and waddled out of Bon Chon chicken with the monkeys and felt almost 30 lbs heavier. As this bloating feeling came over me, I could only help but wonder about the slogan on their website:

"Chicken that is tastefully and nutritiously enriched"

I'd sure like to see the health information on Bon Chon's chicken... Any chicken that takes over 45 minutes to prepare with skin so crispy that it'll make you want to sell your kids to the Gypsies just for a bite...can't be all that nutritious.

Enh...who cares. It tastes good and was definitely worth the trip. Just a note to myself not to order the spicy drumsticks on my next visit. The spices were too much even for me (a fan of very spicy food) as my stomach wasn't right for the next 2 days. Let's just say that the spicy drumsticks level of spicy heat were what I call "hot on the way out" hot.

Yeah, that hot...but if you're not a Nancy boy like me and have a cast iron stomach, try it out. As for me, I'm gonna stick to the garlic drumsticks and will definitely be back there very soon for that crispy skin delight that is Bon Chon chicken.

Bon Chon Chicken on Urbanspoon

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