Saturday was a great day, not only did it mark the graduation of tens of thousands of young men and women from their respective universities (including yours truly), but I got a shot to finally try some of the best fried chicken in Chicago. The plan was simple: round up school chums, friends, and family all for one final big bash at The Southern in Wicker Park/Bucktown. The Class of 2011 from Loyola University Chicago’s Graduate School of Business came storming in with reserved space on the Southern’s top floor, with rain and wind taking up the roof deck.
Despite the meteorological challenges, we prevailed with our wristband deals and an outstanding array of food coming out from the kitchen. The party started off slowly with people trickling in and baffled by the birthday and engagement parties going on simultaneously next to the graduation party. As time passed, more and more newly minted Loyola alums shuffled in and the shots flowed freely like cash flow.
Trays of food came flying in promptly at 9:45pm. First came biscuits, in came mashed potatoes, platters of mac n cheese started dropping onto the serving table and then came mountains of fried chicken made their grandiose entrance. Having the good luck to be standing right next to the food, I was in a prime position to grab some of the fresh treats and went on the attack!
Now I thought I had seen it all, I’ve hunted deep down in the south side beyond 95th street chasing fried chicken and have found some amazing eats. Good fried chicken can be defined by its dedication to remain crisp and its moisture not burnt away by the deep fryer. I wouldn’t say I am picky about texture but I can recognize when I am biting into pure deliciousness textured to give me a crunchy crisp I expect from awesome fried chicken. The Southern’s fried chicken gives you the best of both words, crunchy on the outside yet tender beneath.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention the spectacular mac n cheese, mashed potatoes, and biscuits that capped off the All-star performance. The Southern Mac food truck delivers out oodles of mac n cheese in downtown Chicago but you can also stop in for your own serving of the goods. Somehow I missed the gravy for all of this but the foodwas outstanding and I can see why friends stop in at The Southern on a weekly basis. Once the rain clears out I’ll need to stop back in to try some cocktails and shrimp n grits on the roof deck.
If you’re looking to host an event, The Southern should easily fit in 100 of you and your besties for a night of cocktails, scintillating Southern, and of course the obligatory Bourbon. If you stop on in please say hello to Kevin Farrell who will make sure your event runs smoothly, your glass never empty, and even host and bounce if you ask nicely. You won’t have a hard time having a blast and your guests will leave wanting to come back for more.