Sandwich: Nashville Hot Fried Chicken Thigh
Location: The original outpost of Leghorn Chicken is conveniently located between two Chicago classics – the EZ Inn and the world famous Empty Bottle. A BYOB establishment, Leghorn is the perfect place to pad your stomach as you continue getting your early evening buzz on. Or, like I have done in the past, come in on a Saturday afternoon with a few friends and kill a pony keg while lounging in their spacious, well lit dining room…slowly debating whether you think you can manage a second sandwich.
Ambiance: With high ceilings and a full windowed front wall, it has a very open and inviting feel. Paired with a walk up service counter, Leghorn has an incredibly chill/no frills vibe to it. This is how fried chicken is meant to be experienced. Over the last few years, fried chicken itself has been given the ‘haute’ treatment resulting in the gracing of menus of many hoity toity restaurants and pretentious gastropubs. That’s all well and good, but it’s contradictory to the salt of the earth roots of fried chicken. Leghorn does a great job of portraying this. A simple menu which is done incredibly well and served by unfailingly kind employees in a laid back atmosphere.
The Food: Holy shit, guys. I’m going to cut you in on a little secret. Of the the number of permutations one can get of Leghorn’s chicken sandwich, the following is the best: thigh/Nashville hot/bun. Add house-made pickles and buttermilk rancho verde. While they do offer a tasty homemade biscuit as a bun option, the fluffy texture and the structural integrity of the homemade bun make it the best option for palming their perfectly seasoned Nashville hot chicken into your face hole. If I have to explain why you should go with thigh over breast and Nashville hot over any other style, you have more to learn about fried chicken than I care to teach you in this article.
Rounding out their simplified menu, you have the option of maximizing your chicken intake with “until they are sold out” limited daily quantities of fried chicken skins or tasty chicken tenders. Sides include french fries (get the nori seasoning, just do it), pickles, slaw, hush puppies, and a kale salad… because our vegetarian friends need something to eat too. Do yourself the favor and come hungry, with friends, and with your favorite six pack. Take some time to slow down and enjoy the flavors of the south without having cross the Mason-Dixon line.