Drive down Glisan Street in Northeast Portland and you'll go past a tiny storefront, with a sign that says, Chicken Little -- Fried Chicken -- Dine In, Take Out. The sign out front says OPEN, but the permanently drawn blinds makes you wonder if they just forgot to turn the sign around.
The tiny size and the crazy location makes you wonder if maybe something "else" might be going on? Is it a front for the mob? Is Aretha Franklin taking orders, while Murph is cooking chicken?
For years, we've talked and speculated about Chicken Little, but never checked it out.
So, yesterday, I said, "Let's try Chicken Little." The family was stir crazy to the point of agreeing to anything so we tried anything.
With three of the four kids in pajamas at 6 pm, take out seemed to be the right speed.
I dialed the number and got an answer after eight rings. I was shocked -- I don't know why -- to hear a pleasant voice on the other end. She informed me that 20 pieces would be good enough for a family of six. I also ordered a large order of jo-jos, which I was informed would be plenty, because "they're kind of a large order." OK. She also let me know that one of their broaster's was down, and it would take 40 minutes instead of the typical 20 minutes.
I bundled up two of the kids and made the 3 minute drive down to Chicken Little.
First off ... Chicken Little really is a store front. Walk in the front door, and you might run into the counter. The counter has three stools ... That's it for dine-in at Chicken Little.
That's not all ... Next door is the Hour Glass Pub & Eatery, a cozy local bar with plenty of seating -- if you are over 21 years of age.
One more thing ... No mob, no Aretha Franklin. Just some local Portlanders making some darn good fried chicken. So local, in fact, that the bartender at the Hour Glass is the mother of two of my kids' classmates!
We orders 20 pieces of chicken: breast, thighs, legs, wings. That's a lot of chicken.
Then the jo-jos ... Imagine a big donut box filled with huge quarters of deep fried potatoes. The biggest potatoes you've ever seen! Yeah, it was a lot. It probably weighed five pounds.
Add to that a slide of cole slaws and some ranch dressing (I don't know why ranch, but whatever), and we were off to home.
Now, my kids are KFC kids. To them, nothing is better than the Colonel. (To me KFC means taking two trips to the store: One to get the food, and another to get the food they forgot and replace the parts of the order they screwed up.)
Last night that all changed. Jack, the oldest, ate more fried chicken that I've ever seen him eat. He raved about it. That whole broasting thing really does make some great fried chicken, crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside.
Despite how much we ate, we still have enough leftovers to last through the week.
So there you have it. Chicken Little, food surprise of the year.