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614NOW Fried Chicken Trail: Hubbard Grille

614NOW Fried Chicken Trail: Hubbard Grille

Mike Thomas

First came the 614NOW Donut Trail. Then, there was the Mac & Cheese Trail. Now, 614NOW is on the hunt for the best fried chicken this city has to offer. Welcome to the 614NOW Fried Chicken Trail!

Hubbard Bar & Grille

793 N High St

For the uninitiated, Hubbard Grille is a swank yet welcoming neighborhood joint in the Short North known for, among other things, its killer fried chicken dinner.

Served with out-of-this-world sides in the form of white cheddar grits, crispy brussels sprouts, and black pepper gravy, the all-natural fried chicken is a dish that the staff at Hubbard Grille clearly take great pride in serving.

During my recent visit to this spot, I settled into a seat at the bar and began to mentally prepare for the meal to come. The classic rock tunes playing over the restaurant’s sound system served as the perfect prelude. Let’s dance indeed, Mr. Bowie. Let’s dance this chicken right into my face.

When my plate arrived after a very reasonable wait, I was immediately struck by the artful presentation of the food. The chefs at Hubbard Grille earn instant style points by leaving a wing attached to the breast portion.

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While I could have admired the plating all day, I wasted no time diving in to this fried chicken feast. It came as some surprise that while its looks were decidedly upscale, this chicken featured some serious down-home flavor.

Billed as “all natural,” the tender and juicy meat delivered in the flavor department. I was able to detect that sort of intangible, extra-clean flavor often found in superior free-range chicken.

Those brussels sprouts are the truth

For the breading, we’re talking extra crispyβ€”those big chunks of flaky bits that are pressed onto the meat with intention during the dredging process. Those big crispy bits don’t happen by accident!

To my taste, this fried chicken came up a little light in the seasoning department. This is not necessarily a bad thing, thoughβ€”when you have natural flavors this strong, it just makes sense to let them shine.

Ratings:
Aroma:πŸ—πŸ—πŸ—πŸ— (4/5 drumsticks)
Flavor: πŸ—πŸ—πŸ—πŸ—πŸ— (5/5)
Seasoning: πŸ—πŸ—πŸ— (3/5)
Crispiness: πŸ—πŸ—πŸ—πŸ—πŸ— (5/5)
Overall Experience: πŸ—πŸ—πŸ—πŸ—πŸ— (5/5)

Hubbard Bar & Grille earns a respectable 22/25 on our rating scale. For home-fried flavor with a classy twist, this bird can’t be beat!

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