Fried Chicken & Childhood At Williamsburg’s New Sweet Chick Restaurant

Want to be a kid again? Eat waffles for dinner and cookies from a cookie jar? Read from a colorful chalkboard and devour Ritz cracker-crusted mac ‘n’ cheese? When you walk into Sweet Chick – Williamsburg’s new & first-ever “refined” southern spot  – you are signing on to an evening of childhood, with a twist. Dishes “grow up” fast, when your waffles are mixed with bacon & cheddar and topped with sweet tea-brined fried chicken, and gin fizz is added to your cup of Welch’s Grape Juice. In an evening (depending on perspective), you become either a buzzed and greasy-fingered five-year-old, or that really cool teenager you always wanted to be. At Sweet Chick, it’s a win-win.

With waffle irons hanging on the walls, communal wooden picnic tables, and foldable chairs, Sweet Chick has that homey, schoolhouse-inspired look – bringing you right back to that three-hour, colonial walking tour you took on the 5th grade Boston fieldtrip. But instead of packing PB&Js and an obligatory bus buddy, you now have the choice of bringing a date or a friend, and ordering the dry-aged rib eye. And if you need a reminder that you are in BK, there’s the requisite “Kale” B.L.T. Salad, served with bacon and tomatoes, and drenched in a creamy lemon vinaigrette sauce that defies all want for healthfulness.

But the meal shalt not commence without its star player: the Ritz cracker-crusted mac ‘n’ cheese. Somehow, Sweet Chick thought to take those buttery, empty cracker calories and dump them on pasta smothered in gruyere, fontina, and aged-white cheddar. Of course, this is brilliant.

When you have the KFC craving of your youth/stoner days, you can class it up with the Sweet Chick Bucket, filled with three pieces of fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, and collard coleslaw. And that jerky you lived on at sleepaway camp? It’s dusted on a big pile of “jerky” crispy fries.

By the time you’re done with the meal, you will have a Halloween-style bellyache. But that’s okay. It’s expected. And its only cure is the cookie jar dessert.

Sweet Chick

Food photo: No Entry Design. Interior photo: Daniel Krieger.

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Los Angeles Openings: Storefront, The Hart and The Hunter

Judging by the weather in LA this morning, fall is officially here, and so hearty, comfort food is on our minds. (Aside from the general election and Honey Boo Boo and Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman getting divorced.) In Hollywood, a small neighborhood deli called Storefront just opened, headed by the teams behind Covell and Salt’s Cure, and offering gourmet sandwiches and burgers replete with Salt’s Cure’s infamous bacon. You want a coffee? Great. They serve it black. You want any other coffee drink? Not an option.

Inside the Melrose District’s Palihotel, The Hart and The Hunter has arrived with classic Southern small plates like boiled peanuts, chicken cracklings & hot pepper vinegar, and assorted pickles. But if you’re really hungry, they have a bunch of potted provisions, like ham hock rillette, collard green marmalade, and bay shrimp salad. Eat too much and you can just check in for the night next door.

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