Sep 6, 2016

Review: Tender Greens - Fried Chicken Plate

Tender Greens Fried Chicken Plate features white and dark meat fried chicken made with buttermilk and seasoned with rosemary and thyme.

The plate cost me $11.50 and comes with two sides. I also picked up a Cowboy Cookie for $2.50 and a half pot of French press coffee for $2.50.

The sides are listed as mashed potatoes and a choice of several salads but I was told by the cashier that they'll give you any of the sides on the menu if it's not too busy. It wasn't too busy so I was able to choose the grilled corn with lemon vinaigrette and basil and the farro wheat with sweet pepper rings and chimichurri vinaigrette.

The fried chicken was cooked perfectly. The chicken was tender, juicy, and flavorful with a light, crispy shell. There wasn't even a hint of rosemary or thyme to it though. Just a smattering of salt and pepper, which was still enjoyable but not what I was expecting.

Similarly, the grilled corn wasn't tangy at all. It was still a nicely roasted cob of corn and very tasty but again, not what I was expecting.

The farro wheat was more successful in this regard as there was a slight herbiness from the chimichurri and a welcomed sweetness and crisp texture from peppers. The farro itself offer a slight chew and nutty flavor.

The problem that I've come across with these cafeteria-type chains that have been popping up is that the food is often lukewarm at best and Tender Greens didn't buck the trend. The fried chicken just barely made it to "warm," while the corn and farro were room temperature (which is fine for the farro but not so much for the corn).

The grilled bread was also not warm but was crispy and oddly spicy.

As for the cookie and the coffee:

The cookie was very flat with flattened chocolate chips but was delicious with a soft, crumbled consistency and a balanced mix of oatmeal, coconut, and nuts.

The coffee was sourced from Stumptown and was a steal for $2.50 given the quality.  There was plenty for two mugs-fulls of the smooth and flavorful morning brew. The metal pot, while very durable, was also super-heavy. It completely unbalanced my tray and it's not like I can put it in the middle with the plate there. You might want to consider making two trips to the counter to avoid the risk of spillage.

Overall, the Fried Chicken Plate at Tender Greens was very enjoyable in terms of taste although they overpromised as far as the seasonings go. I just wished it was actually hot or even solidly warm.

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