When one has the fried chicken cravings (that is a constant with me), the usual places come to mind like Church's, KFC (not a fan of it) and of course L.A. Chicken. Of course there are some solid offerings from full-service restaurants as well. Continuing on with the Fried Chicken Challenge, it brought me to The Pressure Box. Their main feature is their signature sous-vide fried chicken. Parked in front of 33 Acres Brewing, there just seemed to be an ideal pairing of fried food and beer.
To maintain the integrity of the Not Your Mama's Fried Chicken, I attacked it first. What struck me right away was the firmly crunchy and thick breading (due to being done 2X). It was appealing and well-seasoned, but the part nearest to the chicken was a bit underdone. That coincided with the skin of the sous-vide chicken which was not rendered. As for the meat itself, it was fantastic being juicy, succulent and tender. With a few drops of their hot sauce, this was a solid piece of meat. The accompanying skinny kennebec fries were on point with a light crispiness on the outside.
At first, I scoffed at the side of a Warm Potato Salad that was on the menu. Turns out that I was an idiot for thinking in such a manner. It turned out to be my favourite item, where the sous-vide potato was full of flavour from the brine. There was an appealing level of acidity to go with the aromatics provided by the truffle mayo. Moreover, the sear with seasonings and salt helped elevate both the texture and flavour of the potato. The addition of fried shallots and pickled radish added crunch and further aromatics (and in the case of the radish, more acidity to keep things light and refreshing).
Lastly, I sampled the vegan 48-Hour Beef Stew thickened with rice flour. As much a the whole dish look strange with the glistening thick "sauce", it ate rather nicely. The chunks of beef were tender to the chew while still maintaining a natural texture. There was no absence of impact from the parsnips and carrots which offered up a certain Earthiness. Interestingly, I enjoyed everything on the menu, but the chicken was not my favourite. Not that it wasn't any good, the other items were just better.
*All food was complimentary*
- No absence of complimentary flavours
- Well-executed eats
- Chicken skin not rendered