Many chefs look towards franchising to make their mint, attaching their household names to everything from pots and pans to knives and cooking appliances. The recent trend is for chefs to open basic food joints such as Zip Burger and the Shake Shack. Award winning chefs Allison Vines-Rushing and her husband Slade give free-range chicken a whirl at this cozy 14th Street take-out spot two blocks removed from the meat-packing district.
A respite from the day to day operations at their restaurant in Abita, LA, they’ve partnered up with Joseph Ciriello who used to sell Italian wines to the couple at the oyster bar. The result is southern-inspired fast food, with an emphasis on soulful comfort.
The up to date kitchen yields a simple, yet satisfying menu of chicken, either fried or slow-roasted. The chefs use organic chickens, which they brine, soak in buttermilk and fry in a double batter. Sides include dirty rice, for which the store is named, light macaroni and cheese, napa cabbage cole slaw, slow-roasted potatoes or vegetables.
You can get Ali’s chopped salad too, with a list of great ingredients like piquillo peppers, tomatillos and maytag blue cheese. The cornbread is served flat with the welcome added surprise of shallots. In addition there are chicken fingers which are quite addicting.
More and more of these gourmet stops need to be opened and supported, if we are to finally rid ourselves from the terrible fast food options we have become accustomed to in our fair city.