You find yourself in Madison Square Park. Look, there’s the Flatiron building! How iconic, right? The park is in bloom, the water fountains are on, and how isn’t it just pastoral. Suddenly you get a strong whiff or beef and impatience, you hear buzzers and a chorus of tapping feet, and you see a small metal shed with a Soviet bread line streaming out of it. Oh yes, it’s Shake Shack, and if you find yourself in Madison Square join me in raising a collective middle finger to the Shack burger and head over to the best stuff you’ve ever put in your mouth with an enjoyable atmosphere to boot at Hill Country Chicken.
While kitsch runs a bit high with it’s Southern “charm” HCC boasts some of the finest fried chicken south of Harlem and cityside of Pies N’ Thighs. Not cheap, necessarily, but considering it’s across the street from Eataly you could be doing much worse. Two recipes of batter are on hand, and the buttermilk flows freely. Also, a fav feature of mine, you can pick and choose your chicken parts, getting a mix or all drumsticks should be prefer. Ratcheting up the deliciousness are also a vast assortment of pies and shakes from all walks of life, from classics like apple to craziness like salted margarita. Always make time for pie (and thanks to the waitress who spotted me a free lemon meringue at closing time). While it’s currently closed for some renovations, the downstairs of the joint is a rec room filled with various games, both board and video. So please do go if you want some greazzzzzy chin drizzle and some Southern friendliness in the cold, cold Flatiron. Promise you won’t miss the 45 minute wait for a tiny burger and okay fries.
Hill Country Chicken
1123 Broadway @ 25th St.