Jason Travi only fries chicken on Sunday nights at Superba Food & Bread, the chic new bakery and café in a former auto body shop, so it’s important that the plate ($20) is good. I run a Fried Chicken Festival and try promising yardbird every chance I get, and can gladly say that Travi hits the bull’s eye (or is it chicken eye?) after only two weeks of business.
On the menu, he describes the Fried Chicken ($20) as slightly spicy, and the crispy coat delivers on that promise, with a batter that’s folded with black pepper, cayenne, and paprika, staining the results reddish orange. The chicken’s seasoned and rests overnight, but Travi keeps buttermilk far away from the bird, since he’s convinced it makes the meat rubbery. The chicken luxuriates in peanut oil, “the only game in town,” according to Travi.
The half-chicken, which even has juicy white meat, comes with a collard green slaw with shaved carrots, mustard seeds, prunes, and tangy vinaigrette; and a drop biscuit from resident pastry chef Lincoln Carson. The biscuit has a wild story with connections to Mina Corporate Executive Chef David Varley, General Robert E. Lee’s private chef, and to Pickett’s Charge, a boondoggle that crippled the Confederacy. As Carson said, “This biscuit may have lost the war.” Ask Carson about the biscuit when you see him. In the meantime, enjoy the buttery, honey-drizzled results and savor the week’s last hours with fried chicken before work starts.