it gave me a lickin’, all that chicken…
Since moving to San Francisco, I have started contributing little bits here and there to the SF Weekly’s food blog called SFoodie. It has been fun, slightly lucrative, and a really cool way for me to get to know this completely food-crazed city. I have been so enthusiastic about contributing to SFoodie that recently my editor let me know that if I wanted, I could pitch a “Top Ten ______ of San Francisco” story. Thrilled at this prospect, I suggested a few top ten ideas I thought San Franciscans might be interested in (places to eat before a Giants game, sourdough bread, etc) in addition to a few things that I just really wanted to get paid to eat (chocolate chip cookies, fried chicken, local cheese, barbecue). Lo and behold her favorite of my ideas was fried chicken.
What caused me to suggest doing a Top Ten Places in San Franciso for Fried Chicken feature for the SFoodie blog is simple: I wanted to get paid to eat fried chicken because I am inexperienced in this type of food journalism and there is a fat kid that lives inside me. Had I actually envisioned what it would entail to sit down to more than ten meals of fried chicken in a week, I most certainly wouldn’t have suggested it. I went to a total of fourteen spots, from the Mission to the Tenderloin, Hayes Valley to North Beach. One day I walked to Bayview to go here simply because I didn’t have anything better to do—and now I know where I don’t want to live, ever. I rode my bike to the Richmond, took Muni to the Dogpatch, and roped friends into helping me eat fried chicken at every opportunity (Thank you Brian, Leo, Devin, Anna, Zoe, Joe, Jon, and Molly).
I even had to create a rigorous fried chicken-eating schedule in order to get around to all the spots on my list and it had me at two, or even three different restaurants on some days. In order to not turn into something resembling Jabba the Hut, I made sure to walk to as many spots as possible and I promise I did not eat each dish in its entirety (that’s what pals are for). Despite that, it still took everything I could muster to even taste all that chicken, especially towards the end.
Fortunately during this gout-inducing endeavor, I found some delicious spots that I will most definitely return to (like here and here) and I discovered what may be San Francisco’s answer to my favorite fried chicken in Seattle at San Tung Chinese in the Sunset. I also ate some chicken that was tasteless and greasy and weirdly, some that tasted like hot dogs (seriously, hot dogs). But to really get the full picture of what I thought about my fried chicken adventure in San Francisco, you should probably just read the article. Then, pop a Tums and walk it off.