03/26/13 11:13am

IHOP’s ‘Earth-shatteringly Good’ Fried Chicken Dinner

IHOP’s fried chicken dinner is surprisingly good.

IHOP’s fried chicken dinner is surprisingly good.

“We’re going to IHOP in the City,” a friend excitedly told me the other day, “You should come, it’ll be fun.” “Uh, no thanks,” I said thinking that I have a list as long as my arm of more important, more flavorful, more international foods to try in Manhattan before heading to the International House of Pancakes. In addition to my general foodwriterly concerns I wasn’t feeling especially hungry having just polished off an order of plov and a meat pie two hours before.

“Have you had their fried chicken? It’s earth-shatteringly good,” he exclaimed. And with that I was convinced to take a car ride to IHOP, a place I haven’t set foot in for at least 20 years. You see, I love good fried chicken, and frankly don’t eat it often enough. On the way there we passed by Momofuku. While my companions made fun of the name, I found myself longing to try David Chang’s $100 two-bird Korean-American fried chicken fiesta, but I stayed the course and we soon found ourselves at IHOP.

The fried chicken dinner, which to my recollection costs around $13, is a new addition to a menu better known for the Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Frooty breakfast combo. I was too full to order one, but my friend let me have his white meat. It was really, really quite good, crunchy of skin and tender of flesh with just the right balance of seasoning. Was it as good as Strouds in Kansas City? No. Was it as good as Charles’ Country Pan Fried Chicken in Harlem? Nope. I wouldn’t call it “earth-shatteringly good,” but it was much better than it had to be. Had I not filled up on Central Asian food for lunch I could have easily devoured a whole plate. I look forward to doing so in the future.

IHOP, 235 E. 14th St., 212-388-1499   

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4 Comment

  • I’m shocked! Never expected to see IHOP on here. Good to know. Definitely have the chicken at momofuku. It’s amazing and so worth it. Actually I may have to try to get a reservation for when I visit home…

  • Hey Joe,
    Glad to see you up and running again. Great work, great stuff.
    While we’re on the topic of Unexpectedly Good and Guilty Pleasures,
    give the jumbo dog at Costco a whirl. No kidding. It’s just a big old Kirkland-manufactured
    water dog, but it actually makes me look forward to visiting Costco. That’s saying something, no?
    And, hey – free soda refills. All for under 5 bucks.
    All my best,

  • I think their fried chicken dinner is excellent. I had it for the first time about a month ago. I had out-of-town family staying with me for a few days for the funeral of a dear friend.

    A couple days after the funeral as they were packing to catch their plane the next day, my cousin said he had a taste for IHOP. I looked at him like he was crazy as I hadn’t been there longer than the writer of this story.

    It was mid-afternoon and I was seriously considering breakfast. Once seated my cousin, his wife and two teen-aged children ALL ordered the fried chicken dinner so I went along thinking “there’s less of a chance to screw up our order if we all order the same thing.

    All I can say is WOW! That was some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. My grandparents grew up in Tennessee and I’ve been cooking soul food all my life. I am now someone’s grandmother. My sons, husband, daughters-in-law and grandchildren always beg me to fry some chicken.

    I hate to say it…. I REALLY hate to say it…. but IHOP’s chicken rivals mine. It is DELICIOUS!