Sheer Heart Attack

Fried Day: Lee's Fried Chicken and Donuts

Kick off your weekend binging with poultry and pastries in the Heights.

By Alice Levitt November 20, 2015

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 Co-owner Lee Ellis presides in neon effigy over Lee's Fried Chicken and Donuts

Image: Alice Levitt

When former Bone Thug Bizzy Bone rapped about "Fried Day," the good sir was not praising the pleasures of a fine steak frites. At least, I'm pretty sure. I, on the other hand, am using the end of the work week to start a new blog series in recognition of artery-clogging fried fare. 

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If it's fried, you can (and should) eat it here

Image: Alice Levitt

And what better place to christen the vessel than at month-old Heights temple to sunflower oil, Lee's Fried Chicken and Donuts? Everyone seems happy at the latest restaurant from the restaurateurs behind Liberty Kitchen and BRC Gastropub, not least the pink-shirted counter help, cherubic enough to prove endorsement of their wares.

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#1 meal, $9.95

Image: Alice Levitt

The $9.95 No. 1 meal includes a choice of two pieces of chicken and two sides. As I bit into the thigh, its hot juices ran down my arms. Vaguely pornographic, yes, but the meat felt waterlogged by its day-long brine, followed by another day bathing in buttermilk. The breast fared better, remaining moist but better retaining its crisp, garlic-edged coating beyond the first bite.

Mayo-dressed coleslaw, unremarkable except for the addition of relish, quickly lost my attention in favor of the rich creamed corn, which popped with fresh, sweet kernels. Warm bacon jam could more accurately be called "hot bacon in liquid sugar," perhaps a better dip for doughnuts than chicken. I preferred mayonnaise spiked with Crystal hot sauce.

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Mexican chocolate and blueberry doughnuts

Image: Alice Levitt

I propose renaming the blueberry cake doughnut after everyone's favorite cereal ghost, Mr. Boo Berry. The uncommonly fluffy round shares both its heather  shade and decidedly artificial fruit flavor with the General Mills breakfast.

But the triumph of the maiden Fried Day was the fluffy, yeasted Mexican chocolate doughnut. Until every bite was gone, my desk smelled of cinnamon. The spice asserts itself almost as mightily as the rich chocolate in the doughnut's glaze. In fact, with an office just down the street, Mexican chocolate doughnuts may become part of my regular Fried Day ritual. See you in the coronary care unit.