Don’t let the name fool you — BB.Q Chicken doesn’t stand for barbecue, but rather “Best of the Best Quality.” Fried chicken, that is.
Established in 1995, BB.Q Chicken is Korea’s most popular fried chicken chain, with branches all over the world, including locations in Brooklyn, Flushing, Manhattan, and soon, Hartsdale. The signature offering is the olive-oil-fried boneless chicken and wings. Olive oil gives Korean fried chicken its distinctive flavor and texture, with a lighter and crispier crumb than what you’ll find at American fast food joints. The Golden Original, is juicy and flavorful underneath its flaky, ultra-light exterior. “Some places, you can taste all the oil on the skin,” says branch owner Sukho Lee. “Here’s it’s less greasy. That’s the difference.”
Photo by Karen Sims
Another favorite is the boneless Secret Spicy chicken —the recipe is closely guarded —which is sweet, fruity, spicy, and sour, with a punch of garlicky goodness. (Get the Half & Half to try The Golden Original and Secret Spicy.) Other flavors include honey-garlic, soy-garlic (both very popular in Korea), and Cheesling, coated with mascarpone and cheddar.
Looking for traditional wings instead? BB.Q’s trademark BB Wings are juicy; perfectly marinated in a light, peppery batter; and also fried in olive oil. The pepper provides a kick without being too spicy, but hot wing enthusiasts can try the Wings of Fire, which are doused in BB.Q’s secret-recipe Hot Spicy sauce. “Even I can’t eat it!” says Lee. Also available are Gangnam Style and Buffalo wings.
To pair with your meal, the “Munchies” menu offers various fried appetizers as well as ddeokbokki, a spicy, hearty dish made from rice cakes (add cheese to for an additional $1.95). Lee encourages everyone to try this traditional Korean dish, with a texture “similar to gnocchi” that’s perfect for the cold, winter months.
Photo by Karen Sims
Although BB.Q chicken is a chain, it’s not fast food. All the food is prepared fresh, and customers should expect at least a 20-minute wait. That being said, delivery and take out are available, so patrons can always order ahead of time and pick up when ready.
There is one thing that’s still missing: booze. “Especially in Korea, eating and drinking always come together,” says Lee, and fried chicken is no exception. That’s why, until it receives its liquor license, BB.Q Chicken Hartsdale will operate as a soft opening, with slightly shorter hours. The grand opening, complete with beer and later weekend hours, will take place in December. In the meantime, Lee is also interested in getting involved with the community by catering for local sports events, police departments, and fire departments.
Luckily for Westchester, spicy fried chicken sounds like a win at any event.
BB.Q Chicken Hartsdale
357 N Central Ave
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