Photos by John Bruno Turiano
Pass on Popeye’s and chuck the Chick-Fil-A. This new Pelham eatery is honing in on perfected poultry with a Momofuku pedigree.
It’s an excellent sign for good eats to come when a restaurant has a short menu built around a single item. Focus on something and get it down as close to perfection as possible. In the case of Sound Chicken, a counter-service eatery in the space that formerly housed The Chipper Truck Café, the item in question is, well, chicken.
Clay Bushong, co-owner of nearby Cantina Lobos as well as Double Rainbow Ice Cream, opened the 1,100-square-foot fast casual spot along with partners (and co-chefs) Dustin Everett of Pelham and Chris dos Reis of New Rochelle at the end of January.
“I love this location at a crossroads,” says Bushong. “New Rochelle is close up the street one way, Mount Vernon close in another direction, and Bronxville yet another.”
The menu features house-made breast tenders, thigh meat sandwiches, Roadies—or chicken tenders on Martin’s Sandwich Potato Rolls—pure cane sugar Jones Soda, and original dipping sauces.
“These chicken-focused, fast casual eateries you find in the city but not so much in Westchester,” says Bushong, who spent 20 years in the music industry managing both venues and artists including Aerosmith, Carly Simon, Idina Menzel, and many others. “There’s been cultural shift in what many Americans find entertaining. The show now is the food, the restaurant, and chefs are the new rock stars.”
Everett suggests the breading sets their chicken apart. “We use flour, potato starch, corn starch, and milk powder, the latter softening the breading and adding a little sweetness. It also caramelizes a bit in the fryer.”
For dos Reis, “it’s all about the brine” as the key to powerful poultry. “We have different brines depending on the chicken.”
232 Fifth Ave, Pelham