Some people have a bucket list. I have a bucket dream – a dream to sit hugging a bucket full of fried chicken in front of the telly, eating my heart out and wearing the bucket like a crown of glory on completion.
I blame America’s obsession for all things fried and the promulgation of American pop culture. One particular reference comes to mind, being the scene in Friends where Joey exclaims that he is going back to eating his bucket of fried chicken (skin – the meat was up for grabs).
So when a friend of mine said she had a hankering for comfort food and suggested we head to Belle’s diner in Fitzroy on Friday for dinner, I replied with a big fat yes.
We expected it to be crowded but for some reason (maybe the rain) that night there were 2 booths free at 7pm, We slid into one, ordered a couple of bevies and a side of macaroni and cheese (which was a special item that day), as we waited for our third.
Between three people who don’t have a preference for cut of chicken and a desire to make our money travel a bit further (and of course to fullfil my aforementioned dream), the obvious choice was the Baller Bucket, which includes 16 pieces of wings, 4 sides and sauces. Confident that we would be able to easily conquer the Baller Bucket, we tucked our napkins into our shirt collars, rubbed our hands together and waited eagerly.
A glorious bucket of crispy, wonderfully seasoned, battered fried chicken was presented to us shortly after with the promised accompaniments. The tender chicken meat oozed a Tabasco like vinegar-ish chilli oil/sauce which cut through the fatty oily fried goodness. For those who are sticklers for the maintenance of chicken crispiness, you will be pleased to know the bottom of the bucket has a moisture absorber (opposite to Ross’s Moist Maker – yes I’m a Friends fan) to prevent such finger licking sauciness from causing sogginess.
The sauces and the sides, in my opinion, are nothing to rave about. Which in my books is a good thing as they do not detract from the main event but are good enough for a little variety.
In full disclosure we did not finish the bucket: we only managed to get through a bit more than half the bucket (three each) so there was no crown presentation coronation style. If you are thinking, how big can chicken wings be? I’ve got a decent appetite, better than the three girls who only got through half the bucket, I’d smash that mother, think again. These chicken wings are big and filling. The Baller Bucket is a damn good deal for any group of 3-4 people.
Good value, good chicken. What more can you ask for?