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Sneak inside Street’s Fine Chicken, which will quietly open this week (with amazing chicken, btw)

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The man who put chicken fried steak on every plate in Dallas now hopes to do the same for roasted, fried and grilled chicken. Gene Street, the founder of notable Dallas restaurants Black-eyed Pea, Good Eats and Cool River Cafe, will debut Street’s Fine Chicken when it quietly opens for business late this week or early next week, a company co-founder confirmed to EscapeHatch.

Street’s Fine Chicken inhabits the Cedar Springs location, which, until a few months ago, housed the original Black-eyed Pea restaurant. And the extended Street family – Gene, Marco, Mariel, Dace and Tony Street – are running the operation.

“My dad (Gene) originally planned Black-eyed Pea to specialize in fried chicken,” operations director Marco Street told me during a peek last week. “But instead the restaurant became known for chicken fried steak. Our family has been talking about doing a chicken place for years, so when Black-eyed Pea closed, we knew this would be the right fit.”

Street’s Fried Chicken will specialize in chicken done three ways: grilled, roasted and crispy fried. And, yes, Gene Street’s original CFS will grace this menu, too.

So will chicken lollipops, Frenched drumsticks smoked over mesquite, flash fried to crisp them then drizzled with Grand Marnier and horseradish-spiked molasses. They’re addicting and utterly delicious, the chicken that chicken would eat if chickens ate chicken.

To make their fried chicken irresistible, chef Tony Street (who is also the chef and co-owner of Y.O. Ranch in the Dallas West End) brines fresh chickens from Nixon, Texas, then double dips them in seasoned flour, milk and Tabasco    before a plunge in hot oil. Street’s “roasted and toasted” Nixon chickens are brined, showered with herbs de Provence, cooked in a hot oven, then served crispy-skinned. And the grilled birds are smeared with chili pepper sauce, piri-piri style.

Of course, there will be biscuits (Street’s are drizzled with honey butter), mac and cheese (Street’s version is best-in-class, a casserole of shells and a creamy Parmesan base, topped with toasted bread crumbs) and coleslaw (their version favors apples and jicama over cabbage and mayo).

Heard of “back door chickens” where you knock on the back door to buy a bag of chicken and sides for take-away at a discount? After 10 p.m., Marco says Street’s plans to serve “front door chicken” from a window facing the sidewalk.   $10 will buy you a savory waffle cone stuffed with apple-jicama slaw and fried chicken drizzled smoked maple-Dijon sauce.

The space feels just right for a casual meal, Sunday Supper or late night snack. Chicken art lines the walls inside and out. Senior art students at Booker T. Washington High School painted the playful murals on the exterior walls, while actual chickens – dipped in paint then allowed to traipse over blank canvases – created the unframed art hanging on several walls indoors.
A few weeks from now, says Marco, look for weekend brunch. “This is a brunch neighborhood so we’ll definitely have a brunch.”

3857 Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas. or 469.917.7140 (updated)

All photos: copyright Mike Hiller. Top: Tony and Marco Street

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