So, maybe you’re on instagram, or facebook, and you’re kind of hungry. You see a picture of a fuku sandwich and you think to yourself, damn. I really need to get down to the East Village and eat some chicken.
Well, maybe this only happens to me. But you go to Columbia, and getting down there to go to a restaurant where you have to wait in line for an hour and then there’s not anywhere to sit is kind of a trek.
Have no fear: Streetbird is here.
Streetbird Rotisserie, owned by Chef Marcus Samuelsson, who also owns the Red Rooster, is a casual restaurant which focuses on the often forgotten chicken.
What a cutie.
It’s located on 116th and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, about a ten minute walk away from campus. And they have all the chicken one could desire. In ramen, rice, rigatoni, and rotisserie.
On the last day of classes last semester, post chemistry final, my roommate and I walked through Morningside Park for some fried chicken sandwiches:
We both ordered the Crispy Bird Sandwich, so I can’t report back on anything else, but if it tastes as good as this sandwich did, everything must be top notch.
The sandwich is served on a toasted potato roll. A piece of chicken is battered, fried, and then doused in sweet, smoky, delicious barbecue sauce. It’s topped with melted cheddar and placed on a bed of mayo, lettuce, and tomato. A couple of pickles complete the set.
While the idea is already excellent, the execution is terrific. It’s difficult to put a wet sauce on crispy fried food without making a soggy mess, and it’s accomplished here.
We also split an order of Ying and Yang fries, which are half sweet potato, half regular, topped with parmesan. These were addictive. Crispy, but not burned. You can’t beat topping something with cheese.
While I can’t quite figure out the Asian influence—I think it’s mostly just preference, what the cooks like to cook—Streetbird is a fun place. The walls are decorated colorfully, the staff is friendly, and you’re likely, I guess, to run into a Chopped judge, like we did (it was Aaron Sanchez).
And I’m still craving that sandwich, two months later, which is always a good sign. I’m going to go back soon. Maybe tomorrow.
2149 Frederick Douglass Blvd, (212) 206-2557
Atmosphere: Upbeat, friendly.
Noise Level: moderate
Recommended Dishes: crispy bird sandwich, ying and yang fries
Price range: $
Hours: 11:30am–10pm, Mon-Fri; 10:30am–12am, Sat; 10:30am-10pm, Sun