Saucy Chickens

KFC can’t hold a candle to this fried chicken.

Photograph by Steven Sandor

If there was an Academy Award for Best Strip Mall, there’s a spot on 34th Avenue, where 99th Street ends and Parsons Road begins, that would be a surefire winner. The roadside marquee gives the porn shop top billing. The mall is also home to a family restaurant called The Steak Out, which is near a butcher shop called – get this – Nice to Meat You.

But today, we’re here to check out the mall’s newest tenant. Coco Deep Fried Chicken, located right next door to the butcher shop with the awesome meaty moniker, opened in early November.

It’s a promising start. At the ordering counter, we are greeted with the sight of cartoon chickens, smiling as they hover around pictures of the food. I love it when the animals look happy that you’re about to eat them.

We’ve been hearing only good things about this place. My dining companion goes for the chicken and waffles, while I go half-and-half – two pieces of Coco’s fried chicken, with two more pieces coated with the restaurant’s signature Korean sweet and hot sauce.

The sauce is homemade with 17 ingredients. Honey, hot pepper and sesame are prevalent and, mixed with the saltiness of the chicken breading, it’s an infectious mix. I think I could maybe take a bath in this sauce. It’s that good.

The chicken itself is as good as any fried chicken I’ve tasted in Edmonton. The breading is light and doesn’t stick to the chicken; yet the meat isn’t dried out. My order is juicy and perfect inside. My partner-in-crime reports that his chicken is perfectly cooked, as well.

The sides, the waffles and the fries, really are afterthoughts. The highlight is the chicken and that addictive sauce.

Did I mention that the sauce is great? (3350 Parsons Road, 780-990-4304, website N/A)

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