You Got Tha Flavor!
A lot of hoopla has been made about rapper and reality star Flavor Flav opening a fried chicken restaurant in Las Vegas, but has anyone actually rated the chicken?
Well I have. And the verdict?
It’s good! Maybe not life-changing good. But honest, handmade, Southern soul food good.
Don’t expect a lot of fancy business or some ‘secret recipe’ nonsense. It’s juicy, ample “all natural” chicken pretty simply battered and fried crisp.
The sides are right, too: collard greens were vinagery-sweet, tender and without any bitterness. That’s not an easy task. Sweet potatoes were cooked down to almost mash-consistency, but still flavorful. The Parker roll? Well, whatever, it’s a roll. You want it bland and soft, and that’s what it is. This is the way you’d expect the food to be out of the kitchen of a good Southern cook. Simple and real.
I decided to check it out on a random Tuesday at lunchtime. Finding it was part of the challenge: it’s located in the rear of a half-vacant strip mall on Maryland Parkway, with only a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it temporary sign facing the street. Not exactly a prime spot (although it’s right next door to a Jamaican place that also looks intriguing, hey you never know). Was Flav there? Come on, I doubt he even gets up that early.
The décor inside consists of a big goofy sign/menu, a lot of clocks (which aren’t working) and a wall of Flav pictures with other celebrities. No Public Enemy records or anything of the sort (you do remember he used to be in Public Enemy, right?). There’s a counter and three very plain stools for waiting. They call it a ‘Take Out Restaurant” right on the sign, mmmkay? You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here, as the saying goes.
I thought $7.99 for two decent piece of chicken, two good sides, a roll and a big sweet tea was not a bad deal. You can also get a “Red Velvet Waffle” (I was curious, but not that curious), wings, fried shrimp, and baked chicken if you’re remotely health conscious. Also, chicken fingers and other sides, you know, the typical ‘hood classics. What impressed me the most, perhaps, was that the whole experience didn't come across as some ill-conceived and over-funded celebrity attempt at a franchise concept (CF: Kenny Rogers). It's just a fried chicken store.
I know the pictures are kinda weak on this one, but hey, you don’t make a big deal with a camera in a place like this, if you know what I mean.
Flav opened another restaurant previously in Clinton, Iowa, which quickly closed. By the descriptions available online, it sounds as if it was significantly different.