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post #659
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Bon Bon Chicken vs. Unidentified Flying Chicken

Bon Bon Chicken
Unidentified Flying Chicken

We have been fans of the Bon Bon Chicken on Chambers street for some time. Have you come to visit us in the past year or two? If so, then you have been (except for Lisa, who we took to the sandwich shop).

My introduction to Bon Bon Chicken was a memorable evening. Our pal Christy (of kick-ass Frankly Wines) has a roof deck down in Tribecca and after work one night a bunch of us ended up there with bottles of wine and boxes of Bon Bon Chicken.
I ate my weight in chicken that night and ended up taking a whole box of leftovers home that provided snacks for the next two days.

That began my love affair with Bon Bon Chicken.
Months later, New York Magazine did an article about Korean fried chicken with their favorites (including both locations of Bon Bon). Their highest rated fried chicken place was Unidentified Flying Chicken in Jackson Heights.
We found ourselves without dinner plans (or food in the cupboard) last Friday night and Mrs. Robot suggested going out to Queens for fried chicken.

The Restaurant Space
Bon Bon, the one on Chambers Street, has 4 or 5 tables and is counter service. It's bright and clean with the snazzy modern-eque slab type benches and tables.

Unidentified Flying Chicken does it one better. The main, ground floor is similar to Bon Bon with a counter and a few tables. There is a downstairs with more proper tables and wait staff. It is a small space yet well designed. Even though it is table service downstairs, your forks and napkins are still in their takeout plastics.
The sink in the bathroom is really cool.

Winner? Unidentified Flying Chicken

The Food
UFC + WineBon Bon has these nice, white soft rolls that come in handy when you need something to cut the heat from the spicy chicken. Unidentified Flying Chicken falls a little short here with the sides with only cole slaw, pasta salad, or a salad (with an excessive amount of ranch dressing).

The chicken at both places is very good, but slightly different.
As far as frying technique, UFC's seemed more integrated in with the chicken. At Bon Bon, you can often have almost all of the skin come off in one big (delicious) chunk. Maybe Bon Bon's chickens are flabbier?
Both do different versions in terms of flavors - Bon Bon does sweet or spicy. UFC does spicy, sweet, and two other flavors that I seem to have forgotten. The sweet versions of both were very good, but Bon Bon wins as their sweet flavor has a lot more depth. UFC's sweet was great, but was a bit "one note".

The big difference was the spicy. At Bon Bon, the spicy is very spicy. Beautiful agony spicy. Overwhelming spicy. Their spicy is so spicy that it often throws your mouth out of whack when you go back to the sweet flavored ones.
At UFC, the spicy was... not so spicy.
It was so "not so spicy" that we asked our waiter to point out which ones were supposed to be spicy. There was some spice, but odly you only got it afterwards. On the finish, if you will.

Winner? Bon Bon Chicken

Other factors

UFC still doesn't have their license for the sale of alcohol, so they are BYOB. That is awesome. We brought a pinot noir rose that went well with the chicken.
Both fry their chicken to order, so you are going to wait a little while for your meal. Not an issue at UFC since you have a bottle of wine on your table and a huge tv screen on the wall showing that Miami Vice movie to distract you. At Bon Bon, there are no distractions, so bring a magazine or a fascinating dining companion (and maybe headphones to counteract the Top 40 radio).

Bon Bon has a location on Chambers street as well as the one in Queens (which I believe is the original store?). In the summer, they are in the Hamptons as well. UFC is in Jackson Heights, which is a hike, unless you live in Queens. Also, when walking to UFC, be prepared to be on loudest street in the city. The elevated trains along with the honkingnest people ever make for quite a cacophony - almost to the point of hilarity.

UFC, as I mentioned, is BYOB. In theory Bon Bon could be BYOB, right? How does that work?

If I lived in Jackson Heights, I would be a big fatty because I would be eating UFC every night. If I lived in Tribecca, I'd also be a big fatty. If you held a gun to my head and said I had to pick just one, it would be Bon Bon. The flavor of the batter on the chicken is much more complex and layered. Lots of things happening.
That said, UFC is still very very good. If you find yourself in Queens, it's totally worth checking out.


Unidentified Flying Chicken
71-22 Roosevelt Ave.
Queens, NY 11372
NY Magazine Review

Bon Bon Chicken
98 Chambers St., New York, NY 10007
NY Magazine Review

You gotta go try Bon Chon Chicken, as well. That was my first experience with the experience.
314 5th Ave
2nd Fl
(between 31st St & 32nd St)

Maybe we should take a robot excursion at some point. Get a shitload of chicken and a bunch of pitchers of beer (it is not BYOB. Rather, it is a weird 80s dance club space, that serves fried chicken and beer.
»stu ||  4/9/2008 ||  4:18:49 PM
well, the sandwiches were very good.
»lisa ||  4/9/2008 ||  9:16:16 PM
in the name category they are definitely tied. i need to open up a chicken shack!
»elananano ||  4/10/2008 ||  9:03:36 PM
dude this whole time i thought you were raving about Bon Chon Chicken! they also only have two flavors but you can choose if you just want wings or drumsticks or a mixture. OH and they also have flavored soju, - YUM! only downside is the wait and the club music
»k ||  4/10/2008 ||  11:43:50 PM

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