The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Browntrout Sunday: Fried Chicken And Bluegrass

By Melissa Wiley in Food on Aug 3, 2012 4:00PM

We personally didn’t understand what all the fuss was about when Colonel Sanders’ closeted recipes came to public light. How good, we asked ourselves, could fried chicken really be? But Browntrout’s Chef Sean Sanders—no relation to the colonel so far as we know—has put our poultry skepticism to rights. Soon after we ambled inside this Lincoln Square restaurant last Sunday, our gustatory glands were ensconced in the most ungodly luscious fried chicken this side of the Mississippi. No, we rather doubt whether this mighty river really divides one caliber of fried chicken from the other, but you see our point. Dismiss any and all chicken that lollops its way into a red and white cardboard bucket (and may an incensed Biblical god toss a lightning bolt your way if you opt for Chick-fil-A) and set your sights instead on Browntrout.

As with most of the rest of its gamut of sustainable comestibles, Browntrout’s chicken is locally sourced, from Gunthrop Farms in Lagrange, Ind. So is its Sunday bluegrass ensemble. The Dogpatch Ramblers serve up knee-slapping background instrumentals from 6 to 9 p.m. fit for a cousin-groping hootenanny in a Kentucky woodshed.

Chances are you’ll forget that you’re feasting in a casual fine-dining establishment and find yourself greedily chasing breading crumbs and stray corn kernels down your shirt while extracting savory bits of mashed potato skins from your teeth. But no need to pick your incisors on the sly. Strategically angled toothpicks and fingernails are all part of the salt-of-the-earth territory here on Sunday nights, so lustily pick, lick, and toe-tap away. Colonel Sanders himself famously rhapsodized about fried chicken’s finger-lickin good qualities. And right he was, especially where Browntrout’s own piquantly breaded birds are concerned.

Browntrout is located at 4111 N. Lincoln Ave..