Fried Chicken at Hard Knox Café

by foodhoe on November 5, 2009

2526 3rd St. (between 22nd St & 23rd St), SF, CA 94107 | 415.648.3770 | website

I have a backlog of SF posts in the queue that I’m still working on, so until I find some worthy spots out in Concord, I’ll continue on with clearing out the memory cards…  On my first visit to the Potrero Hill branch of the Hard Knox Cafe in 2007, I was completely besotted with the magnificent oxtails in gravy; however, I returned recently with a group of people with the express intention to sample their famous fried chicken.  I love that the down home soul food is all cooked by chef Hua who is Vietnamese but grew up eating southern comfort food in Texas.  The restaurant is small and intimate, the walls are covered with a patchwork of rusting corrugated metal siding which evokes the semblance of an old automobile repair shop.  Red vinyl booths line the length of dining area and provide a very comfortable backdrop to enjoy big plates of delicious southern classics. The biggest draw is that most entrees are $10-14, which includes the cornbread, a generous entree and two sides.

The corn muffins arrive gently steaming, the perfect temperature for the butter pats to melt on.

I was starving and inhaled one and then decided to save room for the main course…  shhh, I tucked it into my bag….

Here’s my plate of Fried Chicken ($10 + $1 extra for all dark meat) which is served with two sides.  I chose mashed potatoes with gravy and macaroni and cheese, probably not the healthiest, but they were so good.

The chicken was perfect, the fried coating was crisp and savory and when I bit through that garlicky batter, the tender interior was bursting with juicy flavor.  And somehow it was not in the least bit greasy.

The mac & cheese is shiny and has a creamy slightly gummy texture.  It tasted just like the stuff I grew up on and I’ll bet this doesn’t congeal or get oily and separate into curds, it  stays creamy and smooth in the manner of processed cheese.

I don’t even remember whether they have desserts on the menu or not, because I had to dash over to my friend Kathy’s house for a jewelry party.  Fortunately she had tons of decadent sweets for us to enjoy while looking over shiny and enticing baubles…  But I can confirm that the fried chicken at Hard Knox Cafe is delicious and that I am glad that I didn’t just order the oxtails again.

Hard Knox Cafe on Urbanspoon

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa November 6, 2009 at 2:25 am

Comfort food is awesome! Yummy looking food!

Cheers,

Rosa
.-= Rosa´s last blog ..A TRIP TO LYON – PART IV =-.

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grace November 6, 2009 at 7:52 am

buttery corn muffin, juicy fried fowl, cheesy macaroni, delightful dessert. there isn’t a single thing here i wouldn’t inhale. awesome.
.-= grace´s last blog ..sticky scrumtrulescence =-.

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The Single Guy November 6, 2009 at 11:33 am

Foodhoe, my cholesterol just shot up a couple of points reading your post! Looks like a fun place, although you know you won’t find me there anytime soon. OK, maybe for the corn muffins! (BTW, that meringue tart at your friend’s party looks good too!)
.-= The Single Guy´s last blog ..Steaming Up San Francisco with Steamy Kitchen =-.

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hungry dog November 6, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Ah, I forgot about this place! Went once quite awhile ago. I really loved the vibe of the place and it’ good food for so cheap, I can’t believe it. I’d eat some fried chicken and mac n cheese right now.
.-= hungry dog´s last blog ..A night out with Steamy Kitchen =-.

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Cookie November 6, 2009 at 12:25 pm

I’ve always wanted to go to this place! Fried Chicken is SO good especially with mac and cheese and gravy! Have you been to Farmer Brown’s in the city? It’s really good too!
.-= Cookie´s last blog ..What to do with all that Fresh Mint? =-.

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cocochanelella November 7, 2009 at 6:41 pm

I agree I think that make the a perfect fried chicken.
.-= cocochanelella´s last blog ..Day 1 of Foodbuzz 1st Annual Blogger Festival =-.

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Kirk November 9, 2009 at 9:42 am

Hey FH – Mac and Cheese + Mashed Potatoes + All dark meat fried chicken! I love your style.
.-= Kirk´s last blog ..Nha Hang Quoc Te =-.

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Carolyn Jung November 10, 2009 at 11:19 pm

I love the oxtails there, too. And the corn muffins are sooooo incredible. I love that they give each person two. I usually take one home, and it makes a mighty fine breakfast treat the next morning.
.-= Carolyn Jung´s last blog ..First Look at Howie’s Artisan Pizza in Palo Alto =-.

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Mel December 2, 2009 at 2:05 pm

jesus christ that buttered corn bread picture is making me cry at work. hard knox is my life.
.-= Mel´s last blog ..Thanksgiving: Bunghole Style =-.

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