-4 Snaps! Strongly recommended
Comfort food as a genre has become increasingly popular over the recently in the culinary world. Standouts include (before they changed then closed) Fodder and Shine and the chain Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. It's an attempt to step back to simpler menus and dishes instead of the complex offerings that consume many refined kitchens.
Urban Comfort took over an old gas station on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg but kept much of its charm. The building still offers functional garage doors (albeit glass), and an industrial interior with pipe fitted benches and open ductwork. And, walking in, it just smells comfortable with a bouquet of fried chicken wafting through the place. Where's grandma?
The house special is Urban Fried Chicken- fresh chicken brined in an herb blend, hand breaded and fried and I'm a southern boy. Here we go! It arrives in a double handled oval cast iron baking pan lined with paper. The chicken is crispy on the outside without being bready. Most people know the tastiest part of fried chicken is the skin. It is browned to perfection. The bird is brined in rosemary, thyme, and lemon before being cooked with rosemary is also in the dredge. The results are an unusual herbal undertone but delicious. It's just not the way grandma made it... but still really good. UC grows it's own herbs on site
I choose the garlic mashed potatoes as a side. They have a homemade texture filled with bumpy chunks of potato and garlic goodness. I spoon on some optional thick gravy smattered with large chunks of bacon and it is hometown heaven! The accompanying flaky biscuit is served with a side of house blended honey butter. My objection to many biscuits is that they are too doughy. This one has the firmness I crave and that honey butter is tops. I wash it all down with a Joubs Brewing Bellcow Chocolate porter and I have attained extreme urban comfort!
The fried chicken comes one of three ways. A two piece meal with your choice of white or dark meat is $9.A four piece meal is $13. Or you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat "bottomless" dark chicken (eat-in only) for 12 bucks.Service is snappy, friendly, and attentive. The craft beer list is not voluminous but it is diverse. On my visit they offered brews from 12 different outfits.
Feeling down? Need some culinary comforting? This is the place in St. Pete!
Chip Weiner is a Tampa food blogger and an award winning freelance photographer specializing in portraiture, food photography and photojournalism . He has been a photography instructor for over 10 years and teaches Tampa photography classes throughout the year. Have a suggestion for a food event or restaurant? Contact him here
For information on photography classes and workshops, feel free to call me or look under the Tampa Photography Classes section of my website. Photo 101 is by far the most popular! I also give private individual lessons on camera operation and making better photographs and would love to work with you one on one to make you a better photographer. Photography instruction gift certificates are also available. They make great gifts for the photo enthusiast in your life. Let's talk about what you need! 813-786-7780. See you in class!
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