Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Slow Food Fast

We were late heading out the door and needed to pick up dinner on the way to our friends Chuck and Rita’s house to watch the Raiders on Monday Night Football (yes, dear readers, Emma G. is a Raiders fan). For most folks, there would be no dilemma — stop at one of our fabulous taco stands and pick up burritos. However, Chuck really loves fine food, and we wanted to surprise him. What to do?

Driving up Market Street a few weeks ago, I noticed a little place called Urban Chicken on the corner of 25th. Chalked signs above the window advertised organic salads and chicken. My friend Allie had mentioned she’d been there and that it was fantastic. With those leads, I proposed to my husband that we check it out.

Walking through the front door is like entering a different world. The Gypsy Kings play softly on the stereo. Bold photos of Paris, London, and New York City emblazon the grass-green walls; the six tables are a warm, dark wood; and the chalkboard theme continues with intriguing-sounding menu items loopily handwritten in a rainbow of colors. From behind the cash register, in front of the open kitchen, our server smiled and welcomed us to step forward. Eating in Urban Chicken, especially during fall or winter, when it’s not so hot — there’s no air-conditioning in the restaurant — would be a lovely experience. Executive chef Flor Franco and her culinary team have created a wonderful neighborhood spot. However, tonight, we were on a mission to bring Chuck something unique.

The menu is simple: various sizes of grilled chicken dinners, chicken turnovers ($7 for three with one sauce), sandwiches, soups, salads, and a Rice Nest with Lentils and Chicken and Roasted Vegetables ($7.25). The sides include garlic-sesame jasmine rice, brown rice, mashed red potatoes, epazote black beans, seasonal grilled veggies, and organic salads. Just about everything comes with Urban Chicken’s three dipping sauces: cilantro pesto, tomato cinnamon, or tequila chipotle. Such simplicity is deceptive, however, as we would find out. The prices are extremely affordable. A whole chicken dinner with three massive sides is $22. We ordered two, along with an extra salad and turnovers for four adults and one child, and ended up with two more meals’ worth of leftovers.

Eating in Urban Chicken during fall or winter would be lovely (there's no air-conditioning).

When we arrived at Chuck and Rita’s in University Heights, the TV was on and their stomachs were growling. Unveiling our feast, Chuck couldn’t believe that such an impressive meal came from an unassuming place in Logan Heights. Aromas of garlic, cumin, and herbs wafted out of the takeout containers, making our mouths water. As Urban Chicken’s menu notes, all their chickens are natural, free-range, fed a vegetarian diet, and raised without hormones or antibiotics. The vegetables and greens are locally grown, from places like Suzy’s Farm. Biting into a thigh, I could taste the freshness. Each chicken has been marinated for 24 hours, rubbed with a garlicky spice mixture, butterflied, and splayed out on the giant grill that dominates the kitchen. The butterflying allows for the chicken to develop a crispy skin and succulent flesh quickly, so the flavor is locked into each piece.

While the tomato-cinnamon sauce tries to be redolent of barbeque, it’s so watery the flavors fall flat. The sauces to go with are the smoky tequila chipotle and the vibrant cilantro pesto. Dipping your chicken or turnover into either brings things to a whole new level. As for the turnovers (resembling giant empanadas), the crust is so flaky it shatters with each mouthful — a wonder, since the cubed chicken and vegetables inside are so moist they should make it soggy. As for the other parts of our meal: the zingy garlic-sesame jasmine rice pairs well with grilled chicken without competing with its flavors; the grilled veggies are crunchy and have a spicy kick to them; and everyone ooh’d over the creamy, rustic mashed red potatoes. I wasn’t a fan of the epazote black beans — too much liquid for my taste. But my son devoured them. If you do order these, they require a dash of the fiery smoked chili salsa the server doles out in very small containers, as it is an incendiary experience. Finally, it’s great to go to a takeout place that makes an excellent, healthy, and reasonably priced salad, chock full of mixed organic greens and served with a pleasant citrus vinaigrette ($5). There’s also a chef’s special salad served daily for $5.

As Chuck and Rita put it, Urban Chicken fills an important niche — “slow food served fast,” as the sign outside the restaurant states. It’s perfect for those nights you don’t want to make dinner but long for something you might cook for yourself at home. ■

Urban Chicken

549 25th Street Suite 100, Grant Hill, 619-756-6911; urbanchickenusa.com

Vibe: Calm respite from the busy street; great takeout

Fare: Grilled chicken; organic salads

Seating: Six tables

Must try: Whole chicken dinner with three sides; chicken turnovers

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Eggies on a bun or in a jar

The pandemic is a good time for take-away breakfasts

We were late heading out the door and needed to pick up dinner on the way to our friends Chuck and Rita’s house to watch the Raiders on Monday Night Football (yes, dear readers, Emma G. is a Raiders fan). For most folks, there would be no dilemma — stop at one of our fabulous taco stands and pick up burritos. However, Chuck really loves fine food, and we wanted to surprise him. What to do?

Driving up Market Street a few weeks ago, I noticed a little place called Urban Chicken on the corner of 25th. Chalked signs above the window advertised organic salads and chicken. My friend Allie had mentioned she’d been there and that it was fantastic. With those leads, I proposed to my husband that we check it out.

Walking through the front door is like entering a different world. The Gypsy Kings play softly on the stereo. Bold photos of Paris, London, and New York City emblazon the grass-green walls; the six tables are a warm, dark wood; and the chalkboard theme continues with intriguing-sounding menu items loopily handwritten in a rainbow of colors. From behind the cash register, in front of the open kitchen, our server smiled and welcomed us to step forward. Eating in Urban Chicken, especially during fall or winter, when it’s not so hot — there’s no air-conditioning in the restaurant — would be a lovely experience. Executive chef Flor Franco and her culinary team have created a wonderful neighborhood spot. However, tonight, we were on a mission to bring Chuck something unique.

The menu is simple: various sizes of grilled chicken dinners, chicken turnovers ($7 for three with one sauce), sandwiches, soups, salads, and a Rice Nest with Lentils and Chicken and Roasted Vegetables ($7.25). The sides include garlic-sesame jasmine rice, brown rice, mashed red potatoes, epazote black beans, seasonal grilled veggies, and organic salads. Just about everything comes with Urban Chicken’s three dipping sauces: cilantro pesto, tomato cinnamon, or tequila chipotle. Such simplicity is deceptive, however, as we would find out. The prices are extremely affordable. A whole chicken dinner with three massive sides is $22. We ordered two, along with an extra salad and turnovers for four adults and one child, and ended up with two more meals’ worth of leftovers.

Eating in Urban Chicken during fall or winter would be lovely (there's no air-conditioning).

When we arrived at Chuck and Rita’s in University Heights, the TV was on and their stomachs were growling. Unveiling our feast, Chuck couldn’t believe that such an impressive meal came from an unassuming place in Logan Heights. Aromas of garlic, cumin, and herbs wafted out of the takeout containers, making our mouths water. As Urban Chicken’s menu notes, all their chickens are natural, free-range, fed a vegetarian diet, and raised without hormones or antibiotics. The vegetables and greens are locally grown, from places like Suzy’s Farm. Biting into a thigh, I could taste the freshness. Each chicken has been marinated for 24 hours, rubbed with a garlicky spice mixture, butterflied, and splayed out on the giant grill that dominates the kitchen. The butterflying allows for the chicken to develop a crispy skin and succulent flesh quickly, so the flavor is locked into each piece.

While the tomato-cinnamon sauce tries to be redolent of barbeque, it’s so watery the flavors fall flat. The sauces to go with are the smoky tequila chipotle and the vibrant cilantro pesto. Dipping your chicken or turnover into either brings things to a whole new level. As for the turnovers (resembling giant empanadas), the crust is so flaky it shatters with each mouthful — a wonder, since the cubed chicken and vegetables inside are so moist they should make it soggy. As for the other parts of our meal: the zingy garlic-sesame jasmine rice pairs well with grilled chicken without competing with its flavors; the grilled veggies are crunchy and have a spicy kick to them; and everyone ooh’d over the creamy, rustic mashed red potatoes. I wasn’t a fan of the epazote black beans — too much liquid for my taste. But my son devoured them. If you do order these, they require a dash of the fiery smoked chili salsa the server doles out in very small containers, as it is an incendiary experience. Finally, it’s great to go to a takeout place that makes an excellent, healthy, and reasonably priced salad, chock full of mixed organic greens and served with a pleasant citrus vinaigrette ($5). There’s also a chef’s special salad served daily for $5.

As Chuck and Rita put it, Urban Chicken fills an important niche — “slow food served fast,” as the sign outside the restaurant states. It’s perfect for those nights you don’t want to make dinner but long for something you might cook for yourself at home. ■

Urban Chicken

549 25th Street Suite 100, Grant Hill, 619-756-6911; urbanchickenusa.com

Vibe: Calm respite from the busy street; great takeout

Fare: Grilled chicken; organic salads

Seating: Six tables

Must try: Whole chicken dinner with three sides; chicken turnovers

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Oceanside – eclecticism reigns

Oceanside Blvd. beach rip-rap, Fire Mountain incursion, airport death, growing up in Camp Pendleton housing, Oceanside Pier, Samoan gangs, Saint Malo, harbor vs. surfers
Next Article

Praga: Italian at a Czech restaurant in Mexico

Not many pedestrians. No mariachis. And definitely no striped zebra-donkeys.
Comments
1

Please note that this is now called Sherman's Shack.

June 3, 2013

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close