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Pfft, "Extra crispy," you say, my dear Colonel? I'll show you CRISPY!

I can't deny that if I see a sign advertising "fried gizzards," I have to check a place out...even if I don't actually have the gizzards. I'm not 100% crazy about gizzards, truth be told, since they're just about the chewiest thing you could extract from a chicken short of the bones. Crispy Fried Chicken (and Seafood) in City Heights has embraced fried gizzards as a selling point, painting the windows to advertise the plate of fried gizz' and its $4.15 price tag.

The interior of the restaurant was undecorated save an Area 51 shoot-em-up game (!) and a fish tank with schools of guppies and crayfish squirming around while a lonely freshwater shrimp cruised up and down in search of filtrate too inconsequential for me to see. Curiously, the desolate appearance of the restaurant was excused by the immaculate fish tank. I assume that anyone who keeps pets so clean must do likewise in the kitchen.

To the right of the counter, a glass case exhibited the fried chicken for all the world to see; with just a touch of the circus sideshow in the way the display case had been cut right out of the wall and offered only a partial glimpse to the shadowed mysteries of the kitchen behind it.

None

A little while back, Matt Lickona dared us to disagree with him that Crispy Fried is the best in town. I'll call the bluff. I found the chicken itself to be above average in size, but only average in quality. It did the restaurant's name proud, however, as it was some of the crispiest chicken I've ever eaten. The breading is nearly non-existent in some places, so the skin of the chicken goes straight through "extra crispy" and out the other side. The best way to describe it is that it's almost like a potato chip made out of meat. The flesh of the chicken, particularly the white meat, was dry. I'll give credit for the fact that it seemed to have been fried minutes, not hours, in the past and that the dryness was more likely the result of lack of breading/brining to keep the juices inside the chicken during cooking.

Where CFC fell flat was in the side dishes. Hush puppies could have killed at thirty paces and the fried okra had been coated in a very thin batter that didn't do much to improve or detract from the vegetable. The paltry serving of ranch dressing that I received for my okra demanded rationing in light of the sign on the counter claiming that requests for extra sauce would be met with disapproval and possible rejection. An apple pie, too expensive at $1, was filled with industrial grade apple compote and had clearly come out of a very large box of similarly poor quality pastries.

None

If Crispy Fried had a real advantage it's that the food was cheap. Nearly the entire menu was under $10, most items by a significant margin. Were I to return, I would order a large bucket of chicken, but skip the sides and try to get something elsewhere...or just eat an extra piece of chicken.

4919 El Cajon Boulevard
619-582-3938
M-Sat 10-10
Sun 10-8
Cash only (ATM inside)

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I can't deny that if I see a sign advertising "fried gizzards," I have to check a place out...even if I don't actually have the gizzards. I'm not 100% crazy about gizzards, truth be told, since they're just about the chewiest thing you could extract from a chicken short of the bones. Crispy Fried Chicken (and Seafood) in City Heights has embraced fried gizzards as a selling point, painting the windows to advertise the plate of fried gizz' and its $4.15 price tag.

The interior of the restaurant was undecorated save an Area 51 shoot-em-up game (!) and a fish tank with schools of guppies and crayfish squirming around while a lonely freshwater shrimp cruised up and down in search of filtrate too inconsequential for me to see. Curiously, the desolate appearance of the restaurant was excused by the immaculate fish tank. I assume that anyone who keeps pets so clean must do likewise in the kitchen.

To the right of the counter, a glass case exhibited the fried chicken for all the world to see; with just a touch of the circus sideshow in the way the display case had been cut right out of the wall and offered only a partial glimpse to the shadowed mysteries of the kitchen behind it.

None

A little while back, Matt Lickona dared us to disagree with him that Crispy Fried is the best in town. I'll call the bluff. I found the chicken itself to be above average in size, but only average in quality. It did the restaurant's name proud, however, as it was some of the crispiest chicken I've ever eaten. The breading is nearly non-existent in some places, so the skin of the chicken goes straight through "extra crispy" and out the other side. The best way to describe it is that it's almost like a potato chip made out of meat. The flesh of the chicken, particularly the white meat, was dry. I'll give credit for the fact that it seemed to have been fried minutes, not hours, in the past and that the dryness was more likely the result of lack of breading/brining to keep the juices inside the chicken during cooking.

Where CFC fell flat was in the side dishes. Hush puppies could have killed at thirty paces and the fried okra had been coated in a very thin batter that didn't do much to improve or detract from the vegetable. The paltry serving of ranch dressing that I received for my okra demanded rationing in light of the sign on the counter claiming that requests for extra sauce would be met with disapproval and possible rejection. An apple pie, too expensive at $1, was filled with industrial grade apple compote and had clearly come out of a very large box of similarly poor quality pastries.

None

If Crispy Fried had a real advantage it's that the food was cheap. Nearly the entire menu was under $10, most items by a significant margin. Were I to return, I would order a large bucket of chicken, but skip the sides and try to get something elsewhere...or just eat an extra piece of chicken.

4919 El Cajon Boulevard
619-582-3938
M-Sat 10-10
Sun 10-8
Cash only (ATM inside)

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Comments
8

The sign has intrigued me for decades. It's about time I give my colon a treat.

Sept. 4, 2012

Go for the gizzards, brother!

Sept. 4, 2012

I will show you fear in a handful of gizzards...

Pfft! indeed. I can't just gainsay your experience - you know what you ate - but this sounds very much unlike my experience(s) there. Odd.

Sept. 5, 2012

Though I won't argue about the sides.

Sept. 5, 2012

FWIW, the "pfft" was directed at a certain Colonel and his "extra crispy" chicken that seems soggy in comparison to the chip-like skin at CFC.

Sept. 5, 2012

Title edited to reflect disparagement of KFC :D

Sept. 5, 2012

Understood! But do maybe try it again someday. Usually, when I go, they don't start my order until I've ordered it. And if memory serves, dryness has not been an issue.

Sept. 5, 2012

Alright. Now, I'm thinking about taking the gizzards on and seeing what happens.

Sept. 5, 2012

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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
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