One of the biggest openings of the fall has been Urbanspace Vanderbilt, a new food hall over by Grand Central Terminal in Midtown. It's a rather large collection of food stalls, filled with offshoots of local NYC restaurants and shops, as well as some of the vendors who regularly show up at the outdoor Urbanspace markets. Although we knew that it would (like all the other Urbanspace places) be pretty overpriced for the amount of food you would get, we still wanted to check it out and try out some of the vendors.
We had encountered a lot of these vendors before at previous markets, but there were a few that were new to us. The biggest hype out of the market before it opened came from Delaney Chicken, a chicken shop from the folks behind the Brooklyn barbecue place, BrisketTown. People were talking about the fried chicken for months before the market opened, so naturally it was one of the first places we wanted to try.
Delaney Chicken started out just selling fried chicken pieces and sides, but lately have moved into chicken sandwiches and wings. This seems to be the age of the gourmet fried chicken sandwich in this city, so we knew that's what we were going to get. Their chicken sandwich is a Southern style fried boneless chicken thigh with pickles, Crystal hot sauce, and Duke's mayonnaise. Here's what we thought of it:
I love fried chicken sandwiches, so the current wave of fried chicken sandwiches appearing everywhere has been a pretty exciting time for me. Although I prefer sandwiches made with chicken breasts, a lot of the sandwiches lately, including the Delaney Chicken one, have been made with thighs, but I planned to keep an open mind. We had seen some photos of the sandwich though, in which it looked like it was the size of a MetroCard, so my expectations of its value weren't that high. The prices for the sides were a bit steep, so we didn't try any of those.
Overall, I was really pleasantly surprised by this sandwich. Maybe the sizes of the sandwiches aren't consistent, but ours was definitely bigger than a MetroCard. And not only was it larger, but it was much taller than we were expecting. The breading seemed a bit different, a little moister and crunchier than a lot of other fried chicken, and the chicken was very juicy. The piece of chicken was a pretty decent size, the pickles were nice and sour, and the hot sauce gave the sandwich a great flavor. They had honey and (more) hot sauce there that you could add to it, but I didn't really feel like it needed it and just ate it the way they gave it to us. It's not my favorite fried chicken sandwich (I somehow still have not posted about that one yet), but I did like it and would get it again if in the area and/or in the mood for a dark meat chicken sandwich.
We came to Urbanspace Market with the intent of getting a chicken sandwich from Delaney's. We'd read mixed reviews dealing with good flavor but small size for the price, but when we got our first look at it, the sandwich seemed like a good size.
I really liked the sandwich, and at $8 (as of today) it's not a bad deal. The chicken was really juicy, and the breading had good seasoning, was nice and crisp, and didn't feel too heavy and overpowering compared to the chicken. The hot sauce was vinegar-based and reminiscent of Tabasco sauce. I didn't get much flavor from the mayo, but I'm okay with that since the chicken and hot sauce gave it enough flavor. The pickles added an additional tartness and an actual vegetable/fruit addition. I did try adding the honey for a couple of bites here and there, and the combination of spicy and sweet with the chicken really works. Clearly the sandwich can stand on its own, but the honey can be a nice treat here and there. Would I get this again? Most likely. The lines tend to be insane during the week so I don't know when I would next have a chance at getting it, though.