The Roost brings a taste of the south to Lakeview

Saturday, August 9, 2014
The Roost brings a taste of the south to Lakeview
The Roost has brought its southern-style biscuits and fried chicken from food truck to brick-and-mortar operation in Lakeview.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Like any good food truck entrepreneur, the Carolina-born owner of The Roost knew if he could sell enough fried chicken and biscuits, he might able to open to brick-and-mortar operation. Good thing Chicagoans haven't gotten tired of this trend, because the biscuit, chicken and cobbler quality in Lakeview just got a southern shot in the arm.

There are now several restaurants in Chicago focusing on fried chicken, but The Roost Carolina Kitchen precedes most of them, since it has been running its truck around the city for the past two years. The style? Pretty simple.

"Born and bred in the south, most of these are family recipes and we really try to put the best bird out in the city," said The Roost's owner, Joe Scroggs.

That means a traditional herb-flecked chicken that bathes in a buttermilk brine overnight, as well as a spicier style, in a similarly long brine. Dredged in flour then fried for about 10 minutes, the chicken is cooled briefly before serving.

"The brining technique is what I got from my family. And the biscuits and the peach cobbler all came from there," Scroggs said.

The biscuits are a must. Dense and substantial, they hold the pieces of chicken just fine for a sandwich, which you could top with pickles, chipotle ranch and coleslaw if you like. You could also have that spicy version brushed with even more heat for a Nashville hot-style experience. Sides like mac and cheese are also notable, as is the family's recipe for peach cobbler, which will come in handy as a mouth fire extinguisher if you opt for the truly hot chicken.

"For the spicy one, I recommend - when I make it for myself at least - I do the coleslaw and the chipotle ranch. If you're going for breakfast, the chicken-cheddar is the only way to go; and the Nashville I recommend get the pickles, it cuts the heat a little bit I think," he said.

Scroggs says the recent wave of newer chicken joints hasn't slowed his business down, in fact, he welcomes it.

"The explosion has been really cool," said Scroggs.

The Roost Carolina Kitchen

1467 W. Irving Park Rd.