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  • Writer's pictureEric Elkins

Ode: The Bourbon Chicken at Bourbon Grill

You’ve seen the big red sign on Colfax — in the before times, you might have noticed a line outside the walk-up window at the original location — but the Grill's current spot actually has an inside, with a few tables, a counter where you can see the food laid out in a steam table behind glass, and pretty clean bathrooms.

You might worry that a new(ish) location would have changed the nature of the place, but I can’t say it really has. Josefudes bemoans the loss of a decade and a half of char and seasoning on the grill, but they’ve been on the north side of the street for nearly six years now, the prices are still low, and you no longer have to shiver as you wait for your order.

Because that fuckin’ chicken.

It comes overflowing its styrofoam clamshell on a bed of perfect white rice, steaming out the seams of the container, warm in your hands. Best to eat it right away while it’s almost too hot, those crispy charred edges all sweet and glazed and chewy, careful not to let a single chunk of meat drop over the edge, your choice of sides somehow crammed into the corners of the box.

Bite after bite to get to the rice below, where just the barest hint of sauce has already been absorbed. But now you have room to maneuver, scooping combo bites of rice and chicken, chicken and mac ‘n’ cheese, chicken and steamed broccoli and rice.

But it’s really all about the star of the show, which means, though it’s tempting to eat the poultry off the top and then go at the rest, the smart play is to down scoopfuls of rice, leaving chunks of chicken around the edges so you can save them as your last bite of the meal, eating around them until they’re all that’s left at the bottom of the container.

You didn’t realize you’ve housed the whole thing so quickly, so you’ll stop to savor those last morsels of Colfax gold, grateful for the old-school spots like Bourbon Grill that serve up inexpensive goodness on a street that still has its grotty charm, a foundation of delicious protein and carbs in your belly as you venture down the street for cheap whiskey and tequila shots.

Stay gold, Bourbon Grill.

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