Several years back, before I started taking pictures of my food, we had dinner at JCT on a couple of occasions. But I had never had their fried chicken. As Ford Fry seems to be the “it ” chef in Atlanta right now, I’d seen several reviews in the last several months, all talking about how good the chicken was. As we were heading downtown for a 9:00 ball game, I took this chance to sample it.
I was extremely grateful for their valet parking, as the lot that they share with Star Provisions, FIGO, Taqueria Del Sol and numerous shops was overflowing. Fortunately, we had made a reservation as the place was packed when we arrived at 6:45. We were seated at a table for two against the back wall in the dead center of the restaurant. In fact, Jo commented on the “run way” behind me where she saw all of the food that was passing through.
We forwent the appetizers and started with the entrees. Jo ordered one of the daily specials, amberjack, served on a bed of faro with carrots. Carrots was an overstatement, as the dish appeared to have one baby carrot cut into a dozen small pieces amongst the plate-covering grain. Being a carrot fan, she would have been happier with more carrots and less faro, but she cleaned her bowl.
I ordered the fried chicken and subbed macaroni and cheese for the red pea and collard greens it was paired with. When it arrived, I had three good looking pieces of fried chicken (leg, wing and breast) with a giant bowl of Mac-n-cheese.
The chicken was very good. I started with the drumstick, as the ratio of crunchy skin to chicken is near perfect. Then, on to the wing. There was one bite, at the top of wingette (the piece where the short drumstick of the wing joins the breast in an airline cut) that was the best single bite of fried chicken in I don’t know how long. The breast was moist, tender and cooked through and through. I see why everybody raves about this chicken – it was excellent. And at $17, I believe fairly priced. The mac-n-cheese was very creamy and quite tasty.
I went with the apple cobbler, a johnny cake crumble with bourbon ice cream. When it arrived, it was definitely a share-able dish – it was big. The top crust was just done enough to be crunchy and the body of the bowl was filled with thinly sliced apples. The bourbon ice cream was definitely different. It honestly tasted like Jim Beam in an ice cream form. Not being a bourbon guy, I would have preferred a cinnamon, caramel or vanilla ice cream, so after a few bites, I swept it off to the side and finished off the pie.
All in all, a very good meal in west midtown. And the place stayed full – we saw one table clear in the hour and a half that we were there.