Political views and nutritional value aside, Chick Fil A is the gold standard when it comes to fried chicken sandwiches. We aren't sure if our ATL friends have successfully made this happen, but god d*mn is a Chick Fil A sandwich and sweet tea good. So when you open a specialty fried chicken sandwich restaurant, we are going to compare, and Leghorn came out firing with gourmet fried chicken sandwiches in a hip Ukrainian Village setup. We were hoping Leghorn would be one of our favorite go to spots for a quick bite, but unfortunately this is one of the more disappointing reviews we've had to write.
Visually and on paper, Leghorn is a dream. Unlike the problems with Chick Fil A (it's still fast food after all), Leghorn is a champion of farm raised chickens, fresh ingredients, and a real hands on approach. So what's with all the negativity? Because the flavors inexplicably fall flat. We don't understand why, and we can't really explain it, but almost everything here tastes bland.
The best part of Leghorn is the space and the vibe. It’s a small, cash only, BYOB spot, where you order at a counter and food is delivered shortly thereafter. It’s a raw space with exposed wood, a few tables, and some counter seats. Rap can often be heard and the menu looks like it was personally delivered by an angel, a combination of Fergie and Jesus. Everything about Leghorn screams “I’m awesome,” except for the food. A second location opened in River North, but that news doesn’t excite us as much as it should.
Despite a couple other options, fried chicken sandwiches are the premise of Leghorn. There are three core steps to building a sandwich: 1. Breast or thigh meat, 2. Pickle brined or Nashville hot, 3. Biscuit or bun. Sounds delicious, but it falls short. The pickle brined chicken has very little flavor, it’s juicy, but bland. Nashville hot is only slightly better, but it’s more so spice you taste than actual flavor. The biscuits are pretty uneventful too, which is a real shame. Homemade sauces like buttermilk rancho verde, spicy mayo, and honey mustard will cover up some of the disappointment, but only so much. Gun to our heads we order the Nashville hot on a bun with extra rancho verde, and then make a stop at Chick Fil A on the way home.
Best thing here. These large and fluffy pups go from average to pretty good with the green chili addition. Get the sauces involved too.
The crisp is good, but just like the chicken, they lack in flavor.
A mix of shaved carrots, radish, beets, celery, and apple. A light and refreshing slaw.
If swimming in sweet tea and drinking a pool of it dry was an option, count me in. This sugary southern staple is so good on a hot day.