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Roost Carolina Kitchen

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My eating habits suggest I’m from the South. This isn’t a new thing. I love fried chicken, grits, hush puppies, cornbread, black eyed peas, collard greens, bread pudding, pecan pie - pretty much anything with heavy cream and butter. The problem is my Midwest accent and inability to step below the Mason Dixon line without melting says otherwise. I’m also a Big 10 football fan, which is probably frowned upon in those parts. Classic mix up.

The good news is Roost Carolina Kitchen is bringing a bit of casual Southern cooking to Irving Park, which is a place I can more easily blend in. Roost originally started as a food truck but has since invested in some permanent space. And we’re glad, because they are cranking out fried chicken exceptionally well. After sitting in a buttermilk based brine overnight, the fried chicken is made fresh on the spot, which is why Roost is up front about the fact it will take 15 to 20 minutes for your food. All good though, so sit patiently and let them do what they do - fry chicken.

It’s a small place meant for an easy bite any day of the week, just make sure you’re ready to get after it with fried chicken in one hand and a bear shaped bottle of honey in the other. Just like Michael’s Secret Stuff turned Bugs Bunny into a Space Jam all-star, honey will take your fried chicken to next level good.

If you’re set on figuring out who has the best fried chicken in town, we suggest not making that decision until you hit up Roost.

Close your eyes and pretend it’s the South. The food might just convince you.

Food Rundown

Cucumber Coleslaw

Light, good crunch, and balanced on the creamy to oil and vinegar spectrum.

Homemade Potato Chips

They are chips. They are homemade. They are salty. What’s not to like?

Homemade Potato Chips

They are chips. They are homemade. They are salty. What’s not to like?

Bone-In Fried Chicken

Three options - herb seasoned, spicy, or nashville hot. It’s a tad greasy, but in the oh man, this is going to be awesome kind of way. Each has a distinct taste and a lot of flavor, so your decision should be solely based on how much spice you want. Quarter or half bird options are available. Honey is on the table. Apply liberally.


In the mood for a sandwich? Then bone-out fried chicken is the way to go. Spicy or Nashville hot, biscuit or kaiser roll. We prefer the biscuits even though there’s a 100% chance the sandwich will eventually fall apart. Not a bad thing, just a fact. Add on coleslaw, pickles, cheese, and chipotle ranch as you please.

The Brittany

Don’t sleep on the breakfast sandwiches, which are simply fried chicken sandwiches with options of meat, cheese, and egg. Our favorite is this version with a little sharp cheddar and a fried egg.

Creamy Mac & Cheese

They aren’t lying, it is in fact creamy. If you get a meal that comes with two sides, mac & cheese should probably be one of them.

Bread Pudding

Yes! Yes! Yes! Thick, dense, raisin filled, and topped with some icing. I’d like an extra cup of icing to pour over the top, but that might be getting a little carried away.

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