Sunset Fried Chicken Sandwiches, Monica Dimas’ new spot inside Rachel’s Ginger Beer, does a classic beautifully.
Monica Dimas just might make the best fried-chicken sandwich in Seattle. Her not-so-secret: rich, lush thigh meat. “I just don’t like the idea of ever having anybody get a dry breast,” she says. She’s also using Draper Valley organic free-range bird, because quality counts — even the purposeful, unfancy quality of the Franz buns. Toasted and buttered, they’re exactly right, and, she notes, the company is from the Northwest. (“They’re huge, but they’re our huge!” she laughs.)
Dimas’ Neon Taco and Tortas Condesa take inspiration from the food her mom made when she was growing up in Eastern Washington. Sunset Fried Chicken Sandwiches, ensconced in the corner of Capitol Hill’s Rachel’s Ginger Beer, is a departure for her. But Dimas has also cooked Vietnamese at Monsoon, Italian at Spinasse, French at Le Pichet and new American at mkt. Here, she has painstakingly re-created hush puppies like the ones at New Orleans’ Peche, while the fried chicken is based on a staff meal she had while interning at McCrady’s in Charleston, S.C., years ago. She couldn’t forget “how much I loved that chicken … You want to do that memory proud.”
She has, and now we may all thankfully partake.
Sunset Fried Chicken Sandwiches
1610 12th Ave., Seattle (inside Rachel’s Ginger Beer); sunsetfriedchicken.com
Hours: 2 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Friday, noon-midnight Saturday-Sunday
Don’t miss: S.F.C.S.’s short-and-sweet menu has just a few sandwich variations, and you might happily never venture beyond The OG. (Hint: Ask for the mayo on the side and apply it to your liking.) They’re not enormous, but they’re well-priced at around $8 each, and they’ll leave you with stomach space for Dimas’ hush puppies; double-fried, super-crunchy fries; tart and lovely fried green tomatoes; or, if your arteries so require, a kale Caesar.
Coming soon: Mac and cheese, and maybe fried chicken livers (yes, please!).
What to skip: While big, crisp and bountifully topped, the wedge salad is pretty much impossible to eat with the compostable fork provided (maybe BYO knife?). And be warned: The General Tso’s chicken sandwich leans sweet.
The setting: Industrial-chic Rachel’s Ginger Beer can get really, really, REALLY loud, so consider ordering to go or availing yourself of the outdoor seating.
Summing up: The OG sandwich ($8), The GT sandwich ($9), a wedge salad ($8), fried green tomatoes ($5.50) and fries ($4.25) was $34.75 plus tip — and way too much food for two people.