Does food make everyone this emotional? All I did was stop by Piece of Chicken, the 99-cent fried chicken ‘n’ fixins takeout window on West 45th Street, order some food, and take it to eat in the little park further down the street. And it made me lonely!
Because my box of chicken, collard greens, and dirty rice reminded me of picnics…of family, friends, music, BBQ smoke drifting through the air, and children playing…but I was sitting by myself under a potted tree in a concrete jungle, between two towering office buildings…surrounded by other potted trees under which people in ties or Easy Spirit pumps were also eating by themselves. No music, no fun…the antithesis of a picnic!
But it was sunny. And I’m a sucker for nostalgia. And $1 food. So I closed my eyes and relished the salty goodness of the tender meat in my hand. Salt was the main attraction in all 3 of the $1 items I tried, so be ready. The breading on the chicken is thin and crispy, more like homemade then the thick and crunchier fast food types. I like that.
If I went back to Piece of Chicken, it would be with friends and/or BEER. I would also walk west, toward Hudson River Park, instead of east, toward solitary lunch confinement.
When in the area, I recommend you try it, too. Maybe it’s all the Broadway Marquees you pass on the way, or it maybe it’s the breading. But there is drama in that $1 piece of chicken.
Piece of Chicken
362 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues