Chow, Baby: Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Pluck and Wing

Guess everybody’s heard about how the Sexy Chicken mascot, obviously not as practiced as Chow, Baby at lamming it in fuzzy pink high heels, got busted last month for standing on the side of the road wearing neon green lingerie and shaking its tailfeathers at passerby. This was all over the local tv and print news and even went national, with most reporters punning on the fact that the chicken was charged with violating the city’s hawking ordinance. Thank goodness Chow, Baby’s sense of humor is more mature than that.

On the bright side, Sexy Chicken the restaurant (5340 Rufe Snow Dr., North Richland Hills), whose business had been bantamweight since its January opening, got more publicity than it had dreamed of and a flock of new customers. (OK, that’s enough fowl play.) Including Chow, Baby and three of its sexiest pals, who looked even lovelier than usual in the glow of neon orange walls with lime green trim, though admittedly not as good as all the pin-ups of “Marilyn the Chick.” Much has changed since this strip-segment housed Wings21, which, aging loyal readers may recall, offered 23 flavors of wings just to mathematically annoy Chow, Baby. Sexy Chicken offers only seven flavors, and they’re good but not fantastic; Chow, Baby soon regretted having ordered the 50-wing pack ($24.50 with two family sides). The “smoking hot” was not, and the feisty but unevenly applied lemon pepper and garlic parmesan coatings provided too much tingle in one bite and nothing in the rest. But the wings themselves were nicely cooked, with crisp skin and tender meat. Sides were a cut above fast food, the stars being a very gooey mac & cheese and a fresh-tasting chunky potato salad.

Chow, Baby didn’t regret getting the 16-piece fried chicken dinner, even if it was kinda pricey at $27.99 (with four family sides): The large pieces were lightly seasoned and superbly crackly-skinned, like you’d get if KFC had a Partly-Original-Fairly-Crispy blend. It’s pretty good fried chicken, maybe even good enough to write a song about — but thank goodness nonmusical Chow, Baby doesn’t have to, because a North Carolina singer/songwriter named Russ Asburn ( did, after seeing the chicken-hawking story on the Today Show. A folksy love song set to the tune of “You Are My Sunshine,” it contains somewhat disturbing lyrics like “Your golden thighs are so divine” and “I love you crispy, and sometimes frisky.” But hey, whatever fluffs your feathers is OK by Chow, Baby.

Y? B-Cuz We Like You

There’s lots to like about Ike’s C U Later Bar-B-Que (4708 E. Rosedale St.). The name, of course. To Chow, Baby it evokes pool-hall joints, dive bars, and now the spiciest housemade sausage around ($8.50/lb); the zest doesn’t just sneak up on you, it bashes you on the back of the head. Tongue-tingling baked beans deliver the final blow. Pot-roast style brisket is fall-apart tender, juicy, and thick-cut, and ribs (both pork and beef) are succulent and meaty; the meats ($8.50 plate) are flavorful enough by themselves, but the deceptively thin pack-a-punch barbecue sauce is welcome too. Housemade desserts — sweet potato pie, cream-cheese cake, cobbler (most $2) — are mild to the point of boring, though maybe that’s to be blamed on exhausted taste buds. Exhausted in a happy way. C U again real soon, Ike.

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