Maroons ~ Orderinny

Friday, July 13, 2007


I packed a lot of eating on a recent trip to Atlanta, from fluffy biscuits to lip smacking ribs, but had neglected to eat fried chicken. A craving for crispy battered chicken did not go away even after I returned to New York but intensified, so in attempt to eat the one dish that got away, AI did some research, assembled my roommates and some friends, including friends visiting from Singapore and ended up at Maroons.

The restaurant, really an assembly of 3 long, narrow rooms tucked on a side street of Chelsea serves not only Southern classics, but also an equal number of Carribbean dishes. We split appetizers, all from the Southern side of the menu, a plate of golf ball sized hush puppies drenched in an unorthodox sweet, buttery sauce and some bbq ribs that I found on the dry side, but others thought fine.
Entrees were next and of course I had to have the chicken. And was I not disappointed. 2 huge pieces of chicken, really more like half a chicken was fried till golden crisp, glistening with oil but non-greasy. Hot savory juice squirts out as I tore the pieces up with my fingers, the only way to eat fried chicken and the meat was really tender and flavorful. Even the breast, usually the victim of over-frying and drying up was moist, registering a slight pinkish tone. I gladly ate all my stomach to take and happily forced the rest of the group to try a superior piece of fried chicken. Collard greens and mac & cheese provided the needed vegetable nutrients and carbs, along probably too much cheese and butter, but they too were good, the mac & cheese being a little too dry however. Gerrie's grits, which she paired with a portion of aromatic and ultra-spicy jerk chicken was even better in terms of its creamy texture and cheesy taste. Others ha bbqed chicken, shrimp and a whole fried fish, but I like think my chicken was the champion of the entrees, for no one elicited as much pleasure as I did plunging into their food that night. Perhaps they were all too healthy =)
We lingered over dessert, dessert being one single slice of red velvet cake for the seven of us and were jokingly chastised by the server for our tiny appetites. But along with a large slice of cake that was stained a deep ruby, he also brought along seven forks, so we knew he wasn't being slip. Unfortunately, while the cake was moist and had a dense mouth-feel I associate with red velvet cake, the cream cheese frosting tasted artificial and the cake seemed like it had taken a quick defrost trip in the microwave. A disappointment, because it was my favorite type of cake afterall.
We finally left the restaurant more than a good 2 hours after we were seated, happy to linger with good company in the cramped space. With all that amber walls and exposed brick, its hard not to make the place look warm and inviting. The restaurant had a constant energetic buzz about it the entire night but never a din, and the clientele was eclectic, alternating between African American families to a large frat-boy reunion, couples on a casual date and us, the table full of Asian too full to have one dessert each. The food was excellent and much more expensive than ordering at a roadside chicken shack (which you can't find in new york city anyway) and KFC, but not egregiously so for New York standards and with the Southern hospitality and the chill Carribbean pace (read slow) I would gladly go back whenever I find myself needing fried chicken.

244 W 16th St (Bet 7th & 8th Aves)

1 comment:

Backyard Chef said...

Hey there! Glad you enjoyed most of Maroons. Particularly sorry to hear about the cake, I remember it being so much better. Maybe my tastebuds remember it wrong, or it was just an off night. I find the place charming in general. Happy eating!