In 2011 we received a facebook message from our friend Christa Glennie Seychew about a new Fried Chicken restaurant on Main Street that was starting to get some buzz. Then our friend Chef James Roberts gave us his seal of approval of Nette’s and he’s definitely someone who knows his fried chicken. Along the way we have read bits and pieces online about their chicken, found a weird YouTube video of a fight taking place inside and discovered their website has an amazing domain name. After two years of hype and anticipation, we finally visited Nette’s Fried Chicken last week.
Now this wasn’t the first time we’ve tried to eat at Nette’s, in fact this is our fourth attempt. Our first trip we learned that they didn’t open on Sunday until 4pm (its hard to find updated hours posted online as they change often it seems). A couple months ago, Alli and I tried to visit their stand at the Taste of Buffalo but it looked like complete chaos was going on. The cashier was freaking out over missing fried chicken, there was an incredibly long line of people waiting for food and customers were complaining. Our third attempt was at the restaurant again and we found a sign on the window saying they were closed for the weekend. Finally, last weekend we walked up to a closed restaurant (again!) but at the last minute a woman walked up to the window and turned on the OPEN sign and unlocked the door. We finally were going to try this fried chicken.
- Restaurant Type: Take Out Soul Food
- Cuisine: Southern/Soul
- Location: University District/Heights
- Prices: Value Boxes $6, Sides $3-5
I wouldn’t exactly say we are fried chicken experts but we had one mind blowing experience at an Omakase dinner and have always enjoyed Garris BBQ. So with those standards set, we were still very excited to see how good this was going to be. Ordering at Nette’s is ideally done over the phone and about 20 minutes before hand because the chicken is fried freshly to order. Luckily, we took a walk down the street to take out cash (their ATM was broken and they only take cash) and to grab a couple drinks. As far as seating, the restaurant only has a long counter that lines the restaurant, very similar to the set up of Jim’s Steakout on Chippewa.
We both ordered value boxes ($6 each) which came with an order of fries. Alli ordered the chicken breast while I ordered two thighs and added a medium side of Fried Okra ($4). We contemplated eating our food on a nearby bench but decided to make the 8 minute drive back home instead. As you can see from the pictures, the chicken looked great and we were excited when we opened our to-go boxes. Both of our orders of chicken were cooked perfectly, the skin was incredibly crispy and the actual chicken meat inside was still very juicy. The thighs especially had a nice fatty texture, the execution couldn’t have been better. That said, I was hoping that the actual batter of the chicken or maybe the chicken meat itself would have a little flavor but both were under seasoned and fairly bland. The french fries were from a frozen bag and nothing special. The fried okra were OK with a little hot sauce for dipping (I wish it was served with a cane sauce).
The food was fine, the fried chicken was cooked properly but the lack of flavor disappointed us. I’m not sure it’s worth the hassle. The restaurant was supposed to be open at 3pm on our weekend visit but when we walked up to the window at 6:15, they were just opening up. Maybe some of the sides are better or their desserts are great, but I can’t see myself going out of my way to drive down Main Street to get fried chicken from there again. It definitely has all the markings of a potential hidden foodie gem (dive-y location, not too popular, difficult to order) but I think the food is just good, not great.