The Licking

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Licking ext

I recently visited The Licking, a Southern/soul food franchise in the Millenia area. I thought I had ordered one thing but received something different. And even that wasn’t what I expected it to be. But I’ll come back to that.

The Licking, out of Miami, bills itself as “Soul Food to the Stars” and lists DJ Khaled as its brand ambassador and co-owner along with Elric "E-Class" Prince, the founder of Poe Boy Records. Most of the seven locations listed on the restaurant’s website are in South Florida although one is in Chicago’s far West Side.

The name is a reference to the action taken upon one’s fingers following the eating of saucy or greasy foods, as in Finger Lickin’ Good, although that’s a phrase that would unleash a certain colonel’s army of attorneys should another restaurant try to use it. The Licking does include a flavor for its chicken called Fingalickin, but I’m not trying to start trouble.

It’s a quick-serve concept – order at the counter then wait for the food to be ready. I had intended to dine in but there were few seats available during the lunch hour, so I requested my food to go.

Licking sign

Both the young woman who took my order and I were wearing masks and were separated by a plexiglass partition. Add some loud music to the mix and communication became an issue. (By the way, certain masks are not allowed inside the restaurant, as indicated by a sign, above, on the front door.)

Licking wings

So instead of the fried chicken breast dinner I thought I had ordered, the fried chicken wing dinner is what I received. It wouldn’t be something I would ordinarily order because I find that wings just don’t have much meat on them. But it was a substantial amount of wings, flavored in lemon pepper because of another miscommunication, and sitting atop my two side dish choices: green beans and pigeon peas and rice. (I always get the peas or beans and rice because it feels like I’m getting an extra side dish.) The wings were a bit dry and the lemon pepper seasonings a tad subtle. I think I would have preferred a saucier sauce – as it was, no licking was needed.

Licking foot

The box also curiously contained one chicken foot. And man, if you think wings don’t have much meat on them just try gnawing on a chicken foot (be sure it isn’t still attached to a chicken).

Licking rolls

For an appetizer I selected the chicken rolls, which were a sort of soul food version of egg rolls, the wonton wrappers filled with rice, bits of chopped chicken, some corn kernels and cheese. I liked them with some of the sweet sauce that was provided.

The rest of the menu is rather eclectic, with such things as grilled or fried lobster dinner, lobster Alfredo, fried conch and fries, and fried chicken with red velvet waffles.

Licking dining room

As I said, the dining area was small and fills up quickly. There is a side patio for outdoor dining. But if you intend to order for pickup, I would recommend using the online order form so you know for sure what you’re getting.

The Licking is at 4706 Millenia Plaza Way, Orlando (map). It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-233-4794.

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