You’d think Itsa Chicken would be a sufficiently self-identifying name for a restaurant. But it’s actually a little too succinct. Maybe Itsa Chicken Sandwich would be better, or Itsa Fried Chicken Sandwich, because that’s essentially what this new Milk District eatery offers.
And before we go any further, I feel compelled to mention that the logo for the business includes the apostrophe that makes the name more grammatically correct. But all other references on the business’s web and Facebook pages are Itsa, so it’s how I’ll refer to it here. Grudgingly.
Itsa Chicken is a hole in the wall, literally. It occupies a corner of Whiskey Lou’s Lounge, a longtime cocktail slinger from pre-Milk District designation days. A window was punched out for walkup orders. There are a few stools at a railing overlooking Bumby Avenue, and Lou’s, which recently went smoke-free (perhaps you saw the headlines about Hell freezing over), put in a back patio, so I assume chicken sandwich eaters would be welcome there as long as they’re also drinking from Lou’s. Heck, you may even be allowed indoors with the nonsmokers as long as you’re imbibing. But walking your sandwich across the parking lot to the new Milkhouse food hall would be bad form.
I took my chickens home, to eat, not to roost. I stepped up to the window and when a young woman acknowledged me, I ordered a Classic and a Honey Butter Buffalo, which despite its name is still not red meat, because Itsa Chicken. After I made my request, the young woman rather tersely asked, “Breast or thigh?” It’s something I haven’t been asked since college.
But it turns out that each of the sandwiches – there are only three, a Honey Butter Bacon completing the trio (and yes, that one has real bacon but not enough to change the name to Itsa Chicken and Some Pork) – can be had with either white breast meat or dark thigh meat. I made my choice quickly: breast for the Classic and thigh for the HBB.
I also ordered some Herby Fries, paid up and stepped aside to await my order. I had been quoted 15 minutes but it was ready much faster. And perhaps the young woman wanted to atone for her earlier terseness because when she handed the order through the window, she said she put in some extra fries.
I liked both sandwiches. The Classic was a simple presentation of lettuce, pickles and cheese on the breaded and fried cutlet. The Honey Butter Buffalo had slaw and ranch dressing and the thigh meat was coated in a sauce that was decidedly more honeyed than spiced with Buffalo-style hotness. The buns were fresh and doughy.
I couldn’t really tell the difference between the breast meat and the thigh because frankly I think they were both breasts.
Rosemary was the dominant herb on the Herby Fries, which were also dusted with a generous amount of parmesan cheese.
I should mention that along with the three sandwiches, your chicken choices include nuggets and strips.
Itsa Chicken is an apt name, but it would be fine with me if they wanted to rename it Itsa Good Chicken.