Pan fried chicken, okra, mac and cheese, collard greens, smothered chicken. These are some of the things you can get at Charles Country Pan Fried Chicken in Harlem. We headed up there for lunch because we heard Charles’ chicken is legendary.
The place is mostly a take-out spot, but they have three or four tables where you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet. At lunchtime it is $13.00 a person. You can pick anything you want from the hot food tables, including the famous fried chicken. Not a typical help yourself buffet. Here, you point, they serve.
I started with some fried chicken, smothered chicken and BBQ chicken. I specified how many pieces of each I wanted (one) and which type (drumstick). Plus macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes and an okra and corn stew. Everything was delicious. The fried chicken was crunchy and not greasy. The BBQ is much better than it looks. It is in a thin sauce that is thick with flavor. The sweet potatoes weren’t overly sweet–just how I like them. I had seconds of everything on the plate–I liked them so much, I didn’t try the other items.
While we were eating, I could watch a soap opera on TV or chef and owner Charles Gabriel cooking up some more chicken in a big skillet at the stove behind the food counter.
You also had your choice of smothered turkey leg or stewed pig’s foot. I passed up the rice, corn, collard greens, and beans, but I tasted the greens and beans on Lee’s plate–yummy.
The New York Times agreed that the chicken and the experience are superb.
The New Yorker magazine profiled Charles this week here
The Lee Brothers call Charles Gabriel a legend
Charles Country Pan Fried Chicken is on Frederick Douglass Boulevard between 151st and 152 Streets–just a couple of blocks from the 155th Street stop on the B and D subway lines. It is one subway stop (or about a 15 minute walk) from Yankee Stadium.