Lovers of fried chicken agree: Nothing beats the simplicity of a tender, juicy piece of meat delicately seasoned and deep-fried to crisp, golden perfection. Though the concept may be simple, standout fried chicken requires a special technique – a technique that’s been mastered by Chef Blair Warsham at The Bird.
The fast-casual restaurant offers a simple menu of fried chicken sandwiches, salads, curly fries, and a few other items. “We’re no frills and our menu is simple, but it’s our recipe for success,” says Chef Blair. “By focusing on just a few specialty items, we can really geek out on each recipe and make it perfect.”
My first visit did not disappoint. I ordered the chicken sandwich at the counter, grabbed a seat at one of the high-top tables, and waited for my name to be called. One bite and you know this sandwich is engineered for maximum impact. Each element is awesome, but the way they come together is over the top.
The chicken is breaded in a gluten-free mix of rice flour, masa, potato starch, corn starch, baking powder, and coated in a berbere spice mix – an Ethiopian blend that includes paprika, garlic, fenugreek, and other spices. The toasted bun is baked fresh daily from Super Duper and each sandwich comes topped with mayonnaise, house-made pickles, and fresh coleslaw made with celery, purple cabbage, onion, parsley, and Fuji apple. More of a morning person? Order the fried chicken on a flaky biscuit for breakfast.
Though The Bird has only been around since October 2016, Chef Blair is no stranger to the San Francisco dining scene. His resume touts several Michelin-starred restaurants including The Restaurant at Meadowood and Tinder Box in Bernal Heights.
“I love the food and I’m proud of what we’re doing,” Chef Blair says. “We want people to feel really comfortable and provide the neighborhood with great music, beer, and chicken in a laid-back, casual setting.”