Spring Hill's fried chicken lived up to its lofty word-of-mouth, but that bird is over and done.
I made an absolute pig of myself last night at the grand finale of Spring Hill's wildly popular Monday-night fried-chicken feasts. Its swan song, if you'll pardon the first in a line of poultry puns.
When chef Mark Fuller announced in January he'd flip his last bird in July, you could almost hear a collective groan go up around the city: Noooooo! Say it isn't so! The West Seattle restaurant's phone lines clogged with fried-chicken fans trying to get a table for this family-style meal.
Since then, the staff is regularly peppered with stay-of-execution requests. Diners were not ready to stick a fork in it. They were not done.
Now, I'm an unapologetic fried-chicken snob, and as much as I enjoy the food at Spring Hill, I was mighty skeptical about all the hubbub. While living for a few years in Memphis, I ate my weight in crispy drumsticks, thighs, and breasts. As a good snob would, I thought, I've had the best. Why bother with the rest?
That was before I sank my fangs into the first bite of the Spring Hill bird, the crunchy crackle of the skin almost drowning out my happy munching mantra: Mmmmmmm! The alchemy of salty seasoning and the golden crisp, greasy-good crust hugging the moist flesh was an instant rush. Like that runner's high, except that you're sitting down, hunched over a giant plate of heavenly chicken that lived up to every word of hype.
I'm a leg woman, but also managed to devour a thigh, breast, and wing. There were lovely sides, too. You might cry fowl, but I gave them short shrift. My primary focus was on the chicken, and by the end of the evening, I was stuffed. And a little sad. Could this really be the end? Oh, mama.
There was no funeral dirge playing. The party-esque mood of the room felt more like a Friday night than a Monday. The full house buzzed with happy conversation, though surely a few diners were clucking about what a shame it was that the fried-chicken dinners were over. Maybe we should start a petition? Cluck yeah! Bring 'em back! Pretty please with lard on top? Who's on board?