As you’ve probably figured out, we recently hit a little bit of a dry spell foodie-wise. It’s been almost a month since our last restaurant post, and it’s not for lack of trying – we just hadn’t eaten anywhere blogtacular.
We were at a get-together last week and were complaining about this serious first-world problem. And of course, even folks we had just met were doing their best to help us – this is a roll-up-your-sleeves-and-pitch-in kind of town. After naming several places (blogged about that one, don’t care for that one), one woman piped up: “Well, have you been to Miss Dots?”
This was one we hadn’t even heard about, we’re embarrassed to say (although word of its opening had been posted on al.com a few months ago, and we had missed it). A quick search of the usual internet spots (Facebook, Yelp, Instagram) revealed some of the best restaurant branding we’ve seen lately and some amazing-looking food. Our little foodie hearts were racing. Luckily, it had only been open for a few days by the time I learned about it. We immediately made plans to try it.
The next night, our foodie friends Ela and Stephen met us at the location: it’s in Crestline Village, on Church Street, across from Regions Bank, where the old CVS used to be. As we pulled up, this is what we saw:
I mean, tell me you don’t love love love their branding. It’s so darn cute and it clearly articulates what they are all about: chicken chicken chicken.
Walking in, the places smells like you are in the inside of a chicken fryer. Not in a gross greasy kind of way, but in a “I must eat some fried chicken immediately” kind of way. And that we did.
We forgot to take a picture of the full menu (sorry), but we basically ordered all of it, so don’t worry about it.
And the chalk-board menu:
And another interior shot that shows off their awesome branding:
You order at the counter and wait for your name to be called. We ordered an eight piece chicken and then also ordered one of every side except for rice and gravy and fruit (although I did ask for a little side of gravy to use with the chicken, and I noticed that the fruit other people had gotten looked amazing – bright red strawberries and the like). Although they’d only been open for a few days, they were already doing a very brisk take-out business. The place is clearly set-up to be very family friendly – lots of family-meal type options, and very quick turnaround. Within 5 minutes, we had all of our food.
While waiting for our food, we explored the sauces. They are self-serve and you can have as much as you want:
A beautiful palette: clockwise from the bottom left:
ranch: creamy and bright, outstanding
“dat” sauce: creamy and slightly tomato-y with some zip to it
honey mustard: the best I’ve ever had – very bold
white lightening: after some guessing we decided it was a mixture of the ranch, vinegar, and pepper – like white BBQ sauce. outstanding.
And then the chicken arrived. Again, the branding. The box came inside this bag:
And then inside the box:
We tore in. A mixture of white and dark meat. Fairly large pieces. The batter is delicious – crunchy with a very subtle kick to it – and just falls off the meat. Speaking of the meat, it is as tender as you can imagine, and juicy – splash all over your face make a mess kind of juicy. As Mr. Foodie puts it, it tastes like they killed it this morning. (And one of the workers confirmed later on that their chicken is fresh, never frozen.)
Especially given how much we were in love with the chicken, Mr. Foodie was not satisfied with the photos we took. It was nighttime, the lighting wasn’t great, and it didn’t show off just how gorgeous the chicken and the sides really were. So, I’m skipping ahead to the next day. Special thanks to our friend Michelle who took one for the team and helped us eat all this. Here’s a shot of the breathtakingly beautiful fried chicken, which, when you order it as a meal, comes with a slightly sweet and pillowy roll that complements the chicken’s crunch and saltiness:
On our second trip, we also ordered the chicken bites. These were about twice the size of a normal chicken nugget, appeared to be all white meat, and were absolutely addictive. As a white meat enthusiast, this was like someone had gone through and done all the work for you and given you just delicious morsels of white meat fried chicken. What could be better?
OK, enough about the chicken. We also ordered nearly every side, so let’s get to that. Let’s start with our two favorite sides: the red cabbage slaw and the sprouts:
The red cabbage slaw was so unexpectedly delicious and creamy that it was quite the topic of conversation. It tasted like the slaw was cooked in apple cider vinegar then mixed with something creamy. One of the workers later confirmed our suspicions – cheese – but the type of cheese is a closely guarded secret.
The sprouts are crunchy but we decided they probably aren’t raw, but are maybe blanched? They’re served in a light dressing with a dusting of parmasean cheese and walnut slivers. The best raw sprout salad I’ve ever had.
We really liked the fact that these sides were really healthy (or at least healthy-ish). And that they seemed to take as much care with the sides as they did with the chicken.
Here’s that beautiful chicken again pictured with another hit side: the squash casserole. I usually hate squash casserole with a passion, mostly because the squash is usually a little mushy. But this squash wasn’t mushy at all – it held its form and intermingled perfectly with the crusty cheese.
Speaking of crusty cheese, here’s a closer picture of the squash casserole rubbing noses with the sprouts and another hit side, the scalloped potatoes. These potatoes tasted like potato mac and cheese – extremely creamy and comforting. Fantastic.
One other thing that you’re probably curious about, if you read their menu carefully. Mr. Foodie and I like that they have both baked and fried chicken. They’re trying with the healthy options, and that’s cool. When we aren’t blogging, we drink protein shakes and eat kale, so we’re down with that. We’ve had both their baked and fried chicken, and here’s my advice to you: you are at a fried chicken place. Eat some fried chicken. And if you are feeling badly about it (which you shouldn’t anyway, but if you are): eat some delicious brussel sprouts and you’ll feel better.
As I am finishing writing this post tonite, I noticed that al.com posted this neat story about the woman behind the name: Miss Dot herself. And it turns out that John Cassimus, the food entrepreneur behind Jinsei (which we love) and Zoe’s (at which we’ve never actually eaten, but seems like a very well-executed local chain), is also behind this venture. For how polished the place looks, feels, and tastes after just a week in business, we’re not surprised.
They’re open 7 days a week from 11-9 so put down your iphone/ipad/laptop and get on over there!