This food truck hidden behind Old North Arcade doesn’t just fry up some mean chicken, they also hook it up with 40-ounces of freedom.
Finding out-of-the-way eateries and food spots is kind of my jam. I mean, if hidden gem diners were righteous revenge kills, I’d be all John Wick up in Columbus Town. Kill my dog? Tibetan dumpling restaurant. Boom. Steal my car? Brunch/Creole/Bakery shop in Olde Towne East. Bam. What can I say, I’m the one they send to kill the boogeyman if the boogeyman was a super dope Cubano sandwich (upcoming opinion piece: why I’m John Wick, backed by food photos and empirical evidence).
Which is exactly why, when someone told me I could find an amazing chicken food-truck that also sells 40oz beers in an alleyway behind an arcade, I was predictably friggin’ amped about it. Forty’s Chicken & Waffle, formerly Forty’s Bird and Brew, is a food truck parked on the back patio of Old North Arcade with a simple business concept straight out of a Ludacris album: Chicken and Beer my friends, Chicken and Beer.
Forty’s acts as the bar’s resident kitchen, serving up some mean chicken dishes, but what really makes it super unique is that they also sell forties.
That’s right, they take it back to the oldskool block party/barbecue days. You’ve got your option of either Bud, Bud Light, or Miller High Life. No fancy schmancy brewskis here, just a good solid 40 ounces of mediocrity and the crisp satisfaction of drinking on a budget.
Their menu is relatively sweet and simple. Just six entree options, five sides, and three desserts (one of which topped with vanilla vodka and adorably named “Groot Beer Float”, YAAAAS). But what they lack in the number of options they more than make up for with the dishes they do have. Just look at this chicken/waffle cone monstrosity. That is a banging bouquet of poultry if I’ve ever seen one.
I wasn’t quite ready for the commitment of a whole forty so I settled for a can of Hipster DeLite (read: PBR).
Still a solid choice. And while The Waffle Cone was tempting, there was no way I could avoid getting The Donut. As soon as my eyes read the description on the menu it was love at first sight. A dark, tragic, artery clogging love. Like when Edward meets Bella for the first time and he stares straight into her like how only an actual psychopath can stare at a human or how only an actual human can stare into a mountain of fried chicken. I’m assuming, of course, I’ve never seen that pile of crap movie and the only videos I could find were all carefully made montage’s synched to tragically awful emo music (looking forward to the Twilight fan hate mail guys, really am, *double snap, pistol fingers*).
Let me just take a moment to walk you through the amazingness that is The Donut. A glazed donut sawed down the middle and split in two, tender crisp fried chicken in between, coleslaw piled high on succulent poultry, and smothered on top of all that awesome sandwich stuff is a healthy thick coating of maple syrup. I’ll give you all a moment to wipe off the drool and emotionally prepare yourselves before going on.
Biting into it was an experience in and of itself. The sandwich had a lot going on flavor wise, which made it confusing.
The slaw had that familiar pickleyness to it, the donut and syrup predictably sweet, but what it really had going for it was texture. The chicken was perfectly done, just crispy enough for a great outer layer with a satisfying crunch, but the meat was still juicy and soft. It leant itself well to the creamy slaw and even the softness of the outer donut. This, however, made it super destructible. It fell apart in my hands even as I tried to hastily shove the whole thing down my mouth. I felt like that guy in every adventure movie ever, hurriedly running across some barely put together rock bridge as it tumbles behind him, inevitably losing his best-friend/sidekick character to the deep mountain valley below. Alas, pickle slice, you will be missed.
All in all though, the best chicken I’ve ever had in an alleyway by far (of which, there have been a few).
I strongly recommend you all head into Old North Arcade and check it out, it goes great after losing three to five straight rounds of Mortal Kombat. The chicken and 40-ounce beer do a good job of soaking up the shame of a bruised ego, not that I would know from experience or anything… Yeah whatever, just get at me with some Street Fighter and let’s see if it happens again. MK’s for chumps anyway (Also looking forward to the Mortal Kombat fan hate mail and making note of the predictable overlap of the Twilight fanbase, read: burn).
You can find Forty’s Chicken and Waffle at Old North Friday 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Saturday 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. For more info and to see what they’re doing next, visit their Facebook page and website. Or check them out in person at 2591 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202.