The Taste Food Tour :: Chow Chow Kitchen
It seems we have been on a weekend carryout binge lately. Not that I’m complaining, especially with such great to-go eats here in Lakewood.
After a busy Saturday, we didn’t want to cook but also didn’t feel like getting cleaned up to go eat out somewhere. So, we figured it was time to try Chow Chow Kitchen. Scott went out to the restaurant at 14201 Madison Ave. and picked up a few things at his whim.
Words of advice: Hot chicken and the gumbo. And I didn’t even think I liked gumbo all that much, until now, that is. Oh, and the fried catfish fish-and-chips dinner ain’t so bad, either. That’s a big thing coming from a reluctant fish eater. (A weird thing for a foodie, I know. But I do have friends and family working to get me past this glitch!)
This new addition to the Madison Avenue dining scene, owned by Joe Zegarac, serves up an eclectic mix of southern comfort food for takeout, delivery and catering only — at reasonable prices. While there are a few seats in the restaurant, they are there for customers waiting on an order, not to dine-in. Chow Chow is takeout dining in the strictest sense of the word.
I’ll confess I couldn’t wait for our food to get home. We ate it smorgasbord style, and I wasn’t disappointed. The Nashville-style hot chicken, an ample, bone-in half breast brushed in hot-and-spicy oil, satisfied the heat-loving folks at our house. Those two usually feel most “hot” items aren’t spicy enough. Chow Chow’s hot chicken passed their taste test.
This meal, served with white bread that soaks up delicious drippings and fresh pickles, got a huge thumbs up from all of us. Chow Chow also offers a traditional fried chicken dinner – the “Winner Dinner” – which comes with mac & cheese and house biscuits and gravy. It’s on my local food bucket list, for sure. I’m a sucker for good fried chicken.
We also shared a hearty portion of the aforementioned fish and chips, and two soups: spicy sweet carrot with a chipotle-honey drizzle and gumbo, featuring Cleveland-made, smoked andouille sausage, okra and Cajun rice. We agreed we’d all order these again. Someday. There are too many other menu options to try first.
Chow Chow’s diverse menu also includes a variety of “snacks,” including the intriguing “Hot or Not” cheddar curds (another bucket list item), po’boys, an assortment of southern dinners, and a variety of sides. Besides the cheese curds, vegetarian options include a mac & cheese dinner, spicy carrot macaroni and smoked garlic toast, among others.
We didn’t order dessert the first time around. Probably a mistake, now that I’ve studied the menu. While I’m not a huge sweets fan, I think I’ll need to try out both desserts one of these days because I won’t be able to choose from the “S’More Taco” or the “Salty Caramel Jumbo Pretzel”!
–Robin Suttell, Taste of Lakewood blogger