Foghorn’s menu might be small, but their thickly-battered, deeply-fried and boldly-seasoned chicken brings big flavor to East Falls. Try. The. Sandwich.
This fried chicken at Foghorns — it’s “Philly-style” which is not really a thing but more like an invention of Foghorn’s chef/owner Arthur Cavaliere (also of In Riva): brined chicken, double-breaded, and submerged in hot oil until the coating crisps into a thick, rich-brown shell with lots of crunch.
Philly-style chicken was created to stand up to dips and condiments that Cavaliere feels define the Philadelphia palate. Not so sure where he’s coming from, but I do appreciate where he arrived.
Despite my inclination towards more “genteel” recipes, Foghorn’s chicken packs an impressive pow. Cavaliere set out to define a new genre of fried chicken and by golly I think he did it.
“Second time back,” a guy off Apalogen told us in line as we waited for our order. “My wife never eats this stuff but last time I caught her picking at my leftovers. Tonight, she said ‘Hey how about that chicken for dinner?‘”
We’ve heard similar praise from other customers since Foghorn’s has opened — East Falls is clearly embracing Philly-style fried chicken.
To me… It’s a lot. Daunting, even (sorry, guys!). But I’m a bad judge for these robustly-breaded birds — I don’t even really eat chicken skin. To be totally honest, chicken on the bone kinda freaks me out. And I know I am far from alone in this preference (you know who you are).
No worries, Foghorn has thought to delight us boneless chicken fans with one truly amazing sandwich:
A big, juicy bone-free slab of brined, seasoned white meat with Foghorn’s signature crunchy crust between two pillowy potato rolls. As if that wasn’t texture & flavor enough, house-made pickles add a salty-sour crispness that sends this combination over the top.
Without hyperbole, this sandwich may be one of the best things I’ve put in my mouth all year.
For $8, it comes with a little paper tub of fresh-but-forgettable cole slaw (you can swap out for more pickles, yum!), and for $4 extra you can get a generous pile of hand-cut fries. No fountain drinks, just cans of soda for a buck.
And let’s not forget the sauces! Foghorn caters to Philly’s love of sauce (?) by offering a choice of four along with your chicken: ranch, bbq, dijon, and honey. They’re all tasty but entirely unnecessary with such flavorful chicken.
Cavaliere’s bold breading doesn’t just stand up to condiments — it kinda bitch-slaps them. The honey, spiked with pepper, probably works best.
Ambiance-wise (with the possible exception of the two small window seats), Foghorn screams “Take Out” with a sparse, brightly-lit dining area. Across the expanse of the most prominent wall: an illuminated chalking of chicken anatomy, all the sinews sketched & labeled in explicit detail. Cause otherwise we might forget all this fried deliciousness was once a live animal, I guess? Thanks… I think…
Their river mural is cute, though, with a nod to trains, rowing, and In Riva of course. And I like the random chicken tchotchkes. And the bathroom was nice ‘n tidy. We had the opportunity to check everything out, while we waited first to order and then for our food — 20 minutes total, not a big deal cause this is not fast food, clearly.
No worries, though: Foghorn is a BYOB! A funky place to camp out with some friends and a few bottles, come to think. Get some extra sides for sharing family-style. People watch on Ridge Ave.
Otherwise, calling ahead is the way to go. With such a simple menu, placing your order is a breeze and then you can just sail to the counter for pick-up. They’re pretty fast, too. (Maybe that first wait was a fluke..?)
However you wanna roll, make sure you at least try Arthur Cavaliere’s new spin on classic fried chicken, concocted right here in East Falls. I’m betting you’ll discover your new favorite sandwich, at least.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below, or email us to submit your own review of Foghorn or any East Falls business.
Foghorn Philly-Style Chicken
A simple menu that’s simply perfect: gourmet fried chicken — sandwiches or half/full birds. From the chef of In Riva, whose clearly a fan of very crisp, generously seasoned skin. Some seating (BYOB).
4213 Ridge Avenue (across from Fire Department)
Mon – Thurs 11am – 9pm; Fri – Sat 11am – 10pm; Sun 12pm – 8pm
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